The mission of the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) is to protect consumers and animals by regulating licensees, promoting professional standards, and diligent enforcement of the California Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.

Latest News & Announcements

Face-to-Face Training Waiver Extension

This 60-day waiver extension order further extends the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) June 4, 2020, waiver order relating to the requirement that applicants who are already licensed in another state and seeking California licensure from the Board, and temporary licensees, complete a "face-to-face" training class in California in order to qualify for licensure.

The original June 4 waiver order removed the requirement that training for license applicants who are already licensed out-of-state, and temporary licensees, must be conducted "face-to-face" in California, so that the training may be conducted via appropriate electronic means.

The previous extension order expires on October 2, 2020. The current extension order now expires on December 1, 2020.

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DCA Director's Order Waiving License Renewal Requirements

Pursuant to Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-39-20, on August 27, 2020, the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs issued DCA Waiver DCA-20-53 Waiving License Renewal Requirements, which rescinds DCA Waivers DCA-20-01 and DCA-20-27 and temporarily waives, for individuals whose active licenses expire between March 31, 2020, and October 31, 2020:

  1. any statutory or regulatory requirement that individuals renewing a license pursuant to Division 2 of the Code take and pass an examination in order to renew a license; and,
  2. any statutory or regulatory requirement that an individual renewing a license pursuant to Division 2 of the Code complete, or demonstrate compliance with, any continuing education requirements in order to renew a license.

Licensees must satisfy any waived renewal requirements within six months of this Order, unless further extended.

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Telemedicine Treatment and Prescription Refill Authority

This 60-day waiver extension order extends DCA's June 4, 2020, waiver order relating to veterinarian use of telemedicine and refilling veterinary prescriptions.

The original June 4 waiver order accomplished the following:

  • Authorized veterinarians to diagnose and treat animal medical conditions via telemedicine in cases where a veterinarian-client-patient relationship was previously established; and
  • For prescriptions needing to be refilled between June 1 and August 1, it extended by six months the maximum period within which a prescription may be refilled without an in-person examination of the animal.

The waiver extension order is identical to the original order, except that it would extend the telemedicine portion of the order by 60 additional days from the date of the extended order, and it would extend by six months (from 12 to 18 months) the maximum period within which a prescription needing to be refilled between August 2 and October 1, 2020, could be refilled without an in-person examination of the animal.

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Face-to-Face Training Waiver Extension

This 60-day waiver extension order extends DCA's June 4, 2020, waiver order relating to the requirement that applicants who are already licensed in another state and seeking California licensure from the Board, and temporary licensees, complete a "face-to-face" training class in California in order to qualify for licensure.

The original June 4 waiver order removed the requirement that training for license applicants that are already licensed out-of-state, and temporary licensees, must be conducted "face-to-face" in California, so that the training may be conducted via appropriate electronic means.

The current order expires on August 3, 2020. The extension order extends the prior order by 60 days, to October 2, 2020.

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DCA Director's Order Extending Time to Satisfy Examination Requirements

Pursuant to Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-39-20, on June 23, 2020, the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs issued an Order Extending Time To Satisfy Examination Requirements (Order) that, among other things, waived California Code of Regulations, title 16, section 2015, subsections (a) and (b), for veterinarian license applicants who must take and pass the three licensure examinations within a 60-month period or else retake all three examinations. 

The Order applies to veterinarian license applicants whose 60-month examination period expires between March 31, 2020, and July 1, 2020. The Order requires those applicants to take and pass the three examinations within 66 months of the administration of the initial examination, and, thereby, gives these applicants an additional six months to take and pass the three examinations.

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Veterinary Medical Board Office Reopens to the Public

Effective June 15, 2020, the Veterinary Medical Board office is open to the public, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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DCA Director's Order Waiving Restrictions on Telemedicine and Extending Time to Refill Prescriptions

Pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order N-39-20, on June 4, 2020, the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) issued the Order Waiving Restrictions on Telemedicine and Extending Time to Refill Prescriptions (Order), which contains two waivers regarding the veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR), described below.

Telemedicine for New or Different Medical Conditions: As long as the other VCPR requirements have been met to establish the VCPR, including an initial in-person examination of the animal patient, the Order temporarily authorizes a veterinarian to use telemedicine to diagnose and treat an animal patient for a new or different medical condition. This waiver expires 60 days after the director's order was issued.

