Frequently Asked Questions
The "Frequently Asked Questions" page was designed to give information "at a glance". The laws (Veterinary Licensing Act) and rules are very specific and should also be consulted. The Board and the State of Texas make no warranty as to the completeness, reliability or fitness for a particular use of the information on this web site. The user assumes all liability and waives any and all claims or causes of action against the Board and the State of Texas for all uses of, and any reliance on, this information. This paragraph shall accompany all distributions of this information and is incorporated into this information for all purposes.
Licensing and Renewal
Practice and Procedure
Veterinarians: You must earn a Texas veterinary medical license by taking and passing the State Board Examination. There are no exceptions and YOU CANNOT PRACTICE VETERINARY MEDICINE IN TEXAS WITHOUT A LICENSE. The application packet is available for downloading from our web site at http://www.veterinary.texas.gov. On the main page, click on "License Information". On that page, scroll down and click on "State Board Exam". ALL material must be submitted on or before the deadline for the exam of your choice. We only accept applications for the immediate exam. For example: if you wish to take the October exam, you must submit all material by no later than the deadline for the October exam. Should you desire to take a different exam, you must wait until after the deadline for the previous exam, but all material must be submitted by the deadline for the exam of your choice. All material must be mailed and cannot be submitted electronically. Under the "Calendar" tab on our main page, you will find a listing of examination dates and deadlines.
Having a passing exam score does not authorize you to practice. You must possess the “Authority to Practice” letter before you may practice. Generally we issue the “Authority to Practice” letters to passing candidates within seven days after we receive your passing exam score. There are no exceptions. Please allow 6 – 8 weeks for the actual license to be mailed to you.
Equine Dental Providers: You must earn a Texas equine dental provider license by you may do so by completing the application and submitting it with ALL required supporting documentation and taking and passing the State Board Examination. There are no exceptions and YOU CANNOT PRACTICE EQUINE DENTISTRY IN TEXAS WITHOUT A LICENSE. The application packet is available upon request by contacting the Board office.
Please note that having an application on file does not mean that you hold a license. We must issue you a license with an issue and expiration date before you are considered licensed.
Veterinary Technicians: Should you wish to gain a veterinary technician license and become a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) in Texas, you may do so by completing the application and submitting it with ALL required supporting documentation.
LVT applicants will need to complete the application, submit it with all required supporting documents and the required fee as well as take and pass the LVT State Board Exam.
Please note that having an application on file does not mean that you hold a license. We must issue you a license with an issue and expiration date before you are considered licensed as an LVT.
Veterinarians: In order to meet Texas' prerequisites to be eligible to apply for any Texas veterinary medical license, you must have taken and passed BOTH "old" national examinations, the NBE and CCT, OR the new national examination, the NAVLE. Please note that Texas supports the NBVME (National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners) policy to limit retakes. For details on the policy, visit www.nbvme.org.
Licensed Veterinary Technicians: In order to meet Texas’ prerequisites to be eligible to apply for a Texas veterinary technician license, you must have taken and passed the VTNE. For details on the VTNE, please visit www.aavsb.org.
Yes, but it is very restricted. Information on a temporary veterinary license may be found in Rule 571.15 Temporary Veterinary License. Texas also offers a provisional license which is a temporary situation. You cannot apply for a regular license and then for a provisional license. The provisional license comes first, as you "build" on it. You should only ask for a provisional license if there is no way for you to apply for the regular license and meet all of the deadlines. The provisional license was created to bridge the gap between exams. Once one holds a provisional license, the person is signed up for the next available regular license exam to be determined by staff, and the provisional license holder is required to take said regular license exam. To obtain a provisional license application packet, please contact our office and request this packet. It is not available from our web site.
There are 3 license status: Active, Inactive and Retired. 1. Active license: You pay the active fee (may change annually) and you may practice in Texas. The license must be renewed annually or it is subject to cancellation as required by law. 2. Inactive license: You pay the inactive fee, which is a reduced fee. You CANNOT practice with an inactive license - this means you cannot order or prescribe drugs either. This license must be renewed annually or it is subject to cancellation as required by law. 3. Retired license: You do not have to pay a fee. During the first year of retired status, you have the option to reactivate this license before the end of that year. After that time, it is considered permanently retired and can only be regained by petitioning the board, plus taking and passing licensing examinations, which may include the national examination.
