Apply for a low income renewal fee

Are you eligible for a low income renewal fee?

If you are a registered optometrist or dispensing optician and you expect your gross personal income, for the year 1 April - 31 March, is going to be less than £16,000, you are eligible for the low-income fee.

The full year low income retention fee is £260. 

The low income rate is not available to businesses (bodies corporate) or students.

If you have any questions about the low income fee and your eligibility please contact us at or on 020 7580 3898 (option 1).

Please do not complete the online renewal process before we have informed you of the outcome of your application for the low-income fee. If you do, you will be charged the full renewal fee.

What is gross personal income? 

Gross personal income includes all income from all sources worldwide. It does not only relate to income from optometry or dispensing optics related activities. It includes, for example, pensions, investments, maternity pay, sick pay, and any kind of benefit.

Can I apply later on in the year?

If your financial circumstances change later in the year for the 2022-2023 period, you may be entitled to apply for a low-income fee and should contact the Registration Department for further guidance. Once we have processed your application we will notify you of the outcome by email.

If you have any questions about the low-income fee and your eligibility please contact us at

Will I be audited?

If you choose to pay the low-income fee you must, upon request, provide us with copies of your payslips, bank statements or any other document related to your gross personal income.

If your income is assessed as greater than £16,000 or you do not supply evidence, you must immediately pay the balance. We may request this information at any time.

Our Standards of Practice include requirements around honesty, trustworthiness and professionalism. Making a false declaration or failing to inform us of changes in your financial circumstances may call into question your fitness to practise.

Direct debit

The deadline to pay your annual renewal fee by direct debit and apply for a low-income fee is 1 February 2022. If you pay by direct debit and you haven’t applied for a low-income fee by the 1 February 2022, the full fee will be taken. If you are entitled to the lower fee, we will refund the difference within one month.

How do I apply?

Submit a completed application in addition to your renewal application.

Begin your application