Electrical Safety and Licensing Frequently Asked Questions

I. FEES
II. ELECTRICIAN LICENSING
III. RESIDENTIAL APPLIANCE INSTALLERS LICENSING
IV. EXAMINATIONS
V. RECIPROCITY
VI. RENEWALS
VII. CONTINUING EDUCATION
VIII. EXEMPTIONS
IX. COMPLIANCE
X. ENFORCEMENT

I. FEES

The fees for Original License Applications are:

  • Master Electrician - $45.00
  • Master Sign Electrician - $45.00
  • Journeyman Electrician - $30.00
  • Journeyman Sign Electrician - $30.00
  • Journeyman Lineman - $30.00
  • Residential Wireman - $20.00
  • Maintenance Electrician - $20.00
  • Residential Appliance Installer - $30.00
  • Residential Appliance Installer Contractor - $110.00
  • Electrical Contractor - $110.00
  • Electrical Sign Contractor - $110.00
  • Electrical Apprentice - $20.00
  • Electrical Sign Apprentice - $20.00

RENEWALS

The fees for license renewals are:

Master Electrician

  • On-Time Renewal, $45
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $67.50
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $90.00

Master Sign Electrician

  • On-Time Renewal, $45
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $67.50
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $90.00

Journeyman Electrician

  • On-Time Renewal, $30
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $45.00
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $60.00

Journeyman Sign Electrician

  • On-Time Renewal, $30
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $45.00
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $60.00

Journeyman Lineman

  • On-Time Renewal, $30
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $45.00
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $60.00

Residential Wireman

  • On-Time Renewal, $20
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $30.00
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $40.00

Maintenance Electrician

  • On-Time Renewal, $20
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $30.00
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $40.00

Residential Appliance Installer

  • On-Time Renewal, $30
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $45.00
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $60.00

Residential Appliance Installer Contractor

  • On-Time Renewal, $110.00
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $165.00
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $220.00

Electrical Contractor

  • On-Time Renewal, $110
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $165.00
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $220.00

Electrical Sign Contractor

  • On-Time Renewal, $110
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $165.00
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $220.00

Electrical Apprentice

  • On-Time Renewal, $20
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $30.00
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $40.00

Electrical Sign Apprentice

  • On-Time Renewal, $20
  • Late (1 – 90 days), $30.00
  • Very Late (91 days – 18 months), $40.00
NOTE:  All fees submitted are non-refundable.

II. ELECTRICIAN LICENSING

1. Who must be licensed?

Anyone who performs electrical work in the state of Texas must be licensed.

Electrical work is defined as:

  • Any labor or material used in installing, maintaining or extending an electrical wiring system and the appurtenances, apparatus or equipment used in connection with the use of electrical energy in, on, outside, or attached to a building, residence, structure, property, or premises;
  • Service entrance conductors, as defined by the National Electrical Code.

For a list of exemptions to this requirement, please see “Exemptions” below.

2. What are the different types of licenses?

There are licenses for Business and Individuals:

Business Licenses

  • Electrical Contractor
  • Electrical Sign Contractor
  • Residential Appliance Installation Contractor

Individual Licenses

  • Master Electrician
  • Master Sign Electrician
  • Journeyman Electrician
  • Journeyman Sign Electrician
  • Journeyman Lineman
  • Residential Wireman
  • Maintenance Electrician
  • Residential Appliance Installer
  • Electrical Apprentice
  • Electrical Sign Apprentice

3. What are the requirements for a license?

You must submit an application, any required supporting documentation, and pay the required fees for each type of license you need. In addition, you must meet the following requirements:

Business Licenses

• Electrical Contractor

- You must be a licensed master electrician, or employ a licensed master electrician;
- Maintain the required limits of business liability insurance:

(1) Minimum $300,000 per occurrence (combined for property damage and bodily injury);
(2) Minimum $600,000 aggregate (total amount the policy will pay for property damage and bodily injury coverage); and
(3) Minimum $300,000 aggregate for products and completed operations.

- Meet the statutory requirements for workers compensation coverage.

• Electrical Sign Contractor

- You must be a licensed master electrician or master sign electrician, or employ a licensed master electrician or master sign electrician;
- Maintain the required limits of business liability insurance:

(1) Minimum $300,000 per occurrence (combined for property damage and bodily injury);
(2) Minimum $600,000 aggregate (total amount the policy will pay for property damage and bodily injury coverage); and
(3) Minimum $300,000 aggregate for products and completed operations.

- Meet the statutory requirements for workers compensation coverage.

• Residential Appliance Installation Contractor

- You must be a licensed residential appliance installer, or employ a licensed residential appliance installer;
- Maintain the required limits of business liability insurance:

(1) Minimum $300,000 per occurrence (combined for property damage and bodily injury);
(2) Minimum $600,000 aggregate (total amount the policy will pay for property damage and bodily injury coverage); and
(3) Minimum $300,000 aggregate for products and completed operations.

- Meet the statutory requirements for workers compensation coverage.

Individual Licenses

• Master Electrician

- 12,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master electrician;
- Hold a journeyman electrician license for at least two years;
- Passing score on the master electrician examination.

Note:  A journeyman lineman license is NOT the equivalent to a journeyman electrician license.

• Master Sign Electrician

- 12,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master or master sign electrician;
- Passing score on the master sign electrician examination.

• Journeyman Electrician

- 8,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master electrician;
- Passing score on the journeyman electrician examination.

• Journeyman Sign Electrician

- 8,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master or master sign electrician;
- Passing score on the journeyman sign electrician examination.

• Journeyman Lineman

- 7,000 hours of training in an apprenticeship program approved by the United States Department of Labor; or 3 ½ years of experience as a journeyman lineman for electric utility, electric cooperative, municipality owned utility, or electrical contractor in this state; 
 - Passing score on the journeyman lineman examination.

• Residential Wireman

- 4,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master electrician or residential wireman;
- Passing score on the residential wireman examination.

• Maintenance Electrician

- 8,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master electrician or a maintenance electrician;
- Passing score on the maintenance electrician examination.

• Residential Appliance Installer

- Be at least 16 years old;
- Pass the residential appliance installer examination.

• Electrical Apprentice

- Be at least 16 years old;
- Assisting in the installation of electrical work under the supervision of a master electrician.

• Electrical Sign Apprentice

- Be at least 18 years old;
- Assisting in the installation of electrical work under the supervision of a master sign electrician.

4. When did the licensing requirements become effective?

If you perform electrical work, September 1, 2004.
If you perform residential appliance installation, March 1, 2008.
If you perform journeyman lineman work, June 1, 2014.  TDLR is currently accepting applications for a journeyman lineman license.

5. What documents do I need to submit to re-apply for my license?

You only need to complete page 1 and page 2 of the application if:

  • You are applying for the same license type;
  • Your application was previously approved;    
  • You were not grandfathered; and/or
  • Your license has been expired for more than 3 years.

What documents do I need to submit if I’m using an out-of-state license to verify my experience?

  • A completed TDLR license application and fee;
  • A copy of the out-of-state issued license and verification of how long the license has been held, and
  • A list of the requirements for the out-of-state license.

NOTE: The out-of-state license must be substantially equivalent to the Texas license in order to fulfill Texas license requirements.

6. Where will a state license allow me to work?

A state license is valid anywhere in Texas.

7. I live/work and perform electrical work in an unincorporated area. Do I need a license?

Yes.

8. Can a city or region still require me to have a city license and charge me a fee?

Yes. However, they may not require you to take a municipal or regional examination if you hold a state electrical license.

9. I have a municipal electrician’s license. Can I perform electrical work in Texas?

Yes, but you can only perform electrical work within the city where you are licensed. A municipal license is not valid statewide.

10. I work as an electrician in agricultural operations only, such as farming and ranching. Do I need a statewide electrician’s license?

No, a state electrician’s license is not required for electrical work performed on a building, structure, or equipment used in agriculture. For more on exemptions, see the “Exemptions” section below.

11. What is the definition of an agricultural operation?

An agricultural operation is defined as:

  • cultivating the soil to produce crops for human food, animal feed, or planting seed for the production of fibers;
  • the practice of floriculture, viticulture, silviculture, and horticulture, including the cultivation of plants in containers or non-soil media, by a nursery grower;
  • raising, feeding, or keeping animals for breeding purposes or for the production of food or fiber, leather, pelts, or other tangible products having a commercial value;
  • raising or keeping equine animals;
  • wildlife management; and
  • planting cover crops, including cover crops cultivated for transplantation, or leaving land idle for the purpose of participating in any governmental program or normal crop or livestock rotation procedure.

12. Are there any vision acuity requirements for the electrician’s license in Texas? Does the law require 20/20 or 20/40 vision?

No.

13. Are there any insurance requirements for a licensee?

Yes, for Electrical Contractors, Electrical Sign Contractors, and Residential Appliance Installation Contractors. The requirements are as follows:

(1) Minimum $300,000 per occurrence (combined for property damage and bodily injury);
(2) Minimum $600,000 aggregate (total amount the policy will pay for property damage and bodily injury coverage); and
(3) Minimum $300,000 aggregate for products and completed operations.

For additional requirements, please see Administrative Rule 73.40.

14. If I am or have been a master/master sign electrician, can I verify my own “on-the-job training” for my state licensing application?

Yes. If you hold or have held a municipal or regional master/master sign electrician’s license, then you can verify your own “on-the-job training” for those years that you held the license. Please provide the verification information on the experience history portion of your application and complete an Experience Verification Form.

15. What license number should be displayed on my vehicle?

Your business contracting license number is required to be displayed on your vehicle. For more information, see Section 1305.166 and Administrative Rules 73.51, 73.52, & 73.54.

