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General FAQ

Frequently asked questions regarding the practice of veterinary medicine in the state of Minnesota.

  • How many continuing education credits do I need per renewal?

    Veterinarians are required to have a minimum of 40 hours of approved continuing education in the preceding 2 years at the time of their license renewal. Thirty of those hours need to be interactive (Minnesota Rules 9100.1000). The distribution of credits over the 2-year licensing period does not need to be equal to exactly 20 hours a year, but instead it must equal 40 hours total. Ten hours of the continuing education requirement maybe be self-study. For every 3 hours of self-study, 1 hour of continuing education credit is granted to the licensee. Only 10 of the total hours can be counted for practice management topics.

  • What is the difference between interactive and non-interactive continuing education?

    Interactive continuing education courses:
    -Occur in real-time
    -There's an ability to write or call in questions
    -Other veterinarians participate at the same time
    Examples: a presentation such as a webinar for which all listeners can participate with an interactive chat room discussion or the ability to call in and ask questions.
    Things that are not considered interactive: a pre-recorded PowerPoint presentation +/- audio or a webinar that can be taken at your convenience.

  • What if I am not able to get my 40 CE hours in before the renewal period?

    In special circumstances, a six-month extension of the deadline for obtaining the required number of continuing education credits may be granted to a licensee. Extensions may be granted for unforeseen hardships such as illness, family emergency, and military call-up. No more than two consecutive extensions may be granted. If you wish to apply for a six-month extension, please submit a detailed letter to the Board explaining the reason for the request. You will be notified with the Board's decision.

  • My continuing education program is not RACE approved, can I still get credit?

    Continuing education programs can be approved in a variety of ways. CE programs approved by AAVSB's RACE program are automatically accepted as approved credits. Programs by sponsors who have obtained credit through the board are also approved and can been seen on the board's CE calendar. Finally, CE programs sponsored by the following are pre-approved and do not require individual approval:
    -AVMA
    -CVMA
    -AAHA
    -AVMA recognized specialty boards
    -Regional, state and local VMA's

    -Colleges of veterinary medicine
    -Academic or specialty groups
    -Academies of veterinary practice
    -International veterinary organizations
    -USAHA
    -USDA
    -Minnesota Board of Animal Health
    If your continuing education course does not fall into any of the above categories, you may apply for individual CE approval through the Board. Fill out the CE Program Approval Form for Individual Attendees within 30 days attending the course. You must supply the Board with proof of attendance (attendance certificate or receipt of payment) along with any other information you can supply about the course (registration form, speaker bio, handouts, etc.) If in doubt, before you sign up for a CE program, please contact the Board to discuss whether you are likely to get a CE approval.

  • If I no longer wish to practice in the state of Minnesota, what should I do?

    There are two options:

    If you are not actively engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine within the state of Minnesota, but you plan to practice again in Minnesota in the future, you may convert your license to inactive status during the renewal period. The renewal fee for an inactive license is $100 biannually. If you wish to reactivate your inactive license at any point in the renewal period, you will be required to submit a reactivation back fee along with documentation of your continuing education courses for the years you were in inactive status. 

    If you do not plan on practicing veterinary medicine in the state of Minnesota in the future, you may request your license status be changed to "Voluntary Retirement." Please submit a written request to the Board if you wish to retire your license. At any point if you wish to reactivate your license you will be subject to a reactivation back fee and you must submit documentation of your continuing education courses for the years you were in retirement status. 

    DO NOT simply choose to let your license lapse without payment and without contacting the Board to change your license status. This is considered disciplinary and it will appear on your license report as such.

  • My license status is currently inactive, how do I convert to an active status?

    To reactivate an inactive licensee, you must furnish to the Board:
    -Verification of licensure in good standing from the state you are currently practicing in; OR
    -Documentation of having met Minnesota CE requirements of 20 CE credits per year retroactive to the date of license inactivation;
    -Certification that applicant is not currently under disciplinary orders or investigation; 
    -Payment of a fee equal to the full difference between an inactive and unrestricted license if converting during the first year of the biennial license cycle or payment of a fee equal to one-half the difference between an inactive and an unrestricted license if converting during the second year of the license cycle; and
    -A completed license reactivation form.
    If you have any questions about this process or you are unsure about how to calculate the fee, please contact mollie.brucher@state.mn.us or call 651-201-2844.

