Frequently Asked Questions

General Property Tax Professional FAQs

REGISTRATION
  1. What does the Property Tax Professionals program do?
  2. Who must be registered with TDLR as a Property Tax Professional?
  3. What are the requirements to be registered with TDLR as a Property Tax Professional?
  4. How do I register with TDLR to become a Property Tax Professional?
  5. What are the application fees?
  6. When does my registration expire?
  7. Can I update my personal information online?
  8. How do I renew my registration?
  9. What are the registration renewal fees?
  10. I am an employee of a county tax office and was registered with TDLR in the past, but in 2013 SB-546 mandated I was no longer regulated by TDLR. Can I keep my registration?
  11. If I am an elected county tax assessor-collector or an employee of the elected county tax assessor-collector, who do I contact with questions about my certification and future continuing education courses?
  12. My registration has expired. How long do I have to renew my registration?
  13. Can I place my registration in an 'Inactive' status?
  14. How do change my registration back from 'Inactive' to 'Active' registration?
  15. What if I change employers?
  16. I was an employee of a county tax assessor-collector office and became unregulated in 2013 due to SB-546 and then went to work for an entity that is regulated by TDLR. What do I do?
  17. How can I verify my change of employer?
  18. I am temporarily not employed by a taxing entity, how do I provide TDLR with an updated address?
  19. What if I changed my name or my registration was lost or stolen and need a replacement registration?
  20. Where can I find the Property Tax Professionals (PTP) forms?
  21. How do I find out if a person is registered as a Property Tax Professional?

1. What does the Property Tax Professionals program do?

The Property Tax Professionals program registers and regulates property tax appraisers, assessor/collectors and collectors in the state of Texas with the exception of elected county tax assessor-collectors and their employees.

2. Who must be registered with TDLR as a Property Tax Professional?

All property tax appraisers, assessor/collectors and collectors in the state of Texas must be registered with the exception of elected county tax assessor-collectors and their employees. Senate Bill 546 of the 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, deregulated elected County Assessor-Collectors and their employees effective June 14, 2013.

3. What are the requirements to be registered with TDLR as a Property Tax Professional?

To be eligible to register as a Property Tax Professional with TDLR, an individual must be:

  • At least 18 years old,
  • A resident of the state of Texas,
  • Of good moral character,
  • A graduate of an accredited high school or have a high school GED, and
  • Actively engaged in the appraisal, assessment, or collection of ad valorem taxes.

If you are the elected county assessor-collector or employees of the elected county assessor-collector, you are not eligible or required to be registered with TDLR.

4. How do I register with TDLR to become a Property Tax Professional?

Do the following after you obtain employment with a taxing entity:

5. What are the initial application fees?

The application fees are noted on the application form.

All fees are non-refundable, except as otherwise provided by law.

6. When does my registration expire?

Your registration expires one year from the date the registration is issued. Your expiration date is printed on your registration card and can also be found on the Property Tax Professional Education Status web page.

7. Can I update my personal information online?

Yes. Go to the License Contact Information Changing Site and choose the appropriate program to change your personal registration information.

8. How do I renew my registration?

  • Option 1: A renewal form is mailed to the permanent address on file 95 days prior to the registration expiration date. This address can be verified by going to TDLR License Search on our website.
  • Option 2: Renew Your Registration Online and pay your fee with a credit card.

NOTE: A CAD or other employer may return multiple renewal forms together and pay with one check. TDLR will not accept renewal fees without the completed renewal form. Renewals cannot be processed more than 95 days prior to expiration. If paying multiple renewals with one check, make sure the check is for the correct amount to avoid delays.

9. What are the registration renewal fees?

Renewals fees for Appraisers, Collectors and Assessor/Collectors based on expiration date:

  • On or after February 1, 2014: $45.00 (On-Time Renewal); $67.50 (1-90 days late); $90.00 (90 days - 36 months late
  • On or before January 31, 2014: $55.00 (On-Time Renewal); $82.50 (1-90 days late); $110.00 (90 days - 36 months late)
  • Late registration renewal fees depend on last expiration date

NOTE: All renewal fees are non-refundable.