16. What is the format for a contractor’s license number to be displayed on the side of the vehicle?

A licensed contractor (i.e. electrical, sign, residential appliance installation) must display its name and license number on both sides of each vehicle owned or operated by the business, and used in the conduct of electrical work. Lettering must be of a contrasting color, and at least two inches in height. The lettering must be permanently affixed in conspicuous places on both sides of the vehicle.

• The license number for an Electrical Contractor must be preceded by the letters “TECL”:

Example: for an Electrical Contractor license number "1234" the sign would read "TECL 1234."

• The license number for an Electrical Sign Contractor must be preceded by the letters "TSCL”:

Example: for a Sign Contractor license number "1234", the sign would read "TSCL 1234."

• The license number for a Residential Appliance Installation Contractor must be preceded by the letters “TICL”:

Example: For a Residential Appliance Installation Contractor license number "1234", the sign would read "TICL 1234."

17. My work history does not require using all of the experience history sheets. Do I need to include the “blank” experience history sheets when submitting my application?

No. It is not necessary to include any blank experience history sheets when submitting a completed application - only submit sheets that contain experience/work history information.

18. Do new hires have to possess an apprentice card before they can begin work on a job site?

Yes, anyone performing electrical work must obtain a license prior to performing the work. There is no grace period that allows you to work while waiting for your license to be issued. NOTE: Apprentice applicants who register online and report no criminal convictions will automatically be issued a temporary license.

19. Are public entities required to have an electrical contractor's license?

No. Texas law does not require a political subdivision (i.e. school district, municipality, etc.) to hold an electrical or electrical sign contractor’s license to allow an employee to perform electrical work. These public entities are not required to have a contractor's license because they do not contract with the public; however, the employees performing electrical work are still required to work under the general supervision of a master electrician.

20. Are employees of public entities required to have an electrician’s license?

Yes. Persons performing subject electrical work must be licensed as electricians, unless exempt under Section 1305.003.

21. Can a licensed master electrician be the master of record for an electrical sign contractor’s license?

Yes, a master electrician may serve as “master of record” for an electrical sign contractor. See Section 1305.153 of the Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act.

22. How many electrical contractor/sign contractor licenses may a Master Electrician or Master Sign Electrician be assigned to?

A Master Electrician’s/Master Sign Electrician’s license may be assigned to multiple companies if the Master Electrician/Master Sign Electrician owns more than 50% of the electrical contracting business. 

If the Master Electrician/Master Sign Electrician does not own more than 50% of a company, his license may only be assigned to one electrical contractor, and he must be an employee of that company.  

Examples:

  1. A Master Electrician/Master Sign Electrician desires to be assigned to Company A and B, but does not own more than 50% of either company.  NOT CORRECTHe can only be assigned to one of the companies, and he must be an employee of that company.
  2. A Master Electrician/Master Sign Electrician desires to be assigned to company A and B.  He owns more than 50% of company A, but he owns less than 50% of company B.  He must also be an employee of company B.  CORRECT
  3. A Master Electrician/Master Sign Electrician desires to be assigned to company A, B and C.  He owns more than 50% of companies A and B, but 50% or less of company C.  He must also be an employee of company C.  CORRECT

23. How do I change the business name on my Electrical/Electrical Sign Contractor license?

  • Complete an ELC004 Contractor Notice of Change and Duplicate License Request form.
  • All current and new information must be completed on the form.
  • Only the company owner of record can authorize changes to an Electrical/Electrical Sign Contractor license. The owner must sign on the bottom line (owner's signature), authorizing the name change.
  • An updated Certificate of Liability Insurance (COI) must be submitted with the form.
  • The new company name must match the name on the COI.

NOTE: If the company is being sold or transferred to a different owner, the new company owner must apply for a new license.

24. How do I delete and add a new Master/Master Sign Electrician to my Electrical/Electrical Sign Contractor license?

Complete an ELC004 Contractor Notice of Change and Duplicate License Request form. All current and new information must be completed on the form. Have the new master/master sign electrician complete and sign in the box near the bottom of the form. The company owner of record must sign the bottom line of the form (owner's signature) authorizing the change to the new master/master sign electrician.

III. RESIDENTIAL APPLIANCE INSTALLERS LICENSING

1. When did the licensing requirements for Residential Appliance Installers take effect?

As of March 1, 2008, all persons in Texas performing residential appliance installation must be licensed.

2. Are there any pre-qualifying requirements needed to take the Residential Appliance Installer exam?

You must first apply to TDLR before taking the exam. After your application has been accepted, PSI will notify you on how to schedule your examination.

3. What is the difference between a Residential Appliance Installation Contractor License and a Residential Appliance Installer License?

A Residential Appliance Installation Contractor is a person or entity licensed as a residential appliance installation contractor that is in the business of residential appliance installations. A Residential Appliance Installer is a licensed individual who performs electrical work limited to residential appliance installation on behalf of a Residential Appliance Installation Contractor.

