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Understanding the Law Around Contact Lens Prescriptions

Yes, there's a law about contact lenses. Essentially, this law was written to protect your right to save some cash. We've broken it down and answered the most frequently asked questions.

What does the law say?

On February 4, 2004, a federal law called the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act went into effect that requires eye doctors to release contact lens prescriptions to their patients—making it easier for you to order discounted contact lenses from online retailers.

Do I need to provide you with my doctor's phone and fax number?

If you don't have their number, provide your doctor's name and the city where you had the exam, and DiscountContactLenses.com can find the contact information we need to confirm your prescription. Your eye doctor is legally obligated to confirm the prescription within eight business hours; otherwise, the law allows us to assume the prescription is valid.

How long is my prescription valid?

A minimum of one year, and up to two years in many states. Your doctor may place a shorter expiration time on your prescription, but only if there is a documented medical reason for doing so. If your prescription has an expiration date, you may want to ask your doctor to explain why they placed a restriction on your prescription.

My doctor requires me to return for a follow-up visit before releasing the prescription. Is this legal?

Yes. The doctor may want to evaluate your eyes with the trial (fitting) lenses in place before releasing the prescription. They may also require you to pay for the fitting before releasing the prescription.

My doctor refuses to release my prescription unless I sign something. Is this legal?

No. Your doctor can't require that you sign anything to release your prescription. In fact, if you had your last eye examination after February 4, 2004, your doctor should have handed your prescription to you on completion of the fitting, whether you asked for it or not.

If you have any further questions regarding contact lens prescriptions, give our Customer Service Team a call.