BHEC Fingerprint Process
Effective September 1, 2020 the Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) is required to have its applicants and licensees undergo electronic fingerprinting. This requirement is codified in §507.256 and §507.257 of the Texas Occupations Code.
BHEC will require all licensees who have not yet undergone electronic fingerprinting to do so during their next renewal period. This requirement is new for individuals who were initially licensed under HHSC. Individuals initially licensed under the Psychology Board transitioned to this process several years ago and do not have to repeat the process.
How It Works:
Approximately 60 days prior to expiration a licensee’s account will be placed in “Renewal” status. This opens the renewal feature in the online licensing system. This also triggers the creation of the renewal postcards that are sent out to the expiring licensee’s mailing address. The postcard has renewal information and fingerprinting information on it. Additionally, BHEC sends that same information to licensees by email (if an email address is on file).
The licensee should use the information on the renewal postcard (or email) to schedule a fingerprinting appointment. If no postcard or the email is received, the fingerprinting instructions can be accessed via a link within the online renewal itself.
The fingerprinting is done at locations all over the country via digital scanning so no ink is involved. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the electronic fingerprinting. The fingerprinting location will charge a fee for the process. Once the fingerprinting is completed, future renewals will not require a repeat of the process.
Frequently Asked Questions about fingerprinting.
Q1. Why doesn’t BHEC just put the fingerprinting instructions on its website so licensees can have easy access to them?
A. The FBI mandates that the fingerprinting information be available only to licensees and applicants, not the general public. The laws governing access to criminal history information provide significant penalties to agencies if they access (even inadvertently) the information of an individual that is not an applicant or licensee. BHEC does not have a way to restrict access on the website and therefore cannot post the information in that fashion.
Q2. Can I get fingerprinted even though I’m not near my renewal date?
A. Licensees should wait for their renewal period before initiating the fingerprinting process and follow the instructions provided in the renewal information.
Q3. I never received my renewal card or the email. How can I get the fingerprinting instructions?
A. If you didn’t receive the postcard or email and you are within 60 days of the expiration of your license you should access the online licensing system and initiate the renewal process. Within that process you will be asked if you have completed the fingerprinting requirement. That question includes a link to the instructions document. Even if you answer “No” you will still be able to complete the online portion of the renewal process.
Q4. I was fingerprinted for my employment. Do I need to get printed again for BHEC?
A. Yes. Fingerprinting is entity-specific. If you were fingerprinted for another entity, even a government agency, only that entity can access your records. You will need to undergo the fingerprinting process again specifically for BHEC.
Q5. I am dually licensed with BHEC. Will I need to get fingerprinted for both of my BHEC licenses?
A. No. The fingerprint record subscription is for BHEC, not the individual boards within it. For example, if you hold an LMFT that expires in June of 2021 and an LPC that expires in June of 2022, you will only need to get printed for the LMFT that expires on June 30, 2021.
Q6. Do I have to wait until I’ve been fingerprinted to go online to renew my license?
A. No. In fact, you are encouraged to go online and renew as early as possible. You will be able to complete the online portion of the renewal process before or after fingerprinting. The license won’t be renewed until all portions of the renewal process are complete. Once complete, the license will be renewed and the new expiration date will be reflected in the online verification system.
Q7. Do I have to be in Texas to get fingerprinted?
A. No. Texas has contracted with IdenToGo for the fingerprinting process. IdenToGo has locations all over the United States. To find a location near you, visit their webpage: https://www.identogo.com/locations
Q8. I obtained my personal FBI and DPS records. Can I just send you a copy of those instead?
A. No. A printout of an individual’s arrest/conviction history is only a snapshot. By completing the fingerprinting process an agency has access to DPS’ “Rap-Back” service. This service provides BHEC with an email any time there is a change to the record of a subscribed individual. This is why licensees only need to undergo the process once, rather than at every renewal.
Q9. So does this mean BHEC has access to my records for the rest of my life?
A. No. BHEC only has access while an individual has an active license or active license application on file. BHEC regularly submits lists of recently expired applications and licenses to DPS to have subscriptions to those individuals’ information cancelled. Once cancelled, BHEC cannot access that individual’s record unless the individual undergoes another fingerprinting using the agency’s service code.
Q10. I’ve heard we have to get a National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) self-query to renew. Is this true?
A. No. The NPDB self-query is required for initial licensure applicants, not for license renewal.