10. I am an employee of a county tax office and was registered with TDLR in the past. Because of SB 546, I became unregulated in 2013. Can I keep my registration?

No, you may not voluntarily keep your registration with TDLR.

11. If I am an elected county tax assessor-collector or an employee of the elected county tax assessor-collector, who do I contact with questions about my certification and future continuing education courses?

If you have any questions about certification or education requirements, please contact the Texas Association of Counties at (512) 478-8753.

12. My registration has expired. How long do I have to renew my registration?

You have 18 months from your expiration date to renew your registration. If your registration has been expired for more than 18 months but less than three years, you may submit a "Request to Executive Director for Expired License Renewal" form with the required renewal fee. You must have taken the required Continuing Education (CE) courses. CE requirements for the late renewal will be established according to the CE requirements at the last renewal date.

If your registration has been expired for more than three years you must reapply as a new registrant. You will be given credit for your prior education. You will be required to take the certifying exam to prove competency.

13. Can I place my registration in an 'Inactive' status?

Yes, you may by completing the 'Change of Status' form. There is no fee associated with going 'Inactive,' but you will be required to renew your registration annually and pay the renewal fee of $45 while in the 'Inactive' status.

14. How do I change my registration from 'Inactive' to 'Active' registration?

Complete the 'Change of Status' form and pay the fee of $25. You must complete the required continuing education courses and hours before your active registration will be issued by TDLR.

15. What if I change employers?

If you have changed employers or become employed after being 'unsponsored,' you and your employer must notify TDLR within 30 days by submitting the Change Employer Form.

Your new employer must complete the lower portion of the form. You may scan and e-mail the completed form to cs.tax.professionals@tdlr.texas.gov, fax it to 512-475-2871, or mail it to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Attn: Licensing, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, TX 78711.

16. I was an employee of a county tax assessor-collector office and became unregulated in 2013 due to SB 546 and then went to work for an entity that is regulated by TDLR. What do I do?

If you have a new employer who is regulated by TDLR, you must notify TDLR within 30 days by completing the Change Employer Form. E-mail the completed form to TDLR with a cover letter explaining your situation to cs.tax.professionals@tdlr.texas.gov or fax it to 512-475-2871.

17. How can I verify my change of employer?

Thirty days after you have submitted the Change Employer Form you may verify your change by going to the Property Tax Professionals Renewal Status Search Page and view the listing of all the taxing entity's employees. If your name is not on the list, email TDLR at cs.tax.professionals@tdlr.texas.gov so we can assist you.

18. I am temporarily not employed by a taxing entity, how do I provide TDLR with an updated address?

If you are not employed by a taxing entity, but want to provide TDLR with current contact information, you may go to Licensing Change Contact Information Site and change your personal contact information. A Property Tax Professional registration cannot be renewed if the registration holder is 'unsponsored.'

If you are unsponsored and intend to return to the ad valorem tax business, TDLR recommends you consider placing your registration in an Inactive status.

19. What if I changed my name or my registration was lost or stolen and I need a replacement registration?

If your name changed, send an e-mail to cs.tax.professionals@tdlr.texas.gov with one of the following documents scanned reflecting your new name.

  • Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing the person's photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing the person's photograph
  • United States passport

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented.

If you have lost your registration and need a duplicate issued you may order a duplicate license online or download the Notice of Change and Duplicate License Request form. Your registration will be reprinted for a fee of $25. If you are registered in two or more fields, you should send a form in for each field along with the fee for each field.

20. Where can I find the Property Tax Professionals (PTP) forms?

PTP forms may be downloaded from the Property Tax Professionals Forms page.

21. How do I find out if a person is registered as a Property Tax Professional?

All TDLR registrants or licensees can be located in TDLR's licensing database.


CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
  1. How do I become certified?
  2. Do I have time deadlines to progress and achieve Certification?
  3. How long do I have to achieve my certification?
  4. How quickly may I become certified?
  5. What happens to my registration if I don't achieve certification within the required time?
  6. If I am certified in one field, may I become certified in another field?
  7. If I am a 'Licensed or Certified' appraiser by the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB), what are the requirements for me to become certified as a Class 4 Appraiser?
  8. How do I maintain my certification?
  9. I was certified but left the business for more than 3 years and didn't keep my registration or continuing education current, can I regain my certification?
  10. If I am certified and need to renew my registration, do I have to complete my continuing education before I renew my registration?
  11. Can I get additional time to complete my certification by requesting an extension of time?
  12. Can I regain a portion of my certification time by requesting a 'Break In Service' time credit, if I were not employed by a taxing entity during my certification time?

1. How do I become certified?

There are three fields (appraisal, assessing/collecting and collecting only); each has its own requirements. The education and examination requirement for each certification is located on the Property Tax Professionals Education page.

2. Do I have time deadlines to progress and achieve certification?

Yes. Each field of the Property Tax Professional program has required interim time deadlines for education and examinations.

3. How long do I have to achieve my certification?

If you are pursuing the Appraiser (RPA) or the Assessor (RTA) certifications, you have a maximum of 5 years from the original registration issuance date to achieve your certification. (Example: Your registration at TDLR was 10/31/2011. The deadline for you to achieve certification is 10/31/2016).

If you are pursuing the Collector certification, you have a maximum of 3 years. (Example: Your registration at TDLR was 10/31/2011. The deadline for you to achieve certification is 10/31/2014.)

4. How quickly may I become certified?

You may take all the required core education courses and pass the examinations as soon as possible after registration with TDLR. There is no minimum time requirement to complete the required core education courses and pass the examinations.

To achieve Certification as a Class 4 Appraisers(RPA) or Class 4 Assessor (RTA) a person must be registered a minimum of 3 years. Candidates for Class 3 Collectors (RTC) must be registered a minimum of 2 years. All core education and examinations must be satisfactorily completed before certification.

5. What happens to my registration if I don't achieve certification within the required time?

Your registration will expire and you will not be able to conduct any business for which a Tax Professional's registration is required. You may apply for another registration after being unregistered for a minimum of two years after expiration of registration (see Texas Property Tax Professionals Administrative Rules 94.28).

6. If I am certified in one field, may I become certified in another field?

Yes, you may become certified in an additional field. Each field's registration stands alone and will have a different expiration date along with requirements and examination. Previously taken core education courses can be credited toward the completion of your second certification. If your intent is to maintain your initial certification, you must keep your required continuing education current in your initial field.

7. If I am a 'Licensed or Certified' appraiser by the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB), what are the requirements for me to become certified as a Class 4 Appraiser?

Appraisers who are active 'Licensed or Certified' appraisers by the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB) may achieve TDLR Class 4 Appraiser (RPA) certification:

If not currently registered with TDLR, by;

  • submitting the Property Tax Professional application for a Class 1 Appraiser registration,
  • providing your active TALCB License # in Box 13 of the application,
  • paying the appropriate fee, and
  • passing the required Class 4 Appraiser examination.

If currently registered with TDLR, by;

  • submitting a request by email, CS.Tax.Professionals@tdlr.texas.gov , or mail (Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, ATTN: Licensing, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711),
  • providing your active TALCB License #, and
  • passing the required Class 4 Appraiser examination.

All Property Tax Professional certifying education and examination requirements and timelines remain in place if you are unsuccessful in passing the Class 4 examination. If you are successful in passing the exam, you will be automatically certified as a Class 4 Appraiser (RPA) without a time in service requirement.

8. How do I maintain my certification?

Once certified, you must fulfill your designation's continuing education requirements to maintain your certification. The continuing education requirements are outlined on the Property Tax Professionals Continuing Education page.

9. I was certified but left the business for more than 3 years and didn't keep my registration or continuing education current, can I regain my certification?

Yes, you may regain your certification for RPA, RTA or RTC. You need to verify your certification by providing a copy of your certification and a list of courses taken with the dates of completion or certificates of completion for core education courses.

