(a) If an applicant for licensure is already licensed in another state in optometry, the North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry shall issue a license to practice optometry to the applicant without examination other than a clinical practicum examination upon evidence that:
(1) The applicant is currently an active, competent practitioner in good standing, and
(2) The applicant has practiced at least three out of the five years immediately preceding his or her application, and
(3) The applicant currently holds a valid license in another state, and
(4) No disciplinary proceeding or unresolved complaint is pending anywhere at the time a license is to be issued by this State, and
(5) The licensure requirements in the other state are equivalent to or higher than those required by this State.
(b) Application for license to be issued under the provisions of this section shall be accompanied by a certificate from the optometry board or like board of the state from which said applicant removed, certifying that the applicant is the legal holder of a license to practice optometry in that state, and for a period of at least three out of five years immediately preceding the application has engaged in the practice of optometry; is of good moral character and that during the period of his practice no charges have been filed with said board against the applicant for the violation of the criminal laws of the state or the United States, or for the violation of the ethics of the profession of optometry.
(c) Application for a license under this section shall be made to the North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry within six months of the date of the issuance of the certificate hereinbefore required, and said certificate shall be accompanied by the diploma or other evidence of the graduation from an accredited, recognized and approved optometry college, school or optometry department of a college or university.
(d) Any license issued upon the application of any optometrist from any other state or territory shall be subject to all of the provisions of this Article with reference to the license issued by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry upon examination of applicants and the rights and privileges to practice the profession of optometry under any license so issued shall be subject to the same duties, obligations, restrictions and the conditions as imposed by this Article on optometrists originally examined by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry. (1973, c. 800, s. 12; 1981, c. 496, ss. 6, 7.)