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Posted on: February 7, 2020

Military spouses moving to Texas now have additional occupational licensing options

Thanks to a law passed during the last legislative session (SB 1200), military spouses who move to Texas and hold certain occupational licenses in other states now have several avenues available to them for working in Texas. Depending on their preference, they can now apply to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation for: 

•    Option 1: a three-year license;

•    Option 2: a three-year letter of authorization; or

•    Option 3: a standard license using reciprocity.

"TDLR values the sacrifices that military spouses must make when they move in support of their family. We will do all we can to honor their service and make it as easy as possible for them to continue their careers here in Texas," said Brian E. Francis, TDLR executive director.

The Option 1 three-year license provides a spouse with a three-year license to work in Texas, based on their out-of-state license. With this temporary license, the spouse can tell clients they have a Texas license in that occupation. Spouses must pass a criminal history background check to apply using this method, but there is no application fee and no examination. The license is not renewable, and after it expires, the military spouse must apply and meet standard Texas licensing requirements. 

The Option 2 three-year letter of authorization provides a spouse with a three-year authorization letter to work in Texas, based on their out-of-state license. Military spouses who choose this method cannot claim to be licensed in Texas or advertise to be a "licensed" member of an occupation. If a customer asks, the spouse must say that they are licensed in another state and authorized to work in Texas. There is no application fee, no examination, and no criminal history background check. The authorization letter is not renewable. After three years, the military spouse must apply and meet standard Texas licensing requirements. The authorization is invalidated if the military spouse’s partner leaves military service, is no longer stationed in Texas, or the couple divorces. 

The Option 3 standard license uses reciprocity for licensure. If a military spouse currently holds an occupational license in another state that has substantially equivalent license requirements or has a reciprocity agreement with Texas, TDLR will issue a standard Texas license that may be renewed on expiration. This option also requires successfully passing a criminal history background check.

About TDLR

TDLR provides regulatory oversight for a broad range of occupations, businesses, facilities, and equipment in Texas. The agency protects the health and safety of Texans by ensuring they are served by qualified, licensed professionals. Inspections of individuals, businesses, and equipment are done on a regular basis to safeguard the public. Currently, the agency regulates 38 business and occupational licensing programs with more than 1,000,000 licensees across the state. 

Visit TDLR’s website for more information and resources. You can search the TDLR licensee database, and also find past violations in which a final order was issued against companies or individuals. TDLR’s Customer Service line is available anytime between 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 1-800-803-9202. TDLR representatives are fluent in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Mandarin.

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