In writing, via email, fax, or mail, submit a request that includes your full name, Texas license number and the state or states to which the information need to be submitted. Include the mailing address for the other entity. There is a $25.00 charge for this service.
For a duplicate LICENSE (11 X 14 document): Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners does not keep the original or a copy of your license or the renewal certificate. You have the only original, there is no copy on file in this office. If your license was lost or destroyed, you need to submit a signed, notarized statement, giving details with dates. Submit this document with a $40 fee, and we will order a duplicate license from our calligrapher. If you are changing your name and have a legal name change document, i.e. divorce decree, name change through the courts, etc. please submit a copy of this document, RETURN the ORIGINAL license issued in the other name and the $40 fee.
We no longer mail out renewal certificates. Due to a rule change adopted at the April, 2015 Board meeting, licensees are no longer required to post the renewal certificate. The most current license information can be found on our webste at http://www.veterinary.texas.gov/Search/ .
Renewals are due by the last day of the licensee's birth-month, unless it's in a retired status. We do encourage on-line renewals. Regardless of how you renew your license, electronically or by mail, if you do not renew your license before your expiration date, YOU MUST CEASE THE PRACTICE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE. Late renewals will be assessed a statutorily required late fee. Continued practice with a "delinquent" or "expired" license is illegal and action against your license can be taken.
Please refer to rule 577.15
Please use the attached form to make your change. You MUST submit a copy of the legal document which changes your name, i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree or other legal name change document. This only changes your name on your records with us. You will also need to contact entities with whom you currently associate, including, but not limited to: DEA, DPS, USDA, any associations, veterinary supply companies, etc. to inform them of your new name. As most organizations will call us to check if you are currently licensed, it is a good idea to first change it with us. If you wish to attain a duplicate license with your new name, please refer to the FAQ giving details regarding this particular action.
You can use the attached form to submit your change via mail or fax (512) 305-7556 or attach the completed form and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide your first, middle and last name along with your license number for accurate identification.
According to the laws and rules, you must submit a change of address within 60 days of the occurrence.This includes changes to the name of the veterinary clinic/hospital AND changes to your mailing address, physical address, and home address. You may submit your address change via mail, e-mail or fax. The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners main web page, at the bottom, contains all of the contact information. Changes are not taken over the phone. During the renewal of your license (between January 1 and March 1) you may change your information on-line via the renewal process. After you have renewed your license, you must submit an address change as described above.
Please refer to rule 571.57
Veterinarians: You need a total of seventeen (17) hours of Continuing Education each year. If you attain more than the required 17 hours in a given year, you may carry-over a maximum of 17 hours to be applied toward the following year's requirements. E.g. if you earn 34 hours in calendar year (Jan 1 through Dec 31) 2006. You have enough hours for your 2007 AND your 2008 renewal. However, you must earn 17 hours during 2008 for your 2009 renewal.
Equine Dental Providers: You need a total of six (6) hours of acceptable continuing education each year. If you attain more than the required 6 hours in a given year, you may carry-over a maximum of 6 hours to be applied toward the following year's requirements. E.g. if you earn 12 hours in calendar year (Jan 1 through Dec 31) 2006. You have enough hours for your 2007 AND your 2008 renewal. However, you must earn 6 hours during 2008 for your 2009 renewal.
Licensed Veterinary Technicians: Information on required continuing education will be posted after the changes to Board Rules 573.64 and 573.65, which were proposed at the October 22, 2013 meeting, are adopted. Please check back again in late March or early April.
CE must be earned during the calendar year just prior to renewal. Some exceptions exist.
