History of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
Texas Bureau of Labor Statistics
The history of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) starts in the early 20th century. In 1909, the 31st Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 109, creating the Texas Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mission of the Bureau was to collect and report statistical information to the governor regarding labor and industry within the state of Texas.
The Bureau reported on the commercial, social, educational, and sanitary conditions of Texas workers and their families, and was headed by a commissioner appointed to a two-year term by the governor. Gradually, the Legislature increased the Bureau’s responsibilities and added powers of administration and enforcement of laws impacting the health and safety of employees, employers, and the public.
The Bureau's Labor Division administered and enforced labor laws related to wages, hours, payment, health, safety, and the Child Labor Law. Originally passed in 1925 (House Bill 161, 39th Legislature) and amended in 1929 (House Bill 319, 41st Legislature), the law regulated the age at which children were legally able to work, permitted hours, and types of employment. The Bureau inspected each child work permit and worked with local law enforcement to prosecute violations.
The Bureau’s Employment Agency Division enforced the Employment and Labor Agency Law passed in 1929 (Senate Bill 127, 41st Legislature, 2nd Called Session) and amended in 1943 (House Bill 264, 48th Legislature) and 1947 (House Bill 770, 50th Legislature). The law regulated employment agencies, which assisted individuals in finding jobs within their county, and labor agencies, which hired agricultural workers on behalf of an out-of-state employer.
During this time the Bureau had three other divisions:
- The Boxing and Wrestling Division regulated and enforced boxing and wrestling contests and their promotion within the state of Texas.
- The Oil and Gas Enforcement Division administered laws protecting the health and safety of industrial workers.
- The Boiler Inspection Division regulated the use of boilers through the registration and inspection of boilers that operated at a pressure of greater than fifteen pounds per square inch.
Department of Labor and Standards
In 1973, the Legislature (House Bill 901, 63rd Legislature) changed the name of the agency from the Texas Bureau of Labor Statistics to the Texas Department of Labor and Standards. During this time, six advisory bodies served the commissioner of the Department:
- Private Employment Agency Regulatory Board;
- Performance Certification Board for Mobile Homes;
- Board of Boiler Rules;
- Industrialized Building Code Council;
- Manufactured Homeowners' Recovery Fund Board of Trustees; and
- Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board.
Department of Licensing and Regulation
In 1989, the Legislature (House Bill 863, 71st Legislature) changed the agency's name to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), and created a six-member (later seven) Commission of Licensing and Regulation to act as the agency’s governing body. Members of the commission are appointed by the governor to six-year overlapping terms and confirmed by the senate.
Throughout the years, TDLR has evolved to become the state's primary occupational licensing agency, responsible today for the management of 38 licensing programs.
A Timeline of TDLR History
- On February 26, 1909, Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell signs House Bill 109 (31st Legislature, Regular Session) creating the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Office of the Commissioner to consolidate labor statistics in Texas, including those involving women and children workers and workplace health conditions. The agency is also given responsibility for enforcing existing labor laws, inspecting factories, and marketing the use of the state’s natural resources.
- The Commissioner of Labor Statistics is delegated administrative authority to oversee private employment agencies.
- Statute is amended to require licensing of private employment agents in addition to agencies.
- Regulation of Podiatry begins in Texas with the enactment of House Bill 487 (38th Legislature) establishing the State Board of Chiropody Examiners under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Medical Examiners. (6/14/1923)
- Licensing and regulation of Barbers begins in Texas with the enactment of House Bill 104 (41st Legislature, 1st Called Session) effective September 1, 1929. (9/1/1929)
- At the height of the Depression, the Bureau of Labor Statistics becomes the local administrator for the National Industrial Recovery Act, and assumes enforcement of the state’s oil and gas laws (which are later transferred to the Railroad Commission).
- On June 13, 1933, House Bill 832 (43rd Legislature) is approved, legalizing boxing and wrestling in Texas, and giving the Commissioner of Labor Statistics regulatory supervision authority. The law took effect August 29, 1933, 90 days after the adjournment of the 43rd (8/29/1933)
- Licensing and regulation of Cosmetologists is established with the enactment of House Bill 189 (44th Legislature). The law took effect August 9, 1935, 90 days after adjournment of the 44th Legislature, Regular Session. (8/9/1935)
- The Texas Boiler Act (House Bill 352, 45th Legislature) is enacted, in response to the New London School explosion that killed approximately 300 students and teachers, making it the deadliest school disaster in American history. The bill was approved and took immediate effect on June 3, 1937. (6/3/1937)
- Mollie Edmonds becomes the first woman to be licensed as a barber in Texas. She went on to open her own shop, Mollies Barber Shop, in Longview in 1951.
