Ophthalmic Dispensing

Application documents received prior to the date noted below are currently in the initial stage of processing. The timeframe for the review and evaluation of these materials varies. Applications with education from outside the U.S. usually require a lengthier review process. All applicants should allow an additional 6-8 weeks for review after this date before submitting a Contact Us Form to request a status update, as contacting us earlier will delay processing. We cannot provide the status of a licensure application by phone. We thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Profession Currently Initiating the Process for Items Received
Ophthalmic Dispensers 9/8/2021

Advisory Notice: For the latest information on COVID-19 issues impacting the licensed professions, including professional exam updates, please visit OP’s COVID-19 website.

Advisory Notice: The next NYS Ophthalmic Dispensing practical examination given by Capitol Hill Testing Service, will be held April 19-20. The Contact Lens examination, which was originally scheduled for the Fall 2020, will also be held during the Spring 2021 examination.

An ophthalmic dispenser - commonly called an "optician" - is a licensed health care professional who adapts and fits lenses to correct deficiencies, deformities, or abnormalities of the eyes based on a written prescription from a licensed physician or optometrist. Contact lens practitioners are ophthalmic dispensers who are certified to fit contact lenses. Ophthalmic dispensers and certified contact lens practitioners work to:

  • achieve the best visual clarity possible for their customers;
  • assist in the selection of frames; and
  • choose appropriate ophthalmic lenses or contact lenses to suit your needs.

Ophthalmic dispensers perform the following services:

  • determine what lenses will best fit a prescription
  • select lenses to suit the customer's visual needs and lifestyle
  • instruct in the proper care of glasses
  • participate in customer education

Certified contact lens practitioners do all of these things as well as fit contact lenses.

Read more about this profession.

Last Updated: September 17, 2021