4. Do Residential Appliance Installer experience hours count as credit towards another electrical license?

No.

5. Do I have to be a Master Electrician, or employ a Master Electrician, to conduct business as a Texas Residential Appliance Installation Contractor?

No. To be a Residential Appliance Installation Contractor you must either obtain and assign your own Residential Appliance Installer license to your company, or employ a licensed Residential Appliance Installer to assign their license number to the company as the “appliance installer of record.”

6. Can a Master, Journeyman, or an Apprentice Electrician also be the license holder of record for a Residential Appliance Installation Contractor license?

Yes, if the Master, Journeyman, or Apprentice Electrician also holds a Residential Appliance Installer license. Only the Residential Appliance Installer license will be assigned to the Residential Appliance Installation Contractor license.

7. Can I assign my Residential Appliance Installer’s license to more than one Residential Appliance Installation Contractor?

No, a Residential Appliance Installer license may only be assigned to one Residential Appliance Installation Contractor, unless the Residential Appliance Installer owns more than 50% of the installation contracting business.

8. Who is responsible for supervising residential appliance installers?

The Residential Appliance Installer of record for the Residential Appliance Installation Contractor is responsible for all work performed by the Installers for the Contractor.

9. What is required to be on the invoice for a Residential Appliance Installation Contractor?

The following information is required to be on all proposals, invoices, and written contracts proposed by the contractor:

• Contractor’s name
• Address
• Phone number
• License number

All invoices and written contracts must also contain the following information:

“Regulated by The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas, 78711, 1-800-803-9202, 512-463-6599; website: www.tdlr.texas.gov/complaints”

10. What licensing information do we need on our company vehicle(s)?

  • The company name and license number on both sides of all vehicles owned and operated by the business, and used in the conduct of electrical work;
  • The lettering must be of a contrasting color, and at least two inches in height;
  • The license number must be preceded by the letters “TICL”.

11. Can a Residential Appliance Installer or Contractor change out a receptacle to make it compatible with the cord or plug on the appliance being installed?

No, a licensed electrician working through a licensed electrical contractor must perform the receptacle work.

12. Can a Residential Appliance Installer run a new circuit for a new appliance?

No, a licensed electrician working through a licensed electrical contractor must perform the new electrical circuit work.

13. Can a Residential Appliance Installer install luminaires?

No – with two (2) exceptions:

  1. A Residential Appliance Installer may install listed and labeled “light kits” (i.e. luminaires) in conjunction with the replacement or upgrade of an existing ceiling mounted fan.
  2. A Residential Appliance Installer may install listed and labeled lights (i.e. luminaires) for a pool provided that they are:
    • installed as a unit;
    • directly connected to an electrical circuit;
    • perform a specific function; and
    • use single-phase power of 240 volts or less.

14. Can a Residential Appliance Installer replace an appliance of greater ampacity than was on the existing electrical circuit?

No, you may only replace an appliance with one of equal or lesser capacity.

15. If I have another type of electrical license issued by TDLR, do I have to obtain a Residential Appliance Installer license to perform the appliance installation?

No, but you must work for a licensed electrical contractor and hold the appropriate electrical license in order to perform the installation.

16. I am a Residential Appliance Installation Contractor. Am I required to pull a permit to do a residential appliance installation?

It depends. Although the state does not require residential appliance installation permits, Section 1305.201(a) of the Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act does not prohibit a municipality or region from regulating residential appliance installers. They may, for example, require appliance installers to pull permits, pay fees, or have their work inspected when performing work within their municipality or region.

17. Are there standards of conduct for residential appliance installers?

Yes. The standards of conduct are listed in Section 73.60 of the Electrician Licensing Administrative Rules.

18. Can I perform maintenance on a 208V pool motor since it is less than 240V?

Yes, but ONLY IF the motor originates from a single phase system.  IF the electrical originates on a 3 phase system, the answer is NO.  For additional related questions you may contact one of TDLR’s Compliance Specialists: Jerry Daniel/Electrical Occupations Code Specialist (512-799-1489) OR Larry Reichle/Electrical Program Specialist (512-779-2857).

19. Since the law changed, can I now do ALL electrical pertaining to ALL pools - residential and commercial?

No.  The law added pools that use single phase power of 240 volts or less at business properties and property owned by a municipality.  The electrical work for Residential Appliance Installers is still limited to maintenance of electrical pool equipment.  For additional related questions you may contact one of TDLR’s Compliance Specialists: Jerry Daniel/Electrical Occupations Code Specialist (512-799-1489) OR Larry Reichle/Electrical Program Specialist (512-779-2857).

20. If there is a three phase electrical system, can I install a single phase motor on 2 legs of the system?

No.  If the electrical originates on a 3 phase system, the work can only be performed through a licensed electrical contractor.    For additional related questions you may contact one of TDLR’s Compliance Specialists: Jerry Daniel/Electrical Occupations Code Specialist (512-799-1489) OR Larry Reichle/Electrical Program Specialist (512-779-2857).