- The Private Employment Agency Act, House Bill 387 (51st Legislature), is enacted. The Act establishes new licensing requirements for private employment agencies and clarifies existing laws. (5/21/1949)
- On Oct. 8, 1957, Barbara Buttrick and Phyllis Kugler were the first two women to #box professionally in Texas. The bout, which took place in San Antonio's Freeman Coliseum, ended in a loss for Kugler.
- Water Well Driller regulation begins with the enactment of House Bill 409 (57th Legislature) under authority of the State Board of Water Engineers (later the Texas Water Commission). The bill took effect August 27, 1961, 90 days after adjournment of the 57th (8/27/1961)
- Regulation of Sanitarians begins at the State Board of Health (later Department of State Health Services) with the enactment of Senate Bill 333 (59th Legislature) and the creation of the Sanitarian Advisory Committee. Because this regulation was considered by the Legislature necessary to preserve public health and safety, SB 333 was passed as emergency legislation and took effect immediately upon enactment. (6/1/1965)
- Requirements for Texas driver education and traffic safety enacted by House Bill 568 (60th Legislature) under the authority of the Department of Public Safety. The bill took effect August 28, 1967, 90 days after adjournment of the 60th (8/28/1967)
- Weather Modification program regulation enacted by Senate Bill 458 (60th Legislature) and placed under authority of the Texas Water Development Board. The bill took effect August 28, 1967, 90 days after adjournment of the 60th (8/28/1967)
- Senate Bill 111 (61st Legislature) requires buildings and facilities constructed in Texas with federal, state, county, or municipal funds to be built according to standards that “eliminate…unnecessary barriers encountered by the aged, handicapped or disabled persons, whose ability to engage in gainful occupations or to achieve maximum personal independence is needlessly restricted when such persons cannot readily use public buildings.” Administration and enforcement responsibility resided primarily with the State Building Commission, with the assistance of state rehabilitation agencies. (1/1/1970)
- Licensing and regulation established for Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers with the enactment of Senate Bill 287 (61st Legislature) and creation of the Texas Board of Examiners in the Fitting and Dispensing of Hearing Aids. (1/1/1970)
- Licensing and inspection authority for mobile home dealers and manufacturers established at Bureau of Labor Statistics with the enactment of Senate Bill 153 (61st Legislature). (9/1/1969)
- Polygraph Examiners licensing established with the enactment of Senate Bill 740 (61st Legislature) and creation of a six-member Polygraph Examiners Board appointed by the governor. SB 740 was considered emergency legislation and took immediate effect upon the signature of Governor Preston Smith on June 18, 1969. (6/18/1969)
- House Bill 169 (61st Legislature) creates the Texas Private Employment Agency Regulation Board, which functions under the umbrella of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and enacts licensing for private employment agencies. (9/1/1969)
- Athletic Trainers licensing begins in Texas with the enactment of House Bill 602 (62nd Legislature) and the creation of the Texas Board of Athletic Trainers. (9/1/1971)
- With the enactment of House Bill 901, the 63rd Texas Legislature changes the name of the Bureau of Labor Statistics to the Texas Department of Labor and Standards. (9/1/1973)
- Auctioneer industry regulation begins in Texas with the enactment of House Bill 1925 (64th Legislature). HB 1925 is considered emergency legislation, taking effect 90 days after being signed by Governor Dolph Briscoe on May 27, 1975. (8/25/1975)
- Regulation of Property Tax Professionals begins with enactment of Senate Bill 67 (65th Legislature) and the creation of the Board of Tax Assessor Examiners. SB 67 was signed by Governor Dolph Briscoe on June 15, 1977 with an effective date 90 days later. (9/13/1977)
- Comprehensive regulations relating to the Elimination of Architectural Barriers in Texas are established by the enactment of House Bill 1673 (66th Legislature). (9/1/1979)
- The Texas Mobile Homes Standards Act is amended to include regulations for modular homes and changed to the Texas Manufactured Housing Standards Act with the enactment of Senate Bill 636 (66th Legislature).
