AVMA membership frequently asked questions

Membership FAQs

Q: How long is the approval process for new membership applications?

A: Online applications are usually processed the same business day, unless adjustments or corrections need to be made. Applications submitted by mail take at least one business day to process after they’re received.

Q: Is payment of member dues required at the time the application is submitted?

A: Yes. In order to process your application, the payment must be included.

Q: Do I have to be a U.S. resident to be eligible for AVMA membership and member benefits?

A: No. U.S. residency is not required to be an AVMA member. Anyone who has earned a professional degree in veterinary medicine from a school or college of veterinary medicine is eligible to join.

Q: I just graduated from veterinary school this year. Do I need to complete an application for membership?

A: Congratulations on your graduation, and welcome to the veterinary profession! If you graduated in good standing with your Student AVMA organization, you receive complimentary AVMA membership for the remainder of the year you graduated. Your membership will be rolled over automatically, so you don’t have to fill out any paperwork or submit a new member application.

Q: I am a graduate from a foreign veterinary graduate school; do I need to be an AVMA member to practice in the United States?

A: You do not need to be an AVMA member in order to practice in the United States. However, you do need to be licensed. As a graduate of a non-AVMA-accredited school, you have to complete a certification program such as the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates® (ECFVG) or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Equivalence (PAVE) before sitting for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) and possibly a state licensing exam. If you have questions about the certification program and process, contact ECFVG at ECFVGatavma [dot] org (ECFVG[at]avma[dot]org).

Q: My membership has lapsed and is not currently active. How do I reinstate my expired membership?

A: If your membership became inactive this year, you may still be able to renew it online. If your membership has lapsed for more than a year, you’ll need to complete a new online application.

Q: What does it cost to become an AVMA member?

A: The cost—and benefits—of AVMA membership are detailed in the membership section of the website.

Q: Is there a lifetime membership in the AVMA?

A: There is no lifetime membership. However, members who maintain continuous membership throughout their careers can take advantage of reduced dues after retirement, or a dues exemption with honor roll status. Honor roll status is granted to active members who have maintained membership in the AVMA for 40 years or more and have reached the age of 70, and those who have reached the age of 72 and have maintained continuous membership since graduation. As an honor roll member, you receive the full benefits of membership without having to pay dues.

Q: How do I know if I qualify for reduced dues?

A: Recent graduates and those currently pursuing a full-time residency, internship, graduate or post-graduate study may be eligible for reduced dues. If you qualify for reduced dues, you’ll automatically receive this discount based on the information you provide on your application. Other reduced dues options are available to active members.

Q: How can I request a dues exemption?

A: AVMA members in good standing may qualify for a dues exemption under certain circumstances. Learn more.

Q: Do I need AVMA membership to be eligible for AVMA PLIT insurance or PLIT renewal?

A: Yes. Veterinary insurance coverage through AVMA PLIT is an exclusive benefit for AVMA members. You must be an active member in order to buy or renew PLIT coverage. Submitting your membership application online will expedite the process.

Q: How do I sign up for or renew my AVMA PLIT or AVMA LIFE insurance coverage?

A: AVMA members are eligible for AVMA PLIT and AVMA LIFE coverage, but it is not automatic. You need to buy or renew coverage directly from AVMA PLIT and AVMA LIFE.

Q: I’ve just started retirement. How do I change my member status to retired?

A: Active AVMA members in good standing who have retired can submit a request for retired status using the application for reduced dues. You can learn more about the requirements for retired status on the reduced dues webpage.

Q: I am a veterinary technician. Am I eligible for AVMA membership?

A: Unfortunately, veterinary technicians are not eligible for AVMA membership at this time. However, you may be eligible for membership with the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

Q: Can I pay by check online?

A: Unfortunately, we cannot accept checks as online payment. All major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover) are acceptable methods of payment online.

Q: Will I get a receipt so my employer can reimburse me?

A: Yes. Once you submit an online application, you will receive an email confirmation that you can use as a receipt. You’ll also have access to a formal receipt once your application is approved.

Q: Are AVMA membership dues tax deductible?

A: AVMA dues are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. They may be deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses. However, the estimated 5.25% that is attributable to AVMA lobbying expenses is not deductible.

Q: Are membership dues refundable?

A: Membership dues are nonrefundable, and membership is nontransferable.

Q: Is group payment an option? Can I pay for more than one member?

A: Yes. You can pay for up to 25 AVMA members at one time. Go to the AVMA online membership dues payment page and sign in as any one of the members in the group for which you are paying. Once you are signed in, you’ll have the opportunity to add additional members to your transaction. One payment will be submitted for the whole group.

Q: Do I have to renew my membership online, or are there other methods?

A: You can renew your membership online, by mail, by fax, or over the phone.

Q: I have an existing website account, but I forgot my password.

A: No problem. Just click the “Forgot your user ID or password?” link on the sign-in page to enter your email address, or click here. An email with a link to reset your password will be emailed to you immediately.

Q: Is there a printable membership application available?

A: Yes. You can download and print this application (PDF). Mail your completed application to:

American Veterinary Medical Association
c/o Membership
1931 N. Meacham Rd.
Schaumburg, IL 60173

Q: How can I change my journal selection?

A: You can change your journal subscription by updating the personal information tab in your AVMA member profile.

Do you have a question that isn’t answered here? Please don’t hesitate to contact us by memberrecordsatavma [dot] org (email) or phone: 800-248-2862, ext. 6631.