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North Dakota Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians

Under North Dakota law, provisions relating to regulation of veterinarians are provided under N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-29-01 through N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-29.1-08.

State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

The North Dakota state board of veterinary medical examiners consists of three members appointed by the governor for terms of three years each.  The terms of office of the members are so arranged that one term, and only one, expires each year.  Members of the board have to hold their respective offices until their successors are appointed and qualified.  Each member must be a reputable, practicing, and licensed veterinarian in North Dakota for five years immediately prior to the appointment, and must be the holder of a diploma or degree granted by a veterinary school recognized by the board[i].

Licensure Requirements

Graduation from a recognized school and certificate or permit from board is mandatory for licensure to practice veterinary medicine in North Dakota[ii]. The board shall hold at least two examinations a year. The board shall adopt rules governing preparation, administration, and grading of examinations. Examinations must be designed to test the examinee’s knowledge of and proficiency in the subjects and techniques commonly taught in veterinary schools. To pass the examination, the examinee must demonstrate scientific and practical knowledge sufficient to prove competency to practice veterinary medicine in the judgment of the board. An examinee must be tested by written examination, supplemented by any oral interview and practical demonstration the board determines necessary. The board may adopt and use the examination prepared by the national board of veterinary medical examiners. After each examination, the board shall notify each examinee of the result of the examination, and the board shall issue a license to each person who passed the examination. The board shall record each new license and issue a certificate of registration to each new licensee. Any person failing an examination may be admitted to any subsequent examination on approval by the board and payment of the application fee[iii].

The board may issue a license without a written examination to a qualified applicant who furnishes satisfactory proof of graduation from an accredited or approved college of veterinary medicine and who:

  • Has for the five years immediately before filing of the application been a practicing veterinarian licensed in a state having license requirements at the time the applicant was first licensed which were substantially equivalent to the requirements of this chapter;
  • Has within the three years immediately before filing the application successfully completed the examinations provided by the national board of veterinary medical examiners; or
  • Currently holds a license to practice in at least one state, has active diplomat status in a specialty organization recognized by the American veterinary medical association, and whose practice is limited to the certified specialty in the state in which the specialist is licensed without examination.

In addition, the board may issue without examination a temporary permit to:

  • iven after the permit is issued.  However, a temporary permit may not be issued to an applicant who previously has failed the examination in North Dakota or any other state or a foreign country.
  • A nonresident veterinarian validly licensed in another state or a foreign country who pays the fee established and published by the board if the temporary permit is issued for a period of no more than sixty days and no more than one permit is issued to a person during each calendar year.
  • A senior veterinary student who practices in the office of and under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian. A temporary student permit may not exceed six months from its date of issuance and is granted without payment of a fee.
  • A graduate of a nonaccredited college of veterinary medicine, who has satisfactorily completed the fourth year of clinical study at an accredited or approved college of veterinary medicine, has successfully passed the examination provided by the national board of veterinary medical examiners, and is enrolled in the educational commission for foreign veterinary graduates program. The holder of a temporary permit issued under this subdivision must practice under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. A temporary permit issued under this subdivision is valid until the holder obtains a certificate or for two years[iv].

All licenses expire annually as of July first and may be renewed upon payment of renewal fees and after complying with the continuing education requirements[v].  Any licensee may renew an expired license within two years of the date of its expiration by making written application for renewal and paying the current renewal fee plus all delinquent renewal fees.  After two years, a license may not be renewed, and the holder may make application for a new license and take the license examination[vi].

The board may refuse to issue, suspend or revoke a license upon any of the following grounds:

  • Fraud or deception in procuring the license, including conduct that violates the security or integrity of any licensing examination.
  • The use of advertising or solicitation that is false, misleading, or otherwise determined unprofessional under rules adopted by the board.
  • Habitual intemperance in the use of intoxicating liquors, or habitual addiction to the use of morphine, cocaine, or other habit-forming drugs.
  • Immoral, unprofessional, or dishonorable conduct.
  • Incompetence, gross negligence, or other malpractice in the practice of veterinary medicine.
  • Employment of unlicensed persons to perform work that under this chapter can lawfully be done only by persons licensed to practice veterinary medicine.
  • Fraud or dishonest conduct in applying or reporting diagnostic biological tests, inspecting foodstuffs, or in issuing health certificates.
  • Failure to keep the premises and equipment in a reasonably clean and sanitary condition.
  • Violation of the rules adopted by the board.
  • Conviction of an offense.
  • Failure to report, as required by law, or making false report of, any contagious or infectious disease.
  • Cruelty to animals.
  • Revocation of a license to practice veterinary medicine by another state on grounds other than nonpayment of a registration fee.]
  • The use, prescription, or sale of any veterinary prescription drug, or the prescription or an extra-label use of any over-the-counter drug in the absence of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

Any person whose license has been revoked may apply to the board for reinstatement and relicensure one year after the date of revocation[vii]. Unlawful practice of veterinary medicine is a class B misdemeanor.  In addition to the criminal penalty provided, the civil remedy of injunction is available to the board to restrain and enjoin violations without proof of actual damages sustained by any person[viii].

[i] N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-29-02.

[ii] N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-29-06.

[iii] N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-29-07.2.

[iv] Id.

[v] N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-29-07.3.

[vi] Id.

[vii] N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-29-14.

[viii] N.D. Cent. Code, § 43-29-17.


Inside North Dakota Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians