Current through April 9, 2022

Statutes 33-23-101 through 33-23-116

33-23-101. Definitions and exceptions.

(a) The practice of optometry is the employment of any means other than surgery for diagnosing and treating ocular pathology and for the measurement of the powers or range of human vision or the determination of the accommodative and refractive status of the human eye or the scope of its functions in general or the adaptation of lenses or frames for the aid thereof.

(b) The provisions of this chapter do not prevent a duly licensed physician and surgeon, from treating or fitting glasses to the human eye, or a duly licensed physician and surgeon, oculist, or optometrist from filling prescriptions or orders, nor do they prevent the replacing, duplicating or repairing of ophthalmic lenses or the frames or fittings thereof by persons qualified to write or fill prescriptions or orders under the provisions of this act, nor prevent the doing of the merely mechanical work upon such lenses or upon the frames or fittings thereof by an optical mechanic.

(c) It is unlawful for any person to dispense, replace or duplicate an ophthalmic lens or ophthalmic lenses without a prescription or order from a duly licensed physician and surgeon, oculist or optometrist. Contact lenses may be sold or dispensed in a retail optical dispensary or other permanently established place of business with an optical department only when the prescription specifically states on its face that it is intended for contact lenses and includes the type and specification of the contact lens being prescribed.

(d) The provisions of this chapter do not prohibit the sale of goggles, sunglasses, colored glasses or occupational eye-protective devices if they do not have refractive values, nor do the provisions of this act prohibit the sale of complete ready-to-wear eyeglasses as merchandise by any person not holding himself out as competent to examine, test or prescribe for the human eye or its refractive errors.

(e) Nothing in W.S. W.S. W.S. 33-23-101 through 33-23-116 shall prevent an optometrist from using assistants in his practice under his direct personal supervision in the office in which the optometrist practices his profession.

33-23-102. Optometrist's use of certain drugs; limitation. An optometrist licensed according to the statutes of the state of Wyoming shall be allowed to administer and prescribe pharmaceutical agents which are topically applied. A licensed optometrist who administers or prescribes pharmaceutical agents for examination or for treatment shall provide the same standard of care to patients as that provided by a physician licensed in this state utilizing the same pharmaceutical agents for examination or treatment.

33-23-103. Certificate of registration required; civil suit; damages.

(a) It is unlawful for any person in the state of Wyoming to practice or attempt to practice optometry or to advertise, or hold himself out as qualified to fit or adjust any lenses or lens in any manner or form as an aid to human eyesight, without first obtaining a certificate to practice optometry.

(b) A person who is damaged by another person who violates this section may in addition to other remedies provided by law, institute suit in the county where the violation occurred to require enforcement by injunctive procedures and to recover damages plus court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

33-23-104. Board of examiners in optometry; created; composition; designation; duties generally; appointment; qualifications and terms of members; vacancies; oath. The Wyoming state board of examiners in optometry is created to carry out the purposes and enforce the provisions of this act. The board shall consist of three (3) members appointed by the governor for a term of two (2) years. Each member of the board shall be a resident of the state of Wyoming and shall have been engaged in the actual practice of optometry in the state for at least one (1) year prior to appointment. The governor shall make all appointments to fill vacancies caused by death, resignation or removal. The governor may remove any member as provided in W.S. W.S. W.S. 9-1-202. The members of the board, before entering upon their duties, shall take and subscribe to the oath required to be taken by state officers and shall file the oath in the office of the secretary of state.

33-23-105. Board of examiners in optometry; officers; powers of members; meetings; quorum; records. Said board shall choose at its first meeting, and annually thereafter, one (1) of its members as president, and one (1) as secretary and treasurer thereof. Each member of the board shall have the power, during his term of office to administer oaths and take affidavits, certifying thereto under his hand and seal provided and kept by the board. Said board shall meet at least once in each year at the state capitol, for the purpose of holding an examination, and in addition thereto, whenever and wherever the president or secretary, by order of the president, shall call a meeting. A majority of said board shall constitute a quorum. The secretary shall keep a complete record of the proceedings of the board, which record shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times.

33-23-106. Board of examiners in optometry; per diem and expenses of members; disposition of funds.

(a) Each member of the board may receive as compensation ten dollars ($10.00) for each day actually engaged in the duties of his office, and per diem and mileage as is allowed state officers. Expenses shall be paid from the fees, fines and assessments received under the provisions of this act. All fees, fines, assessments and other moneys received under the provisions of this act, may be used for meeting the expenses of the board and in carrying out the provisions of this act. In no event shall any expenses be charged against the state.

(b) All money shall be received and collected as provided by law. The state treasurer shall credit the money to an account within the earmarked revenue fund.

33-23-107. Board of examiners in optometry; report to governor. The board shall, as required by W.S. W.S. W.S. 9-2-1014, report to the governor.

33-23-108. Board of examiners in optometry; seal. The board shall provide a seal which shall contain the words, "Wyoming State Board of Examiners in Optometry, Official Seal".

33-23-109. Examinations required of applicants for certificates; qualifications; existing practitioners; passing grade; reexamination; fees; renewal of certificate; retirement.

