Code Section

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 11. Veterinary Medicine [4800 - 4917]

  ( Chapter 11 repealed and added by Stats. 1937, Ch. 933. )

ARTICLE 3. Issuance of Licenses [4846 - 4857]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1937, Ch. 933. )


(a) (1) The board shall, by means of examination, ascertain the professional qualifications of all applicants for licenses to practice veterinary medicine in this state and shall issue a license to every person whom it finds to be qualified. No license shall be issued to anyone who has not demonstrated his or her competency by examination.

(2) The examination shall consist of each of the following:

(A) A licensing examination that is administered on a national basis.

(B) A California state board examination.

(C) An examination concerning those statutes and regulations of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act administered by the board. The examination shall be administered by regular mail, email, or by both regular mail and email, and provided to applicants within 10 to 20 days of eligibility determination. The board shall have 10 to 20 days from the date of receipt to process the examination and provide candidates with the results of the examination. The applicant shall certify that he or she personally completed the examination. Any false statement is a violation subject to Section 4831. University of California and Western University of Health Sciences veterinary medical students who have successfully completed a board-approved course on veterinary law and ethics covering the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act shall be exempt from this provision.

(3) The examinations may be given at the same time or at different times as determined by the board. For examination purposes, the board may make contractual arrangements on a sole source basis with organizations furnishing examination material as it may deem desirable and shall be exempt from Section 10115 of the Public Contract Code.

(4) The licensing examination may be waived by the board in any case in which it determines that the applicant has taken and passed an examination for licensure in another state substantially equivalent in scope and subject matter to the licensing examination last given in California before the determination is made, and has achieved a score on the out-of-state examination at least equal to the score required to pass the licensing examination administered in California.

(5) Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the board from permitting a person who has completed a portion of his or her educational program, as determined by the board, in a veterinary college recognized by the board under Section 4846 to take any examination or any part thereof prior to satisfying the requirements for application for a license established by Section 4846.

(b) For purposes of reciprocity, the board shall waive the examination requirements of subdivision (a), and issue a license to an applicant to practice veterinary medicine if the applicant meets all of the following requirements and would not be denied issuance of a license by any other provision of this code:

(1) The applicant holds a current valid license in good standing in another state, Canadian province, or United States territory and, within three years immediately preceding filing an application for licensure in this state, has practiced clinical veterinary medicine for a minimum of two years and completed a minimum of 2,944 hours of clinical practice. Experience obtained while participating in an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited institution’s internship, residency, or specialty board training program shall be valid for meeting the minimum experience requirement.

The term “in good standing” means that an applicant under this section:

(A) Is not currently under investigation nor has been charged with an offense for any act substantially related to the practice of veterinary medicine by any public agency, nor entered into any consent agreement or been subject to an administrative decision that contains conditions placed by an agency upon an applicant’s professional conduct or practice, including any voluntary surrender of license, nor been the subject of an adverse judgment resulting from the practice of veterinary medicine that the board determines constitutes evidence of a pattern of incompetence or negligence.

(B) Has no physical or mental impairment related to drugs or alcohol, and has not been found mentally incompetent by a physician so that the applicant is unable to undertake the practice of veterinary medicine in a manner consistent with the safety of a patient or the public.

(2) At the time of original licensure, the applicant passed the national licensing requirement in veterinary science with a passing score or scores on the examination or examinations equal to or greater than the passing score required to pass the national licensing examination or examinations administered in this state.

(3) The applicant has either graduated from a veterinary college recognized by the board under Section 4846 or possesses a certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE).

(4) The applicant passes an examination concerning the statutes and regulations of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act, administered by the board, pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).

(5) The applicant completes an approved educational curriculum on regionally specific and important diseases and conditions. The board, in consultation with the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), shall approve educational curricula that cover appropriate regionally specific and important diseases and conditions that are common in California. The curricula shall focus on small and large animal diseases consistent with the current proportion of small and large animal veterinarians practicing in the state. The approved curriculum shall not exceed 30 hours of educational time. The approved curriculum may be offered by multiple providers so that it is widely accessible to candidates licensed under this subdivision.

(c) The board shall issue a temporary license valid for one year to an applicant to practice veterinary medicine under the supervision of another California-licensed veterinarian in good standing if the applicant satisfies all of the following requirements:

(1) The applicant meets the requirements of paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (b).

(2) The applicant would not be denied issuance of a license under any other provision of this chapter.

(3) The applicant agrees to complete the approved educational curriculum described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) on regionally specific and important diseases and conditions during the period of temporary licensure.

(d) Upon completion of the curriculum described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b), a temporary licensee shall submit an application for full licensure accompanied by verification of completion of that curriculum and all applicable fees.

(e) The board, in its discretion, may extend the expiration date of a temporary license issued pursuant to subdivision (c) for not more than one year for reasons of health, military service, or undue hardship. An application for an extension shall be submitted on a form provided by the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 703, Sec. 28. (SB 1491) Effective January 1, 2019.)