If you forget your username and/or password, follow the instructions on
the TBAE login page to get that information. A unique email address is required for each person, so you are no longer able
to share an email address with your spouse or co-workers— again, for security purposes.
Yes, you may change your password once you have successfully logged in. The link is on your main account page.
Your registration expires on the last date of your birth month, and must be renewed prior to expiration. You can check your
current registration status and expiration date by logging on to your account.
You will receive an email with the receipt confirmation. You may also print a certificate from your account showing
that your fees are current.
No, you will not receive a pocket card after every renewal. All registrants have been issued a permanent plastic
pocket card. If you did not receive your pocket card or have lost it, you can order a replacement card from your
All registrants have their current status and expiration date listed on our site under Find a Design Professional.
Read the error message that you received. If the message is related to the credit card, try the transaction again and check all
numbers carefully. If the message prompts you to call the Board, please provide information about what you were doing and which
page you received, as well as what the error message says. Our main number is 512/305-9000.
The address field is limited to 35 characters – but that is all the computer needs to verify that your billing
address matches the one on your credit card.
Your address has to exactly match the billing address for the credit card you are using.
Subchapter F of the rules (architect,
registered interior designer)
addresses the use of your professional seal. You must always seal, sign, and date construction documents when they are
issued for permitting, regulatory approval, or construction purposes. If you release construction documents for other
purposes, you must include the following information on the documents: your name, the date the document is issued,
and a statement placed in a conspicuous location on the document that says: "Not for regulatory approval,
permitting, or construction."
Yes, you may modify a construction document bearing another registrant’s seal
after you have taken reasonable steps to notify the sealing registrant of the intent to modify the document. Then
you must clearly indicate on the document the extent of the modifications made.
Take the image of the seal to any stationery store that
sells rubber stamps or impression seals.
The CE rules have been amended, and beginning January 1, 2013 you should record your continuing education activities
by calendar year. When you renew in 2014 or after, you will be asked to verify completion of the 12 hour requirement
for the calendar year 2013 or the previous calendar year. Renewal dates will remain the same: the last day of the
registrant’s birth month.
Example: if your expiration date is May 31, when you renew prior to May 31, 2014 you must confirm that you completed 12
hours of continuing education in calendar year 2013.
Twelve (12) Continuing Education Program Hours (CEPH) of continuing education activities related to the health,
safety and welfare of the public annually, including one hour related to barrier-free design and one hour related to
sustainable or energy-efficient design. At least 8 hours must be structured study, and up to 4 hours may be
Continuing Education Program Hour, or CEPH, is how TBAE rules officially refer to a period of at least fifty (50) minutes
spent in an activity meeting the Board's continuing education requirements. One CEPH may be referred to by various
organizations as one "credit hour", "hour", "learning unit" or other terms, but for TBAE purposes one CEPH amounts
to at least 50 minutes of CE credit.
Barrier-free design is the design or alteration of a building which complies with the Texas Accessibility Standards,
the American with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines, or similarly accepted standards for
No, legislation did not define the relevant terms, instead leaving that task to the agency. The Board solicited guidance
and commentary starting in 2007, and received input from many sources during the crafting of the definitions and new
rules to implement the law.
No, both requirements will apply. So that’s 1 hour of barrier-free design and 1 hour of sustainable
or energy-efficient design, out of the 12 CEPH reported to TBAE. A total of 12 hours is still the requirement.
The following definitions were proposed during the October 15-16, 2007 Board meeting to implement legislation passed
in the 80th Legislative Session. The definitions and rules were crafted with input from the American Institute of
Architects (AIA), the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration
Boards (CLARB), and individuals, and became effective April 3, 2008. The complete rules are posted at www.tbae.state.tx.us.
Sustainable Design – An integrative approach to the process of design which seeks to avoid depletion of energy,
water, and raw material resources; prevent environmental degradation caused by facility and infrastructure
development during their implementation and over their life cycle; and create environments that are livable
and promote health, safety and well-being. Sustainability is the concept of meeting present needs without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Energy-Efficient Design – The design of a project and the specification of materials to minimize the consumption
of energy in the use of the project. The term includes energy efficiency strategies by design as well as the
incorporation of alternative energy systems.