(a) Any applicant for registration under this act is required to pass an examination. The applicant shall be a graduate of an optometric school or college accredited by a regional or professional accreditation organization which is recognized or approved by the council on postsecondary accreditation or the United States Commissioner of Education maintaining not less than a four (4) year course of not less than one thousand (1,000) hours each year covering the following subjects: general anatomy, general mathematics, general optics, theoretical optometry, practical optics, hygiene, optical laboratory work, general physiology, general physics, ocular pathology, theoretical optics, practical optometry, psychology and clinical work. Anyone desiring to commence the practice of optometry after May 22, 1987 shall in addition to these requirements, have satisfactorily completed courses in general and ocular, diagnostic and therapeutic pharmacology given by an institution accredited by a regional or professional accreditation organization, which is recognized or approved by the council on postsecondary accreditation or the United States Commissioner of Education and approved by the Wyoming Board of Examiners in Optometry. Examinations shall cover the above subjects, and other subjects designated by the board. Any currently licensed person intending to employ diagnostic or therapeutic pharmaceutical agents in his practice is required to complete a board approved course and pass the board examination pertaining to the use of those agents.

(b) No applicant shall be passed by the board who fails to obtain an average of seventy-five percent (75%) in every subject upon which he is examined. If any applicant fails to pass any examination, he shall be examined at the next or any succeeding examination only in the subject in which he failed to obtain an average of eighty-five percent (85%). The applicant shall apply for his certificate of registration within six (6) months after he has satisfactorily passed the examination or the examination shall be of no effect. On all certificates awarded on examination, there shall be printed or stamped the words, "Awarded on Examinations". Before engaging in the practice of optometry, and after the certificate has been delivered to him, each registered optometrist shall notify the secretary of the board in writing of the place where he intends to begin practice and of any subsequent changes of his office location. Notices given to him by the board shall be given by mailing to that address.

(c) The board of examiners, pursuant to W.S. W.S. W.S. 33-1-201, shall establish fees for the standard examination, initial registration and the annual renewal of the certificate of registration. Every registered optometrist who desires to continue the practice of optometry shall annually, on or before April 1, pay to the secretary of the board the required renewal fee for a renewal of his certificate. The board shall revoke the certificate of a practitioner who fails or refuses to pay the renewal registration fee. No certificate shall be revoked without giving sixty (60) days' notice to the delinquent who within such period may renew the certificate on the payment of the renewal fee, with a penalty of ten dollars ($10.00). If an optometrist notifies the board that he is retiring from practice in Wyoming, retirement from practice for a period of not exceeding three (3) years shall not deprive the holder of the certificate of the right to renew his certificate on payment of the elapsed fees, and ten dollars ($10.00) penalty as provided. Upon retirement from active practice, the optometrist shall notify the secretary in writing.

33-23-110. Refusal, suspension or revocation of certificate.

(a) The board of examiners in optometry shall refuse to issue the certificate of registration provided for in this act to any person who has been guilty of unprofessional and dishonest conduct or conduct of a character likely to deceive the public, and may suspend or revoke or refuse to renew such certificate for like reasons.

(b) "Unprofessional and dishonest conduct" as used in this act is hereby declared to mean:

(i) The loaning of his license by any licensed optometrist to any person; the employment of "cappers" or "steerers" to obtain business, "splitting" or dividing a fee with any person or persons, the advertising by any means whatsoever of optometric practice or treatment or advice in which untruthful, improbable, misleading or impossible statements are made;

(ii) Continued practice by a person knowingly having a loathsome disease;

(iii) Being guilty of offenses involving moral turpitude, habitual intemperance, or being habitually addicted to the use of morphine, opium, cocaine, or other drugs having a similar effect;

(iv) The obtaining of any fee by intentional fraud or intentional misrepresentation or false pretenses;

(v) The use of any other term by a person registered under this act except the term "optometrist" to designate his profession;

(vi) Employing either directly or indirectly any suspended or unlicensed optometrist to perform any work covered by the practice of optometry;

(vii) Gross incompetence and malpractice;

(viii) Knowingly making any false statement of any material fact in any application or other instrument required by law to be filed with the board;

(ix) The board, when necessary for administration of this act, may clarify the definitions stated in this subparagraph (b) by unanimous action of the board, provided that the meaning and effect of this law shall not thereby be added to or diminished.

(c) Said board, after due notice and hearing, shall revoke the certificate issued to any optometrist whose certificate of registration was obtained or issued through error, fraud, or perjury, or who shall have been guilty of grossly unprofessional, unethical and dishonest conduct, or who shall be guilty of an offense involving moral turpitude when such offense shall have been established in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(d) The board, before suspending or revoking or refusing to renew a certificate, shall notify the certificate holder in writing of the proposed action of the board, and if a written request for hearing shall be served on the board by the certificate holder within fifteen (15) days after such notice, the board shall set the matter for hearing within thirty (30) days; and at least twenty (20) days prior to the date set for the hearing, the board shall notify in writing the certificate holder of the charges against him. The board, within ten (10) days after the hearing, shall make its order in writing stating its decision. Appeal from such order may be made to the district court of the judicial district where the holder of the certificate has his place of business, or to the district court of Laramie county, by filing with the board within ten (10) days after the order a written notice of appeal and a demand in writing for the originals or certified copies of all papers offered in evidence at the hearing. Within thirty (30) days thereafter, the board shall certify and deliver to the court such original papers or true and certified copies thereof. The appellant shall have five (5) days thereafter to perfect his appeal by filing with the clerk of court and with the board the copy of the notice of appeal and petition stating the grounds for the appeal, and if appellant shall fail to do so, the appeal shall be dismissed. Trial before the district court shall be de novo and the judgment may be appealed to the supreme court in the manner now or hereafter provided by law for appeals of civil cases.

