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November 23, 2014

Texas Architects Will Soon Be Fingerprinted

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Texas Architects Will Soon Be Fingerprinted

Beginning in January, architects in Texas who want to receive or retain their licenses will be required to be fingerprinted with the state. The law applies to both new applicants and already licensed architects getting their registrations renewed. 

Any violators will face fines of up to $5,000 per day.

Architects will be required to submit a complete set of fingerprints for a criminal history background check. The FBI will also have access to the fingerprints.  

Only one other state — Massachusetts — completes criminal background checks on architects.

“Some time back, the Legislature became convinced that if there was an individual licensed by the state who had access to someone’s kids, to their house, to their money, or to drugs or explosives, then steps needed to be taken to do a more thorough background check,” David Lancaster of the Texas Society of Architects told The Architect's Newspaper

Texas also has fingerprint requirements for those with a real estate license, lawyers, medical licenses, nursing licenses, speech language pathologists, and any job governed by the Texas Racing Commission.

Some have criticized the fingerprinting of professionals in non-school-related or defense jobs.

“Fingerprinting architects and other professionals essentially means every person seeking a licensed job in Texas has to join a database of potential criminal suspects,” writes a columnist in The Atlantic Cities. “It could also allow the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners to discriminate against architects with criminal records.”

Source: “Texas Architects Will Soon Have to Be Fingerprinted,” The Atlantic Cities (Dec. 10, 2013)

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