Heart Blue
Back to Heartbeat Blog

Illinois Board of Optometry: An Essential Guide to Licensure

May 12, 2024

What’s on this page:


The Illinois Board of Optometry is the organization responsible for overseeing optometrists and their practices in Illinois. This board ensures that all optometrists in the state are qualified and capable of providing safe care. Its laws help keep those who are not qualified or could be harmful away from practicing eye care, ensuring that only capable professionals are allowed to practice.

If you are interested in becoming an optometrist in Illinois, this article will help you. It explains how to get and renew your license, what qualifications you need, and more. We’ll also discuss how Heartbeat AI can make the licensing process easier in this state.

Illinois Board of Optometry

What’s on this page:

Illinois Board of Optometry: At A Glance

The Illinois Board of Optometry oversees optometrists in Illinois. Its primary function is to make sure these eye doctors adhere to regulations and maintain the high standards required in their practice.

When the Board issues licenses to optometrists, it verifies that these doctors possess the necessary skills and knowledge. If an optometrist fails to comply with the rules, they may be prohibited from practicing in Illinois.

Contact Information

What is the Illinois Board of Optometry Responsible for?

The Illinois Board of Optometry has several crucial responsibilities:

  • Regulation and Oversight: The Board establishes regulations and guidelines to ensure that eye care in Illinois is safe and effective.
  • Licensing: The Board issues licenses to optometrists who meet their standards, indicating they are qualified to practice in the state.
  • Enforcement: The Board monitors optometrists to make sure they comply with the rules. If an optometrist violates these rules, the Board can intervene to address the issue.
  • Continuing Education: To ensure that optometrists maintain their skills and are informed about the latest developments in eye care, the Board may require them to engage in ongoing education.
  • Protection: A primary objective of the Board is to protect the health and safety of the public. They achieve this by ensuring that optometrists are competent and conduct themselves professionally while delivering eye care services.

Illinois Board of Optometry License Lookup

The Illinois Board of Optometry has an online system where you can perform a license search for optometrists in Illinois. This website allows people to verify whether an eye doctor is authorized to practice in the state. You can access crucial details such as the expiration date of their license and any disciplinary actions taken against them.

This online tool is very useful for ensuring that the eye doctor you visit has the proper license and qualifications. For a more straightforward way to do an Illinois optometry license lookup, consider using Heartbeat AI. Our platform makes it easy to access information about eye doctors or other healthcare professionals in the US effortlessly.

Claim $500 of Free Data  

Illinois Board of Optometry License Requirements

The Illinois Board of Optometry sets the following requirements for licensure as an optometrist:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Must graduate from an optometry school or college approved by the Illinois Optometry Board.
  • Required to complete at least 110 hours of coursework and clinical training in general and ocular pharmacology at an institution with both teaching and clinical facilities.
  • Need at least one year of supervised experience in diagnosing eye diseases or disorders during optometric training.
  • Must successfully pass all parts of the Illinois Licensure Examination.

How to Get an Illinois Board of Optometry License

How to Get an Illinois Board of Optometry License

To obtain an optometry license from the IL Board of Optometry, you’ll need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Meet Educational Requirements

You must also graduate from an optometry college or school that is approved by the Illinois Board of Optometry. This is the primary requirement for becoming an optometrist in Illinois.

Step 2: Complete Required Training

You need to complete a minimum of 110 hours in both general and ocular pharmacology coursework and clinical training. This education should be undertaken at an institution that provides proper instructional and clinical facilities. 

Additionally, you should gain at least one year of supervised experience in identifying and diagnosing eye diseases or disorders, which is crucial for your hands-on training.

Step 3: Pass the Licensure Examination

Successfully pass all parts of the Illinois Licensure Examination for optometry. This exam tests your knowledge and skills in optometry, ensuring you are well-prepared to practice.

Step 4: Submit the Illinois Board of Optometry License Application

After fulfilling the educational, training, and exam requirements, submit your licensure application to the board. Your application must include all necessary documentation and the appropriate fees as specified by the Board.

Step 5: Verification and Approval

Once your application is submitted, the board will review it. They will check your educational background, training, and exam results to verify that all requirements are met. If everything is in order, your optometry license will be issued.

Step 6: Maintain Your License

To keep your license active, you must adhere to ongoing educational requirements and renew your license as mandated by the Board. This ensures that you stay up-to-date with the latest practices and standards in the field of optometry.

Illinois Optometry Board Licensure Time Frame

It can take several weeks to process your optometry license in Illinois. To ensure a smooth process, verify that all your paperwork is correctly filled out and submitted. 

Additionally, make sure you have paid all required fees associated with the license. This careful preparation helps avoid delays and ensures that the Illinois Board of Optometry can review your application efficiently.

Cost of Illinois Optometry Board License

The cost to renew your optometry license in Illinois ranges from approximately $350 to $650. This variation in fees depends on several factors such as the timing of your renewal, the expiration date of your current license, and your license status. 

It’s important to note that these fees can change periodically, so it’s a good idea to regularly check with the Illinois Board of Optometry for the latest fee structure. Additionally, be aware that all fees paid are non-refundable, so make sure you are prepared and certain when you submit your payment.

Illinois Board of Optometry License Renewal

Illinois Board of Optometry License Renewal

Renewing your license with the Board of Optometry Illinois is essential to continue practicing as an optometrist in Illinois. Here is a clear guide to assist you with the renewal process:

Step 1: Determine Expiration Date

Be aware of when your Illinois optometry license expires. Optometry licenses typically need to be renewed every two years. Knowing the exact expiration date helps you initiate the renewal process in a timely manner.

