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Frequently Asked Questions

An Application for Licensure as a Veterinarian averages 45-60 days to process. In particular, endorsement applications can take extra time due to the licensure verifications required from other licensing boards. Plan for at least 60-days for the Kentucky Board to receive all necessary documentation, match it to your application, and complete a review for licensure. If you are licensed in multiple states, you have the option of using the AAVSB’s Veterinary Credential Transfer Services. This service will coordinate the License Verification Letters from all jurisdictions/states in which you hold a license and have those compiled letters sent directly to the Kentucky Board. NOTE: If you have a deadline and did not leave 60-days for the application process, please contact the Board at Vet@ky.gov with your requested timeline. The Board Office does not guarantee your timeline will be met, but will consider your request.

The Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners (KBVE) does not have any reciprocity agreements.  However, the KBVE does offer licensure by endorsement.  Individuals who wish to apply for licensure by endorsement should submit the Application for Licensure as a Veterinarian located on the Applications and Forms page. All applicants for veterinary licensure use the same form. There is a comprehensive checklist at the back of the application. A Credential Report from AAVSB is required in order to verify all jurisdictions of licensure. Licensure Verification Letters are also required from every Board where a license is or was ever held to confirm disciplinary history; these letters should be sent directly to the KBVE (and cannot pass through the applicant). Individuals licensed in multiple jurisdictions may consider utilizing the AAVSB VAULT Premium Transfer Services which will obtain copies of and forward all jurisdictional letters to Kentucky at your request (includes transferring the Credential Report).

The Kentucky State Exam is an open book, take-at-home jurisprudence exam.  The exam is located on the Board’s website on the Applications and Forms page under the drop-down heading “Veterinarian Applications”. Individuals seeking more information on the exam topic should visit the Board’s Practice Act page. Submit only the completed State Exam Answer Sheet as an attachment to the application for licensure.

In addition to applying for the NAVLE with the ICVA, candidates who select Kentucky as their testing jurisdiction must also apply for licensure with the Board in order to be approved to sit the NAVLE. Candidates should use the Application for Licensure as a Veterinarian located on the Applications and Forms page. There is a comprehensive checklist at the back of the application, and all materials should be submitted EXCEPT the following: a background check, your final school transcripts, and (of course) NAVLE scores. Be sure to have the college where you are enrolled send a Letter of Good Standing directly to the Board either by post or email.

“Foreign Graduates” are individuals who graduated from a non-AVMA approved school. Individuals who are participating in the ECFVG or PAVE program and also registering to take the NAVLE may designate Kentucky as their jurisdiction with ICVA. In order to receive approval to sit the NAVLE, these candidates must also apply to the Kentucky Board for approval. Candidates should use Application for Licensure as a Veterinarian located on the Applications and Forms page. There is a comprehensive checklist at the back of the application, and all materials should be submitted EXCEPT the following: a background check, your final school transcripts, and (of course) NAVLE scores. Be sure to have the AVMA or the AAVSB where you are enrolled send a Letter of Good Standing directly to the Board either by post or email.

Applicants to the KBVE must achieve a passing score on the NAVLE before their application will be considered for licensure. Licensure candidates who already have an application on file with Kentucky and who need to retake the NAVLE with Kentucky as the designated state must complete the Application for Retake of the NAVLE form located on the Applications and Forms page. The form should be submitted to the Board with the required fee. Candidates must also still register to retake the exam with the ICVA. Kentucky will not approve a candidate to retest without this completed form and fee.

Per 201 KAR 16:510, Section 8. Fee Reduction for Military Personnel. If a veterinarian applicant submits a copy of his or her DD-214 (or other documentation acceptable to the board) with their application or renewal paperwork, the board shall waive or reduce fees as indicated in this section.

(1) For active duty military, active reserves, and National Guard service persons, an individual’s initial application fees, the Kentucky State Exam fee, and the biennial renewal fees shall be waived.

(2) For retired military personnel with twenty (20) or more years of service, an individual’s initial application fees shall be waived, and the biennial renewal fees shall be reduced by half, rounded to the nearest whole dollar.

(3) For any other military veteran, the initial application fees shall be waived.

(4) All other requirements of licensure, including renewal deadlines and continuing education requirements established in 201 KAR 16:590, shall still be met.

Veterinarian licensees are all on the same renewal schedule, regardless of when an individual was licensed. The renewal biennium runs from October 1 of each even year to September 30 of the next even year, e.g., 10/01/2018 – 09/30/2020. CE required for the renewal must also occur during this two year timeframe. For more on CE and exceptions to the requirements, see the Board’s Continuing Education page or the FAQ Continuing Education drop-down below.

For first time Kentucky licensees, there may be exceptions to the renewal requirements, either a reduction or waiver of CE and/or fees. Visit the Board’s Continuing Education page for more information.

Licensees who are issued a license from the Board sixty (60) days prior to the close of the renewal cycle shall have their first renewal date set to the end of the next renewal period. Waivers to CE or fees as a results of initial licensure shall not be granted at the time of renewal due to the extension of the renewal date.

As provided for by the Kentucky legislature in KRS 321.200, “students” are allowed to work under the direct supervision of a veterinarian who is duly licensed under the laws of this Commonwealth.