Self-directed course study is equivalent to self-study (4 CEPH maximum). Reading from on-line resources,
books, and professional journals or magazines may be used as self-directed study. Structured course study
(8 CEPH minimum) refers to activity that is in a classroom or classroom equivalent setting. An online or
monograph course may be considered classroom equivalent activity if the course contains an independently graded
Health may include aspects of design that have salutary effects among users of buildings or sites and address health
and environmental issues. Safety may include aspects of design intended to limit or prevent accidental injury or
death among users of buildings or sites. Welfare may include aspects of design that engender positive emotional
responses among or enable equal access by users of buildings or sites.
No. You cannot repeat anything you have taken in the last 3 years except for the Texas Accessibility Academy
or another similar course offered by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). The same
restrictions apply to self-directed study.
The Texas Accessibility Standards are available online from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
No – you cannot renew your registration until your continuing education is complete.
Up to 12 hours not used for the current period may be carried over to the next period. Hours may not
be carried forward more than one year.
Yes, if it is appropriate for more than one profession.
You are only required to submit your continuing education documents to TBAE if they have been requested.
Each registrant certifies their compliance with the continuing education upon renewal every year.
You may print a current copy of the CEPH Log from the TBAE website at CEPH Log
Five years after the end of the registration period for which credit is claimed.
The Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) does not pre-approve courses or register providers of
continuing education. Please review the criteria in the rule, and use your professional judgment to determine
if an activity relates to your profession and the health, safety and welfare of the public.
Acceptable supporting documentation issued by the provider includes a certificate of completion, or letter from the provider
that indicates the title of the activity, number of hours of credit awarded, the date completed, the provider/instructor
contact information and your attendance. You may attach your AIA or ASLA transcript as supporting documentation as well.
If you read from a book as part of your self-directed CEPH requirement, you may print out the front cover of the book and
the table of contents; if you read from a professional magazine, journal or online material, you may submit a copy of
the article. Please include a signed and dated statement indicating that you have reviewed this material and specify
the number of hours you are claiming for CEPH credit (4 maximum in self-directed activity) as supporting documentation.
One CEPH in structured course work may be claimed for attendance at one full-day session of a meeting of the Texas Board
of Architectural Examiners.
College or university credit courses dealing with architect/interior design/landscape architect subjects or
ethical business practices may be awarded credit based on the following guidelines:
You must complete the
Continuing Education Exemption Application and attach all required supporting documentation. Applications for exemption
must be received 4 weeks prior to the registration expiration date. You will be notified by mail (approximately 2-4 weeks)
when your exemption request has been approved or denied, or if additional documentation is needed.
You are required to complete and maintain a separate CEPH Log and supporting documentation for each registration period and for
each profession for which you are registered. You may attach your AIA, NCIDQ or ASLA transcript as supporting documentation.
Please circle or highlight activities on the transcript which you are claiming for CEPH credit. Supporting documentation may
also include a course description, agenda, or certificate of completion that indicates the title of the activity, number of
hours of credit awarded, the date completed, the provider/instructor contact information, if available, and your attendance.
Please visit the Continuing Education Requirements
page for definitions and additional information on continuing education.
When to Engage a Registered Architect, (PDF) may help you decide if your project requires the services
of a registered architect.
No, this rule was repealed in 2012.
No. You may submit information related to the monetary cost of a professional service, including information found in a fee schedule, only
after the governmental entity has selected you on the basis of a demonstrated competence and qualifications as discussed in the
Professional Services Procurement Act.
TBAE Board Members sign the new wall certificates when they meet – usually in January, May, August, and October.
(Click here for a list of board meeting dates.) The signed certificates are mailed approximately
six weeks later. The cut-off date for printing new certificates to be signed is six weeks prior to the upcoming board meeting.
You can order a replacement certificate from your online account. See
the Fee Schedule for the current Replacement or Duplicate
Wall Certificate fee.
