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Land Surveyor Merge Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

When does the Texas Board of Professional Surveying (TBPLS) merge with the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE) to become the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (TBPELS)?
House Bill 1523 (HB 1523) was passed by the Texas Legislature and signed by the Governor. HB1523 says that the agencies will merge on September 1, 2019. This means that both TBPLS and TBPE will stop being independent agencies, and the regulation of surveying and engineering will be handled by TBPELS starting September 1, 2019.

Where will the new agency be located?
Until September 1, 2019, TBPLS and TBPE will continue to operate at their current locations. As of September 1, 2019, the agencies will merge and all operations for engineering and surveying will be handled at the TBPE offices at 1917 South IH-35, Austin, TX, 78741.


Licensing and Registration

I am currently an RPLS and/or an LSLS, or I have a registered surveying firm with the TBPLS. Will my license or registration change when the boards merge?
No. Your license and registration will still be in effect and all provisions and requirements will stay in place. Your RPLS / LSLS numbers will remain the same. Your next renewal period will still end on December 31, 2019. The TBPELS will not issue new registration or license certificates to current registrants or licensees as part of the 2019 renewals.

RPLS / LSLS renewals are normally due on December 31st of each year. How will renewals be handled for 2019?
As it has been in past years, the deadline for renewals for this year will be December 31, 2019. Notifications for surveyor renewals will be sent out in November 1, 2019, as they have been in the past. Both an online and paper renewal process will be available as they have been. NOTE: The agency name and address for the paper / check renewals will be different. These will be noted on the renewal form and instructions.

Will the registration, exam, or renewal fees change?
The current registration, exam, and renewal fees will remain the same through the end of 2019. Once the boards merge on September 1, 2019, TBPELS will review and may modify the fee schedule to take effect in 2020 or later.

Will the continuing education requirements remain the same for my 2019 license or registration renewal?
Yes. The rules concerning continuing education that are currently in place will remain in place until December 31, 2019, including requirements for pre-approved courses. Go to http://txls.texas.gov/continuing-ed/ for more information about continuing education and approved courses.

Will the Texas RPLS exams still be given in October 2019?
Yes. The Texas RPLS exams will be given on October 18, 2019. as per the normal process and schedule. The application window for the October exam closed July 15, 2019. Applications received after July 15, 2019, will be considered for the April 2020 examinations. Go to http://txls.texas.gov/examination-2/ for more information on the application and examination process.

Will I have to re-apply for my license or registration, or will I have to take the surveying exams again when TBPELS takes over?No. You will not have to re-apply for your license or registration and will not need to retake the surveying exams because of the boards’ merger on September 1, 2019.

Will NCEES or other states recognize my professional land surveying registration or state land surveyor license when the boards merge?
Yes. NCEES and other states will continue to recognize your professional land surveying registration or state land surveyor license when the boards merge on September 1, 2019.

Associate Degree Changes

Am I eligible to apply for registration as a registered professional land surveyor (RPLS) if I have earned an associate degree? If so, when can I apply?
Yes, HB1523 changed the educational requirements to qualify to apply to become an RPLS. Section 1071.254 of the Professional Land Surveying Practices Act was amended to allow an associate degree to qualify for the educational requirement for registration as an RPLS. The applicant must show at least 32 semester hours in a combination of courses acceptable to the board in:
(A) civil engineering;
(B) land surveying;
(C) mathematics;
(D) photogrammetry;
(E) forestry;
(F) land law; or
(G) the physical sciences.
An applicant with an associate degree must also satisfy the additional requirements, as set out in Section 1071.254:

Note that HB1523 did not change the requirements to become a SIT.
Applications from SITs who have an associate degree that meets the 32 hour requirement will be accepted by TBPELS starting September 1, 2019. Please note that the application deadline for the October 2019 RPLS exam was July 15, 2019. Applications received by TBPELS between September 1, 2019, and January 15, 2020, will be reviewed to ensure the applicant meets the required qualifications. If the applicant possesses the required qualifications, the applicant will be approved to take the April 2020 RPLS exam.

Compliance and Enforcement

How will I file a complaint against a surveyor with the new agency?
The complaint process will be similar to the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying’s process. Starting September 1, 2019, complaints will be sent to the TBPELS at its address - check the website for those updates as they are available. Some forms may change, and these will be updated on the website as well.

I have a complaint currently pending (as the complainant or the respondent) with TBPLS. What happens to that complaint?
All currently open complaints will be transferred to the TBPELS and will follow the standard complaint process.

 

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