As defined in KRS 321.181(17), "Student" means:
(a) A person enrolled in any veterinary school or college approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association while pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine; or
(b) A person in a post-Doctor of Veterinary Medicine temporary private internship, residency, or veterinary hospital-based program, not to exceed thirty (30) days in a calendar year.

In order to become a Kentucky licensed veterinary technician (LVT), interested individuals must successfully pass the VTNE and then apply for licensure with the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners (KBVE). The Application for Licensure as a Veterinary Technician is located on the Applications and Forms page under the drop-down heading “Veterinary Technician.” There is a comprehensive checklist at the back of the application. If you designated Kentucky as the jurisdiction to receive your Score Report, please check with the Board office by emailing Vet@ky.gov before ordering an additional VAULT report as your scores may already be on file.

Veterinary Technician / Technologist / Nursing licenses are non-transferrable. However, you can be licensed in multiple jurisdictions. Individuals who wish to apply for licensure by endorsement should submit the Application for Licensure as a Veterinary Technician located on the Applications and Forms page. There is a comprehensive checklist at the back of the application. Licensure Verification Letters are required from every agency/organization where a license is or was ever held; these letters should be sent directly to the KBVE (and cannot pass through the applicant).

As provided for in 201 KAR 16:530, Section 2(1)(b), the KBVE will accept exam results from certain tests that existed prior to the VTNE.

(b) If the veterinary technician graduated from an approved program prior to 1990, and successfully completed one of the following tests prior to 1990:

1. The board shall also accept official results showing a passing score from the Animal Technician National Exam (ATNE) if taken during the years 1986 – 1989; or

2. The board shall also accept official results showing a passing score from a jurisdictional level competency exam if taken prior to 1986. (Note that a jurisdictional jurisprudence exam shall not be acceptable.)

Veterinary Technician licensees are all on the same renewal schedule, regardless of when an individual was licensed. The renewal period runs from October 1 of each year to September 30 of the next year, e.g., 10/01/2020 – 09/30/2021. CE required for the renewal must also occur during this timeframe. For more on CE and exceptions to the requirements, see the Board’s Continuing Education page or the FAQ Continuing Education drop-down below.

For first time Kentucky licensees, there may be exceptions to the renewal requirements, either a reduction or waiver of CE and/or fees. Visit the Board’s Continuing Education page for more information.

Licensees who are issued a license from the Board sixty (60) days prior to the close of the renewal cycle shall have their first renewal date set to the end of the next renewal period. Waivers to CE or fees as a results of initial licensure shall not be granted at the time of renewal due to the extension of the renewal date.

The Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners (KBVE) hosts a list of Board approved 16-hour Euthanasia Training Course Providers on the Prerequisites for Licensure page. Only courses from these approved providers will be accepted to fulfill the training requirement.

The completion of a 16-hour Euthanasia Training Course is good for 10-years. If an individual holds a current certificate with the Board, even if the certificate is more than 10 years old, there is no need to retake the course. If the certificate is expired and an individual wishes to reapply with the Board, the course will need to be retaken only if it was completed more than ten (10) years prior to the date of application.

Certified Animal Euthanasia Specialists are all on the same renewal schedule, regardless of when an individual received his or her certificate. Certificate holders are required to renew their certificate annually by March 1. There is currently no CE required for Certified Animal Euthanasia Specialists. Shelter Managers should note that in addition to renewing the individual certificates for each euthanasia specialist at the shelter, the shelter must also renew its own Certified Animal Control Agency Certificate each year. See the FAQ section on Animal Control Agencies for more information.

Certificate holders who are issued a certificate from the Board sixty (60) days prior to the close of the renewal cycle shall have their first renewal date set to the end of the next renewal period. There shall be no waiver of fees at the time of renewal due to the extension of the renewal date.

Parties or organizations interested in offering a 16-hour Euthanasia Training Course to potential applicants of the Board can apply for Board approval by completing the Continuing Education Approval Request form found on the Applications and Forms page under the drop-down heading “Requests and Other Forms.”

The Kentucky Legislature has provided oversight to the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners (KBVE) in regards to an Animal Control Agency’s ability to apply for a DEA Controlled Substance (CS) Registration. Any Animal Control Agency in the Commonwealth that intends to conduct euthanasia onsite without employing a veterinarian must be certified by the KBVE to apply to DEA for a CS Registration. Interested organizations must complete the Application for Certification as an Animal Control Agency form found on the Applications and Forms page.

Certified Animal Control Agencies are required to renew their certificate annually by March 1. This is in addition to the renewal of any certified animal euthanasia specialist certificate(s) which are affiliated with the shelter. Failure to renew will result in notification to DEA and the suspension of the DEA Registration. In the event the Control Agency Certificate is expired, all affiliated Certified Animal Euthanasia Specialists shall be moved to “Inactive” status.

The KBVE requires a designated responsible party, or “onsite manager” to be filed with the Board. This person is responsible for the purchase, management, record keeping, security, and destruction of all controlled substances located at the shelter.