Complete a registration application with the application fee and attach a cover letter explaining your intent with supporting documents. Also, provide your experience in the field you are applying for or attach a resume of your experience.

Upon registration you will be made a Class 1 registrant and be asked to regain your certification either by:

  1. Taking any currently required core curriculum courses which were not part of the curriculum when previously certified. Depending on when you were certified and if you were an Appraiser, those courses may be Professional Ethics and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP), and
  2. Passing the examination - Class 3 examination for Collectors, Class 4 for the Assessor-Collector and the Class 4 examination for Appraisers.

You will have the same timeline to complete your education and examinations as if you were a new applicant (minimum 2 or 3 years and maximum 3 or 5 years depending on the field). You may receive creditable time to overcome the minimum time requirements depending on the information you provide with the application.

10. If I am certified and need to renew my registration, do I have to complete my continuing education before I renew my registration?

TDLR recommends paying your renewal registration prior to the expiration date even if you have not completed the required continuing education. Your renewal registration will not be issued until you have completed the required continuing education.

11. Can I get additional time to complete my certification by requesting an extension of time?

Yes, you may request an extension of time to complete your certification by completing the One-Year Extension To Meet Property Tax Professional Registration Certification form and paying the fee noted on the form. The extension is one year from your 3 or 5 year certification deadline date depending on the field you are registered in, not the date you request the extension.

Once certified, there are no extensions of time to accumulate continuing education courses.

12. Can I regain a portion of my certification time by requesting a 'Break In Service' time credit, if I was not employed by a taxing entity during my certification time?

If you are not certified, you may apply for a 'Break In Service' by completing a Break In Service Credit Application and paying the fee noted on the form to regain additional time to achieve your certification. This 'Break In Service' is available only if you were not employed by an ad valorem taxing entity and you were not terminated for cause. If your 'Break In Service" is more than 5 years you must reapply for registration but your completed core education courses will be credited. A certified tax professional may place their registration in an 'Inactive' status.


EXAMINATIONS
  1. What examinations will I need to take?
  2. What do I need to do to sit for my examination?
  3. Where do I get more information about the examinations?
  4. What are the examination fees?
  5. What identification do I take to the examination?
  6. How many times and how often can I take the examination?

1. What examinations do I need to take?

The Appraiser registrant will have a Class 3 and a Class 4 examination after completion of the education requirements.

The Assessor registrant will have a Class 4 examination after completion of the education requirements.

The Collector registrant will have a Class 3 examination after completion of the education requirements.

You may have additional examinations in your education courses, but they are not part of the classification requirements.

2. What do I need to do to sit for my examination?

Examinations are administered by TDLR's third party vendor, PSI. PSI offers examinations daily at 22 locations throughout Texas and additional sites across the country. See the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) for more information.

After you complete the educational requirements for each classification (and those have been recorded by TDLR), the department will notify PSI that you are eligible to sit for an examination. PSI will then send you an eligibility postcard with instructions for scheduling and paying for your examination.

3. Where do I get more information about the examinations?

PSI's Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) contains all the information you need for your examination.

4. What are the examination fees?

Examination fees are published in the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) and are paid directly to the examination vendor, PSI.

5. What identification do I take to the examination?

You must have a VALID government-issued photo identification card. Please see the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) for policies and procedures regarding ID's and other important information.

6. How many times and how often can I take the examination?

If you fail the exam, you will be able to reschedule. You must pay for the exam each time and you may take the exam as many times as you want. Examinations are available daily throughout Texas. If an examination is required for your next renewal, you must pass the examination or your registration cannot be renewed.


CONTINUING EDUCATION
  1. How many Continuing Education (CE) hours do I need to renew my certification?
  2. What is the 'state laws and rules update course§
  3. As a Chief Appraiser do I have to take any additional continuing education courses?
  4. Will this required chief appraiser's ethics course be unique from other ethics courses for property tax professionals?
  5. If I am an RTA or RTC, can I take this course for my required ethics continuing education course?
  6. How do I verify my continuing education hours?
  7. I recently became certified, when am I required to begin accumulating CEs?
  8. How is completion of my continuing educational hours recorded and retained?
  9. I am conducting a continuing education course, how do I get it approved for continuing education hours?