  • What is the Board's opinion on administering the rabies vaccination to companion animals?

    Please refer to the Rabies Vaccination Guidance Document published by the Board of Veterinary Medicine. The Rabies Vaccination Committee Report is also available for your reference.

    Also see the Board of Animal Health and Board of Veterinary Medicine letter to League of Minnesota Cities (July 12, 2013) and the Board of Animal Health's Recommendations to Veterinarians on How to Amend Rabies Certificates.

  • What should I do if I am aware of lay individuals (non-veterinarians) that are practicing veterinary medicine, as defined in the Veterinary Practice Act?

    You can informally speak to the person if you are comfortable with that approach, and advise him or her that whatever service is provided is illegal.

    You can file a formal complaint with the Board which includes that lay person's name. Ideally, the complaint should include some form of written evidence such as an advertisement, web link, written advice, or bill to an animal owner and/or the name of a client that is willing to be contact by an investigator from the Attorney General's office.

  • What should I do if I observe animal cruelty?

    Contact the local sheriff or humane agent. If a veterinarian is part of the animal cruelty, please file a complaint with the Board.

    Please see Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 343 (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

  • Do the same standards and definitions of professional conduct apply to services that a veterinarian provides to animal shelter or rescue, even if he or she does not charge for those services?

    Yes. This includes the requirements for medical records as well as rules regarding dispensing of medications including a valid veterinary client patient relationship and labeling.

  • My last name recently changed, what should I do?

    If you have had a name change because of marriage, divorce, etc. the Board needs legal documentation of the name change. Legal documentation includes a marriage or divorce certificate, or another government-issued document that represents the change, such as a drivers' license. You can mail, fax, or email a copy of this document to the Board at vet.med@state.mn.us.

    If you need a new hard copy of your license, you will need to request a replacement license due to name change. You can request a replacement license using this form. There is a $10.00 fee for a replacement license and can be paid via check to the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Do I need to register my professional firm with the Board?

    Minnesota Statutes 319B, The Professional Firms Act requires that any veterinary clinic of hospital that is organized as a corporations, a limited liability partnership, or a limited liability company must register with the Board (filed under 302A, 317A, or 322B). If you are unsure about which category your professional firm falls under, you may find your business information using the Secretary of State's website by searching via your practice name.

    Please see the professional firms page on our website for more information and registration forms.

  • What do I need to send to the Board to register my professional firm?

    1. Professional Firm Initial Registration Form

    2. $100 filing fee payable via check to the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine

    3. Organizational articles from the Secretary of State

    4. Certificate of authority from the Secretary of State

  • If I purchased a professional firm, do I need to refile with the Secretary of State's office?

    If the new owner of the professional firm is purchasing the existing corporation no additional filings are required. If the new owner is purchasing only the assets of the existing business, but not the corporate structure then they need to file new articles.

  • How do I know if my professional firm needs to be licensed with the Board?

    If your professional firm is filed through the Secretary of State under Minnesota Statutes 302A, 317A, or 322B and you are a multi-veterinarian professional firm, you need to contact the Board office if you are not registered through the Board of Veterinary Medicine.

    An easy way to check what article number your professional firm is licensed under is through the Secretary of State's website. Simply type your practice name into the search feature and click search. Your professional firm should appear as a link below the search bar. The business record will provide you with basic filing information, including the filing statute number.

  • Do I have to release medical records to an animal owner if they requested them?

    Per Minnesota Rules 9100.0800, subp 4, paragraph D "Medical records, or an accurate summary of them, must be released to the animal owner or the owner's authorized agent, including the board, within two weeks of a written request. A reasonable charge for copying or preparation of a summary may be made, except in the case of a board investigation, in which case no charges are authorized."

  • Where can I find information about accreditation?

    The National Veterinary Accreditation Program is run through the USDA/APHIS. See their website for details by clicking here.

  • Where can I find information about health certificates or Certificate of Veterinary Inspection?