21. Alternate for all above:

Who can I contact if I have technical questions pertaining to the Residential Appliance Installers Law regarding the “single phase, 240V and below” limitation?

For any related questions you may contact one of TDLR’s Compliance Specialists: erry Daniel/Electrical Occupations Code Specialist (512-799-1489) OR Larry Reichle/Electrical Program Specialist (512-779-2857).

IV. EXAMINATIONS

1. I passed the Texas ICC examination, will TDLR accept my examination?

As of September 1, 2011, examinations taken at ICC will NOT be accepted.

2. I passed the new Texas electrician examination administered by PSI. Do I need to send in my grade report to TDLR before a license is issued?

No, all exam results are sent daily to TDLR electronically from PSI. The grade report given to you at the exam site is for your records only. Any grade reports received by TDLR will be discarded.

3. What are the fees for the new Texas electrician exams which are being administered by PSI?

Exam fees and information about taking examinations at PSI is located in the Electrician Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB). This document is vital to your understanding of the examination process.

4. How do I qualify to sit for the new Texas electrician examination administered by PSI?

You must first file an application with TDLR. Your application will be evaluated and if you meet all the qualifications, you will be eligible to sit for the examination. You will then be mailed a post card informing you how to schedule an examination. The application and detailed instructions are available online.

5. May I file an application now and wait to take the new examination at PSI?

Yes. All applications on file with TDLR on September 1, 2009 will be evaluated and, if eligible, the applicant will be mailed an eligibility post card.

6. Is there a limit on how long an applicant has to pass the test?

Applicants have one year from the date the application was received by TDLR to satisfy all the requirements to obtain a license; this includes passing the examination.

V. RECIPROCITY

1. Does Texas have reciprocal agreements with other states?

Yes, Texas has reciprocity agreements with the states listed below. (Reciprocity is an agreement between states to issue licenses to applicants from other states, with credit for their courses or license level to reduce requirements)

Master Electrician - Louisiana (state contractor’s license) and North Carolina (master electrician or unlimited electrical contractor)

Journeyman Electrician - Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming

2. What are the requirements for a Texas license through reciprocity?

• Master Electrician

  • Taken and passed the reciprocal statewide examination;
  • Held the reciprocal license for at least one year;
  • Have at least 12,000 hours under the supervision of a master electrician.

• Journeyman Electrician

  • Taken and passed the reciprocal state’s examination;
  • Held the reciprocal license for at least one year;
  • Have at least 8,000 hours under the supervision of a master electrician.

3. How do I get a Texas electrician license by reciprocity?

• Master Electrician – submit the following:

Louisiana

NOTE:  You must be a resident of Louisiana to qualify for a Texas Master Electrician license.

North Carolina

You must contact the state where you are licensed to request a letter of good standing, which must show that you have passed the statewide examination for electrical work. Once you have received the letter, send it to us with all of the required information in one envelope. See sample letter of good standing.

• Journeyman Electrician – submit the following:

Arkansas

Idaho

Montana

Nebraska

New Mexico

Oklahoma

South Dakota

Wyoming

The Department will contact the state where you are licensed to request a letter of good standing, which must show that you have passed the statewide examination for electrical work. Once you have received the letter, send it to us with all of the required information in one envelope. See sample letter of good standing.

VI. LICENSE RENEWAL

The quickest way to renew your license is by renewing online.

1. When do I need to renew my license?

You must renew your license within 18 months of the date that it was issued. You should receive a reminder postcard from TDLR approximately 60 days before your license expires. However, it is ultimately your responsibility to renew your license before it expires.

2. How much does it cost to renew my license?

See “Renewals” above.

If your renewal application is postmarked before your expiration date, it is considered a timely renewal.

You may be subject to enforcement actions, including administrative penalties and sanctions, for operating with an expired license (expired less than 18 months) or operating without a license (expired 18 months or more).

If your license has been expired for more than 18 months but less than three years, you may submit a “Request to Executive Director for Expired License Renewal” form with the required renewal fee.

If your license has been expired for more than three years you may not renew your license. You must apply for a new license.

3. Do I need to take continuing education courses to renew my license?

Yes, the following licensees are required to take continuing education:

  • Master Electricians
  • Journeyman Electricians
  • Residential Wiremen
  • Maintenance Electricians
  • Master Sign Electricians
  • Journeyman Sign Electricians
  • Journeyman Lineman
  • Apprentice Electricians
  • Apprentice Sign Electricians (09/01/12)

4. What type of continuing education do I need to take?

You must complete four hours of continuing education covering the following areas:

  • National Electric Code (NEC)
  • Texas Law (Title 8, Occupations Code, Chapter 1305)
  • Texas Rules (Title 16, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 73)
  • Electrical safety (NFPA 70E)

5. Are contractors currently required to take continuing education?

No, contractors are only required to submit a renewal application, and the appropriate fee to renew their license.

6. Are Residential Appliance Installers required to take continuing education to renew their license?

No, Residential Appliance Installers are not required to take continuing education to renew their license.

7. When do I need to complete my continuing education courses?

You must complete the courses during the effective date of the license. For example, if your license expires September 1, 2009, you must complete continuing education courses between September 1, 2008 and September 1, 2009. Any courses completed before your effective date or after your expiration date will not be accepted by TDLR.

8. I have not completed my continuing education courses. Should I wait to submit my license renewal application?

No, you can file your renewal application any time during your renewal period (no more than 60 days prior to license expiration). We encourage you to file the application early, before your license expires, so you won’t have to pay late renewal fees.

9. I hold both a Master Electrician License and a Journeyman Electrician License. Do I have to complete eight hours total of continuing education for both licenses?

No, four hours of continuing education will satisfy the requirements for all types of electrician licenses. However, they must be taken during the effective date of each license (see #6 above)

For more information about Continuing Education, see “Continuing Education” below.

VII. CONTINUING EDUCATION

1. Who is required to take continuing education?

The following licensees are required to take continuing education:

  • Master Electricians
  • Journeyman Electricians
  • Residential Wiremen
  • Maintenance Electricians
  • Master Sign Electricians
  • Journeyman Sign Electricians
  • Apprentice Electricians.
  • Apprentice Sign Electricians (09/01/12)

The required electrician continuing education will cover the following:

  • the National Electric Code (NEC),
  • the Texas law (Title 8, Occupations Code, Chapter 1305) and the Texas rules (Title 16, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 73) governing electrician, and
  • safety (the NFPA 70E).

Also starting September 1, 2012, electrical sign apprentices must take the same required four hours of continuing education, or be enrolled in a department-registered electrical apprenticeship training course for license renewal.

Continuing education hours must be completed within the period of the license. For example: if your license is effective from January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2013, your continuing education hours must be completed during that period only. Any courses you complete before January 1, 2012 will not be accepted by TDLR.

2. Must I have continuing education hours to renew my sign apprentice license?

Sign apprentices renewing their licenses on or after September 1, 2012 must have either continuing education or apprenticeship training program hours for license renewal.

3. Must I have continuing education hours to renew the contractor license for my business firm?

No.

4. Should I wait to submit my license renewal application until after I have completed my four hours of continuing education?

No. You may file your renewal application at any time during your renewal period. We encourage you to file the application early so your license won’t expire and you won’t have to pay late renewal fees.

5. Do I need to complete four hours of continuing education for each license if I hold both a master electrician license and a journeyman electrician license?

No. Four hours of continuing education will satisfy the continuing education requirement for all types of electrician licenses. However, the courses must be taken during the period of the license being renewed. (See question and answer #1.)

6. Where can I locate electrician continuing education provider and course information?

TDLR electrician continuing education provider and course information

This list is updated as new providers are registered and courses are approved.

7. What is the actual amount of instruction time required for one hour of continuing education?

One hour of continuing education is equivalent to 50 minutes of actual instruction time.

8. What must I do if I have already taken four hours of continuing education in the NEC only?

You will be required to take an additional approved course in the law, rules, or safety from the NFPA 70E, which will be a minimum of one hour.

9. What must I do if I have already taken a continuing education course since I was licensed, but that provider is not on TDLR’s web site list of registered providers?

If the course you took was not from a registered TDLR provider, or was not an approved course, it will not count toward your required hours for license renewal. You must select from registered providers and approved courses.

10. Who notifies TDLR that I have completed a required continuing education course?

Providers are required to submit to TDLR your continuing education course completion information. If you have completed a three hour course in the NEC from one provider, and a one hour course in the law and rules from another provider, each provider must submit that information to TDLR and also issue you a certificate of course completion. TDLR will make that information available on the web site for your review and you can check the CE courses you have completed. If you have a question about the information posted on the web site, please check first with the provider. If you continue to have questions, please contact TDLR at 512-463-6599, or ce@tdlr.texas.gov.

11. How will I be notified that I have completed a required continuing education course?

Your provider will issue you a course completion certificate.

12. Can I get partial credit for completing part of a required continuing education course?

No. TDLR does not accept partial completion of continuing education courses. However, a provider may allow you to finish the course at another time.

13. Are licensees who take a distance learning continuing education course (for example: on-line or computer course) monitored?

TDLR requires the provider to monitor licensee attendance for all courses, including computer-based and on-line courses. If a licensee does not meet the provider’s monitoring requirements, no continuing education hours will be given.

14. Can I track my completed electrician continuing education hours on the TDLR website?

Yes, you can check your completed continuing education hours online.

15. What can I do if my completed continuing education hours are not posted on the TDLR web site?

If your course completion is not posted seven days after you completed the course, contact your provider first. If you continue to have questions, please contact TDLR at 512-463-6599, or ce@tdlr.texas.gov.

