(a) After the establishment of the board of respiratory care, a license shall be issued to applicants who, on the effective date of this article, have passed the National Board of Respiratory Care, Inc., entry-level or registry examinations, or their equivalent as approved by the board.
(b) Applicants who have not passed either of these national examinations or their equivalent and who, through written evidence verified by oath, demonstrate that they have been functioning for two years in the capacity of a respiratory care provider as defined by this article shall be issued a temporary license to practice respiratory care. A temporary license shall be valid until December 31, 1997. Persons holding a temporary license shall be issued a license to practice only after achieving a passing score on a licensure exam administered or approved by the board. After December 31, 1997, persons who have not passed either of these national examinations or their equivalent shall not be licensed to practice respiratory care until they have achieved a passing score on a licensure exam administered or approved by the board.
(c) Any person issued a license pursuant to this section shall be required to pay the license or renewal fees established in section seven of this article.