(1) Any person desiring to be licensed as a veterinarian shall apply to the department to take a licensure examination. The board may by rule adopt use of a national examination in lieu of part or all of the examination required by this section, with a reasonable passing score to be set by rule of the board.
(2) The department shall license each applicant who the board certifies has:
(a) Completed the application form and remitted an examination fee set by the board.
(b)1. Graduated from a college of veterinary medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education; or
2. Graduated from a college of veterinary medicine listed in the American Veterinary Medical Association Roster of Veterinary Colleges of the World and obtained a certificate from the Education Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates.
(c) Successfully completed the examination provided by the department for this purpose, or an examination determined by the board to be equivalent.
(d) Demonstrated knowledge of the laws and rules governing the practice of veterinary medicine in Florida in a manner designated by rules of the board.
The department shall not issue a license to any applicant who is under investigation in any state or territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia for an act which would constitute a violation of this chapter until the investigation is complete and disciplinary proceedings have been terminated, at which time the provisions of s. 474.214 shall apply.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2)(b), an applicant shall be deemed to have met the education requirements for licensure upon submission of evidence that the applicant meets one of the following:
(a) The applicant was certified for examination by the board prior to October 1, 1989; or
(b) The applicant immigrated to the United States after leaving her or his home country because of political reasons, provided such country is located in the Western Hemisphere and lacks diplomatic relations with the United States; and
1. Was a Florida resident immediately preceding her or his application for licensure;
2. Demonstrates to the board, through submission of documentation verified by the applicant’s respective professional association in exile, that she or he received a professional degree in veterinary medicine from a college or university located in the country from which she or he emigrated. However, the board may not require receipt transcripts from the Republic of Cuba as a condition of eligibility under this section; and
3. Lawfully practiced her or his profession for at least 3 years.
(4) Applicants certified for examination or reexamination under subsection (3) who fail the examination three times subsequent to October 1, 1989, shall be required to demonstrate to the board that they meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(b) prior to any further reexamination or certification for licensure.
(5) An unlicensed doctor of veterinary medicine who has graduated from an approved college or school of veterinary medicine and has completed all parts of the examination for licensure is permitted, while awaiting the results of such examination for licensure or while awaiting issuance of the license, to practice under the immediate supervision of a licensed veterinarian. A person who fails any part of the examination may not continue to practice, except in the same capacity as other nonlicensed veterinary employees, until she or he passes the examination and is eligible for licensure.