16. What should I do if I don’t receive a certificate for my completed continuing education course?

If you do not receive your course completion certificate within 15 days from the end of your course, please check first with your provider. If you continue to have questions, please contact TDLR at 512-463-6599, or ce@tdlr.texas.gov.

17. If I am a licensee and an instructor for an approved continuing education course, can I get my continuing education hours while teaching that course?

Instructors who are licensees may arrange with the provider to get continuing education hours for that portion of the course which the instructor taught. However, if the instructor does not teach the entire course, the instructor must attend the remainder of the course to obtain credit for the whole course. No partial course credit is allowed.

18. Will college course hours count towards continuing education for license renewal?

If the college course is a TDLR-approved continuing education course, then the course hours can be used for license renewal. However, the courses must be taken during the period of the license being renewed (see Continuing Education FAQ #1). Courses which are not approved by TDLR as continuing education courses cannot be used for license renewal

19. If I hold a Residential Appliance Installer license, do I have to take a continuing education course for license renewal?

No.

VIII. EXEMPTIONS

The following persons are specifically exempted by the law, or those who perform the following examples of electrical work are not required by the state to be licensed as electricians (note: municipal or regional regulations may override these exemptions, see below*):

Electrical work performed on / performed by:

VEHICLES

  • ships and watercraft other than floating buildings
  • railway rolling stock
  • aircraft
  • motor vehicles or recreational vehicles

BUILDINGS

  • elevators, escalators, or related equipment excluding power sources
  • building, structure, or equipment in agricultural use
  • a dwelling by a person who owns and resides in the dwelling
  • construction and assembly of HUD-code manufactured housing or modular housing and building units, excluding service entrance conductors, performed by a licensed manufacturer or installer

UTILITIES

  • equipment under the exclusive control of an electric utility, electric cooperative, or power generation company
  • equipment and associated wiring under exclusive control of a gas utility

INDUSTRY

  • a chemical plant, petrochemical plant, refinery, natural gas plant, natural gas treating plant, pipeline, or oil and gas exploration/production operation by an employee of that business
  • on-site sewage disposal systems or by an on-site sewage facility installer
  • equipment or network facilities provided or used by a cable operator
  • well pumps and associated equipment
  • communications equipment provided by telecommunications providers
  • manufacture of electrical equipment and that is performed by authorized employees of the manufacturer
  • electrical connections for heating and air-conditioning work done by licensed air-conditioning and refrigeration contractors including any disconnect exclusively for the equipment
  • class 1, 2, or 3 remote control, signaling or power limited circuits, fire alarm circuits, optical fiber cables, or communications circuits
  • landscape irrigation installers on irrigation control systems and work by landscapers on low-voltage exterior lighting, excluding power sources
  • residential appliance dealer, manufacturer, or their authorized designee while repairing or performing service on an existing appliance
  • electrical work necessary for plumbers to install, service, maintain, repair, or replace any type of plumbing fixture or appliance on existing electrical circuits

GOVERNMENT

  • government controlled street lighting, traffic signals, and telecommunications

INDIVIDUALS

  • maintenance person/electrician who does not engage in electrical work for the public and does not involve installation of electrical equipment in new construction
  • a person contracted to perform electrical work for a minimum of 12 months. The exemption for contracted electrical work does not include new construction unless the contractor’s principal place of business is in Texas

A journeyman lineman license is not required for a person performing work exempt under Section1305.003 (a)  of the Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act; or a person who is performing journeyman lineman work; possesses a journeyman electrician license; and is employed by an institution of higher education.

Installation of:

  • electrical equipment in underground mines and in self-propelled mobile surface mining machinery
  • electrical equipment for railroads to operate rolling stock or for signaling and communications

*NOTE: Municipal or regional regulations may override these exemptions, as outlined in Sec. 1305.201 of the Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act:

Sec. 1305.201 - Municipal or Regional Regulation

(a) This chapter does not prohibit a municipality or region from regulating electricians or residential appliance installers by:

(1) enacting an ordinance requiring inspections;

(2) offering examinations;

(3) issuing municipal or regional licenses; or

(4) collecting permit fees for municipal or regional licenses and examinations from electricians and appliance installers for work performed in the municipality or region.

(b) A municipality or region may not require a person to take a municipal or regional examination if that person holds the appropriate license issued under this chapter and is working within the scope of that license.

(c) A municipality may adopt procedures for the:

(1) adoption of local amendments to the National Electrical Code; and

(2) administration and enforcement of that code.

(d) Electrical work performed within the corporate limits of a municipality must be installed in accordance with all applicable local ordinances.

(e) Electrical work performed in an unincorporated area of the state must be installed in accordance with standards at least as stringent as the requirements of the state electrical code as adopted under Section 1305.101.