- DWI/Drug Offender programs established by Senate Bill 368 (67th Legislature) creating mandatory educational programs for persons convicted of DWI/DUI. (1/1/1982)
- Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractor regulation is enacted with the passage of Senate Bill 642 (68th Legislature). (9/1/1983)
- Licensing and regulation of Dietitians is established with the enactment of Senate Bill 671 (68th Legislature). The Texas State Board of Examiners of Dietitians is established with administrative services provided through the Texas Department of Health (later Department of State Health Services). (9/1/1983)
- Regulation of Midwives is established at the Texas Department of Health (later Department of State Health Services) with the enactment of Senate Bill 238 (68th Legislature). The bill established a nine-member midwifery board appointed by the Texas Board of Health. (9/1/1983)
- Licensing and regulation of Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists is established with the enactment of Senate Bill 813 (68th Legislature). The bill created the State Committee of Examiners for Speech Pathology and Audiology within the Texas Department of Health (later Department of State Health Services). (9/1/1983)
- Industrialized Housing and Buildings program is established with the enactment of House Bill 1218 (69th Legislature). (9/1/1985)
- Massage Therapists program and Advisory Council on Massage Therapy are established at Texas Department of Health (later Department of State Health Services) through the enactment of House Bill 2012 (69th Legislature). (9/1/1985)
- Career Counseling Services program established with the enactment of Senate Bill 1142 (70th Legislature). The legislation set standards for career counselors to ensure job seekers received legitimate services and unscrupulous operators were shut down. (9/1/1987)
- Review of the agency is undertaken for the 71st Legislature by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Read the 1988 Sunset report. (8/1988)
- Through enactment of House Bill 863 (71st Legislature) the agency becomes the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). The new agency is overseen by a six-member Commission of Licensing and Regulation (later increased to seven) appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Texas Senate. HB 863 also broadened TDLR’s licensing and enforcement authority for the programs it administers, including appointing advisory board members, setting license and other fees, and imposing penalties and sanctions. (9/1/1989)
- Regulation of Talent Agencies is established with the enactment of Senate Bill 759 (71st Legislature). (9/1/1989)
- Court-ordered alcohol education for minors established with the enactment of House Bill 2183 (72nd Legislature).
- Code Enforcement Officers program regulation begins with the enactment of House Bill 1257 (72nd Legislature) and placed under the authority of the Texas Department of Health (later Department of State Health Services). (9/1/1991)
- Elimination of Architectural Barriers program transferred to TDLR from General Services Commission through enactment of House Bill 39 (72nd Legislature, 2nd Called Session). HB 39 added provisions for fees, inspections, penalties, and contracting for services, and created the Architectural Barriers Advisory Committee. (9/1/1991; some provisions 1/1/1992)
- Property Tax Consultants program regulation is established at TDLR with the enactment of Senate Bill 773 (72nd Legislature) and the creation of the Property Tax Consultants Advisory Council. (9/1/1991)
- Temporary Common Worker Employers program regulation is established at TDLR with the enactment of Senate Bill 1520 (72nd Legislature). (9/1/1991)
- Licensing of Water Well Pump Installers begins with the enactment of House Bill 1648 (72nd Legislature) and placed under the authority of Texas Water Commission (later Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission).
- Elevators, Escalators and Related Equipment program regulation is established at TDLR through the enactment of House Bill 154 (73rd Legislature). (9/1/1993)
- Staff Leasing Services business licensing is established at TDLR through the enactment of House Bill 456, 73rd The program name is later changed to Professional Employer Organizations. (9/1/1993)
- Regulation of manufactured housing is transferred to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs with the enactment of House Bill 785 (74th Legislature). (9/1/1995)
- Licensing and regulation of Orthotists and Prosthetists begins at the Texas Department of Health (later Department of State Health Services) with the enactment of Senate Bill 291 (75th Legislature). The bill creates the Texas Board of Orthotics and Prosthetics, a six-member board appointed by the governor. (9/1/1997)
- Regulation of Transportation Service Providers established at TDLR with the enactment of House Bill 1487. (9/1/1997)
- Water Well Drillers and Pump Installers programs transferred to TDLR from the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission with the enactment of Senate Bill 1955 (75th Legislature). (9/1/1997)
- The enabling statute for the Department is re-codified in Chapter 51, Texas Occupations Code, and the prior enabling law in Article 9100, Texas Civil Statutes, is repealed.
