Orthotists and Prosthetists 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. What happened with open complaints and cases?
  5. How do I stay informed about changes impacting me?
  6. Why was my license expiration date extended? Will I have the same expiration date in the future?
  7. Will I have to renew on a different schedule?
  8. Why were licensing programs transferred from DSHS to TDLR?

Applying for a New License

  1. Are foreign transcripts accepted in Texas?
  2. Are reference forms required to apply for a new license?

Written Examination

  1. Will the written exam process or requirements change?

Jurisprudence Examination

  1. Will the jurisprudence exams be administered in the same manner?
  2. I took the jurisprudence exam for my DSHS license. Do I have to retake the jurisprudence exam?
  3. How often do I have to take the Jurisprudence exam?

Continuing Education

  1. Will the continuing education process or requirements change?

License Required

  1. Does the delegated authority of a physician, as outlined by the Texas Medical Practice Act, allow unlicensed individuals to practice orthotics or prosthetics in Texas?
  2. Who can fit and sell diabetic shoes in Texas?
  3. Is a certified orthotic fitter authorized to practice in Texas?

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 Orthotists and Prosthetists 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. What happened with open complaints and cases?
If you filed a complaint with DSHS or had a complaint filed against your license and it was not resolved by the transfer date, TDLR assumed responsibility for the case. You should have already received notification by mail that your complaint was transferred to TDLR.

5. 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.

6. Why was my license expiration date extended? Will I have the same expiration date in the future?
To ease the transition, DSHS extended the expiration date by two months for licenses previously set to expire in August, September, and October 2016. For example, if your original expiration date was September 30, your new expiration date is November 30. If your license was extended, you will continue to renew your license in the new expiration month in the future.

7. Will I have to renew on a different schedule?
You will renew on the same schedule unless your license expired in August, September or October 2016. Licenses expiring in those months were extended for two months to ease the transition from DSHS to TDLR. If your license was extended, you will now renew in your new expiration month for future renewals. Your license expiration date will not return to your original expiration month.

8. 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.

Applying for a New License

1. Are foreign transcripts accepted in Texas?
TDLR will accept as proof of completion of a degree or course work an official transcript from a regionally accredited college or university. Foreign transcripts must be submitted with an evaluation from World Education Services (WES), or another provider approved by TDLR, that demonstrates equivalency of the foreign degree or coursework with a U.S. degree or coursework.

2. Are reference forms required to apply for a new license?
Reference forms are only required for applicants applying with unique qualifications. Uniquely qualified applicants for a practitioner license shall submit department reference forms from a total of two physicians, practitioners, or persons licensed or certified by a state or by a national organization in orthotics or prosthetics who can attest to the applicant's skills and professional standards of extensive prosthetic or orthotic practice.

Written Examination

1. Will the written exam process or requirements change?
No, the written exam will continue to be a national exam administered by the American Board of Certification (ABC).

Jurisprudence Examination

1. Will the jurisprudence exams be administered in the same manner?
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. Orthotists/Prosthetists licensees must successfully complete the jurisprudence exam every other renewal.

3. How often do I have to take the Jurisprudence exam?

All licensees and registrants (except Students, Temporaries and Facilities) must complete the JP Exam every other renewal. You will need the date your license was initially issued; this date can be found using TDLR's Online Licensing Services.