Architects, registered interior designers, and landscape architects are required to provide a written Statement of Jurisdiction to each and
every client for whom they render professional services. Unregistered interior designers, who are not regulated by TBAE or any other
governmental agency, need not provide any Statement of Jurisdiction to their clients, and TBAE has no enforcement authority over their
practice or professional conduct. Clients have no recourse through TBAE in the event that an unregistered interior designer’s practice
is unsatisfactory to the client, nor do unregistered interior designers need to adhere to
TBAE rules regarding Professional Conduct.
The rule is found in SubChapter F, Other Professional Responsibilities. For architects:
for interior designers: 5.115 ;
for landscape architects: 3.106.
TBAE began offering online registration renewals in December of 2005. Registrants can
log in to their account to renew their registration and pay
the renewal fee. Click here to find out more about the online renewal process.
The ARE is administered through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Examination candidates must
apply first through the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners in order to be registered in Texas. Learn more in the
The Council for Interior Design Qualifications (“CIDQ”) administers the examinations for becoming a
registered interior designer. Candidates seeking to become registered interior designers
must apply through the TBAE in order to become registered. A person seeking to sit for the NCIDQ examination
for reasons other than registration in Texas may do so, and need not apply to TBAE in order to do so. To
learn more, see the Registered Interior Designer section.
The Landscape Architect Registration Exam is administered by CLARB. You must apply through TBAE before taking any sections of the
LARE; Link to the Landscape Architect section of this site to learn more.
The Public Information Act, formerly known as the Open Records Act, is located in chapter 552 of the
Government Code. The Act provides a mechanism for citizens to inspect or copy government records. It
also provides exemptions for instances in which governmental bodies wish to, or are required by law to,
withhold government records from the public.
The request must be in writing. You may fax your request to the Public Information Officer at (512) 305-8900,
or mail it to the Public Information Officer at TBAE, P.O. Box 12337, Austin TX 78711-2337. It is a good practice
to clearly label your correspondence as a "Public Information Request" or "Open Records Request." Or email the
request to the public information officer.
The list-serve is an email update service provided by TBAE for registrants and interested parties. Information is sent
out as needed to a chosen email address. To subscribe click here.
If you are a registered design professional you will automatically receive the TBAE newsletter
Licensing News which is mailed three times per year or as needed. If you are not a registrant
but you would like to receive Licensing News, please join our
For general information about complaints and TBAE’s jurisdiction please see the
complaints main page.
You can download and print a complaint form which contains all
of the information needed by TBAE in order to process a complaint including your original signature. Providing your written
testimony with a complaint form ensures that that you formally certify and attest to your statements. In some cases, the
Board may initiate an investigation without a formal complaint if there is sufficient evidentiary information provided to
establish probable cause that a violation of the law has occurred.
It is very important that originals or legible copies of all relevant documents be submitted when you file a
complaint. If there is insufficient information to support the allegations, the processing of the case file may be
delayed or the matter may be dismissed without further action.
Complaints filed with the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners are subject to the Texas Public Information Act.
In most cases, the Board must disclose the information you provide on the complaint form to any person who requests it,
including the person against whom you are filing this complaint. A copy of the complaint could be provided to the
individual(s) involved in your complaint. Also, you could be called to testify as part of a formal or informal
proceeding, such as a hearing or a deposition. If you have any concerns about the disclosure of your personal information
(name, address, etc.), please contact the Board before you file the complaint form and we can discuss it with you.
Yes. When submitting an anonymous complaint it is just as important to use the complaint form, to be as detailed
as possible, and to attach supporting documentation to ensure that TBAE is able to determine the nature of the complaint,
the date of the violation, and to locate the individual you are complaining about.
TBAE welcomes dialogue on topics that are of concern to the public or registrants. To talk to someone in the Investigations
division, call (512) 305-8530 and ask to speak to an investigator.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Board will conduct a preliminary evaluation of the matter within thirty (30) days
to determine whether allegations described in your complaint are within the Board’s jurisdiction. It
can be difficult to estimate when a case will be completely resolved due to the complexities involved in each
particular case and because due process allows each party certain participation throughout the lifecycle of the
The Board will send a letter to the complainant and the respondent as to the final disposition of the case. If
there has been formal disciplinary action taken, the complainant will be able to obtain a copy of the document by
writing to the Board pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act.
