Frequently Asked Questions

Transition from DSHS to TDLR

  1. When did the transfer happen?
  2. Now that the transfer is complete, will I need to get a new license issued by TDLR?
  3. Have the rules changed?
  4. Will the continuing education process or requirements change?
  5. I was fingerprinted for my DSHS license. Do I have to be fingerprinted again?
  6. How do I stay informed about changes impacting me?
  7. Why were licensing programs transferred from DSHS to TDLR?

Fees

  1. What are the fees?

Applying for a License

  1. Is licensure required?
  2. What is the process of gaining licensure as a Fitter and Dispenser?
  3. Is a temporary training permit required?
  4. For how long is a temporary training permit valid?
  5. Can I renew my temporary training permit?
  6. How do I extend my temporary training permit?
  7. What do I need to obtain in order to get an Apprentice Permit?
  8. What does the practicum include?
  9. For how long is my Apprentice Permit valid?
  10. For how long is my Fitter and Dispenser license valid?
  11. I am currently licensed in another state but I want to obtain a Texas license. What are the requirements?
  12. Does my criminal history make me ineligible for licensure?

Examinations - General

  1. How do I become eligible for examination?
  2. Who is exempt from examination?

Written Examination

  1. Did the written exam process or requirements change?

Practical Examination

  1. How will I be notified when I am eligible to take the practical exam?
  2. When and where are the practical exams administered?
  3. How often will exams be administered?
  4. How much does the practical exam cost?
  5. Do I have to pass each portion of the practical exam?
  6. If I fail the practical exam, do I have to retake the entire exam?
  7. If I fail the practical exam, how soon can I schedule a retake?
  8. Is there a study guide?
  9. Am I required to bring anything to the exam site?

Jurisprudence Examination

  1. What is the cost of the jurisprudence exam and who administers it?
  2. I took the jurisprudence exam for my DSHS license. Do I have to retake the jurisprudence exam?

Supervision

  1. How many temporary training permit holders can a Supervisor supervise at one time?
  2. What are the supervision requirements for licensure?
  3. Am I required to notify TDLR regarding termination of supervision?
  4. Am I eligible to become a supervisor?
  5. What are the supervision requirements for an Apprentice?

License Renewal

  1. I need to renew my license. Where do I send my renewal application and payment?
  2. Should I wait to submit my license renewal application until after I have completed my continuing education?
  3. My license has expired. How long do I have to renew my license?

Continuing Education

  1. Am I required to take continuing education?
  2. How long must I keep a copy of my continuing education certificate of completion?
  3. How do I become a continuing education provider?
  4. How often do I need to renew my continuing education provider license?

Conditions of Sale

  1. Are there federal regulations I need to comply with?

Communication

  1. If I change my name or address, do I notify TDLR?
  2. How do I stay informed about changes impacting me?

Transition from DSHS to TDLR

1. When did the transfer happen?
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) assumed all activities relating to the Athletic Trainers program - including licenses and renewals, customer service and enforcement - on October 3, 2016.

2. Now that the transfer is complete, will I need to get a new license issued by TDLR?
No. The license you have now - issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) - remains valid until its expiration date. When you renew, you will receive a TDLR license.

3. Have the rules changed?
Yes, TDLR adopted rules for all of the transferred programs. Most of the newly adopted rules are very similar, but some changes have been made. The TDLR health profession rules became effective on October 1, 2016. View the rule changes and links to the TDLR rules.

4. Will the continuing education process or requirements change?
No, the continuing education process and requirements remain the same.

5. I was fingerprinted for my DSHS license. Do I have to be fingerprinted again?
No, you do not need to be fingerprinted again.

6. How do I stay informed about changes impacting me?
You have several options to stay connected:

  • Email updates - Sign up for email updates to receive notices about rules, the law, fees, examination requirements, meetings and more. Email updates are the best way for you to stay informed.
  • Meetings - TDLR’s advisory board and Commission meetings are available to watch online live or later at your convenience.
  • Facebook and Twitter - TDLR has a Facebook page and Twitter account dedicated to TDLR Health Professions.

