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Information for Applicants

Licensure Requirements - Public Service Licence

Please note: Successful completion of the CVO Jurisprudence Exam is NOT REQUIRED for a Public Service Licence.

Public Service Licensure Steps

1. Submit an online application for licensure. If you have been previously licensed with the CVO, please complete a paper application.

  • To initiate processing, payment of the application fee is required. For current applicant fees, the College’s Applicant Fees.

2. Submit confirmation of employment as a veterinarian by the Crown in right of Canada.

3.Submit any outstanding documentation required for licensure. Please review the list of supporting documentation below.

  • CVO Licensure staff will also be in touch during this time to request any outstanding documentation needed to complete your application.

4. Once you have submitted all required documentation, you will receive an email from the College asking if you want the licence to start immediately. If that is the case, and once your application is complete, you will be asked to submit payment of appropriate licence fees. For current licensing fees, please review the College’s Applicant Fees.

Public Service Licence: Supporting Documentation

Requirement Supporting Documentation
Confirmation of employment as a veterinarian by the Crown in right of Canada The College must receive proof of employment as a veterinarian with the Crown. A letter from the employer or an employee ID card can be provided as proof of employment.
Completed and signed application form
An application and supporting documentation are valid for ONE year once submitted.
Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The Registrar retains the right to seek resubmission of any outdated materials. There are no additional charges if an applicant is asked to resubmit part of an application.

If you are a new applicant, please submit an online licensure application.
If you currently hold a licence with the CVO, or have been licensed in the past, please submit a paper licensure application.

Photo Identification A copy of one of the following Government-issued valid photo identification:
  • Passport
  • Ontario Driver’s Licence or Enhanced Driver’s Licence
  • Canadian Permanent Resident Card
  • Canadian Citizenship Card (must include photo)
  • Ontario Photo Card
  • Indian Status Card (issued on or after December 15, 2009)
Evidence of Changing Name
Licensed members of the College must practise veterinary medicine with the same name that is listed on your veterinary medicine degree unless appropriate supporting documentation is submitted.
If your current name is different from the name on your veterinary medicine degree, you must provide one of the following:
  • The original or certified true copy of your marriage certificate or decree of divorce; or
  • The original or certified true copy of your legal name change document.
Canadian Citizenship OR eligibility to work/study in Canada as per the Immigration Act
Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada OR have received appropriate authorization to engage in the practise of veterinary medicine in Canada.
Submit a copy of one of the following pieces of acceptable documentation:
  • Canadian passport
  • Canadian birth certificate
  • Canadian Citizenship Card (both sides)
  • Canadian Citizenship Certificate
  • Proof of Permanent Residency 
If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, a copy of the authorization to practise veterinary medicine issued by Immigration Canada is needed.

Applicants must provide proof of completing their degree from an accredited veterinary school or an acceptable unaccredited school.
For more information about accredited and unaccredited schools, please visit the AVMA website.
Submit the original degree OR a certified true copy of the degree OR official transcripts sent from the school to the College.
Please note: A certified translation of the degree must be provided if the degree is not in English or French. Please review CVO’s Licensure Policies for the official translation policy.
North American Veterinary Board Exams
Graduates of an accredited veterinary school need to pass the NAVLE within two attempts. If a graduate requires more than two attempts, they must also successfully complete the CPE along with the NAVLE.
Graduates of an unaccredited veterinary school must successfully complete the BCSE, the NAVLE, and the CPE. Applicants who have successfully completed the BCSE and NAVLE are eligible to apply for a Restricted Licence with Supervision before taking their CPE exam.
Ask the CVMA-NEB or AVMA-ECFVG to forward exam results directly to the College OR submit the original or a certified true copy of the score report.
Please note: The College does not cannot accept forwarded exam results sent from applicants.
You may seek exemption from the North American Veterinary Board Exams by applying for a Restricted Licence. Please review CVO’s Licensure Policies for policies related to Restricted Licences.
English and/or French Language Proficiency
All applicants must demonstrate proficiency in either English or French to be eligible for licensure.
If the applicant’s primary and secondary education was conducted in English or French, OR if the undergraduate veterinary education was conducted in English or French, the applicant is considered to have fulfilled the College’s language proficiency requirement.
If the applicant’s primary and secondary education and undergraduate veterinary education was conducted in a language other than English or French, the applicant must successfully complete an English or French Language test acceptable to the College.
Applicants may submit proof of language proficiency in one of the following ways:
  • Submit satisfactory test results taken within the last two years; or
  • Request that the testing organization transfer results directly to the College; or
  • Submit other evidence that the applicant can communicate in English or French at a sufficient level of proficiency required for the practise of veterinary medicine.
For more information, please review CVO’s Licensure Policies on language proficiency.
Note: The CVMA-NEB and AVMA-ECFVG require candidates to successfully complete an English or French Language Proficiency Test to register for the National Board Exams.
As the National Board Exams may take 3-5 years to complete, the College requires applicants to submit results of an English or French Language Proficiency Test that has been taken within two years as proof of proficiency.
Record of Ethical and Competent Practice for licensure outside of Ontario
Applicants that have been and/or are currently licensed outside Ontario must provide proof of ethical and competent practice.
An applicant must provide evidence that there have been no allegations of professional misconduct, gross neglect, or impairment. The College must be satisfied that the applicant’s past conduct will not put the public at risk.
A letter of standing must be sent directly to the College from all regulatory body/bodies where the applicant has been licensed/registered.
The letter of standing must include the following information:
  • Dates the licence was held;
  • Type of licence issued;
  • Confirmation of active or inactive licensure status; and
  • Records of any investigation or disciplinary action against the licence holder.
If an applicant is outside of Canada, it is advised that they complete and send the letter of standing from the regulatory body to the College before immigrating to Canada.
Participation in a residency or internship is considered to be engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine and requires a letter of standing. Where licensure in that jurisdiction was not required (i.e. limited permit), a letter of standing should be provided from the Dean of the university where the program was completed.
For assistance in understanding how a record of ethical and competent practice is determined, please review the Applicant Character Assessment Policy Statement.
Good Character and Good Conduct (no record of offence)
An applicant must declare that there has been no finding of guilt and that there is no pending charge involving an offence relevant to the applicant’s suitability to practise veterinary medicine.
The College will review any declared offences for relevance to the practise of veterinary medicine.

For assistance in understanding how good character is determined, please review the Applicant Character Assessment Policy Statement.
Payment of Licence Fees The licence fee is payable on notification by College that your application has been approved. For current licensing fees, please review the College’s Applicant Fees.

Supporting Documentation Policy

Please note: The College is not required to retain original or certified copies of transcripts, diplomas, degrees and/or certificates submitted by applicants. Documents submitted may be returned to applicants upon written request. 


  1. "Copy" means "Photocopy of" or “Picture of” unless otherwise noted.
  2. "Certified True Copy" means a document that has been notarized. The document must be notarized by a person authorized in Canada to notarize documents in a Canadian jurisdiction. Hard copies can be shown in person or received by mail. The College will return original documents to the applicant on request.
  3. Documents submitted for registration purposes that are not in English or French must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please see CVO’s Translation Policy in the Licensure Policies document for more information.