More information, including a list of cities and their local electrical requirements

IX. COMPLIANCE

1. What electrical code has the State adopted?

TDLR has adopted the National Electric Code 2011 Edition, as it existed on August 25, 2010, and as adopted by the National Fire Protection Association, Inc. It becomes effective September 1, 2011.

2. Who do I contact if I have technical questions regarding electrical installations?

Consult the applicable National Electric Code (NEC) and your local licensing or inspecting authority. In addition, TDLR is available to provide technical assistance. You may reach us via e-mail at electricians@tdlr.texas.gov; however, if there is a municipal or regional licensing authority, you will be directed to contact them for technical requirements that may be unique to its jurisdiction.

3. Who handles inspections? Will TDLR hire inspectors?

The local licensing or inspecting authority (i.e. cities, counties, and regions with jurisdiction) is responsible for inspecting work performed in their area(s). TDLR does not perform inspections required for local permitting and code requirements.

4. If an unlicensed person performing calibration, testing, inspection, or commissioning of electrical equipment encounters a situation requiring repair or replacement of a component of electrical equipment, may the person do that work?

Not if it is electrical work as defined by statute.

Electrical work is defined as any labor or material used in installing, maintaining, or extending an electrical wiring system and the appurtenances, apparatus, or equipment used in connection with the use of electrical energy, in, on, outside, or attached to a building, residence, structure, property, or premises. The term includes service entrance conductors as defined by the National Electrical Code.

5. Can a municipality require me to register (and pay a registration fee) in addition to holding a state electrician's license?

Yes. State law does not prohibit a municipality or region from regulating electricians or collecting registration fees. The only action prohibited by statute is that a municipality or region may not require a person to take an examination if that person holds the appropriate license issued by TDLR, and is working within the scope of that license.

More information, including a list of cities and their local electrical requirements

6. Has TDLR adopted standards that specifically address electrical safety in the workplace?

No. The Electrical Safety and Licensing Act did not authorize TDLR to adopt electrical safety standards that specifically address electrical safety in the workplace. However, upon reviewing safety concerns presented by representatives of the electrical industry, TDLR, under advisement from the Electrical Advisory Board, recommends adherence to electrical safety practices established in the NFPA70E as a “best practice” guide for all state licensed electricians. For additional information regarding safety in the workplace, contact the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Texas Workforce Commission.

7. Can licensed plumbers perform electrical work now that an exemption relating to “work performed by a plumber” has been added to the Texas Electrical Licensing Act, Chapter 1305?

Yes, but the electrical work is limited.

An exemption related to plumbers was approved during the 2007 session of the Texas Legislature under HB 1029, which amended the Law to allow licensed plumbers to perform the electrical work necessary to install, service, maintain, repair, or replace any type of plumbing fixture or appliance on existing electrical circuits only.

Simply put, a plumber may disconnect and/or reconnect any plumbing fixture or appliance on existing electrical circuits to perform their jobs, but may not perform any other “electrical work” without an electrical license issued under Chapter 1305. The exemption does not authorize a plumber to extend or replace an existing wiring service (i.e. to provide power to an apparatus requiring more wattage), nor does it authorize a plumber to enter into the internal parts behind the arc flash cover of an electrical panel board.

A plumber can open the door of an electrical panel to reach the over-current protection (OCP) “ON/OFF” handle. If the first means of disconnect for a plumbing appliance is the OCP in the panel and the appliance is hard-wired to an electrical box, the plumber may turn the OCP/breaker to the OFF/OPEN position and lock it out in order to disconnect/connect the appliance to the hard-wired electrical box.

8. What information is required on a licensed Contractor invoice?

The contractor’s name, address, phone number, and license number must appear on all proposals, invoices, and written contracts proposed by the contractor. The following information: “Regulated by The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P. O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711, 1-800-803-9202, 512-463-6599; website: www.tdlr.texas.gov/complaints” must be listed on invoices and written contracts.

9. I'm performing electrical work in an unincorporated area (i.e. no permits required). What electrical code must I comply with?

Any non-exempt electrical work started on or after September 1, 2011, must be installed in accordance with the NEC 2011. The “start” of electrical work is the day the electrician begins installing electrical materials or equipment within the residential or commercial building structure. Inside the corporate limits of a municipality, electricians must abide by city permitting requirements and adhere to any local amendments.

X. ENFORCEMENT

1. How do I report someone who performs electrical work or residential appliance installation without a license?

If you are in an area where a municipal or regional licensing program exists, you should first contact and/or file a complaint with that local authority.

2. How do I file a complaint with TDLR against an electrician or residential appliance installer/contractor?

To file a complaint with TDLR, you can access the online complaint process.

You may also contact the Enforcement Division at (512) 539-5600.

3. How can I find out if an electrician or residential appliance installer is licensed?

Visit our license database and search for the individual or company by name or license number.

You can also contact Customer Service at 800-803-9202 (Texas only), or (512) 463-6599.

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