Applying for a License and Timelines

Start the process by reading carefully the laws and rules for licensure in Texas. Doing so will help you know whether you meet the requirements to obtain a license to practice marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, psychology, or social work.  In particular, you should pay careful attention to each of the following:

  • 22 TAC 882.1, the rule that governs how the Council processes applications;
  • 22 TAC 882.2, the rule that sets out the general requirements for all applications, regardless of the type of license sought; and
  • the application packet for the license sought, with particular attention paid to the checklist of items and forms needed to apply for that license.

Prospective applicants can download the application packet for the license sought by clicking on the link for the board charged with determining the license qualifications for that particular profession. The website for each board will provide further instruction on the minimum qualifications necessary to obtain a license, as well as the checklist of items and forms needed to apply for licensure.

NOTE: Applicants with foreign degrees must also comply with 22 TAC 882.11, the rule governing how the Council reviews foreign degrees.

Applications Currently Under Review (based upon the date received)

The chart below reflects the applications under review by agency staff as of October 16, 2020. This chart will be updated on a weekly basis. Please use this chart to determine where your application is in the queue.

How to Use the Chart

By way of example, suppose you submitted your application on 8/27/20. On 9/4/20 you check the chart and it shows staff assigned to your license type are working on applications received on 8/13/20. That means you should expect to receive correspondence from staff regarding your application in approximately two weeks because there is a two week difference between the date staff are working on and the date you submitted your application.

TypeNew LicenseOut of StateLicense UpgradesClinical PlansSupervisor
LPC8/11/208/11/2010/9/20N/A10/9/20
Social Work9/18/208/7/208/3/208/1/208/5/20
MFT10/9/2010/9/2010/9/20N/A10/9/20
LP9/29/20N/A9/25/20N/AN/A
LPA10/16/20 N/A N/A N/A N/A
LSSP10/16/20N/AN/AN/AN/A

The dates set forth in this chart reflect only those applications that have not received any type of review.  It does not refer to applications that have been reviewed and additional required documentation has been requested and/or sent in.  If you have sent in documentation based on a deficiency letter, please know that we have a staff member tasked with associating that submitted documentation to the appropriate application.  However, because the documentation could be for an application processed any time within the past year, it’s difficult to give a specific date.  If you sent your documents into the previous agency (i.e., HHSC) and are concerned about their availability, you may email that documentation to our office again at licensing@bhec.texas.gov

Chart Legend

New License:

  • LPC – applications for LPC-Intern/Associate
  • Social Work – applications to take the LBSW/LMSW examination
  • MFT – applications to take the AMFTRB examination

Out of State (All License Types):

  • Applications from individuals who hold the same license type in another state

License Upgrades:

  • LPC – Intern/Associate applying to move up to full LPC
  • Social Work – Texas LBSW moving to LMSW or Texas LMSW to LCSW
  • MFT – Associate applying to move up to full MFT

Clinical Plans (Social Work only):

  • Request for approval of clinical supervision plan

Supervisor (All License Types):

  • Applications to become a board-approved supervisor

No Pre-Evaluation or Pre-Approval of Education, Training, or Experience

Please be aware that the Council does not pre-evaluate applications, education, or training.  It is incumbent upon each individual seeking licensure to ensure that his or her education, training, and experience meets the requirements of the law.

The primary responsibility of a regulatory body is to protect the interests of the public and not to advocate for the profession or its members. The Council works to ensure that the services provided by its licensees are ethical, competent, and consistent with acceptable standards. To that extent, staff will assist you as much as possible in going through the application process and in understanding applicable provisions of statutes and rules, but it is your responsibility to make sure all requirements have been met.

Applicants may contact staff with questions about licensure if they are unable to find an answer to their question after reviewing the relevant application packet and the Council’s website and rules.  Please review these resources carefully however, before contacting the Council.

Application Processing Times

Information regarding the minimum, maximum, median, and average application processing times will not be available until after August 31, 2021. Until such time, the Council will not have the data necessary to perform these calculations.

