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TITLE 25HEALTH SERVICES
PART 1DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER 140HEALTH PROFESSIONS REGULATION
SUBCHAPTER GOPTICIANS
RULE §140.278Application Procedures and Requirements for Registration

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to set out the application procedures and requirements for registration.

(b) General.

  (1) Unless otherwise indicated, an applicant must submit all required information and documentation of credentials on official Department of State Health Services (department) forms.

  (2) Applications may be submitted for registration as a registered contact lens dispenser, a registered spectacle dispensing optician, or both.

  (3) The department will not consider an application as officially submitted until the applicant pays the application fee. The fee must accompany the application form.

  (4) An application not completed within 30 days after the date of the department's notice of deficiency may be voided.

(c) Required application materials.

  (1) The application form shall contain:

    (A) specific information regarding personal data, social security number, birth month and day, place of employment, preferred mailing address and telephone number, other registrations and licenses held, misdemeanor and felony convictions, educational and training background, and work experience;

    (B) a statement that the applicant has read the Opticians' Registry Act (Act) and this subchapter and agrees to abide by them;

    (C) a statement that the applicant shall return to the department any registration certificate(s) or identification card(s) upon the expiration, revocation, or suspension of the registration;

    (D) a statement that the applicant understands that fees submitted in the registration process are nonrefundable unless the processing time is exceeded without good cause as set out in subsection (f) of this section;

    (E) a statement that the applicant understands that materials submitted in the registration process become the property of the department and are not returnable;

    (F) a statement that the information in the application is truthful and that the applicant understands that providing false and misleading information on items which are material in determining the applicant's qualifications may result in the voiding of the application, the failure to be granted any registration, or the revocation of any registration issued;

    (G) the signature of the applicant which has been dated; and

    (H) a statement that if issued a registration certificate, the registrant shall keep the department advised of his or her current mailing address.

  (2) An applicant shall submit documentation satisfactory to the department that he or she has completed five classroom hours.

    (A) The hours must have been completed within three years prior to the date of the application.

    (B) The hours must be offered or approved by the American Board of Opticianry or the National Contact Lens Examiners.

    (C) If applying for dual registration, the applicant must have completed 10 classroom hours offered or approved by the American Board of Opticianry or the National Contact Lens Examiners.

    (D) Documentation may include a transcript, diploma, certificate, or other official or certified document.

  (3) Proof of having passed the prescribed examination shall be attached to the application form.

(d) Examinations.

  (1) The examination administered by the American Board of Opticianry, or its successor, is the examination for registered spectacle dispensing opticians.

  (2) The examination administered by the National Contact Lens Examiners, or its successor, is the examination for registered contact lens dispensers.

(e) Determining eligibility. The department shall receive and approve or disapprove all applications for registration as registered spectacle dispensing opticians or registered contact lens dispensers or both.

  (1) Notices of application approval, disapproval or deficiency shall be in accordance with subsection (f) of this section.

  (2) An application for a registration shall be disapproved if the applicant has:

    (A) not met the requirements in this section;

    (B) failed to or refused to properly complete or submit any application form, endorsement, or fee or deliberately presented false information on any form or document required by the department;

    (C) violated any provision of the Act or this subchapter;

    (D) been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor as set out in §140.284 of this title (relating to Registration of Applicants with Criminal Backgrounds); or

    (E) violated any provision of state law relating to the practice of dispensing opticians.

  (3) If after review, the department determines that the application should not be approved, the department shall give the applicant written notice of the reason for the proposed decision and of the opportunity for a formal hearing. The notice shall be in accordance with §140.283 of this title (relating to Violations, Complaints, Investigation of Complaints, and Disciplinary Actions).

(f) Application processing.

  (1) Time periods. The department shall comply with the following procedures in processing applications for registration and renewal.

    (A) The following periods of time shall apply from the date of receipt of an application until the date of issuance of a written notice that the application is complete and accepted for filing or that the application is deficient and additional specific information is required. A written notice stating that the application has been approved may be sent in lieu of the notice of acceptance of a complete application. The time periods are as follows:

      (i) letter of acceptance of application for registration--20 working days;

      (ii) letter of application or renewal deficiency--20 working days; and

      (iii) issuance of registration renewal--10 working days.

    (B) The following periods of time shall apply from the receipt of the last item necessary to complete the application until the date of issuance of written notice approving or denying the application. The time periods for denial include notification of the proposed decision and of the opportunity, if required, to show compliance with the law and of the opportunity for a formal hearing. An application is not considered complete until the required examination has been successfully completed by the applicant. The time periods are as follows:

      (i) letter of approval for examination--20 working days;

      (ii) initial letter of approval for registration--30 days;

      (iii) letter of denial of registration--30 days; and

      (iv) issuance of registration renewal--10 working days.

  (2) Reimbursement of fees.

    (A) In the event an application is not processed in the time periods stated in this subsection, the applicant has the right to request reimbursement of all fees paid in that particular application process. Application for reimbursement shall be made to the department. If the department does not agree that the time period has been violated or finds that good cause existed for exceeding the time period, the request will be denied.

    (B) Good cause for exceeding the time period is considered to exist if the number of applications for registration and registration renewal exceeds by 15% or more the number of applications processed in the same calendar quarter the preceding year; another public or private entity relied upon by the department in the application process caused the delay; or any other condition exists giving the department good cause for exceeding the time period.

  (3) Appeal. If a request for reimbursement is denied by the department, the applicant may appeal to the commissioner of the department for a timely resolution of any dispute arising from a violation of the time periods. The applicant shall give written notice to the commissioner at the address of the department that he or she requests full reimbursement of all fees paid because his or her application was not processed within the applicable time period. The department shall submit a written report of the facts related to the processing of the application and of any good cause for exceeding the applicable time period. The commissioner shall provide written notice of the commissioner's decision to the applicant. An appeal shall be decided in the applicant's favor if the applicable time period was exceeded and good cause was not established. If the appeal is decided in favor of the applicant, full reimbursement of all fees paid in that particular application process shall be made.

  (4) Contested cases. The time periods for contested cases related to the denial of registration or registration renewals are not included within the time periods stated in this subsection. The time period for conducting a contested case hearing runs from the date the department receives a written request for a hearing and ends when the decision of the department is final and appealable. A hearing may be completed within one to four months, but may extend for a long period of time depending on the particular circumstances of the hearing.


Source Note: The provisions of this §140.278 adopted to be effective August 14, 2008, 33 TexReg 6394

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