CELMO Program Overview

The Council on Endorsed Licensure Mobility for Optometrists (CELMO) was created to assist ARBO's member optometry boards in reviewing applications for licensure from established practitioners in other jurisdictions. The goal of the CELMO program is to provide a license mobility vehicle by which the optometry licensing boards can address the difficult task of how to deal with the issue of licensure by endorsement in a uniform and consistent manner.

NOTE: It is acknowledged that each individual board of optometry reserves the right to make its own determinations regarding licensure and this program in no way lessens that power, authority, and responsibility.

The Following States Currently Recognize the CELMO Certificate*: Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia

*Please contact the Board of Optometry in the state you are interested in becoming licensed to verify their specific requirements for licensure.

To participate in the CELMO Program an Optometrist must:

  • Have a doctor of optometry (O.D.) degree from a school or college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE).
  • Been engaged in active practice for three of the last four years.
  • Hold the highest level of prescriptive authority in the state in which they practice.
  • Be in good standing with every licensing board from which a license is currently held.
  • Report all disciplinary actions taken by any licensing board.
  • Pay all applicable CELMO fees.

CELMO will obtain reports from the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB) and the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) regarding the applicant. CELMO will perform primary source verification of credentials.


  • Initial application fee = $50.00
  • Certificate processing fee = $200.00
  • Renewal certificate fee = $100.00