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Member Categories

 
 

A member’s dues invoice includes billing for tripartite membership in the California Optometric Association, American Optometric Association and local society.

Other entity dues and assessments (such as Public Vision League-Litigation and Legislative Funds) are voted upon by the House of Delegates and are mandatory obligations.

Members also have the option to make voluntary contributions to the state and local society Political Action Committees.

When you apply for membership in the California Optometric Association, your application will also be processed for the American Optometric Association and a local society to ensure representation at all levels. Dues information for each entity is offered below.

Active Full

Active member is an optometrist who resides in the state of California and/or who practices or engages in other related optometric activities in California. Annual Dues:

  • AOA: $926.00
  • COA: $813.00
  • Local Society: Varies

Educator/Faculty

Optometrists who satisfy the qualifications of Full Members, and who are engaged in the full time teaching of optometry in a school approved by the Board of Trustees of COA and may work up to 16 hours per week in the practice of optometry. Annual Dues:

  • AOA: $463.00
  • COA: $406.50
  • Local Society: Varies

Partial Practice

California-licensed optometrist who works sixteen (16) or fewer hours per week in active practice or related optometric activities. Annual Dues:

  • AOA: $555.60
  • COA: $406.50
  • Local Society: Varies

Government service

Optometrists licensed to practice optometry who are employed in Civil, Public, Governmental service, or active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States who have elected to apply for active membership and are not in any form of private practice of optometry. Annual Dues:

  • AOA: $926.00
  • COA: $406.50
  • Local Society: Varies

Retired

Optometrists who are active COA members who have completely retired from the active practice of optometry and/or any vision care field. To qualify for retired status you must be 55 years of age or older and you can choose to continue to receive benefits for a reduced annual dues amount or remain a member in name only and receive free dues. Annual Dues:

  • AOA: $0/No Benefits - $100.00/AOA Benefits
  • COA: $0/No Benefits - $81.30/COA & Local Society Benefits
  • Local Society: Varies

Student

Those persons enrolled full-time in a recognized school or college of optometry may apply for complimentary student membership. Annual Dues:

  • AOA: waived
  • COA: waived

Post-Graduate

Those persons licensed to practice optometry in the State of California undergoing graduate study on a full-time basis, and/or who are engaged full-time as residents or fellows in residency programs or post-doctoral studies approved by this Association may apply for student member status. Annual Dues:

  • AOA: $35.00
  • COA: Waived direct membership

New Practitioner Ascending Dues Scale

New graduates are eligible for an ascending dues scale effective during their first through sixth years post-graduation. Dues are calculated by the member’s graduation date. New practitioners pay the percentage of full dues indicated below. Please note that dues level 1 is for the remainder of the year of graduation from optometry school.

Dues Level

       AOA

       COA

  Local Society

1

Waived

Waived

Waived

2

10%

10%

10%

3

20%

20%

20%

4

50%

50%

50%

5

75%

75%

75%

6

100%

100%

100%

Project Keep Program —Become a leader!

Become involved in the leadership of COA or your local society and be eligible for reduced dues if you are licensed between your first and tenth years of licensure.

Project Keep members must be continuously active as an officer or committee member in their local society or as a COA committee member in order to maintain their status in this category. Eligible members must be in their first 10 years of licensure (first year of graduation is level 1). Full dues obligation is from the eleventh year forward.

Dues Level

       AOA

         COA

  Local Society

1 - Graduation Year

Waived

Waived

Varies

2

10%

Waived*

Varies

3

20%

20%

Varies

4

50%

20%

Varies

5

75%

40%

Varies

6

100%

40%

Varies

7

 

60%

Varies

8

 

60%

Varies

9

 

80%

Varies

10

 

80%

Varies

11

 

100%

Varies

*Does not apply to Legislative Fund assessment.

Non-Voluntary Full Member Assessments

  • Public Vision League. The Public Vision League-Litigation Fund provides the Association with legal services and advice in the event of important legal challenges. Members of the California Optometric Association have an annual assessment obligation to the Public Litigation Fund of $50.00.
  • Legislative Fund. The Legislative Fund will provide support for COA's legislative team to protect and advance the scope of practice for the optometric profession. COA members have an annual legislative assessment obligation of $192.00.
  • Administration Fee. A $120.00 dues processing fee is assessed to every member that is not enrolled in a form of automatic payment for their dues. Download the COA automatic payment authorization form.

Voluntary Contributions

  • Cal-OPAC. The California Optometric Political Action Committee provides political support to candidates and officeholders who share the goals of the Association. The maximum allowable contribution per member or business is $6,500 per calendar year. Any amount over $6,500 will be allocated to COA’s Independent Expenditure PAC.
  • LSCOA-PAC. The Local Societies of COA Political Action Committee provides support to candidates and officeholders who share the goals of the Association. Not all Societies participate in the LSCOA-PAC; hence, not all COA members are requested to contribute. The maximum allowable contribution per member or business is $6,500 per calendar year. Any amount over $6,500 will be allocated to COA’s Independent Expenditure PAC.
  • CVF. The California Vision Foundation is dedicated to preventing vision loss and enhancing eye health through public education and the provision of services to medically underserved Californians. CVF is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation formed under IRC Section 501©(3).

For additional details about membership categories and dues information, email Jenny Peterson, COA membership coordinator, at jpeterson@coavision.org.

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California Optometric Association
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