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Restoring to the registers

If an optometrist or dispensing optician has been removed from the registers for failing to apply for retention, but they want to continue practising, they must apply to rejoin the registers. This is called ‘restoration’, or ‘restoring to the registers’. Once you have been restored you will get your GOC number. 

As of 01 April 2021, we have introduced a lifetime number for new and restoring students, fully qualified registrants and optical businesses applying for registration on the GOC register

Further information can be found on our website here. Existing registrants will not be affected and will retain their current GOC registration number.

If an optometrist or dispensing optician has been off the registers for a period of time eg for a career break or maternity leave, they must also apply for restoration. If an optician continues to practise but is not registered with us, they are breaking the law.

If you have previously been registered as a student optometrist or student dispensing optician and you are recommencing your studies or practical training, you will need to apply for restoration.

Restoration guidance for students.

Restoration guidance for Individuals

Restoration guidance for Body Corporate

If you have any queries, contact our registration team on 020 7580 3898 (option 1), Monday-Thursday 09.00-17.00, Fridays 09.00-16.45; or email

Our service commitment

Correctly completed applications for restoration will be processed within fifteen working days of receipt and payment of the fee, except where a declaration has been provided, or where the application is for restoration following erasure by a Fitness to Practise committee.

The information you provide to us, the GOC (as data controller), will be processed and used in line  with our statutory purpose under the Opticians Act in order to maintain our Register and ensure our registrants are fit to practise. For more information regarding how we process your data please see our privacy statement.



Content Panels

Search our registers

Search our registers

Find a registered individual practitioner or business.

MyGOC area

MyGOC area

Registrants can update their contact details, log CET points or complete their annual retention.

Registration forms

Registration forms

Download any of our registration forms, including restoration, specialty and student transfer.

About registration

Read about the importance of checking an optician's registration