Payment may be made by personal check, money order or cashier’s check only. Payment should be made out to Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
All complaints must be submitted on the official complaint form. We will accept complaint forms that are:
a. Mailed to: Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
b. Faxed to: (512) 305-7556
c. Emailed to: email@example.com
Contact DEA (713) 693-3670 and ask for the names of the "Reverse Distributor Registrants". Information may also be found on the Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control website.
Yes, you do need a permit to utilize controlled substances. The Board has seen an increasing number of licensees who were unaware that they are required to obtain a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Controlled Substances Registration prior to utilizing controlled substances. Many had confused the requirements with those for a DEA Controlled Substances Registration. These are actually two different registrations and a licensee may be required to have one or both.
A veterinarian does not need to display their DEA or DPS controlled substance registration certificate. But it must be available for inspection or review by The Texas Veterinary Board of Medical Examiners or law enforcement personnel.
A veterinarian's signature stamp is acceptable when used by a non-licensed person, but ONLY under DIRECT supervision by the vaccinating veterinarian. The veterinarian's license number must be placed on the certificate.
A veterinarian needs to keep patient records for five (5) years, this includes x-rays. If the patient is deceased, records must be kept for five (5) years after date of death.
5 years. Please be sure to read the rule carefully, as it also addresses copies of those records.
Please contact the USDA office in Austin, Texas, (512)383-2400 for details as to the transfer of your accreditation or attaining a new accreditation.
There is no grace period in which you can practice veterinary medicine without an active license.
Each veterinarian, including a relief veterinarian, shall post or display at the veterinarian's practice location, whether mobile or fixed, his or her license to practice veterinary medicine. The license must be displayed where it is visible to the public. A legible photocopy of the original document is acceptable. Licensees are not required to post a renewal certificate and the Agency is no longer issuing renewal certificates.
Please use the Temporary Limited-Service Clinic Information form or make your own using the required fields. It MUST be submitted at least 48 hours prior to the start of the vaccination clinic.
According to Rule 573.29, veterinarians must post the Notice to Clients information in a prominent place where it may be viewed by the public.
Please refer to rule Notice to Clients
Can I hold an animal if the owner has not paid the bill?
The Attorney General states in Opinion JC 0421 page 3 bottom paragraph: "...a veterinarian, in the usual circumstances, at most holds an equitable lien on the animal for those services. Because an equitable lien is not possessory, a veterinarian may not refuse to return the animal to the owner merely because the owner is unwilling or unable to pay for the medical services rendered. ..."
Please select the link to the
Attorney General's Opinion for further details.
Senate Bill 1806 (SB1806) which was passed during the 81st Legislative Session amended the Property Code by providing for a lien on a large animal for veterinary care charges. A licensed veterinarian has a lien on a large animal and the proceeds from the disposition of the large animal to secure the cost of veterinary care the veterinarian provided to the large animal. A lien provided for under the Property Code, Chapter 70, Subchapter A, Section 70.010 attaches on the 20th day after the date care is first provided to the large animal regardless of whether the veterinarian retains possession of the large animal or not.
Please select the link to SB1806 for further details.
Microchipping an animal is not considered the practice of veterinary medicine, therefore you do not have to be a veterinarian to microchip an animal.
Cost is not regulated in the State of Texas.
There is no requirement in Texas law for a veterinarian to write prescriptions. Veterinarians are among the few professionals that maintain their own drug and medication inventories. This does give some clients concern, but we do not have the authority to change the practice. We are aware of the AVMA's Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics that encourages the writing of prescriptions upon request, but these are guidelines only and the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners cannot enforce them. Some veterinarians are willing to negotiate prices for medications to compete with lower cost pharmacies.
Veterinarians: The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners web site is updated daily at approximately 6AM, which includes all updates and changes made until the end of the previous business day. If you are trying to verify a licensee's status and it is unclear to you if this person has renewed, please call our main line (512) 305-7555 for a current license verification.
In Texas, facilities do not need to be licensed. Only individuals must hold a license to practice veterinary medicine.
See Veterinary Licensing Act Section 801.252 for veterinary licensure eligibility requirements, and Licensing Act Section 801.261 for equine dental provider licensure eligibility requirements.