Prescription Refills: The Order temporarily authorizes a prescription issued following an in-person examination last performed between June 1, 2019, and August 1, 2019, to be refilled by the veterinarian, without another in-person examination, for up to 18 months from the date of the last examination and issuance of prescription.

For discussion of the intent of these waivers and how these temporary waivers can be used in the practice of veterinary medicine, please see the Guidance document here.

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DCA Director's Order Waiving "Face-to-Face" Training Requirement

Pursuant to Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-39-20, on June 4, 2020, the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs issued the Order Waiving Face-to-Face Training Requirement (Order) to enable a temporary veterinarian licensee to complete the California Temporary License Curriculum by virtual means. The Order terminates 60 days from the date of the Order, unless further extended.

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Telemedicine Requires an Established VCPR

The Board has received a number of inquiries pertaining to the ability of veterinarians to perform telemedicine services during the COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders. Telemedicine may be conducted by a veterinarian only within an existing Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) and can be used only for specific medical conditions for which the animal patient has been previously examined and diagnosed by the veterinarian.*

Pursuant to California Code of Regulations (CCR), title 16, section 2032.1, in order to administer, prescribe, dispense, or furnish a drug, medicine, appliance, or treatment of whatever nature, the veterinarian must first establish a VCPR. The VCPR must be established for each medical condition for which the animal is being treated by the veterinarian, because the regulation requires: (1) the veterinarian to perform an in-person examination of the animal patient to initiate a diagnosis of the medical condition; and (2) the veterinarian to communicate with the client a course of treatment appropriate to the circumstance, or specific condition. (16 CCR § 2032.1(b)(2), (3).)

*If the animal patient is experiencing a medical emergency for which the animal patient has not previously been examined and diagnosed by the veterinarian, the veterinarian may utilize telemedicine only to provide advice until the animal patient can be transported to or seen by a veterinarian. (16 CCR § 2032.1(f).)

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The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has developed helpful information as it relates to California Veterinarians and the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Veterinary Medical Board is sharing this information as a resource only and is not endorsing the recommendations by CVMA.

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Essential versus Non-Essential Services

On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20. This Executive Order provided a stay at home order for the citizens of California, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors. The Executive Order referred to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, which provides guidance regarding the identification of essential critical infrastructure workers. Please utilize this document when determining whether your business provides essential or non-essential services and whether you should remain open. That document can be found here.

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Office Closed to the Public
Due to recommendations and guidance from local and state health officials to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), our building is closed, effective Friday, March 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm, to the public until further notice. However, our office remains open for employees during this pandemic. During this time, you may experience some delays in reaching staff, and we appreciate your patience. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please email us with any questions at VMB@dca.ca.gov.
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The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has developed helpful information as it relates to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) which can be found here .

The Veterinary Medical Board is sharing this information as a resource only and is not endorsing the recommendations by AVMA.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to 15 companies for illegally selling products containing cannabidiol (CBD) in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Violations include marketing unapproved new human and animal drugs, selling CBD products as dietary supplements, and adding CBD to human and animal foods. The 11/25/19 FDA press release is available. For information on the use of CBD products in animals in California, the Board's recently released Guidelines for Veterinarian Discussion of Cannabis Within the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship is available.
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The Veterinary Medical Board is currently experiencing significant delays in processing renewal applications involving unmatched fingerprint results. Pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 121, if you have met all renewal requirements prior to license expiration, including submitting fingerprints to the Department of Justice as required under CCR section 2010.05, you will not be deemed to have expired or illegally engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine pending receipt of evidence of license renewal. Make sure to retain your copy of your Live Scan form from submitting your fingerprints as evidence of completing the fingerprint requirement prior to license expiration. For additional information regarding fingerprints and frequently asked questions, please read Clarifications Regarding Fingerprint Requirements.
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Effective May 15, 2019, the Veterinary Medical Board is starting the Project Green Initiative and eliminating the multiple page paper renewal notice. The Board will only send out a one-page renewal notification directing all licensees to renew via BreEZe online.
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The Examination Development Program is seeking currently licensed California veterinarians actively living and working in California to help write and review test questions for the California State Board Examination.
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Pursuant to Senate Bill 1480 (Hill, Chapter 571, Statutes of 2018), effective January 1, 2019, veterinarians are required to offer to provide drug consultations for dangerous drugs (Business and Professions Code (BPC) Section 4829.5).
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