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Licensure with the College

The College ensures Ontario veterinarians have the education and professionalism required to practise competently and safely. Holding a licence to practise in the province is a privilege and as such comes with ongoing responsibilities.  No one other than a veterinarian can practise veterinary medicine in Ontario. 

Licence renewal

Licences are renewed by November 30th each year.

Update your information

Ensure the College has your current contact information.

Letter of Standing request

How to request your licensure history.

Update your information

Ensure the College has your current contact information. Any changes are submitted in the Professional Practice Portal.

Changing your licence type or status 

The following types of licences are issued: 

  • General - may practise veterinary medicine in Ontario, without restriction on scope or place of practice
  • Restrictedsimilar to General, but a Committee under the Veterinarians Act placed conditions or limitations on licence
  • Educational - must be enrolled in postgraduate studies in veterinary medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College
  • Postgraduate/Resident - must be enrolled as an intern, resident or Doctor of Veterinary Science student at the Ontario Veterinary College
  • Academic - must hold a full-time teaching or research appointment of professional rank at the Ontario Veterinary College
  • Public Service - must be employed as a veterinarian by the Government of Canada 
  • Short Term - a 30-day restricted licence requiring supervision and an appointment or invitation 

To change your licence type, you must submit a licensure application form. 

Licensure Application

Resigning your licence 

Let us know if you wish to resign your licence. To resign your licence, complete and submit the Licence Resignation Form. Following resignation, your licence will be terminated, and you may no longer practise veterinary medicine in Ontario. If you choose to resign your licence and re-apply for licensure in the future, you will need to meet the licensure requirements in place at the time of your re-application. 

Resignation and application for Emeritus Standing 

Licensed members who have been in good standing for 25 years or more are eligible to apply for Emeritus Status with the College. You need to complete and submit Part 1 and Part 2 of the Licence Resignation Form. 

Eligible former licensed members who have resigned their licences may apply for emeritus status to have their licence history and involvement in the College recognized. Emeritus status is a high honour to the individual and the profession. 

For emeritus status you must: 

  • have held a licence under the Act or registration under a predecessor of the Act, or a combination, continuously for 25 years or more; 

  • have never had a finding of professional misconduct or gross neglect;   

  • have been in good standing* at the time your membership ended; and 

  • be fully retired from the practice of veterinary medicine in Ontario. 

All applications for this special status are reviewed by the Registrar. If approved, the Registrar will issue a certificate to the applicant. The public register will display the former licensed members who have requested and qualified for this status.   

*A member is in good standing if their licence is not suspended, they are not in default of any fee payment, they are not in default of providing the College with any required information, and they are not the subject of proceedings in respect of professional misconduct, gross neglect or impairment. 

A person with emeritus status must abide by the following terms: 

  • not practise veterinary medicine or re-apply for licensure in Ontario in the future; 
  • agree to use only the title “Veterinarian Emeritus”; and 
  • agree and acknowledge that the emeritus status can be removed by the Registrar if he or she concludes that the status holder has acted in a manner that is inconsistent with the status. 

Licence Resignation Form

Licence Fees 

General, Restricted, Public Service, Academic and Postgraduate and Resident Licences 
January 1 to December 31 
$1085 + $141.05 HST 
April 1 to December 31 
$760 + $98.80 HST 
July 1 to December 31 
$545 + $70.85 HST 
October 1 to December 31 
$325 + $42.25 HST 
Educational Licences 

January 1 to December 31 
$250 + $32.50 HST 
January 1 to June 30 
$125 + $16.25 HST 
July 1 to December 31 
$125 + $16.25 HST 
Short-Term Licences 

30-day period 
$250 + $32.50 

Licensure FAQs

If your address changes, you are required to notify the College in writing within 30 days of any change. The College must have your current home address, all practice addresses and email address on file. Only your primary practice will appear on the Public Register. To submit an address change, please login into the Professional Practice Portal. 
Licensed members can expect to receive their annual licence renewal information early in October. The deadline for the annual licence renewal is November 30th each year for submission of information and fees.
Please refer to the licence fees tab.
The Public Register identifies all licensed members who are specialists (those who hold certification with one of the American Board of Veterinary Specialists). To add this information to the Public Register, please contact the College so the designation can be verified either by viewing the original board certification or a notarized copy. 
Licensed members can request access to their records by submitting a written request, with contact information and information to identify themselves, to the Registrar, College of Veterinarians of Ontario at or by regular mail to 2-71 Hanlon Creek Blvd., Guelph, Ontario N1C 0B1. 
A licensed member is permitted to review the file in person at the College office, or copies can be sent to them, as appropriate. Occasionally, licensed members request that certain documents in their file be forwarded to another licensing body, and responses to those requests are honoured (within 1-2 days) at no charge. Please visit the College's Privacy Code for further details.
An access to records request would rarely be limited or refused. This may occur when something in the record is considered a safety risk to the licensed member or another person if released. Legal advice specific to an application is, however, privileged, and would likely not be released to the licensed member. 

From time to time, the term specialist gets defined in practice differently than intended. A veterinarian in Ontario cannot use the term specialist unless they are Board-certified in a specialty recognized by the College. To describe oneself as a specialist, when one is not, is considered professional misconduct. The term specialist is reserved for specialists who are certified by a recognized veterinary specialty organization approved by the College. Stating one “has a specialty in…” is considered to be claiming specialist status. The same applies to the use of discipline-specific specialty terms such as radiologist, surgeon, and pathologist. 

Different than a specialty designation, a veterinarian who has a practice focus in a specific area is able to communicate this focus by stating they have 

  • an interest in ... 
  • additional education in ... 
  • a specific focus on ... 

Public clarity in advertising and communication is essential. The public deserves to make an informed choice in all circumstances related to their animal(s).

Recognition of Specialities

If you hold a current valid licence with the College, you can use the prefix Dr. and use the official title of veterinarian. If you do not hold a current valid licence with the College, you are able to use the post-nominal letters earned with the degree in veterinary medicine that was awarded to you (ex. DVM, BVSc).