California Licensing Requirements for Hearing Aid Dispensers
The information below is collected from state licensure boards or regulatory agencies responsible for regulating the professions of hearing aid dispensers. The information is reviewed on an annual basis. Please be advised that laws, regulations, and policies may change at any time, so always check with your state for the most up-to-date information.
- be 18 years of age or older
- have a high school diploma or its equivalent
- has not committed acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial of licensure
- have passed a written and practical test
Reciprocity is not addressed in the law/regulations.
A trainee licensee must supervised by a licensed dispenser or a dispensing audiologist. Twenty percent direct supervision is required. The written exam must be taken within 10 months of licensure. If the written exam is failed, 100% supervision is required.
A temporary licensee has been licensed in another state to dispense hearing aids and has dispensed hearing aids for the two years immediately preceding submission of the application. The license enables the applicant to practice before taking the exams, is valid for one year, and is not renewable. If the applicants fail either the written or practical examination, they must obtain a supervisor and be supervised 100% of the time to continue dispensing hearing aids until the exam is passed.
All licensees shall complete nine hours of continuing education per year, and not more than three hours of continuing education may be credited in any of the following areas related to hearing aids: ethics (including the ethics of advertising and marketing) or business practices.
Audiologists may dispense under the audiology license provided the audiologist has passed both the written and practical exams in hearing aid dispensing; dispensing audiologists will be issued a dispensing audiologist license.
A hearing aid trial period is not addressed in the law/regulations.
Mail Order/Internet Sales
Hearing aids may be sold by catalog or direct mail provided that:
- The seller is licensed as a hearing aid dispenser in the state.
- There is no fitting, selection, or adaptation of the instrument and no advice is given with respect to fitting, selection, or adaptation of the instrument and no advice is given with respect to the taking of an ear impression for an earmold by the seller.
- The seller has received a statement which is signed by a physician and surgeon, audiologist, or a hearing-aid dispenser, licensed by the state of California which verifies that the conditions for referral and the direct observation of the purchaser's ear canals have been complied with.
Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board
For further information on laws and regulations for speech-language pathologists and audiologists, please visit these websites:
Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.