The process for resolving complaints through hearings is set forth in Subchapter I of the Rules as follows:
registered interior designers.
House Bill 1717, which makes several changes to the way TBAE operates, passed through the legislature in May.
Sections 2 and 5 of the bill put in place a new requirement for fingerprint-based criminal history checks of TBAE
Unfortunately, no. FBI regulations prohibit that kind of sharing of fingerprint information among government agencies.
Fingerprints are required of an Active status TBAE registrant even if he or she has submitted prints for a concealed handgun
license, for a previous school district or other public project, for a federal project, for a military project, or for any
other reason. FBI regulations do not appear to offer any exceptions.
Starting January 1, 2014, Active-status registration renewals or new applications for registration will require fingerprinting.
The new requirement applies to Active-status registrants. Inactive and Emeritus status registrants need not get
fingerprinted unless and until they seek to become Active-status again.
The collection and submission of fingerprints will be handled by a third-party vendor (Morpho Trust USA) under contract with
the Department of Public Safety (DPS), not by TBAE or any TBAE vendor. There are about 85 vendor locations across Texas,
and there will be a different process for registrants located elsewhere. The out-of-state fingerprinting process will not
require travel to Texas to fulfill the requirement. The process will be undertaken at local law enforcement agencies, who
are well accustomed to fingerprinting for non-law enforcement purposes.
There will be a one-time fee for administration of the criminal history check, which is expected to be $39.75. $10 of
the total goes to the vendor, Morpho Trust USA, and the remainder goes to DPS and the FBI.
No. The fee and the fingerprint submission are one time only.
Yes, if you are Active status. All Active registrants will need to meet this requirement. If you are Inactive or
Emeritus, there is no need. The process for out-of-state registrants will be posted soon, and will not require travel
outside a registrant’s home state or city.
You will receive specific instructions on the process soon. You will not be required to travel to Texas to fulfill this
requirement; it can be done easily in your home state and locality.
The fee will be paid either to DPS or to its vendor directly. TBAE will collect no part of the fee.
No. TBAE will never store, collect, or even see any registrant’s fingerprint information, as that information will
be housed elsewhere.
Yes. The criminal history checks performed under this new law will be run against both DPS (statewide) and FBI (national)
databases. Any positive matches will be sent to TBAE for review.
There are criteria that TBAE Enforcement staff consider in these reviews, and mitigating circumstances include how long ago
the conviction was, whether it was related to the practice of the profession, and more.
Design professionals were not “singled out” for this requirement; rather, this process is in place for many occupations,
including doctors, engineers, nurses, lawyers, teachers, and many more.
TBAE is working diligently to create a process by which registrants may fulfill this requirement, and urges you to watch your
email for more detailed information as soon as it becomes available.
The fingerprinting requirement is one that the Sunset Commission of Texas (Sunset) commonly recommends for occupational
licensing agencies, and their recommendation was written into the TBAE “Sunset bill,” HB 1717 of the 83rd Regular Session.
That bill passed both houses of the legislature, and became law effective September 1, 2013.
No. You only need to submit fingerprints for TBAE once, regardless of how many TBAE registrations you hold. As a
side note of possible interest to some TBAE licensees who are also licensed as Professional Engineers, our understanding
is that you will need to submit fingerprints once for TBAE, and once for the Texas Board of Professional Engineers. Several
other Texas state occupational licensing agencies have similar fingerprinting requirements, as well.
MorphoTrust USA has been the third party provider for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) since 1995, and all MorphoTrust
USA employees undergo the same fingerprint screening and security check protocols required of DPS employees. MorphoTrust USA is
bonded, and all MorphoTrust USA fingerprinting sites and equipment meet DPS requirements for security and transmission encryption.
Once data is transmitted from MorphoTrust equipment, that data is transferred to the DPS and FBI, and MorphoTrust no longer can
access it. MorphoTrust never has access to any applicant criminal history information. There have been no incidents of
improper data dissemination through hacking or negligent employee conduct during MorphoTrust’s contract with DPS.
It is our mission to protect the public health, safety, and welfare through the regulation
of the practice of the professions of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design.