  • If you were first licensed in 1999, 2003, 2007 or 2011, you must complete the JP Exam in 2015/2016, 2019/2020, 2023/2024, etc.
  • If you were first licensed in 2000, 2004 or 2008, you must complete the JP Exam in 2018/2019, 2022/2023, 2026/2027, etc.
  • If you were first licensed in 2001, 2005 or 2009, you must complete the JP Exam in 2017/2018, 2021/2022, 2025/2026, etc.
  • If you were first licensed in 2002, 2006 or 2010, you must complete the JP Exam in 2016/2017, 2020/2021, 2024/2025, etc.
  • If you were first licensed in 2012, you must complete the JP Exam in 2016/2017, 2020/2021, 2024/2025, etc.
  • If you were first licensed in 2013, you must complete the JP Exam in 2017/2018, 2021/2022, 2025/2026, etc.
  • If you were first licensed in 2014, you must complete the JP Exam in 2018/2019, 2022/2023, 2026/2027, etc.
  • If you were first licensed in 2015, you must complete the JP Exam in 2019/2020, 2023/2024, 2027/2028, etc.
  • If you were first licensed in 2016, you must complete the JP Exam in 2020/2021, 2024/2025, 2028/2029, etc.
  • If you were first licensed in 2017, you must complete the JP Exam in 2021/2022, 2025/2026, 2029/2030, etc.
  • For all new licenses issued by TDLR, you will take the JP Exam at your second renewal (no continuing education or JP Exam required at the first renewal) and every other renewal after that.

Take the JP Exam no more than six months before you renew.

See the TDLR rule concerning the JP Exam at 16 Texas Administrative Code, §114.21(b).

Continuing Education

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

License Required

1. Does the delegated authority of a physician, as outlined by the Texas Medical Practice Act, allow unlicensed individuals to practice orthotics or prosthetics in Texas?

The delegated authority of a licensed physician does not allow unlicensed individuals to practice orthotics or prosthetics in the State of Texas.

The Texas Orthotics and Prosthetics Act (Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 605) requires licensure for individuals practicing orthotics and prosthetics within the state. The Act does provide exemptions to several licensed and certified professionals as outlined in Subchapter G, these include physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, podiatrists, pharmacists, and certified pedorthists.

In comparison, the Texas Medical Practice Act (Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 151) authorizes licensed physicians to diagnosis, treat, or offer to treat a mental or physical disease or disorder or a physical deformity or injury by any system or method. These provisions include the practice of orthotics and prosthetics in the performance of a physician's duties. In addition, a physician may delegate authority to individuals; however, there are specific guidelines that govern delegated authority. Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 157, §157.001(a)(1)(C) states that a physician may delegate authority if the delegation, "is not in violation of any other statute."

Because the practice of orthotics and prosthetics is protected by statute, the Texas Medical Practice Act prohibits a physician from delegating authority to an unlicensed individual to perform any act within the scope of practice defined by the Texas Orthotics and Prosthetics Act.

2. Who can fit and sell diabetic shoes in Texas?

The Texas Orthotics and Prosthetics Act (Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 605) includes in its definition of the practice of orthotics, the fitting of a custom-fitted or custom-fabricated device.

These definitions are outlined in Sections 605.002 (3), (4), (12), and (14).

Any individual who custom fits a diabetic or other shoe through means of moldable inserts or other methods, regardless of where the final shoe is manufactured, is practicing orthotics and must be licensed under the Texas Orthotics and Prosthetics Act, unless exempt (see below).

Professional certifications from private educational companies do not constitute Texas licensure. Any unlicensed individual who is discovered to be practicing orthotics in this manner will be subject to enforcement action which may include administrative, civil, and criminal penalties.

The Act does recognize several professions that are exempt from these provisions. Exempt professions are limited to licensed podiatrists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and pharmacists. Certified pedorthists are also exempt from licensure under the Texas Orthotics and Prosthetics Act.

Furthermore, the sale of retail shoes, over-the-counter or out of the box, is not subject to the Texas Orthotics and Prosthetics Act.

3. Is a certified orthotic fitter authorized to practice in Texas?

No. Any person practicing orthotics in Texas must be licensed under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 605 or be exempt from that licensing law.  Texas law has not established a license for orthotic fitters.  A certified orthotic fitter must hold a license either as an Orthotic Assistant or as an Orthotist in order to practice.

Holding certification as an orthotic fitter issued by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC) or the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) does not authorize a person to practice orthotics in Texas.