RVT in Hawaii FAQs

WHAT DOES THIS LAW DO?
This is a title protection law only. Meaning that, as of July 1, 2018, only people who have registered with the state of Hawaii can use the title veterinary technician, vet tech, CVT, LVT, or RVT.

This includes on name tags, websites, business cards, etc. All staff members can perform the same tasks, but in order to use the title “veterinary technician”, he or she must be an RVT in the state of Hawaii.
Visit https://hvta.org/rvt-in-hi-faq/ for more details.

I AM A VETERINARIAN. WHAT DOES THIS LAW MEAN FOR ME?
For eligible employees to grandfather in, you’ll check off skills and hours on the Hawaii Experience Verification form and have it notarized. Eligible employees will need 5 years practical experience in Hawaii to sit for the Vet Tech National Exam.

Your employees can still do all the skills and tasks that they’ve been performing, but until they register in Hawaii, they cannot use the title “vet tech” or “veterinary technician”.

WANT TO HELP YOUR STAFF BECOME RVTs?
Awesome! The VTNE is a challenging exam, and you can help prepare them. Quiz them, ask them to do drug & fluid calculations, include them in your complicated cases, help pay their fees, and encourage them to attend HVTA’s study sessions.
Visit https://hvta.org/study-sessions-vtne-prep/ for more info.

THREE PATHS TO RVT
1. If already credentialed in another state: transfer VTNE scores, send license verification to DCCA.
2. If graduate of an AVMA accredited vet tech program: pass the VTNE with HI as your state.
3. Alternate Path (aka “grandfathering”): available now through July 2021 for on-the-job-trained technicians with 5+ years of experience in Hawaii, need notarized form from veterinarian, pass the VTNE with HI as your state.

For more information, see the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Vet Tech page.

Sam Geiling, RVT
President, HVTA
Windward Community College
Kaneohe, HI

Legislative Update July 2018

SB 2461

July 18, 2018
Enacted into law without Governor’s signature

This new law:

1.     Creates the offense of misrepresenting a service animal if a person knowingly misrepresents as a service animal any animal that does not meet the requirements of a service animal;

2.     Specifies that this offense is a misdemeanor punishable by no more than 6 months in jail and a fine of no less than $250 but no more than $2,000 for the second offense and each offense thereafter;

3.     Changes the term service dog to service animal; and

4.     Amends the definition of a service animal to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

HB 2081

July 18, 2018
Signed into law

This new law:

 1.     Appropriates funds to the Department of Land and Natural Resources in order to provide assistance and additional funding to the National Wildlife Research Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and

2.     Specifies that this appropriation allows the Department of Agriculture to conduct pilot field studies to evaluate control tools and develop a management plan for reducing the rose-ringed parakeet population on Kauai.

RVT Applications Now Available Online

Applications for licensing registration as a RVT in Hawaii are available online here.

Senate Bill 2671 passed in 2016 which set the following requirements to qualify as a veterinary technician in Hawaii:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age
  2. Have successfully passed the Veterinary Technican National Examination
  3. Meets at least ONE of the following conditions:
    1. Has successfully completed a course of study at a program for veterinary technology accredited by the AVMA committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities;
    2. Be licensed, certified, or registered veterinary technician in good standing in another state having standards for registration comparable to those in this State; or
    3. Prior to July 1, 2021, submits a notarized document from an employer who is a licensed veterinarian and who certifies that applicant has five or more years of practical experience in Hawaii; provided that no reciprocity shall be given for practical experience gained outside of the State.

Information for licensing in Hawaii can be found on the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional and Vocational Licensing website. Additional information can be found at the HVTA website. Information about the VTNE can be found here.