7. Why were licensing programs transferred from DSHS to TDLR?
The transfer is the result of a change to Texas law. In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 202, which transferred several licensing programs from the DSHS to TDLR.

Fees

1. What are the fees?

All fees paid to TDLR are nonrefundable.

Hearing Instrument Fitter and Dispenser License:

  • Initial application fee- $205
  • Renewal application fee- $205;

Apprentice Permit:

  • Initial application fee- $205
  • Extension fee-$25

Temporary Training Permit:

  • Initial application fee- $205
  • Extension fee- $25

Examination Fees:

  • Initial practical examination fee-$100
  • Retake practical examination fee-$100
  • Jurisprudence Examination fee- $35

Continuing education provider fee-$200

License duplicate/replacement fee-$25

Applying for a License

1. Is licensure required?
A person may not represent that the person is authorized to fit and dispense hearing instruments, or use in connection with the person's name any designation tending to imply that the person is authorized to engage in the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments, unless the person holds a license or is otherwise authorized to do so under this chapter.

2. What is the process of gaining licensure as a Fitter and Dispenser?
Apply and obtain a Temporary Training Permit. Complete 160-hours of direct supervised practicum. Take and pass the Written and Practical Examinations. Apply, obtain and complete the one-year apprenticeship. Once apprenticeship is completed, apply for licensure as a Fitter and Dispenser.

3. Is a temporary training permit required?
A temporary training permit is required for an individual who does not yet meet the practicum requirement.

4. For how long is a temporary training permit valid?
A temporary training permit is valid for one year.

5. Can I renew my temporary training permit?
A temporary training permit may be extended for up to one year.

6. How do I extend my temporary training permit?
An application for an extension request, a new or renewed supervision agreement and fee are required for an extension request to be reviewed.

7. What do I need to obtain in order to get an Apprentice Permit?
You must start with a Temporary Training Permit. Under the Temporary Training Permit, you must complete 150 hours of direct supervised practicum. In addition to contact hours, a temporary training permit holder shall complete at least 10 contact hours of masking under the direct supervision of the supervisor. After the practicum you must pass the written and practical exam to be eligible for an Apprentice Permit.

8. What does the practicum include?

The practicum includes:

  • 25 contact hours of pure tone air conduction, bone conduction, and speech audiometry, recorded and live voice, with 15 of the required hours being with actual clients;
  • 25 client contact hours of hearing instrument evaluations, including sound-field measurements with recorded and live voice;
  • 20 contact hours of instrument fittings with actual clients;
  • 10 contact hours of earmold orientation types, uses, and terminology;
  • 5 contact hours of earmold impressions and otoscopic examinations of the ear;
  • 15 contact hours of troubleshooting of defective hearing instruments;
  • 20 contact hours of case history with actual clients;
  • 10 contact hours regarding the laws governing the licensing of persons fitting and dispensing hearing instruments and federal Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission regulations relating to the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments; and
  • 20 contact hours of supplemental work in one or more of the areas listed above;
  • At least an additional 10 contact hours of masking under the direct supervision of the supervisor.

9. For how long is my Apprentice Permit valid?
An Apprentice Permit is valid for one year.

10. For how long is my Fitter and Dispenser license valid?
A Fitter and Dispenser license is valid for two years.

11. I am currently licensed in another state but I want to obtain a Texas license. What are the requirements?
Out-of-state applicants will submit an application, fee and written verification that full licensure is in good standing in the other state. The applicant must also submit proof of a passing the ILE written examination or certification issued by the Board of Certification for Hearing Instrument Sciences (BC-HIS).

12. Does my criminal history make me ineligible for licensure?
If you are worried your criminal history could prevent you from getting this license, Texas allows you to have your criminal history evaluated before submitting your application and non-refundable fees. Visit the Criminal History Evaluation Letter page for more information and to download the necessary forms.

Examinations - General

1. How do I become eligible for examination?
Applicants who are eligible for examination have completed the 160-hour practicum during the duration of their Temporary Training Permit, and submitted the practicum supervision logs.