1. How many Continuing Education (CE) hours do I need to renew my certification?

All continuing education requirements contain:

(a) two (2) hours in professional ethics, and

(b) a state laws and rules update course (the number of hours for the laws and rules update course is set by the Comptroller after each legislative session).

In addition to the two (2) hours in professional ethics and the State laws and rules update course, RPAs are required to take three and a half (3.5) hours in USPAP.

Continuing education credit must be completed during the 24 month period before the expiration of the license to earn the required 30 CE hours for Certified Appraisers (RPA) and Assessors Collectors (RTA), or ten (10) CE hours for Certified Collectors (RTC). Expiration dates can be found on your registration certificate.

If you achieved your certification before your 3 or 5 year deadline date, continuing education is not required until the second renewal after your certification deadline date.

Required courses must be taken every other year.

An Example for RPA's and RTA's:

Sally is a certified RPA with an expiration date of Jun 10, 2012. To renew, she is required to complete 30 hours of CE from Jun 10, 2010 to Jun 10, 2012. If Sally completes 10 hours of CE between Jun 10, 2010 and Jun 10, 2011, and 20 hours of CE between Jun 10, 2011 and Jun 10, 2012, she will be able to renew Jun 10, 2012. Since Sally completed 20 hours of CE between Jun 10, 2011 and Jun 10, 2012, she only needs to complete 10 hours of CE between Jun 10, 2012 and Jun 10, 2013 to renew at her next expiration date on Jun 10, 2013.

An Example for RTC's:

Bill is a certified RTC with an expiration date of Jan 30, 2012. To renew that license he is required to complete 10 hours of CE from Jan 30, 2010 to Jan 30, 2012. If Bill completes 5 hours of CE between Jun 10, 2010 and Jun 10, 2011, and 5 hours of CE between Jun 10, 2011 and Jun 10, 2012, he will be able to renew Jun 10, 2012. Since Bill completed 5 hours of CE between Jun 10, 2011 and Jun 10, 2012, he only needs to complete 5 hours of CE between Jun 10, 2012 and Jun 10, 2013 to renew at his next expiration date on Jun 10, 2013.

There is always an overlapping 12-month period where CEs are counted for renewals in consecutive years.

TDLR recommends accumulating a minimum of half of the required CE hours each year, such as 15 hours per year for the RPA and the RTA and 5 hours per year for the RTC designations.

2. What is the 'state laws and rules update course§

The 'state laws and rules update course' is defined after each legislative session. The 'update course' requirements will be published and providers must submit program/course material to PTAD for approval (Education Approval). Continuing or core education courses containing the words laws and rules in the title do not fulfill the state laws and rules update requirement.

The requirements for the 'update course' will remain effective until the next legislative session is over and the cycle begins again.

3. As a Chief Appraiser do I have to take any additional continuing education courses?

Yes. To renew a registration for a registered professional appraiser (RPA) expiring on or after January 1, 2015, the registrant must complete the following if the registrant serves as a Chief Appraiser for an appraisal district:

(1) At least 30 hours of approved continuing education in appraisal procedures and methods, tax assessment and collection, professional ethics, laws and rules, USPAP or customer service. The 30 hours must include:

  1. two hours in professional ethics;
  2. a state laws and rules update course; and
  3. three and a half hours in USPAP.

(2) At least half of the 30 hours must be in programs devoted to one or more of the topics listed in Texas Occupation Code §1151.164(b). Any 'Tax Assessment and Collections' course hours will not be credited to fulfill this half of the Chief Appraisers continuing education requirement; and

(3) At least two of the required hours in a program of professional ethics specific to the chief appraiser of an appraisal district, including a program on the importance of maintaining the independence of an appraisal office from political pressure.

4. Will this required chief appraiser's ethics course be unique from other ethics courses for property tax professionals?