2018 Legislative Session

Legislative Update 2018 Session

Bill Summary Status
HB2498 Establishes and appropriates funds for one full-time equivalent permanent veterinary medical officer position within the Department of Health. HVMA SUPPORTS. Failed in Senate
HB1823 Defines emotional support animals and makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly make a misrepresentation regarding a service dog or emotional support animal. Failed in House
HB2060 Removes the word “Examiners” from the names of the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Board of Dental Examiners, Board of Examiners in Optometry, and Board of Veterinary Examiners. Renames the boards with titles that more accurately reflect their scope and duties. HVMA defers to BVE stance. Failed in Conference Committee
HB2081
SB2566
Appropriates funds to the Department of Land and Natural Resources to provide assistance and supplemental funding to the National Wildlife Research Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct pilot field studies to evaluate control tools and develop a management plan to reduce the rose-ringed parakeet population on Kauai. Passed;
Sent to Governor
HB2270
SB2501
Requires the Department of Human Services to establish ohana zones where homeless persons may reside. Appropriates funds. Failed
SB2014 Requires persons convicted of animal cruelty to register with the attorney general. Requires animal shelters, animal breeders, and pet stores to check whether an individual has been convicted of animal abuse when the individual applies to work or volunteer, or purchases or adopts an animal. Establishes penalties. Prevents persons convicted of animal cruelty from possessing, owning, or working in close proximity to animals. Requires police officers to be trained in identifying and investigating animal abuse. Failed in Senate
SB2289 Establishes the offense of sexual assault of an animal. Provides for impoundment and forfeiture of a sexually assaulted animal. Not heard
SB2435
HB2593
Requires the Department of Health to contract with a nonprofit animal rescue group to oversee caretakers of feral cats. Exempts registered caretakers of feral cats from state laws and county ordinances relating to the feeding and confinement of cats. Establishes a trap-sterilize-return process. Failed
SB2461 Establishes the offense of “misrepresentation of a service animal”. Changes the term “service dog” to “service animal” and amends the definition of that term to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Passed; Signed into law by Governor
SB2929 Establishes the Hawaii spay/neuter council to be administratively attached to the department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Establishes the Hawaii spay/neuter special fund. Imposes a fee on pet food to support the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Makes an appropriation. Not heard
HB2072 Prohibits certain restraints and tethers that endanger, or deny sustenance, to a dog. Adjusted penalties. Failed in Conference Committee
SB2260 Requires veterinarians, upon request of the owner of an animal, to make available a copy of any prescription that the veterinarian has previously prescribed the animal free of charge. HVMA OPPOSED. Deferred by Senate

Updated May 2018

2018 Legislative Update

HVMA Opposes SB2260

SB2260 requires veterinarians, upon request of the owner of an animal, to make available a copy of any prescription that the veterinarian has previously prescribed the animal free of charge. This bill will have a public hearing on Tuesday February 20, 2018 at 9:00AM at the Hawaii State Capitol conference room 229 by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health. Read the complete bill text (brief) here.

Please send in written testimony opposing this bill via the Hawaii State Legislature website (steps detailed below) by Monday Feb 19th 9am and consider testifying in person at Tuesday’s hearing.

HVMA opposes SB2260 because it places unnecessary legislative burden on veterinarians and is of questionable value to the public. According to Hawaii Revised Statutes 471-10, licensed veterinarians in Hawaii are required to practice by “the recognized principles of medical ethics of the veterinary profession as adopted by the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association”. According to the AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics Section V.b.iii., “Veterinarians are obligated to provide copies or summaries of medical records when requested by the client.” Prior prescription information is already contained within a patient’s medical record and available upon request by the client (owner of the animal). In regards to current prescriptions, Section VII.f.iii. states: “Veterinarians are entitled to charge fees for their professional services: A veterinarian shall honor a client’s request for a prescription or veterinary feed directive in lieu of dispensing, but may charge a fee for this service.” AVMA’s Policy on Client Requests for Prescriptions states: “Veterinarians shall honor client requests to prescribe rather than dispense a drug (AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics). The client has the option of filling a prescription at any pharmacy.”

Please make the voice of veterinarians heard and submit your testimony today:
1. Go to the Hawaii State Legislature website.
2. In the upper right hand corner, either “Sign In” to your account or “Register” if you do not have an account.
3. Once signed in, click on “Submit Testimony” (first orange button in the middle of the page).
4. Under “Enter Bill or Measure” enter SB2260 and click “Get Hearing”.
5. Complete your testimony submission (you may upload a document or enter your testimony directly on the webpage) and click “Submit”.
6. Feel good about participating in the legislative process and shaping the practice of veterinary medicine in Hawaii!

The Hawaii State Capitol is located at 415 South Beretania Street in downtown Honolulu. If you have never testified in person before and have questions about the process, please feel free to email us at contact@hawaiivetmed.org.

Other Current Pending Legislation

HB2498 – Establishes and appropriates funds for one full-time equivalent permanent veterinary medical officer position within the Department of Health. HVMA SUPPORTS.


HB1823 – Defines emotional support animals and makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly make a misrepresentation regarding a service dog or emotional support animal.


HB2060 – Removes the word “Examiners” from the names of the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Board of Dental Examiners, Board of Examiners in Optometry, and Board of Veterinary Examiners. Renames the boards with titles that more accurately reflect their scope and duties. HVMA defers to BVE stance.


HB2072 – Prohibits certain restraints and tethers that endanger or deny sustenance to a dog. Specifies penalties.