(e) Whenever a certificate shall be suspended or revoked the secretary of said board shall notify the county clerk of each county in which the certificate is legally registered of such suspension or revocation and it shall be the duty of each such county clerk to make proper entry upon the records of his office.

33-23-111. Limitation on rights conferred by certificate; prohibited acts.

(a) Nothing in this act shall be construed as conferring on the holder of any certificate of registration issued by the board, the title "doctor of medicine," "oculist" or "ophthalmologist," or any other word or abbreviation indicating that he is engaged in the practice of medicine or surgery.

(b) It is unlawful:

(i) For any person to canvass from house to house or at any place of employment either in person or through solicitors or agents for the purpose of selling glasses, eye examination or optometric service.

(ii) For any person to advertise prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, which correct visual deficiencies or defects, frames or their supporting accessories or professional services in a false, deceptive or misleading manner;

(iii) For any person to make a sworn statement or affidavit in connection with any matter relating to this act proven to be false;

(iv) For any person or persons not holding a certificate or any corporation, directly or indirectly, to practice optometry by employment of or contract with a person holding a certificate, or otherwise, provided that one holding a certificate may accept employment from a person, partnership, association or corporation to practice optometry with respect to the employees of such person, partnership, association or corporation.

33-23-112. Copy of certificate to be filed in each county where practicing; failure to file; forfeiture; reissuance. Recipients of certificates issued under this act, and all other persons holding certificates entitling them to practice optometry at the time of the passage of this act, shall file a certified copy thereof for record with the county clerk of the county in which they desire to practice, and any person practicing in two (2) or more counties in this state shall, before engaging in the practice of optometry in such other counties, file a certified copy of said certificate for record with the county clerks of said counties and pay the clerks thereof for the recording of the same in a book to be kept for that purpose. Provided, that any failure, neglect or refusal on the part of any person holding a certificate to practice optometry to present the first certified copy thereof which is required to be recorded, for recording, with the county clerk, as hereinbefore provided, for one (1) month after the issuance of his certificate, shall forfeit the certificate, and the board shall be entitled to a fee of one dollar ($1.00) for issuing a certificate in lieu of the one (1) forfeited.

33-23-113. Certificate to be displayed; receipt for work not done in office. Every person holding a certificate to practice optometry in the state of Wyoming shall display the said certificate, in its entirety, in a conspicuous place in his office, wherein the practice of optometry is conducted. He shall, also, deliver to each person fitted with glasses by him in case the work is not done in his permanent office, a receipt which shall contain his signature, the number of his certificate, and his home post-office address.

33-23-114. Continuing education courses required. All registered optometrists licensed in Wyoming shall take annual courses of study in subjects relating to the practice of the profession of optometry for the utilization and application of new techniques, scientific and clinical advances, and the achievements of research will assure expansive and comprehensive care to the public. The board shall prescribe the length of study which shall not be less than four (4) attendance hours nor exceed twenty-five (25) attendance hours in any calendar year. Attendance shall be at a course or courses approved by the board. Attendance at any course or courses of study is to be certified to the board upon a form provided by the board and submitted by each registered optometrist at the time he makes application to the board for the renewal of his license and payment of his renewal fee. The board may use up to one-half (1/2) of its annual renewal fees for the purposes of contracting with institutions of higher learning, professional organizations, or qualified individuals to provide educational programs that meet this requirement. The board may also treat funds set aside for the purpose of continuing education as state funds for the purpose of accepting any funds made available under federal law on a matching basis for the programs of continuing education. In no instance may the board require a greater number of hours of study than are available at approved courses held within this state. The board may waive the requirements of this section in cases of certified illness or undue hardship.

33-23-115. Penalty; injunction; civil penalty; jury trial.

(a) Any person who violates any provision of W.S. W.S. W.S. 33-23-101 through 33-23-116 is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00) or imprisoned not more than six (6) months in the county jail.

(b) Any person aggrieved by a violation of W.S. W.S. W.S. 33-23-101 through 33-23-116, the Wyoming state board of examiners of optometry, the attorney general or the district or county attorney may institute suit in the county in which a violation of W.S. W.S. W.S. 33-23-101 through 33-23-116 occurred to require enforcement by injunctive procedures and to recover a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) per violation, plus costs.

(c) Where a civil penalty is sought the defendant shall be entitled to a jury trial.

33-23-116. Rules and regulations. The board may make rules and regulations not inconsistent with law as may be reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties.


056-AWyo. Code R. 0001 app A

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