2. Who is exempt from examination?
An individual licensed under Chapter 401, as an audiologist or an audiology intern who is applying for a license under this chapter, is exempt from the examination required under this chapter but must comply with all other requirements under this chapter.

Written Examination

1. Did the written exam process or requirements change?
No, the written exam will continue to be a national exam administered by the International Hearing Society (IHS).

Practical Examination

1. How will I be notified when I am eligible to take the practical exam?
You will receive a postcard in the mail from PSI (the company TDLR currently uses to administer practical exams). PSI mails the postcard once TDLR tells them you are eligible to take the exam.

2. When and where are the practical exams administered?
TDLR will administer the exams through our third-party vendor, PSI, at PSI sites in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. A candidate information bulletin (CIB) including the exam sites and scheduling information is available online.

3. How often will exams be administered?
TDLR plans to administer exams through our third-party vendor, PSI, in January, May and September. A candidate information bulletin (CIB) including the exam sites and scheduling information will be posted on TDLR - s web site.

4. How much does the practical exam cost?
The fee for the practical exam is $100 (the same as it was at DSHS). The fee is payable to TDLR - s third-party vendor, PSI. The fee for an exam retake is also $100 ($25 less than the previous $125 fee) and also payable to PSI.

5. Do I have to pass each portion of the practical exam?
Yes, you must pass each portion of the exam and score 70% or higher overall (the same as it was at DSHS).

6. If I fail the practical exam, do I have to retake the entire exam?
No, you must only retake the portions of the exam you previously failed.

7. If I fail the practical exam, how soon can I schedule a retake?
You may schedule a retake with TDLR - s third-party vendor, PSI, for the next exam date.

8. is there a study guide?
Yes, a candidate information bulletin (CIB) including a study guide, the number of questions on the exam and the time allotted to complete the exam is available online.

9. Am I required to bring anything to the exam site?
Yes, a candidate information bulletin (CIB) with a list of items you must bring to the exam site may be found online.

Jurisprudence Examination

1. What is the cost of the jurisprudence exam and who administers it?
The fee for the jurisprudence exam will now be $34 (one dollar less than at DSHS). The jurisprudence exams will continue to be administered by eStrategy Solutions, Inc. and the fee will still be payable to eStrategy Solutions, Inc.

2. I took the jurisprudence exam for my DSHS license. Do I have to retake the jurisprudence exam?
No, if you took the DSHS jurisprudence exam to receive your initial license, you will not need to retake it. However, if your profession requires you to retake the jurisprudence exam for license renewal, you will take the new TDLR version of the jurisprudence exam, which is based on the law and the TDLR rules for your profession.

Supervision

1. How many temporary training permit holders can a Supervisor supervise at one time?
A supervisor may not supervise more than two temporary training permit holders at one time.

2. What are the supervision requirements for licensure?
A supervisor may delegate training activities of a temporary training permit holder to another license holder. The supervisor shall be responsible for the day-to-day supervision of a temporary training permit holder. The supervisor shall also be ultimately responsible for services provided to a client by the temporary training permit holder. A supervisor shall not delegate the responsibility of supervision.

3. Am I required to notify TDLR regarding termination of supervision?
The supervisor must submit a written notification of termination of supervision to TDLR and the temporary training permit holder within ten (10) days of cessation of supervision on a TDLR-approved form or in a manner prescribed by TDLR.

4. Am I eligible to become a supervisor?

A supervisor is an individual who holds a valid license to fit and dispense hearing instruments under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 401 or 402, other than an individual licensed under §401.311 or §401.312. Additionally, a supervisor of a temporary training permit holder must currently practice in an established place of business and must be responsible for the direct supervision and education of a temporary training permit holder.

A supervisor, as appropriate, shall directly and indirectly supervise a temporary training permit holder. A supervisor shall provide direct supervision by being located on the premises and available to the temporary training permit holder for prompt consultation. A supervisor shall provide indirect supervision by reviewing daily a temporary training permit holder's patient contact and daily work.

