Vol. 36 Iss. 11 - January 20, 2020

Chapter 20
Fast-Track Regulation

Title of Regulation: 18VAC105-20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Optometry (amending 18VAC105-20-20).

Statutory Authority: §§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3223 of the Code of Virginia.

Public Hearing Information: No public hearings are scheduled.

Public Comment Deadline: February 19, 2020.

Effective Date: March 5, 2020.

Agency Contact: Leslie L. Knachel, Executive Director, Board of Optometry, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23233, telephone (804) 597-4130, FAX (804) 527-4471, or email

Basis: Regulations are promulgated under the general authority of § 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia, which provides the Board of Optometry the authority to promulgate regulations to administer the regulatory system. The specific mandate for collection of a handling fee is found in § 2.2-4805 of the Virginia Debt Collection Act

Purpose: The rationale for the regulatory change is compliance with the Virginia Debt Collection Act (§ 2.2-4800 et seq.) of the Code of Virginia, in which the General Assembly has determined that the cost for handling returned checks or dishonored credit or debit cards is $50. The department and its regulatory boards license and discipline health care practitioners, and its mission of protecting the health and safety of the public must be supported by its licensing and miscellaneous fees.

Rationale for Using Fast-Track Rulemaking Process: The rulemaking is concurring with financial policy of the Commonwealth and is expected to be noncontroversial.

Substance: All board regulations are being amended to delete the returned check fee of $35 and replace it with a handling fee of $50 for a returned check, dishonored credit card, or dishonored debit card.

Issues: There are no primary advantages or disadvantages to the public. The primary advantage to the department is compliance with auditors from the Office of the Comptroller. There are no disadvantages to the agency or the Commonwealth.

Department of Planning and Budget's Economic Impact Analysis:

Summary of the Proposed Amendments to Regulation. The Board of Optometry (Board) proposes to amend 18VAC105-20 Regulations of the Virginia Board of Optometry to state that the handling fee for a returned check or dishonored credit card or debit card is $50, replacing a current $35 charge.

Background. Code of Virginia § 2.2-614.1 specifies that:

If any check or other means of payment tendered to a public body in the course of its duties is not paid by the financial institution on which it is drawn, because of insufficient funds in the account of the drawer, no account is in the name of the drawer, or the account of the drawer is closed, and the check or other means of payment is returned to the public body unpaid, the amount thereof shall be charged to the person on whose account it was received, and his liability and that of his sureties, shall be as if he had never offered any such payment. A penalty of $35 or the amount of any costs, whichever is greater, shall be added to such amount.

Based on this Code provision, the current regulation includes a $35 returned check charge.

On the other hand, Code of Virginia § 2.2-4805 specifies that "Returned checks or dishonored credit card or debit card payments shall incur a handling fee of $50 unless a higher amount is authorized by statute to be added to the principal account balance." According to the Department of Health Professions (DHP), the Office of the Attorney General has advised that the handling fee of $50 in Virginia Code 2.2-4805 governs.

Estimated Benefits and Costs. Based on the view of the Office of the Attorney General that Virginia Code 2.2-4805 prevails, the fee by law for a returned check or dishonored credit card or debit card is $50. The Board's proposal therefore conforms the regulation to current law. DHP has indicated that in practice they will continue to charge the $35 fee until this proposed regulatory action becomes effective. The services provided by DHP are funded by the fees paid by the regulated individuals and entities. To the extent that the $50 fee more accurately represents the cost incurred by DHP, the proposed change may be beneficial in that the cost would need not be subsidized by other regulants who did not cause the cost to be incurred.

Businesses and Other Entities Affected. The proposal pertains to fee-paying individuals regulated by the Board. As of September 30, 2019, there were 1,732 optometrists licensed by the Board.2 If any of these individuals have a check returned or a credit card or debit card dishonored, the proposal would increase their cost by $15.

Localities3 Affected.4 The proposal does not disproportionately affect any particular localities or introduce costs for local governments.

Projected Impact on Employment. The proposal does not affect employment.

Effects on the Use and Value of Private Property. The proposal does not substantially affect the use and value of private property or real estate development costs.

Adverse Effect on Small Businesses.5 The proposal does not substantively adversely affect small businesses.


2Data source: DHP

3"Locality" can refer to either local governments or the locations in the Commonwealth where the activities relevant to the regulatory change are most likely to occur.

4§ 2.2-4007.04 defines "particularly affected" as bearing disproportionate material impact.

5Pursuant to § 2.2-4007.04 of the Code of Virginia, small business is defined as "a business entity, including its affiliates, that (i) is independently owned and operated and (ii) employs fewer than 500 full-time employees or has gross annual sales of less than $6 million."

Agency's Response to Economic Impact Analysis: The Board of Optometry concurs with the Analysis of the Department of Planning and Budget.


The amendments replace the returned check fee of $35 with a fee of $50 for handling a returned check or dishonored credit card or debit card payment in compliance with § 2.2-4805 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC105-20-20. Fees.

A. Required fees.

Initial application and licensure (including TPA certification)


Annual licensure renewal without TPA certification


Annual licensure renewal with TPA certification


Late renewal without TPA certification


Late renewal with TPA certification


Returned Handling fee for returned check or dishonored credit card or debit card

$35 $50

Professional designation application


Annual professional designation renewal (per location)


Late renewal of professional designation


Reinstatement application fee (including renewal and late fees)


Reinstatement application after disciplinary action


Duplicate wall certificate


Duplicate license


Licensure verification


B. Unless otherwise specified, all fees are nonrefundable.

C. From October 31, 2018, to December 31, 2018, the following fees shall be in effect:

Annual licensure renewal without TPA certification


Annual licensure renewal with TPA certification


Annual professional designation renewal (per location)


VA.R. Doc. No. R20-6197; Filed December 20, 2019, 1:25 p.m.