Veterinarians: Getting Ready to Work in Hawaii

Getting Licensed to Work in Hawaii?

First of all, welcome and congratulations on joining a diverse community of professionals from around the world who have chosen to live and work where others come to play, whether as a full-time permanent resident, a consultant, a part-time resident, or an occasional relief veterinarian.

You will need four things in order to perform all the duties typical for veterinarians:

    • A Hawaii Veterinary License
    • An updated DEA Registration*
    • A Hawaii Narcotics Enforcement Division Controlled Substance Registration*
    • Hawaii USDA Accreditation**

*if you plan to dispense, prescribe or administer schedule II-IV drugs in Hawaii
**USDA Accreditation is strongly recommended because of the large number of health certificates that are written in Hawaii.

Below is a walk-through of the process. DISCLAIMER: We have made our best effort to determine that this information is accurate as of the latest revision (2/1/17) but it is up to you to check with the relevant agencies and review documents yourself for the requirements.

If you find any inaccuracies, please contact the Website Committee at webmaster@hawaiivetmed.org. 

Getting Licensed

New Graduates from a Veterinary College Accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association

      • You may take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) if you are graduating within six months of the testing date. This is a computerized exam which is offered at testing centers during two windows each calendar year. For more information please visit The ICVA website.
      • If you wish to take the NAVLE in Hawaii, please note it is only offered on Oahu.
      • If you have not yet passed the NAVLE, you may still submit your application. The Board will need to approve your application before you may sit for the exam.
      • Fill out and submit the application, along with all fees and supporting documentation. Include an official or certified copy of your diploma or an original or certified copy of your transcript if you have already graduated OR written verification from your veterinary school of your expected date of graduation.
      • If you have already passed the NAVLE, contact the American Association of Veterinary State Boards’ (AAVSB) Veterinary Information Verifying Agency (VIVA) to request that your scores be sent directly to the Board.
      • Once you have graduated, you may take the Hawaii Board of Veterinary Examiners Licensing Examination. The examination is offered once monthly on Oahu only and the application deadline is sixty days prior to your desired examination date. Call the DCCA Examination Branch at (808) 586-2711 for a list of study reference materials. (Trust us, you will want it)
      • You may apply for a temporary permit to work for a maximum of 11 months under the supervision of a veterinarian licensed to practice in Hawaii until you pass the State of Hawaii Board of Veterinary Examiners licensing examination. See Hawaii Administrative Rules 16-101-29.1 and 16-101-30 in this document for more information on requirements.

Foreign Graduates

      • If you did not graduate from an AVMA Accredited school, please visit AVMA ECFVG for more information

Veterinarians Already Licensed in Another U.S. State

  • Fill out and submit the application, along with all fees and supporting documentation.
  • Include an official or certified copy of your diploma or an original or certified copy of your transcript.
  • Submit a “Verification of License” form (this is attached to the license application linked above) to EACH State Board where you have held a license in the last 10 years. The Board will fill out and forward the form directly to the Hawaii Board. Don’t know how to reach your State Board? Look it up here.
  • Contact the American Association of Veterinary State Boards’ (AAVSB) Veterinary Information Verifying Agency (VIVA) to request that your scores be sent directly to the Board.
  • You will also need to take the Hawaii Board of Veterinary Examiners Licensing Examination. The examination is offered once monthly on Oahu only and the application deadline is sixty days prior to your desired examination date. Call the DCCA Examination Branch at (808) 586-2711 for a list of study reference materials. (Trust us, you will want it)
  • You may apply for a temporary permit to work for a maximum of 11 months under the supervision of a veterinarian licensed to practice in Hawaii until you pass the State of Hawaii Board of Veterinary Examiners licensing examination. See Hawaii Administrative Rules 16-101-29.1 and 16-101-30 in this document for more information on requirements.

State of Hawaii Narcotics Enforcement Division Registration

You will need your Hawaii veterinary license and a Hawaii business street address before you may apply for your Hawaii Certificate of Registration for Controlled Substances (it is not difficult to change your business address later if necessary). You can find the application here or contact the NED directly for more information.

  • On question 3, indicate whether you will be using this registration to prescribe (write prescriptions), administer (give controlled substances to patients while in the clinic) and/or dispense (send home controlled substances).
  • You will also need to provide the date of your last inventory if this registration is being used to dispense or administer controlled substances. As you are applying for a new Hawaii registration, this is probably not applicable to you. Check with NED directly if you are unsure.

DEA Registration

You will need your Hawaii veterinary license, a Hawaii business street address, and your Hawaii Certificate of Registration for Controlled Substances before you may apply for a new DEA Registration or transfer your current registration from another state.

USDA Accreditation

Hawaii has a large transient population, a significant military contingent, and many residents who travel to and from the mainland with pets. Having the authorization to write health certificates for travel is, therefore, a desirable skill in new hires! Orientations are held based on need and the waiting period can be lengthy, so it is a good idea to get yourself on the list ASAP.

Even if you are already accredited in another state, you still need to attend the orientation and get your Hawaii accreditation before writing health certificates.

Contact: Todd Carnes
USDA APHIS Veterinary Services
Attn: SPRS
10365 Old Placerville Road, Ste. 210
Sacramento, CA 95827-2518
Phone: 916-854-3950
Fax: 916-363-3919
Todd.D.Carnes@aphis.usda.gov