- Service Contract Providers program created at TDLR through the enactment of Senate Bill 1775 (76th Legislature). (9/1/1999)
- William H. Kuntz is hired as Executive Director of TDLR; Brian Francis is hired as Deputy Executive Director.
- TDLR begins reorganizing along functional lines, transferring the architectural barriers project registration and elevator certification functions from the Code Review and Inspection Division to the Licensing Division.
- TDLR is one of six agencies involved in the pilot project for Texas Online, the main web portal site for state services. As part of this project, TDLR develops online Air Conditioning and Refrigeration contractor license renewal.
- TDLR Sunset review process commences with publication of the agency Self-Evaluation Report in August.
- Licensed Court Interpreters program regulation is established with the enactment of House Bill 2735. (9/1/2001)
- Weather Modification program transferred to TDLR from the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission by the 77th Texas Legislature through the enactment of Senate Bill 1175. (9/1/2001)
- The Legislature gives TDLR authority to register and regulate plan reviewers and inspectors in the Elimination of Architectural Barriers program.
- Sunset Commission Staff Report is published in February.
- Vehicle Protection Products Warrantors program created at TDLR through the enactment of Senate Bill 714 (77th Legislature). (1/1/2002)
- In February, the Sunset Commission issues its report on TDLR to the 78th Texas Legislature.
- In March, Sen. Mike Jackson files Senate Bill 279 (78th Legislature), the TDLR Sunset bill. The bill is passed on June 2 and signed by the Governor Rick Perry on June 20.
- In July, Sunset publishes a summary of the results of S.B. 279. The legislation continues TDLR for 12 years, and contains the Sunset Commission’s recommendations to strengthen TDLR’s oversight powers, conform program statutes to provide consistency, transfers the regulation of transportation service providers to DPS, and create a toll-free information line administered by TDLR that allows consumers to access information about any state-regulated occupation. S.B. 279 also increases the Commission size from six to seven members, sets requirements relating to the use of loss damage waivers under rental purchase agreements, and creates the registration of elevator contractors.
- Electricians program created at TDLR through the enactment of House Bill 1487 (78th Legislature). (9/1/2003)
- For-Profit Legal Service Contracts program transferred to TDLR from the Texas Department of Insurance by the enactment of Senate Bill 597 (78th Legislature). (9/1/2003)
- Loss Damage Waivers licensing is created at TDLR through the enactment of Senate Bill 279, Section 24:003 of Sunset bill (78th Legislature). (9/1/2003)
- Mold Assessors and Remediators licensing program created at Texas Department of Health (later Department of State Health Services) with the enactment of House Bill 329 (78th Legislature). (9/1/2003)
- Transportation Service Providers program transferred to Department of Public Safety from TDLR by the 78th Legislature through enactment of Senate Bill 279, Article 17 of Sunset bill. (9/1/2003)
- Barbering program transferred to TDLR from the Texas State Board of Barber Examiners by the 79th Legislature through the enactment of Senate Bill 411. (9/1/2005)
- Cosmetology program transferred to TDLR from the Texas Cosmetology Commission by the 79th Legislature through the enactment of Senate Bill 411. (9/1/2005)
- Career Counseling Services program abolished by the 79th Legislature through enactment of House Bill 2856. (6/18/2005)
- Discount Health Care Cards program created at TDLR by the 80th Legislature through the enactment of House Bill 3064. (9/1/2007)
- Towing and Vehicle Storage Facilities programs transferred to TDLR from the Texas Department of Transportation by the 80th Legislature through the enactment of House Bill 2094. (9/1/2007)
- Dyslexia Therapists and Practitioners program established by House Bill 461 (81st Legislature) under the authority of DSHS (9/1/2009).