Yes, this ethics course for chief appraisers will be a separate course with a unique continuing education course number. It will also satisfy the ethics continuing education requirement for other property tax professionals who are not the chief appraisers.

5. If I am an RTA or RTC, can I take this course for my required ethics continuing education course?

Yes.

6. How do I verify my continuing education hours?

Look up your continuing education hours online. A registrant’s completion of the “State laws and rules update course” is noted under the column heading of “State Law/Rules Update.” The number of continuing education hours for the “State laws and rules update” changes each legislative session. If there is a notation in the column, the course will be credited.

7. I recently became certified, when am I required to begin taking continuing education courses?

If you achieved your certification before your certification deadline date, continuing education (CE) hours are not required until the second renewal after your certification deadline date. Go to the PTP Education and Examination Details web page and note your deadline date for certification which is in the lower portion of the table of Appraiser, Assessor or Collector field you are registered in.

Continuing education will be required at the renewal of your registration two years after the certification deadline date. Example: If your certification deadline is April 1, 2016, then you will not be required to have 30 hours of CEs until April 1, 2018 renewal.

If your Class 4 Appraiser certification was attained by you possessing a TALCB registration and passing the Class 4 examination, continuing education is not required until the 7th renewal year after your initial registration issuance date. Example: If your TDLR appraiser registration with a TALCB certification was issued on October 31, 2013, then you would not be required to have 30 hours of CE until your October 31, 2020 renewal.

TDLR recommends accumulating a minimum of half of the required CE courses each year after your certification deadline date. For the RPA and RTA=15 hours per year, for RTC=5 hours per year.

8. How is completion of my continuing educational hours recorded and retained?

Reporting of CE hours is the responsibility of the CE provider with a few exceptions. Those exceptions are CE courses through the Appraisal Foundation (TAF), the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) or the Appraisal Institute (AI). If you complete course through these organizations, you will be provided a course completion certificate by the education provider. You should scan the course completion certificate and e-mail it to TDLR at ce@tdlr.texas.gov and request CE hour's accreditation. Those three organizations do not input completed CE courses into TDLR's CE database.

You can use the 'Check the CE courses you have completed" link to review the courses reported to TDLR for you. If your courses have not been reported, contact the provider

9. I am conducting a continuing education course, how do I get it approved for continuing education hours?

All continuing education (CE) courses must be approved by the Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) of the Comptroller of Public Accounts and approval secured prior to holding the course. Upon approval, PTAD will notify the provider and TDLR.

Core and Continuing Education providers must be registered with TDLR with few exceptions (see FAQ Continuing Education #8) to access TDLR's education database.

Information on becoming a registered education provider with TDLR including applications can be found on the Core Education Providers and Continuing Education Providers web pages. Providers are responsible for posting course attendance information on TDLR's website.


ENFORCEMENT

1. How do I file a complaint against a Property Tax Professional?

If your complaint is related to the appraised value of your property, policies and procedures of the taxing authorities or conflicts with an appraisal board/tax office, go to the Texas State Comptrollers website. This website will answer many questions relating to Texas property taxes including how to protest and resolve property tax issues.

If your complaint is within the scope of registration, education, a breach of the Property Tax Professionals code of ethics, or conflicts of interest, complete the TDLR online complaint form. You can also download the complaint form. Mail it to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Attn: Enforcement-Intake, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, TX 78711. Please include copies of all documentation related to the complaint.


COMMUNICATION
  1. Where can I get a copy of the law and rules?
  2. How will I be notified of rule and program changes?
  3. How do I contact the agency for further information?

1. Where can I get a copy of the law and rules pertaining to the Property Tax Professionals?

The Property Tax Professionals Occupations Code and the Administrative Rules are available online.

2. How will I be notified of rule and program changes?

You will receive notification of rule and program changes if you sign up for TDLR E-Mail Notifications. We recommend you subscribe to this service as soon as possible to receive updated information.

3. How do I contact the agency for further information?

Direct all of your questions and comments to cs.tax.professionals@tdlr.texas.gov, or call TDLR at (800) 803-9202 during normal business hours.