    Visit the Minnesota Board of Animal Health's website by clicking here.

Complaint FAQ

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the complaint process for the Board of Veterinary Medicine. Please click one of the linked questions below to see an answer. If you are unable to find the answer you are looking for below, please feel free to contact our office at 651-201-2844 or vet.med@state.mn.us.

  • What can I do if I am concerned about the quality of a veterinarian's practice?
    • Talk with the veterinarian about your concerns; in most cases he or she will want to know if you are dissatisfied with the services received.
    • Talk with the clinic owner or manager about your situation. They, too, want satisfied clients who will recommend their services to others.
    • Complete in detail BOTH a "Complaint Registration" and "Records Waiver Authorization" and mail or fax them to the Board office. You may print the forms from this site or contact the Board office to have the forms mailed or faxed to you.

    If you like, contact the Board of Veterinary Medicine at 651-201-2844 to discuss your concerns. If the Board is able to be of assistance, you will be asked to submit the written complaint forms to initiate a formal review.

  • What kinds of things can I complain about?

    Generally, complaints about veterinarians fall into these areas:

    • Competency
    • Impairment or chemical abuse
    • Failure to meet minimum standards of practice
    • Sanitation and cleanliness of facilities
  • What are the things that the Board can't help me with?

    The Board can only take action against a veterinarian's license to practice. It can't help you recover money or resolve fee disputes.

  • How does the Board review a complaint?

    First, the Board's staff gathers information from a variety of sources, starting with the information you include in your complaint. The staff or an investigator from the Attorney General's office will gather medical records, collect data and may interview those involved. You will be asked to sign a records waiver authorization form to allow the Board to obtain your animal's medical records. In most instances, the staff will also obtain a response from the veterinarian involved. When the information gathering is completed, the Board's complaint committee will review the facts and decide whether to take action against the veterinarian involved.

  • What kinds of action can the Board take?

    The Board can take a variety of actions. It can limit, suspend or revoke a veterinarian's license; it can order a veterinarian to take more training or to stop performing certain procedures; it can impose a penalty fee; it can order veterinarians to enroll in appropriate treatment programs.

  • Will a veterinarian know that I filed a complaint?

    During the review process, the Board will protect your identity unless you consent to have it disclosed.   In most cases, disclosing your identity is necessary to assist the Board in investigating your complaint since veterinarians must respond to specific complaints rather than to general accusations.

  • How long does the complaint review process take?

    The length of time to complete the complaint process varies widely. Complex complaints may require the Board to refer the complaint to the Attorney General's office for investigation.   Some reviews move very quickly, others often take months or years.

  • How can I find out about the status of my complaint?

    You can contact the Board staff at any time.   However, because of the state data privacy laws, little information can be provided during the investigation. The Board will notify you as to the disposition of your complaint when the investigation and review process is completed. Also, recent legislation requires the Board to send an update letter every 120 days to keep you updated through the complaint process.

  • Do all complaints lead to action against veterinarians?

    The Board receives some complaints that do not lead to action against veterinarians. The Board cannot take action against a veterinarian unless there is clear and convincing evidence to show that the veterinarian violated Minnesota's Veterinary Practice Act. The Board must thoroughly review each complaint before it takes any action.

  • If the Board cannot act, is there anything I can do?

    The Board's staff may advise you on the services of other governmental agencies or professional associations if the Board is not the appropriate agency to deal with your concerns.

  • Are there any costs associated with filing a complaint?

    There are no costs for filing a complaint. 

  • Do I need an attorney to help me file my complaint?

    No. The Board's complaint process is designed for the public. If you have questions about filing your complaint, the Board's staff can assist you.

  • If I file a complaint, can I also take legal action?

    Filing a complaint will not preclude other legal action you choose to consider.

  • Can I complain about a lay person doing a veterinarian's work?

    The procedure is the same as filing a complaint against a veterinarian, but you may not be required to sign a records waiver authorization form. You can file a formal complaint with the Board which includes that lay person's name. Ideally, the complaint should include some form of written evidence such as an advertisement, web link, written advice, or bill to an animal owner and/or the name of a client that is willing to be contact by an investigator from the Attorney General's office.