- Licensing and regulation of Identity Recovery Service Contract Providers established with the enactment of Senate Bill 778 (81st Legislature). (9/1/2009)
- Laser Hair Removal regulation established at DSHS with the enactment of House Bill 449 (81st Legislature). (9/1/2009)
- Property Tax Professionals program transferred to TDLR from the Texas Board of Tax Professional Examiners by the enactment of House Bill 2447 (81st Legislature). (6/19/2009)
- Polygraph Examiners program transferred to TDLR from the Texas Polygraph Examiners Board by the 81st Texas Legislature through the enactment of Senate Bill 1005. (5/27/2009)
- Used Automotive Parts Recycling program established at TDLR with the enactment of Senate Bill 1095 (81st Legislature). (9/1/2009)
- Licensing and regulation of Vehicle Booting companies and boot operators established with the passage of Senate Bill 2153 (81st Legislature). (9/1/2009)
- Discount Health Care Card program transferred from TDLR to Texas Department of Insurance by the 81st Texas Legislature through enactment of House Bill 4341. (4/1/2010)
- Licensed Breeders program created at TDLR through enactment of House Bill 1451 (82nd Legislature). (6/17/2011)
- Personnel Employment Services program abolished through enactment of House Bill 3167 (82nd Legislature). (9/1/2011)
- Talent Agencies program abolished through enactment of House Bill 3167 (82nd Legislature). (9/1/2011)
- Identity Recovery Service Providers consolidated into TDLR’s Service Contract Providers program by the 83rd Texas Legislature through the enactment of Senate Bill 1388. (9/1/2013)
- Rental Purchase Agreements Loss Damage Waivers licensing abolished by the 83rd Texas Legislature through enactment of Senate Bill 289. (9/1/2013)
- Staff Leasing Services renamed Professional Employer Organizations by the 83rd Texas Legislature through the enactment of Senate Bill 1286. (9/1/2013)
- Licensed Court Interpreters program transferred to the Judicial Branch Certification Commission by the 83rd Texas Legislature through enactment of Senate Bill 966. (9/1/2014)
- Thirteen health-related professional licensing programs are transferred to TDLR from the Department of State Health Services by the 84th Texas Legislature through enactment of Senate Bill 202. (9/1/2015)
- House Bill 1786 (84th Legislature) transfers to TDLR the Parent Taught Driver program from Department of Public Safety and the Driver and Traffic Safety Education program from Texas Education Agency. The two programs are consolidated at TDLR as the Driver Education and Safety (9/1/2015)
- Through enactment of Senate Bill 202 (84th Legislature) seven of the thirteen DSHS programs become a part of TDLR on October 3, 2016: Athletic Trainers, Dietitians, Dyslexia Therapists and Practitioners, Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers, Midwives, Orthotists and Prosthetists, Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.
- In August, Executive Director William H. Kuntz retires after 41 years of state service. Kuntz was hired as TDLR executive director in 1999.
- Brian Francis is named executive director of TDLR effective September 1, 2016. Francis was hired as deputy executive director in 1999.
- Through enactment of Senate Bill 202 (84th Legislature), six additional DSHS programs transfer to TDLR effective November 1, 2017: Code Enforcement Officers, Laser Hair Removal, Massage Therapy, Mold Assessors and Remediators, Offender Education Providers, and Sanitarians.
- Through enactment of Senate Bill 589 (85th Legislature) the Behavior Analysts program is established, with licensing and regulation beginning no later than September 1, 2018. (9/1/2017)
- After undergoing review by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, the Podiatry program is transferred to TDLR from the Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners through enactment of House Bill 3078. (9/1/2017)
- House Bill 162 (85th Legislature) directs TDLR to establish the Responsible Pet Owners (9/1/2017)
- Senate Bill 2065 (85th Legislature), a deregulation “omnibus” bill, is enacted. This bill deregulates the following programs: Vehicle Protection Product Warrantors, Temporary Common Worker Employers, For-Profit Legal Service Contracts, and Booting. The bill also clarified the Barber and Cosmetology statutes to formally deregulate threading and shampooing. (VPP, TCW, BAR/COS 9/1/2017; Booting 9/1/2018; LSC 9/1/2019)
- Transportation Network Companies are regulated statewide for the first time through enactment of House Bill 100 (85th Legislature). The bill, which created a consistent regulatory framework in Texas for ride-hailing companies, was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on May 29, 2017 and took effect immediately. (5/29/2017)
- In April, TDLR conducts an online survey and holds five Strategic Planning Sessions in Arlington, Austin, El Paso, Houston and McAllen to receive input from the public and help chart the agency’s future. (4/9-4/23/2018)
- TDLR releases the agency’s Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-2023, updating TDLR’s mission, vision, and philosophy, and outlining strategic initiatives for the upcoming 86th Session of the Texas Legislature. (6/8/2018)
- On June 15, TDLR begins issuing Behavior Analyst licenses ahead of the September 1, 2018 deadline for licensure in Texas. (6/15/2018)
- On February 28, Governor Greg Abbott names Rick Figueroa of Brenham chair of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation. Gov. Abbott also reappoints Thomas F. Butler for a six-year term, and appoints a new member, Joel S. Garza, Jr. of Pearland.