HB2081/SB2566 – Appropriates funds to the Department of Land and Natural Resources to provide assistance and supplemental funding to the National Wildlife Research Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct pilot field studies to evaluate control tools and develop a management plan to reduce the rose-ringed parakeet population on Kauai.


HB2270/SB2501 – Requires the Department of Human Services to establish ohana zones where homeless persons may reside. Appropriates funds.


SB2014 – Requires persons convicted of animal cruelty to register with the attorney general. Requires animal shelters, animal breeders, and pet stores to check whether an individual has been convicted of animal abuse when the individual applies to work or volunteer, or purchases or adopts an animal. Establishes penalties. Prevents persons convicted of animal cruelty from possessing, owning, or working in close proximity to animals. Requires police officers to be trained in identifying and investigating animal abuse.


SB2289 – Establishes the offense of sexual assault of an animal. Provides for impoundment and forfeiture of a sexually assaulted animal.


SB2435 – Requires the Department of Health to contract with a nonprofit animal rescue group to oversee caretakers of feral cats. Exempts registered caretakers of feral cats from state laws and county ordinances relating to the feeding and confinement of cats. Establishes a trap-sterilize-return process.


SB2461 – Establishes the offense of “misrepresentation of a service animal”. Changes the term “service dog” to “service animal” and amends the definition of that term to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990


SB2929 – Establishes the Hawaii spay/neuter council to be administratively attached to the department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Establishes the Hawaii spay/neuter special fund. Imposes a fee on pet food to support the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Makes an appropriation.

No Title

Two major bills were passed with the support of the HVMA last year and have been signed into law by Governor Ige.

Legislative Act 147 (SB2671) will go into effect July 1, 2018. This legislation recognizes veterinary technicians as qualified professionals. It is a title protection law and restricts the use of the title “veterinary technician” to those who have passed the national board exam and met the state of Hawaii requirements for the profession. The law does not place restrictions on what duties can be performed by technician or other staff supervised by a licensed veterinarian. Encourage your technical staff to research both the traditional path (through completion of an accredited program) and the alternate pathway to becoming registered veterinary technicians. The alternate pathway provides potential registration eligibility for those who have been working at least 5 years in Hawaii veterinary practices and meet the requirements. This pathway will only be available prior to July 1, 2021. All registered veterinary technicians are required to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam. Hawaii will also recognize technicians licensed/registered in other states. For more information visit http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2671_CD1_.pdf

Legislative Act (SB 2915) was signed by Governor Ige and controlled substances reporting is now much easier for veterinarians! Thanks to the exemption for veterinarians weekly electronic reporting is no longer required. A HUGE thank you goes to Dr. Ako for leading efforts on this bill. And to Dr. Yoshicedo for managing communications to the members so they could provide much needed testimony.

Email legislative_committee@hawaiivetmed.org to get more involved in the legislative committee.

Veterinary Feed Directive

The use of certain antibiotics in medicated feed for food-production animals will be considered a ‘veterinary feed directive’ or a ‘prescription medication’ starting January 1, 2017.  If you have questions, or want to be added to the list of veterinarians who can a feed directive for clients, please contact the University of Hawaii’s Extension Veterinarian, Jenee Odani, at 956-3847 or jsodani@hawaii.edu.

Downloads:

More Information on VFD from CTAHR

VFD order form

Vet Techs and Controlled Drug Reporting

The Veterinary Technician bill SB2671 is up for another hearing on Monday 3/14 at 2 pm in House conference room 325. We ask that you would again submit your testimony to support recognizing our vet techs by Sunday 3/13. If you have questions about this bill, please contact Eric Ako (akoe002@hawaii.rr.com).

Link to bill for info and for online testimony submission: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=2671&year=2016

We are still awaiting hearing dates for the electronic drug reporting bills, so stay tuned. You may also email or call your local reps at any time to let them know you support these amended bills that exempt veterinarians from all electronic controlled drug reporting requirements.

SD2461 SD1, http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=2461
SD2915 SD1, http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=2915&year=2016

Veterinary Technician Bill Up for Hearing – Request to Submit Testimony

As this year’s legislative process begins, our Veterinary Technician bill is up for hearing this Wednesday, Feb 3rd. Please submit your testimony to support recognizing our vet techs by Tuesday, Feb 2nd. If you have questions about this bill, please contact Eric Ako (akoe002@hawaii.rr.com).

Link to bill for info and for online testimony submission: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=1955&year=2016

The Senate version of the bill (SB2671) does not currently have a hearing scheduled but is accessible at: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=2671&year=2016