Step 2: Gather Required Documents

Collect all documents required for the renewal. This may include evidence of your continuing education, updates to personal information, and any changes in your professional status.

Step 3: Fulfill Continuing Education

Illinois requires optometrists to complete a certain number of continuing education (CE) hours as part of the renewal criteria. This ensures you stay informed about the latest advancements and practices in eye care.

Step 4: Log Into the Online Portal

Use the Illinois Board of Optometry’s online portal to renew your license. If it’s your first time using the portal, you’ll need to register using your license number.

Step 5: File Renewal Application

Once logged in, follow the provided instructions to complete and submit your renewal application. This step usually requires confirming your personal and professional details, documenting your CE credits, and answering regulatory questions.

Step 6: Process the Renewal Fee

A fee is required for the renewal. Pay this fee online through the portal using a credit or debit card. Detailed payment instructions and the fee amount will be outlined during the process.

Step 7: Await Confirmation

After submitting your application and fee, expect a processing period. While this time can vary, renewals are generally quicker than initial applications. Processing typically takes between 4 to 6 weeks.

Step 8: Verify License Status

You can monitor the status of your renewal application via the online portal. After your renewal has been processed, your license status will be updated accordingly.

Illinois Board of Optometry License Verification

Illinois Board of Optometry License Verification

Here’s how to verify a license with the IL optometry board. 

Step 1: Visit the Illinois Board of Optometry Website

Start by visiting the official website of the Illinois Board of Optometry. This website is a valuable resource for both eye care professionals and the general public. On the website, you can find information about licensing, regulations, and professional standards for optometrists in Illinois.

Step 2: Locate the License Verification Section

On the website, look for the section dedicated to license verification. This section is typically labeled clearly for easy navigation. Once you find it, click on the link to proceed. In this section, you can verify the status of an optometrist’s license in Illinois.

Step 3: Input the Required Information

You will need to enter specific details to search for an optometrist’s license. Typically, this includes the optometrist’s name or license number. Ensure you have this information ready before you begin.

Step 4: Review the License Details

Once you submit your search, the website will display details about the optometrist’s license. These details usually include the license number, its current status (whether it’s active, expired, or has any disciplinary actions), the expiration date, and sometimes additional professional information.

Step 5: Utilize the Information Appropriately

Use the information obtained from the license verification for its intended purpose. This may be to confirm qualifications for employment, to verify the license for providing patient care, or to check the professional’s status for legal matters.

How Often Do Optometry Licenses Need to be Renewed in Illinois?

To maintain the practice of optometry, individuals licensed by the Board of Optometry Illinois must renew their licenses every two years.

Every optometrist is required to fill out a specific form provided by the Board and pay a renewal fee to receive their renewal certificate. The renewal process must be completed by the end of March in every even-numbered year. 

This schedule ensures that all practicing optometrists keep their licenses up to date according to a consistent timetable. Completing this process on time is essential for optometrists to continue their practice without interruption and remain compliant with the regulatory standards set by the Board.

How Does Heartbeat AI Simplify the Process of Getting & Renewing an Optometry License in Illinois?

How Does Heartbeat AI Simplify the Process of Getting & Renewing an Optometry License in Illinois

Heartbeat AI is a tool that simplifies the process of obtaining, renewing, and verifying medical licenses, providing current information on doctors and healthcare workers in Illinois. 

Once you have the contact information of these professionals, you can reach out to them for any inquiries regarding optometry licensing in the state. Here are some key features of Heartbeat AI:

Consistently Updated and Reliable Information

Heartbeat AI maintains a large database with details on over 11 million healthcare professionals across the United States, ensuring the information is accurate and up-to-date. The platform is reliable because it partners with more than 200 reputable organizations.

Easy Communication 

This service makes it easy to communicate with licensed medical professionals in Illinois. Exchanging and obtaining information is quick and efficient.

Chrome Extension for Easy Networking

The Heartbeat AI Chrome Extension allows you to effortlessly gather information from various social media sites. This tool makes it easy to find and contact professionals based on their public contact details.

Privacy and Security as Priorities

Heartbeat AI is committed to your privacy and security by adhering to strict regulations to safeguard your data. All your searches and messages are kept private and secure, ensuring a safe experience while using the platform.

Targeted Search

The Prospector Tool on Heartbeat AI allows optometrists to conduct searches based on specific criteria such as location, specialty, and experience. This feature helps quickly find relevant contacts, which can be particularly beneficial during the licensing or renewal processes.


The Illinois Board of Optometry plays an essential role in maintaining the safe and high-quality practice of optometry in Illinois. It sets the standards for practicing eye care and grants licenses to those who meet these standards. The board also ensures that these rules are followed.

Due to the board’s efforts, eye care in Illinois is dependable and trustworthy, benefiting both optometrists and their patients.

For anyone seeking current and accurate information about optometrists and other healthcare workers in Illinois, Heartbeat AI is an excellent resource. This platform provides easy access to detailed and verified information about medical professionals, making it simpler for you to contact them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I file a complaint against an optometrist in Illinois?

If you need to file a complaint against an optometrist, you can do so through the IDFPR’s online complaint filing system. This system allows you to submit complaints electronically, ensuring they are directed to the appropriate division for handling.

Can I perform optometry in Illinois if I am licensed in another state?

To practice optometry in Illinois, you need a license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). If you have a license from another state, you can apply for an Illinois license through endorsement, provided your state’s licensing requirements are as strict as or stricter than those of Illinois.

Can optometrists from other countries practice in Illinois?

Foreign-trained optometrists can practice in Illinois. They must meet specific licensing requirements. These requirements may include passing the NBEO exams. They may also need to meet additional education requirements.

Access 11m+ Healthcare Candidates Directly Heartbeat Try for free