5. What are the supervision requirements for an Apprentice?
An apprentice permit holder shall work under the direct or indirect supervision of a license holder for at least one year. The supervisor shall periodically conduct a formal evaluation of the applicant's progress in the development of professional skills. A supervisor of an apprentice permit holder is responsible for services to the client that may be performed by the apprentice permit holder. The supervisor must ensure that all services provided are in compliance with the Act and this chapter. The apprenticeship must be done under the direct or indirect supervision of an individual authorized to supervise permit holders who holds a valid license to fit and dispense hearing instruments in the State of Texas under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 401 or 402, other than a person licensed under §401.311 or §401.312.

License Renewal

1. I need to renew my license. Where do I send my renewal application and payment?
The best way to renew a license is to renew online.

2. Should I wait to submit my license renewal application until after I have completed my 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. To renew and maintain continuous licensure, the license holder must complete all of the renewal requirements, including continuing education requirements, prior to the expiration of the license. A complete renewal application, along with applicable fees, must be filed with TDLR or postmarked prior to license expiration to avoid payment of a late renewal fee. Any continuing education that is required to be fulfilled as part of the renewal application must be completed prior to the license expiration date to avoid payment of a late renewal fee.

3. My license has expired. How long do I have to renew my license?
A late renewal, if available, means the license holder will have an unlicensed period from the expiration date of the expired license to the issuance date of the renewed license. During the unlicensed period, a person may not perform any act that requires a license under this chapter or the chapter governing the specific program. Licenses may be eligible for late renewal with the following fees:

(a) A person whose license has been expired for 90 days or less may renew the license by paying a late renewal fee equal to 1 and 1/2 times the renewal fee.

(b) A person whose license has been expired for more than 90 days but less than 18 months may renew the license by paying a late renewal fee equal to two times the renewal fee.

(c) A person whose license has been expired for more than 18 months but less than three years may request that the executive director approve the license by submitting information sufficient to show just cause for the late renewal and paying to the department a renewal fee equal to two times the normally required renewal fee.

(d) A person paying a late renewal fee is not required to pay the renewal fee in addition to the late renewal fee.

Continuing Education

1. Am I required to take continuing education?

Apprentice Permit holders must complete 20 hours of classroom continuing education relating to the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments within the 1 year permit timeframe.

Fitter and Dispenser License holders must complete 20 continuing education hours within each renewal period.

2. How long must I keep a copy of my continuing education certificate of completion?
Licensees are required to keep a copy of the continuing education certificate for two years after the date of course completion.

3. How do I become a continuing education provider?

An individual or organization may request approval as a continuing education provider by submitting an application to TDLR. After review of the continuing education provider application, the applicant may be approved by TDLR as either a manufacturer continuing education provider or a non-manufacturer continuing education provider. Upon approval, the continuing education provider applicant shall pay the continuing education provider fee of $200. The approved provider status shall be effective for one year from the date of issuance of provider approval.

Continuing education providers must renew their approved provider status annually by completing and returning the provider renewal form and the continuing education provider fee to TDLR. If not renewed on or before the expiration date, the continuing education provider must reapply for approved sponsor status.

Each continuing education course offered by an approved provider must be submitted to TDLR on the required course approval form. TDLR is responsible for the review and approval of all continuing education courses submitted by approved providers. TDLR may consult as needed with an advisory board member.

4. How often do I need to renew my continuing education provider license?
A continuing education provider needs to renew annually.

Conditions of Sale

1. Are there federal regulations I need to comply with?

A license or permit holder must comply with Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations §801.420- Hearing aid devices; professional and patient labeling and §801.421- Hearing aid devices; conditions for sale.  For the Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers program, these regulations apply to the licensed hearing instrument fitter and dispenser, the apprentice permit holder, and the temporary training permit holder.

View these federal regulations:

Communication

1. If I change my name or address, do I notify TDLR?
Yes, you need to notify TDLR in writing. Download the Notice of Change and Duplicate License Request form (40KB PDF).

2. How do I stay informed about changes impacting me?
Sign up for email updates to receive the latest news and information.