AN ACT TO DEFINE OPTOMETRY AND TO REGULATE THE PRACTICE THEREOF IN THIS STATE.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware; in General Assembly met:
Section 1. The practice of optometry is hereby defined to be the employment of any means, other than the use of drugs, defined or surgery, for the measurement of the powers of vision and the adaptation of lenses for the aid thereof.
Section 2. It shall be unlawful for any person to practice optometry in the State of Delaware unless he shall first have obtained a certificate of registration and filed the same, or a certified copy thereof, with the Clerk of the Peace of the said county of his residence, all as hereinafter provided.
Section 3. There is hereby created a board, whose duty it Board of Examiners shall be to carry out the purposes and enforce the provisions of created this act, and shall be styled the Delaware State Board of Examiners in Optometry. Said Board shall be appointed by the Governor as soon as practicable after the passage of this Act, and shall consist of three persons engaged in the actual practice of optometry, and residing in the State of Delaware one from each County. Each member of said Board shall hold office for a term of two years, and until his successor is appointed. Appointments to fill vacancies caused by death, resignation or removal shall be made for the residue of such term by the Governor. The members of said Board, before entering upon their duties, shall respectively take and subscribe to an oath to exercise their duties of their office with fidelity which said oath shall be filed with the Clerk of the Peace of the County in which Shall have said member resides. And said Board shall have a common seal, a seal.
Section 4. Said Board shall choose at its first regular meeting, and annually thereafter, one of its members president, and one secretary and treasurer thereof, who severally shall have the power during their term of office to administer oaths and take affidavits, certifying thereto under their hand and seal of the board. Said board shall meet at least once in each year in the City of Wilmington, and in addition thereto, whenever and wherever the president and secretary thereof shall call a meeting; a majority of said Board shall at all times constitute at quorum. The Secretary of said Board shall keep a full record of the proceedings of said Board, which record shall at all reasonable times be open to public inspection.
Section 5. Every person before beginning to practice optometry in this State, after the passage of this act, must be twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, of a good common school education, and shall pass an examination before said board of examiners. Such examination shall be confined to such knowledge as is most essential to the practice of Optometry. Any person having signified to said board his desire to be examined by them shall appear before them at such time and place as they may designate, and before beginning such examination shall pay to the secretary of said board for the use of said board, the sum of Ten Dollars. All persons successfully passing such examination shall be registered in the board register, which shall be kept by said secretary, as license to practice Optometry, and shall also receive a certificate of such registration, to be signed by the president and secretary of said board, which shall be filed as hereinbefore provided. If any applicant be rejected, he shall be entitled to be admitted to another examination occurring not less than three months thereafter without further payment, but for all subsequent examinations, which shall not occur at intervals of less than three months, he shall pay an examination fee of $5.00.
Section 6. Every person who is actually engaged in the practice of Optometry in the State of Delaware, at the time of the passage of this act, shall, within six months thereafter, file an affidavit in proof thereof with said board and pay to it the sum of one dollar as a registration fee, and shall pay a license to the State of Ten Dollars. The said board shall make and keep a record of such persons and shall issue to him a certificate of registration.
Section 7. All persons entitled to a certificate of registration under the provisions of Section six, who have had an office open in this State six months prior to the passage of this act, shall be exempt from the provisions of section five of this act.
Section 8. Upon presentation to him of a proper certificate from said Delaware State Board of Examiners in Optometry and the payment to him of the sum of Ten Dollars for the use of the State and fifty cents for issuing the same, the Clerk of the Peace of the County wherein said applicant resides, shall issue a license signed by the Governor and countersigned by the Secretary of State and sealed with the seal of his office, certifying that such person is authorized to practice Optometry. Said license shall be effective for one year from the date thereof, after which a new license may be issued upon the same terms and conditions hereinbefore provided.
Section 9. Any person entitled to a certificate, as provided for in section six of this act, who shall not within six months after the passage thereof, make written application to the board of examiners for certificate of registration, accompanied by a written statement, signed by him and duly verified before an officer authorized to administer oaths within this State, fully setting forth the grounds upon, which he claims such certificate, shall be deemed to have waived his right to a certificate under the provisions of such section. Any failure, neglect or refusal on the part of any person holding such certificate to file the same for record, as hereinbefore provided, for six months after the issuance thereof, shall forfeit the same.
Section 10. Every person to whom a certificate of examination or registration is granted shall display the same in a conspicuous part of his office, wherein the practice of Optometry is conducted: and the word "Optometrist" shall appear on his sign together with his name.
Section 11. Out of the funds coming into the possession of said board, each member thereof may receive, as compensation the sum of Five Dollars for each day actually engaged in the duties of his office, and mileage at three cents per mile for all distance necessarily traveled in going to and coming from the meetings of the board. Said expenses shall be paid from the fees and assessments received by the board under the provisions of this act, and no part of the salary or other expenses of the board shall ever be paid out of the State Treasury. All moneys received in excess of said per diem allowance and mileage, as above provided for, shall 'be held by the secretary and treasurer as a special fund for meeting expenses of said board and carrying out the provisions of this, act, and he shall give such bonds as the board shall from time to time direct, and the said board shall make an annual report of its proceedings to the Governor on the first Monday of January of each year, which report shall contain an account of all moneys received and disbursed by them pursuant to this Act.
Section 12. Every registered Optometrist who desires to continue the practice of Optometry in this State shall annually on such (late as the board of Optometry may determine, pay to the secretary of said board a registration fee to be fixed by the board, but which shall in no case exceed the sum of Two Dollars per annum, for which he shall receive a renewal of said registration, and in case of default in such payment, by any person, his certificate may be revoked by the board of examiners upon twenty days’ notice to the said person of the time and place of considering such revocation. But, no certificate shall be revoked for such nonpayment if the person so notified shall pay said fee before or at such time of consideration and such penalty as may be imposed by said board, provided that said board may impose a penalty of Five Dollars and no more on any one person so notified, as a condition of allowing his certificate to stand ; also provided that said board of examiners may collect any such fees by suit.
Section 13. Said board shall have power to revoke any certificate of registration granted by it under this act for conviction of crime, habitual drunkenness for six months immediately before a charge to be made, gross incompetency or contagious disease; provided, that before any certificate shall be so revoked, the holder thereof shall have notice in writing of charges against him, and at a day specified ill said notice, at least live days after the service thereof, be given a public hearing and have opportunity to produce testimony in his behalf and confront the witnesses against him. Any person whose certificate has been so revoked, may, after the expiration of ninety days, apply to have the same regranted, and the same shall be regranted him, upon a satisfactory showing that the disqualification has ceased.
Section 14. It shall be unlawful for any person, other than one legally qualified to practice medicine and surgery in this State, to make use of, or prescribe, a drug or drugs in the practice of Optometry, or for the treatment of diseases of, or injury to, the human eye.
Section 15. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars, nor more than one hundred dollars, one-half of which shall be paid to the person who shall give the information leading to conviction, and the other half to the State, and in default of payment of said fine shall be imprisoned in the county jail at the rate of one day for every two dollars of the fine so imposed.
Section 16. Any Justice of the Peace in the State of Delaware shall have jurisdiction of violations of this act.
Section 17. Nothing in this act shall be construed to apply to any person who sells spectacles or eyeglasses in the ordinary course of trade who do not attempt to use a trial case or employ subjectives and objective mechanical means to determine the accommodative and refractive states of the eye, and nothing in this act shall in any wise apply to practicing physicians in this State.
Approved March 22, A. D. 1909