- In March, Mike Arismendez is hired as deputy executive director of TDLR.
- In May, Gov. Abbott appoints Nora Castañeda of Harlingen to the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation.
- The 86th Texas Legislature enacts Senate Bill 2119, transferring oversight of the Motor Fuel Metering and Quality program from the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to TDLR. On September 1, TDLR begins accepting complaints about fuel quality, fuel quantity, fuel pump measurement, advertised price, device registration, and skimmers. The transfer of licensing and registration responsibilities is to be completed no later than September 1, 2020. (9/1/2020, some requirements 9/1/2019)
- The 86th Texas Legislature enacts Senate Bill 616, transferring the motorcycle and off-highway vehicle operator training programs from the Department of Public Safety to TDLR. SB 616 also creates the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board at TDLR. The program transfer occurs on September 1, 2020. (9/1/2019)
- TDLR receives funding from the 86th Texas Legislature to establish an eight-person Anti-Trafficking Unit (ATU) to work with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as non-governmental agencies, to investigate suspected human trafficking at illicit massage businesses and in the cosmetology industry. The unit begins work in January 2020.
- The Sunset Advisory Commission begins a limited scope review of TDLR. State law specifies that programs transferred to TDLR on or after September 1, 2016, are not under review. As such, these programs are not subject to abolishment and Sunset staff will not evaluate their professional standards or requirements. As part of this review process, TDLR publishes its Self-Evaluation Report in September.
- Effective December 1, TDLR hires two additional deputy executive directors, Christina Kaiser and David Gonzales. Kaiser and Gonzales previously served as agency division directors.
- In January, TDLR unveils the new consumer information sticker required to be displayed on all gasoline pumps in Texas. The new design has a Texas shape and includes information about the amount of state and federal taxes charged for every gallon of fuel sold, as well as a telephone number and a QR code that consumers can use to file a complaint with TDLR regarding the quality or quantity of fuel that was sold. Consumers can also use the contact information to report possible credit card skimmer activity to TDLR.
- In February, fifteen people are named to the TDLR Motor Fuel Metering and Quality Workgroup. This temporary, informal workgroup provides input, advice and recommendations to TDLR and the Texas Department of Agriculture on the orderly transfer of the Motor Fuel Quality and Metering program to TDLR.
- In March, TDLR introduces an innovative new military licensing website that provides resources for active duty servicemembers, veterans, and military spouses, helping eligible individuals take advantage of benefits that Texas offers to our military community. The website includes an MOS search function, which matches Texas occupational licenses with the military training and experiences of servicemembers and veterans who wish to transition their military occupations to the civilian world.
- Beginning in late March, advisory board and Commission meetings are held virtually and streamed online, with continued public participation via phone and video, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In June, the Sunset Commission releases the Sunset Staff Report, the first in-depth look at TDLR following a period of dramatic growth and change after the agency took on regulation of barbers and cosmetologists in 2005, as well as 13 programs transferred from the Department of State Health Services in 2016 and 2017, and the Motor Fuel Metering and Quality program transferred from the Texas Department of Agriculture.
- The Motor Fuel Metering and Quality program is effectively transferred to TDLR on September 1, 2020. In August, consolidated program rules are adopted that reduce the existing word count by more than 30%.
- The Motorcycle and ATV Operator Safety program is established at TDLR on September 1, 2020. In June, consolidated program rules are adopted that reduce the existing word count by more than 30%.
- On November 23, 2020, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation passes an emergency rule extending expiration dates for all TDLR licensees with a renewable license, to allow those who are waiting for their license to be renewed by TDLR to continue working with a valid license as TDLR navigates workflow challenges brought on by COVID-19.
- In January, the Sunset Commission releases their decisions on Sunset staff recommendations. The Sunset Commission recommends eliminating 31 license types, removing burdensome regulations, and streamlining certain programs — particularly those regulating barbers, cosmetologists, and driver training providers.
