16 TAC, Chapter 80, §80.20 and §80.80
(Effective: September 15, 2012)
The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) adopts amendments to existing rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code, (TAC), Chapter 80, §80.20 and §80.80 regarding the Licensed Court Interpreter program, as published in the June 29, 2012, issue of the Texas Register (37 TexReg 4779).
Section 80.20 is adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the June 29, 2012, issue of the Texas Register (37 TexReg 4779).
Section 80.80 is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the June 29, 2012, issue of the Texas Register (37 TexReg 4779). The adoptions take effect September 15, 2012.
The amendments are necessary to create a mandatory pre-test orientation course for licensed court interpreter applicants to provide them with an overview of interpreter ethics, court terminology, and interpreting protocols as well as provide them with a clear understanding of the exam rigors. The amendments also establish a filing fee for the upgrade to Master application. A summary of each rule amendment was included in the notice of proposed rules published in the June 29, 2012, issue of the Texas Register (37 TexReg 4779).
The Department drafted and distributed the adopted rules to persons internal and external to the agency. The Department received public comments from three licensed court interpreters. All expressed support for having an orientation course prior to taking the licensing exam. One commenter stated that the requirement deters applicants who aren’t ready to take the test, gives them a clearer understanding of what the exam is about and conforms to requirements other states have for licensing court interpreters.
On April 13, 2012, the Licensed Court Interpreter Advisory Board (LCI Board) met to review public comments and recommend changes to the proposed rules in response to comments received. The LCI Board recommended that §80.20 be amended to specify that the orientation course requirement be a minimum of six hours in length and apply to persons applying for a license on or after September 1, 2012 and that §80.80 be adopted as published. The change to §80.20 regarding minimum orientation course time was made to clarify that the orientation course discussed in the rules as a “day-long” course be no less than six hours. The addition of the September 1, 2012, date was added to give the Department sufficient time to review and approve orientation courses.
The Commission adopted rule §80.20 and amended the effective date of the orientation course requirement to October 15, 2012 to further ensure that the Department has sufficient time to review and approve orientation courses.
The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Government Code, Chapter 57, which authorizes the Commission, the Department’s governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement this chapter or a law establishing a program regulated by the Department.
The statutory provisions affected by the adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Government Code, Chapter 57. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adoption.
§80.20 Licensing Requirements--General.
(a) Prior to performing court interpretation services, a person first must obtain a court interpreter license from the department with a language endorsement for each language that the applicant will interpret.
(b) A person seeking to be licensed as a court interpreter must:
(1) prior to filing an application with the department, satisfactorily complete a department-approved orientation course of at least six hours;
(2) file an application with the department using department forms;
(3) pay a non-refundable license application filing fee;
(4) satisfy the examination requirements of §80.22; and
(5) complete all requirements, including satisfying the examination requirements within one year of the date of the application.
(c) Until September 1, 2013, the department shall consider examinations taken up to two years prior to the filing of the application for purposes of awarding a Basic Designation license.
(d) The orientation course requirement will apply to persons applying on or after October 15, 2012.
(a) All fees are non-refundable.
(b) The original license application filing fee shall be $75.
(c) The renewal application filing fee shall be $50.
(d) The upgrade to Master application filing fee shall be $25.
(e) The fee for obtaining an additional endorsement shall be $25.
(f) The fee for obtaining a duplicate license is $25.
(g) The fee for the written examination is $100.
(h) The fee for each oral examination is $300.
(i) Late renewal fees for licenses issued under this chapter are provided under §60.83 of this title (relating to Late Renewal Fees.)
This agency hereby certifies that the adoption has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency’s legal authority.
Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State, on August 24, 2012.
William H. Kuntz, Jr.
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation