Practicing Veterinary Medicine in Texas Requires a License
That may seem like a pretty obvious statement, but it isn't in reality. The Veterinary Licensing Act defines the practice of veterinary medicine as the diagnosis, treatment, correction, change, manipulation, relief or prevention of animal disease, deformity, defect, injury, or other physical condition, including the prescription or administration of a drug, biologic, anesthetic, apparatus, or other therapeutic or diagnostic substance or technique; representation of an ability and willingness to perform the acts listed above; or use titles, words, or letters to induce the belief that a person is legally authorized and qualified to perform an act listed above; or the receipt of compensation for performing an act listed above.
The Board has encountered several situations where interns and/or their employers are under the impression that interns do not need to be licensed by this Board to practice veterinary medicine. Any graduate of a college of veterinary medicine requires a license to practice. Only full-time students of accredited colleges of veterinary medicine, participating in an extern or preceptor program, and working under the direct (on premises) supervision of an employing veterinarian, are allowed to practice veterinary medicine prior to obtaining a license. Once a student has graduated, they are no longer authorized to perform those duties defined as the practice of veterinary medicine until they get a license.
With graduation coming up, the potential for another problem arises. Please don't enter into binding agreements with potential veterinarian employees that do not yet have a Texas license. At the very minimum, base any agreements on obtaining a license. In many instances, non-licensed individuals have been hired, moved from out of state, arrangements made for housing and family, and all based on guaranteed employment. If for any reason the candidate fails to promptly obtain a Texas license, the employer and employee are placed in an unfortunate situation for which the Board has no solution.
Before You Apply for a License
Individuals considering applying for a veterinary license in Texas should use the links below for more information about eligibility, the application process, and the required documentation and fees before submitting their application.
Applicants must have graduated from the AVMA-accredited college of veterinary medicine or possess an ECFVG or PAVE certificate of completion.
An applicant must have taken and passed the NBE and the CCT or the NAVLE prior to being eligible to take the State licensing examination. Please note that this board restricts the number of NAVLE retakes, as per the NBVME’s policy effective with the fall 2007 testing window. This means that you must pass the NAVLE in five (5) attempts or you are NOT eligible to apply for a Texas license. If you have questions regarding this limitation, please contact the board office. Information about the NAVLE can be found at www.nbvme.org.
If you meet certain requirements, you may apply for a provisional license that will allow you to practice in Texas while you are waiting to take your state board exam. This license is only available to DVM applicants who hold a current and active license in another state. Click the link below for more information about the provisional license.
Apply by clicking on the link below for the State Board Exam (SBE)
application packet which can be downloaded. Please complete the
application and submit it with ALL required, applicable supporting
documentation by the deadline. We only accept applications for the exam
date given in the application.
If you have any questions regarding exams, applications, or licensing please contact Marilyn Hartman, the Director of Licensing at 512-305-7558, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing Education (CE)
DVMs are required to obtain 17 hours of CE annually. Please see the Continuing Education page for more information about acceptable CE. CE obtained before you receive your license will not count towards your annual requirement.
SBE Application (pdf)
General Information (pdf)
Exam Schedule (pdf)
Documentation Checklist (pdf)
Provisional License Information (pdf)
571.5 Qualifications for Veterinary License