- On March 10, Rep. Craig Goldman files House Bill 1560 (87th Legislature, Regular Session), the TDLR Sunset bill. The final version of the bill (sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Dawn Buckingham) eliminates 29 license types and continues the trend of consolidating similar programs under the TDLR umbrella by transferring the licensing and regulation of residential service companies from the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) to TDLR. Additionally, H.B. 1560 aligns certain licensing and enforcement processes with best practices for licensing agencies and requires TDLR to take a more risk-based approach to inspections and complaints. The bill also makes improvements to the advisory board process and allows for multi-disciplinary boards.
- The Texas Legislature passes H.B. 1560 on May 30, 2021, and the bill is signed into law on June 15, 2021, by Gov. Greg Abbott. The agency is extended until its next Sunset review in 2033.
- Senate Bill 2062 (87thLegislature, Regular Session) creates the Motor Fuel Metering and Quality Advisory Board and requires that the board be appointed no later than Feb. 1, 2022. The board will provide technical knowledge and industry expertise to the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation and TDLR. Two non-voting board members will represent law enforcement agencies and financial institutions.
- House Bill 2106(87th Legislature, Regular Session), transfers rulemaking authority regarding credit card skimmers from the Office of the Attorney General to the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation and TDLR. The bill also establishes the Financial Crimes Intelligence Center, to be overseen by TDLR. The center will serve as the state’s primary entity for the planning, coordination, and integration of law enforcement agencies and other governmental agencies to detect, prevent, and respond to criminal activities related to card fraud, including skimmers.
- Oversight of the Residential Service Companies (Home Warranties) program begins at TDLR on September 1, 2021.
- Effective September 1, 2021, a polygraph license is no longer required to perform polygraph examinations. H.B. 1560 deregulated the polygraph industry in Texas.
- Specialty cosmetology licenses for wig stylists and wig salons are eliminated by H.B. 1560, effective September 1, 2021.
- Combative Sports Seconds, Matchmakers, and Event Coordinators licenses are eliminated by H.B. 1560, effective September 1, 2021.
- In November, Executive Director Brian Francis announces his retirement effective January 31, 2022, after serving five years as Executive Director and 17 years as Deputy Executive Director.
- Mike Arismendez is appointed Executive Director by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation during their meeting on Dec. 27, 2021.
- In January, the new nine-member combined Barbering and Cosmetology Advisory Board is named, following the abolishment of the individua barbering and cosmetology boards by House Bill 1560 (87th Legislature). H.B. 1560, TDLR’s Sunset legislation, consolidated barbering and cosmetology into one program.
- On February 1, Mike Arismendez becomes TDLR’s new Executive Director. Arismendez was hired as a Deputy Executive Director in March 2019, and served on the Texas Commission of Licensing & Regulation from 2005-2019, including five years as Chairman.
- In its first year in partnership with TDLR, the Texas Financial Crimes Intelligence Center (FCIC) prevents $48,493,324 in monetary losses due to fraud in Texas and recovered 396 credit card skimmers. The FCIC, which coordinates law enforcement investigations into organized financial fraud, officially opened in Tyler in January 2022. The center – the first of its kind in the United States – was created by House Bill 2106 (87th Legislature) and operates as a partnership between TDLR and the Smith County District Attorney’s Office.
- Senate Bill 1001 (88th Legislature) is enacted on June 18, 2023. S.B. 1001 creates a regulatory framework for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations under TDLR’s oversight, using nationally recognized specifications for the installation and operation of EV supply equipment, charging station inspections, certain consumer protections, and consumer complaint procedures S.B. 1001 requires rules to be adopted no later than December 1, 2024.
- Senate Bill 1414 (88th Legislature) temporarily attaches the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (TBVME) to TDLR for a period of four years. During this time, TDLR will provide TBVME with policy-making and administrative oversight, guidance, and support and TBVME will serve as an advisory board to TDLR. At the end of the four-year attachment, TBVME will return to its independent agency status. TDLR is required to report legislative recommendations to the Texas Legislature no later than December 1, 2024.
- The Mold Assessment and Remediation Advisory Board is created at TDLR by Senate Bill 1213 (88th Legislature). This new 11-member board is designed to provide expertise from mold assessors and remediators, home building contractors, the insurance industry, and the public, to help the agency better protect consumer health and property from the dangers of mold.
(Sources include: Texas State Library and Archives Commission; Guide to Texas State Agencies, various editions; biennial reports of the agency, various years; agency records; Texas Sunset Advisory Commission staff reports, 1978 & 1988.)