Starting October 1st, 2018, all applicants are required to submit their fingerprints to the Board before licensure. Click here for more information


Practicing Veterinary Medicine in Texas Requires a License

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.
Note to Employers: Please do not enter into binding agreements with potential veterinarian employees that do not yet have a Texas license. At the minimum, base any agreements with potential veterinary employees upon obtaining a license. In many instances, non-licensed individuals have been hired, moved from out of state, and arrangements made for housing and family, 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 an AVMA-accredited college of veterinary medicine OR possess an ECFVG or PAVE certificate of completion.


  • An applicant must have taken and passed the NAVLE (or the NBE/CCT) prior to being eligible to take the State Board Exam. Please note that this Board restricts the number of NAVLE retakes, as per the NBVME's policy. 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 nbvme.org.


Applying for a License


Step 1: APPLY ONLINE Start the application process for your license online at any time, gathering the required documents and getting your fingerprints done at IdentoGo.

Apply by clicking here: SELF-SERVICE LICENSING PORTAL LINK to create an account, register and begin the application for licensure. Complete the online application and upload, or request your issuing entity to send to us, ALL of the required supporting documentation requested in the application.

Step 2: TAKE THE EXAM Once we have determined that your application is complete, you will be emailed instructions on how to schedule and take your State Board Exam (SBE), including your needed Applicant ID. You may take the exam online, at a time and place of your choosing, once you are cleared to take it. Your license will be issued within 7 business days after we receive your passing score. Applicants that require ADA accommodations for the test, click here for the request form.

Applicants must pass the State Board Exam (SBE) prior to becoming licensed in Texas. The SBE includes jurisprudence questions related to the Veterinary Licensing Act (laws), Licensing Rules (Chapter 571) and Rules of Professional Conduct (Chapter 573).

Step 3: GET LICENSED After all of the above is finished, we will issue you a license number and an Authority to Practice Letter which you will use to practice until your wall license can be printed and mailed to you. Once received, please frame and hang your wall license in plain sight of the public in your workplace to be in compliance.
If you have any questions regarding exams, applications, or licensing please contact the Licensing Department at 512-305-7555, or email licensing@veterinary.texas.gov.


DVM Continuing Education (CE)

17 HOURS every year - DVMs are required to obtain 17 hours of acceptable continuing education annually. For types of acceptable CE, see Rule 573.65. It is your responsibility to make sure the continuing education you take is acceptable. See link below for Approved Associations and Societies.


2 HOURS every two years (as part of that year’s 17 hours) - As stated in the Texas Occupations Code, veterinarians are required “to complete two hours of continuing education related to opioid abuse and controlled substance diversion, inventory, and security every two years to renew a license to practice veterinary medicine." See 801.307. These two hours should be counted as part of the 17 required hours for that year. Click here: Continuing Education - CE (texas.gov) for a list of approved providers for this requirement.


CE obtained before you receive your license will not count towards your annual requirement.


Records note: You must keep hard copies or electronic copies of your certificates in your office for 4 years, as you will be required to produce them in case of an audit. Failure to meet the continuing education requirement is grounds for disciplinary actionSee Rule 573.66. 



Helpful Links


AVMA-Accredited Schools 

List of Approved Providers for Opioid CE Requirement

Chapter 571 Licensing

Chapter 573 Rules of Professional Conduct

Chapter 575 Practice and Procedure

Chapter 577 General Administration and Duties