The following figures represent the minimum, maximum, and median times for processing applications by the Council in FY2021 for purposes of 22 TAC 882.9, Established Application Processing Times.

Minimum time:
Maximum time:
Median time:

The following figures represent the average number of days it took agency staff to process the various types of applications for licensure in fiscal year 2021:

Marriage and Family Therapy:

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate:

Professional Counseling:

Licensed Professional Counselor:
Licensed Professional Counselor Associate:

Psychology:

Licensed Psychologist:
Licensed Psychological Associate:
Licensed Specialist in School Psychology:

Social Work:

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker:
Licensed Master Social Worker:
Licensed Clinical Social Worker:

Military Service Members, Veterans, and Spouses

Military service members, veterans, and spouses, as those terms are defined in Chapter 55 of the Occupations Code, interested in applying for a license are encouraged to review 22 TAC 882.60 and the rule governing alternative licensing criteria for military service members, veterans, and spouses found under the respective member board’s rules.

Generally speaking, the Council will issue a license to a military service member, veteran, or spouse, if: 1)the applicant holds a current license in another jurisdiction that has license requirements substantially equal to the requirements for the license sought in Texas; or 2)within the previous 5 years, the applicant held the same license in this state.

The individual member boards are charged with defining the method used to determine substantial equivalency. These methodologies can be found in the rules for the board charged with determining the license qualifications for that particular profession. Military service members, veterans, and spouses wanting to apply for licensure are encouraged to review these rules, which can be accessed through the Statutes and Rules webpage, to determine whether or not their licensure in another jurisdiction can be used to expedite licensure in Texas.

Military service members and veterans may also receive credit toward license eligibility requirements based upon verifiable military service, training, and education. The individual member boards are charged with defining how verified military service, training, and education will be credited toward license requirements. These methodologies can be found in the rules for the board charged with determining the license qualifications for that particular profession.

Applicants may also request a waiver of all licensing and examination fees payable to the Council if the applicant is: 1)a military service member, veteran, or spouse who holds a license in another jurisdiction with licensing standards substantially equal to those in this state; or 2)a military service member or veteran whose military service, training, or education substantially meets all licensure requirements.

Military service members and veterans are also encouraged to review their eligibility for benefits under the Montgomery G.I. Bill and Post-9/11 G.I. Bill prior to applying for licensure.  Military service members and veterans meeting certain criteria are eligible for reimbursement of certain licensing examination fees under these programs.  A general overview of the program benefits, as well as instructions for applying for benefits can be found on the Texas Veterans Commission website.

Information for Prospective Applicants with Criminal Backgrounds

Pursuant to Chapter 53 of the Occupations Code and 22 TAC 882.41, the Council can provide an individual with a preliminary evaluation of his or her criminal background to determine if the individual’s background would prevent him or her from obtaining licensure.

To request such a determination, an individual must submit a complete Application for Criminal History Evaluation Letter, along with the correct fee and any supporting documentation.  The Council cannot conduct an evaluation without all of these items.

Individuals who intend to to submit an Application for Criminal History Evaluation Letter should wait until they have submitted the application before completing their fingerprint criminal history check.  The Council is prohibited by state and federal law from accessing an individual’s criminal history record information until that individual has submitted an application.  Individuals who obtain their fingerprint criminal history check prior to submitting an application will be removed from the Council’s access que in the DPS system and may suffer delays in the evaluation process as a result thereof.

The Application for Criminal History Evaluation Letter is available for download on the Forms and Publications webpage.

The State Auditor’s Office, in collaboration with occupational licensing authorities, has developed a guide to provide an overview of the occupational licensing application process for an individual with a criminal conviction or deferred adjudication for a felony or misdemeanor offense. The guide presents the process outlined in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 53, but is not intended to serve as legal advice. You may view or download the guide by clicking on the following link: Best Practices Guide: Applying for an Occupational License After Conviction or Deferred Adjudication.