Certified Animal Control Agencies are required to submit the contact information for new onsite managers within ten (10) days of appointment (201 KAR 16:550, Section 1(6)). New onsite managers are required to undergo a background check and be approved by the Board. The certified agency can report this change using the Request to Designate a New Agency Onsite Manager form found on the Applications and Forms page under the drop-down heading “Animal Control Agency (ACA) Applications.”

Even though the FBI site states the IdHSC is not for the purpose of licensing, the KBVE (as well as several other professional licensing Boards in Kentucky) do use this type of check for licensing until a new statute can be passed through the Kentucky legislature and then forwarded to the FBI for approval. This approval process takes several years. Until then, even though the FBI says the IdHSC is not for licensing, it is what multiple Boards are using.

Proceed as directed on the Applications and Forms page, “Background Check Providers” Section. Be sure to read all information.  Go to the FBI website linked under “IdHSC” and follow the instructions provided in Option 1 OR Option 2 (DO NOT use any other options; FBI Channelers are NOT allowable).  If needed, the FBI provides a link to a printable fingerprint card which must be printed on white stock paper 26 lb or greater.

If an FBI Channeler is used, the background check may be rejected by the Board and the applicant may be required to obtain a check according to the Board’s stated instructions. Proceed as directed on the Applications and Forms page, “Background Check Providers” Section. Be sure to read all information. Go to the FBI website linked under “IdHSC” and follow the instructions provided in Option 1 OR Option 2 (DO NOT use any other options).

For background checks, individuals who requested the results be sent to as a hard copy are required to forward the sealed envelope to the Board.

Individuals who requested electronic results must download the PDF results and then attach the PDF to a forward of the original email from the FBI. This email and PDF attachment should be sent to Vet@ky.gov.

Per 201 KAR 16:590, Section 2(1), CE approved by the Board includes:

(a) All scientific programs of all organizations of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), its constituent organizations, and its recognized specialty groups and accredited veterinary medical institutions whose meetings impart educational material directly relating to veterinary medicine;

(b) Programs approved by the Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB);

(c) NVAP Accreditation modules offered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS); and

(d) All programs approved by the KBVE. For more information on CE and a list of Board Approved CE, please visit the Board’s Continuing Education page.

Licensees can request a new laminated wallet card by completing and submitting the Request for Printed Credentials form located on the Applications and Forms page, under the drop-down heading “Requests and Other Forms.” There is a $10 fee for this service.

Licensees can request a new wall certificate by completing and submitting the Request for Printed Credentials form located on the Applications and Forms page, under the drop-down heading “Requests and Other Forms.” There is a $10 fee for this service.

KBVE allows all CE to be earned online (201 KAR 16:590, Section 1(3)).

The KBVE allows time in a fellowship, internship, or residency to be used toward continuing education requirements. To request CE credit approval for time spent in one of these placements, a licensees should include a letter from the provider for Board review with the renewal application. The letter should be on company letter head and include:

(1) Name of licensee,

(2) License number,

(3) Dates of internship or residency, and

(4) A general list of duties and responsibilities during the fellowship, internship, or residency.

Licensees are responsible for keeping track of their own CE. This includes securing documentation of completed attendance at each course (including the provider name, dates & times of course, total number of hours earned, the licensee’s name, and any certified approval such as AVMA, KBVE, RACE, etc.). Licensees are required by 201 KAR 16:590, Section 3 to retain proof of all continuing education for a minimum of four (4) years past the date of last renewal in case of an audit by the KBVE. Licensees interested in a veterinary professional CE tracking service may investigate RACEtrack.

Individuals and organizations interested in applying for a course to be approved by the Board should visit the Applications and Forms page, under the drop-down heading “Requests and Other Forms.” Complete the Request for Continuing Education Approval, and submit to Vet@ky.gov.

The Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners (KBVE) no longer sends out new certificates or laminated licensure cards each renewal. However, these items are still available. Licensees can print a copy of their license or wallet card through the eServices Portal. From the Main Menu, look under the heading “Reports”. There are links for “Print Certificate/License” and “Print License Card”. Click one of these links to be taken to print function. Select the radio button, then click “Print”. A pop-up window will open with the option to print; so ensure pop-ups are not blocked. For most computers, pop-up blockers can be temporarily disabled by pressing and holding the CTRL key when clicking on the “Print” button.

Licensees can request a new wall certificate by completing the Request for Printed Credentials form on the Applications and Forms page, under the drop-down heading “Requests and Other Forms.”

Licensees can request a new laminated wallet card by completing the Request for Printed Credentials form on the Applications and Forms page, under the drop-down heading “Requests and Other Forms.”

The KBVE offers two ways to request a Licensure Verification. For jurisdictions which accept emailed verifications, licensees can login to the eServices Portal. From the Main Menu, look under the heading “Other Services”. There is a link for “Verification for Other States”. Complete all steps, input the jurisdictional email where you wish to send the verification, and pay the fee. The letter will be generated automatically.

For jurisdictions which accept only hard copy verifications, complete the paper Request for Licensure Verification form on the Applications and Forms page, under the drop-down heading “Requests and Other Forms.” If payment is made online, licensees must still submit the request form to alert the Board Office to the need to generate a paper copy.