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RULE §851.20Professional Geoscientist Licensing Requirements and Application Procedure

(a) Requirements for licensure:

  (1) Passing score on an examination or examinations required by the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) covering the fundamentals and practice of the appropriate discipline of geoscience documented as specified in §851.21 of this chapter;

  (2) Has a documented record of at least five years of qualifying work experience during which the applicant has demonstrated being qualified to assume responsible charge of geoscience services as specified in §851.23 of this chapter and Texas Occupations Code (TOC) §1002.256:

    (A) A total of one year of qualifying work experience credit may be granted for each full-time year of graduate study in a discipline of geoscience, not to exceed two years;

    (B) The Appointed Board may accept qualifying work experience in lieu of the education requirement as provided in TOC §1002.255;

  (3) Academic requirements for licensure as specified in TOC §1002.255 and §851.25 of this chapter; and

  (4) Supporting documentation of any license requirement, as determined by Board staff or the Appointed Board, relating to criminal convictions as specified in §851.108 of this chapter; relating to substance abuse issues as specified in §851.109 of this chapter; and relating to issues surrounding reasons the Appointed Board may deny a license as specified in the Geoscience Practice Act at TOC §1002.401 and §1002.402.

(b) An applicant may request a waiver of any licensure requirement by submitting a Waiver Request (Form VI) and any additional information needed to substantiate the request for waiver with the application. If the Appointed Board determines that the applicant meets all the other requirements, the Appointed Board may waive any licensure requirement except for the payment of required fees.

(c) An application is active for one year including the date that it is filed with the Appointed Board.

(d) Professional Geoscientist application procedure. To be eligible for a Professional Geoscientist license under this chapter, an applicant must submit or ensure the transmission (as applicable) of the following to the TBPG:

  (1) A completed, signed application for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist;

  (2) Documentation of having passed an examination as specified in §851.21 of this chapter;

  (3) Documentation of having met the experience requirements as specified in §851.23 of this chapter;

  (4) Official transcript(s), as specified in §851.25 of this chapter;

  (5) The application/first year licensing fee as specified in §851.80(b) of this chapter;

  (6) Verification of every license, current or expired, in any regulated profession related to the public practice of geoscience in any jurisdiction (for example, Professional Engineer, licensed Water Well Driller, etc.); and

  (7) Any written explanation and other documentation as required by instructions on the application or as communicated by Board staff, if applicable.

(e) Any transcripts, evaluations, experience records or other similar documents submitted to the TBPG in previous applications may be included in a current application provided the applicant requests its use in writing at the time the application is filed and the Executive Director authorizes its use.

(f) An application may be forwarded to the Appointed Board at the Executive Director's discretion.

(g) Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license by fraud or false misrepresentation is grounds for an administrative sanction and/or penalty.

(h) An applicant who is a citizen of another country and is physically present in this country shall show sufficient documentation to the TBPG to verify the immigration status for the determination of their eligibility for a professional license in accordance with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. In most cases, a copy of a current visa or something equivalent will be sufficient. For applicants from countries that have a standing trade agreement with the US that specifically and adequately addresses professional licensure, such as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) or AUSFTA, a copy of a visa is not required; however, the applicant must identify the trade agreement under which the applicant would be working in the US, and must establish the applicant has the required legal status to work in Texas.

(i) Applications are not reviewed until the application and fee have been received in the TBPG office. Applicants are initially notified of any deficiencies in the application within approximately thirty (30) days after the receipt of the application and fee.

(j) An applicant should respond to a deficiency notice within forty-five (45) days from the date of notification for applicants to correct deficiencies. If an applicant does not respond to a deficiency notice or does not ensure that necessary documents are provided to the TBPG office, the application will expire as scheduled one year after the date it became active.

(k) Upon receipt of all required materials and fees and satisfying all requirements in this section, the applicant shall be licensed and a unique Professional Geoscientist license number shall be assigned to the license. A new license shall be set to expire at the end of the calendar month occurring one year after the license is issued. Board staff shall send a new license certificate, license certificate expiration card, and a wallet license expiration card as provided in subsection (p) of this section.

(l) A new license is valid for a period of one year from the date it is issued. Upon the first timely renewal of a license, the renewal period shall be from the date the license is renewed until the last day of the next birth month for the licensee. A license that is renewed late (one day after the expiration date of the license through the end of the 36th month past the expiration date of the license) is renewed in accordance to the rules set forth in §851.28 of this chapter.

(m) A license number is not transferable.

(n) Any violation of the law or the rules and regulations resulting in disciplinary action for one license may result in disciplinary action for any other license.

(o) Altering a license wall certificate, license certificate expiration card, or wallet license expiration card in any way is prohibited and is grounds for a sanction and/or penalty.

(p) The Professional Geoscientist license is the legal authority granted the holder to actively practice geoscience upon meeting the requirements as set out in the Act and this chapter. When a license is issued, a license wall certificate, the first license certificate expiration card, and the first wallet license expiration card are provided to the new licensee.

  (1) The license wall certificate shall bear the name of the licensee, the licensee's unique Professional Geoscientist license number, the discipline in which the individual is licensed, and the date the license was originally issued.

  (2) The license wall certificate is not valid proof of licensure unless the license certificate expiration card is accompanying the license certificate and the date on the license certificate card is not expired.

  (3) The license certificate expiration card shall bear the name of the licensee, the licensee's unique Professional Geoscientist license number, and the date the license will expire, unless it is renewed.

  (4) The wallet license expiration card shall bear the name of the licensee, the licensee's unique Professional Geoscientist license number, the discipline in which the individual is licensed, and the date the license will expire, unless it is renewed.

(q) Once the requirements for licensure have been satisfied and the new license and license certificate have been issued, within sixty (60) days of notification the new licensee must then:

  (1) Obtain a seal and submit TBPG Seal Submission (Form X) to the TBPG; and

  (2) Register as a Geoscience Firm, if appropriate, as described in §851.30 of this chapter.

(r) An applicant who is a military service member, military veteran or a military spouse is directed to TBPG rule §851.26 of this chapter for additional licensing provisions.

Source Note: The provisions of this §851.20 adopted to be effective December 15, 2010, 35 TexReg 10695; amended to be effective October 1, 2013, 38 TexReg 5731; amended to be effective December 11, 2014, 39 TexReg 9539; amended to be effective March 18, 2015, 40 TexReg 1384; amended to be effective March 15, 2016, 41 TexReg 1843; amended to be effective September 25, 2017, 42 TexReg 5143; amended to be effective October 31, 2018, 43 TexReg 7140; amended to be effective October 28, 2019, 44 TexReg 6374; amended to beeffective March 6, 2022, 47 TexReg 947

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