New Texas licensing laws to take affect Sept. 1, expected to impact 500,000

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Texas Department of Public Safety driver license office in Austin on June 13, 2019. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Beginning Sept. 1, over 30 new laws will impact more than 500,000 Texans under the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), involved in areas including driver’s education, cosmetology, health, and sports.

According to the TDLR, some of the coming changes will need agencies to develop rules for implementation. Some of the bills included specific directions for adopting the changes, but the “rulemaking process” may also grant the public the chance to give comments and feedback at TDLR advisory board meetings.

“The public can also participate in the process when proposed rules are published in the Texas Register and at meetings of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation when the rules are discussed and brought up for a vote.” said TDLR, “The rulemaking process can take several months to complete.”

While a full list of new laws impacting TDLR licensees can be found here, here is a selection given by the TDLR:

  • HB 1560, TDLR’s Sunset bill:
    • Extends TDLR for another 12 years. The Texas Sunset Commission will next evaluate TDLR and whether it should remain an agency in 2033.
    • Deregulates the Polygraph industry in Texas. As of Sept. 1, 2021, a Polygraph license will no longer be required to perform polygraph examinations.
    • Combines the Barbering and Cosmetology programs and creates a new board.
    • Deregulates specialty cosmetology licenses for wig stylists and wig salons as of Sept. 1, 2021. A cosmetology license will not be required to provide styling services for wigs.
    • Deregulates Combative Sports Seconds licenses, Combative Sports Matchmakers licenses and Combative Sports Event Coordinators licenses as of Sept. 1, 2021.
    • Moves Home Warranty regulation from the Texas Real Estate Commission to TDLR.
    • Reapportions membership of the Driver Training and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee.

Air Conditioning & Refrigeration:

  • HB 871 bans a municipality from charging air conditioning and refrigeration contractors a registration fee to work in that municipality.

Barbering:

  • HB 1560 combines the Barbering and Cosmetology programs and creates a new advisory board; abolishes instructor licenses.

Combative Sports:

  • HB 1560 deregulates Combative Sports Seconds licenses, Combative Sports Matchmakers licenses and Combative Sports Event Coordinators licenses as of Sept. 1, 2021.

Cosmetology:

  • HB 1560 combines the Barbering and Cosmetology programs and creates a new board; abolished wig salon and wig specialty licenses; abolishes instructor licenses.
  • HB 3721 requires that human trafficking awareness signs displayed in cosmetology establishments include information about how to report suspicious activity to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
  • HB 1560 deregulates specialty cosmetology licenses for wig stylists and wig salons as of Sept. 1, 2021. A cosmetology license will not be required to provide styling services for wigs.

Driver Education and Safety:

  • HB 985, The Julia Wells Actrequires that driver education courses include information about human trafficking prevention.
  • SB 2054 waives fees and costs associated with driver education and safety courses and driver license examinations for foster children, former foster children and youth experiencing homelessness.
  • HB 3212 requires that driver education courses include information about the dangers of street racing.
  • HB 3319 requires that driver education courses include safety information about driving around large trucks as well as information about laws requiring drivers to slow down or move over when emergency vehicles are pulled over on the side of the road.

Health Professions (Athletic Trainers, Behavior Analysts, Dietitians, Dyslexia Therapy, Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers, Massage Therapy, Midwives, Podiatrists, Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists)

  • SB 40 and HB 4 allow the use of telehealth and telemedicine in health professional programs that TDLR administers.

Massage Therapy:

  • HB 3721 requires massage establishments to post human trafficking awareness signs that include information on how to contact the Texas Department of Public Safety to report suspicious activity.
  • HB 1540 includes new criminal penalties for allowing prostitution in a massage establishment.
  • SB 1130 allows massage therapy schools to provide distance education in certain circumstances.
  • HB 2803 provides commercial landlords or tenants in multiunit properties with the ability to terminate a lease if certain unlawful activities including human trafficking, prostitution or an illicit massage establishment occurs.

Midwives:

  • SB 1941 directs the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to create a strategic plan for improving the diagnosis and treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum, a disorder that occurs during pregnancy and can cause extreme, persistent nausea and vomiting that leads to dehydration, weight loss or electrolyte imbalance.

Motor Fuel Metering and Quality:

  • HB 2106 creates the Financial Crimes Intelligence Center, which will track and investigate skimmers and coordinate law enforcement responses. The FCIC will be housed in Tyler.
  • SB 2062 creates the Motor Fuel Metering and Quality Advisory Board.

Podiatry

  • HB 2509 creates a nationally accredited post-doctor of podiatric medicine program that will prepare podiatrists for independent practice of podiatric medicine in Texas.
  • SB 768 increases the criminal penalties for manufacture or delivery of fentanyl and related substances.

Towing

  • HB 914 allows for designated municipal employees to request the removal and storage of certain abandoned or illegally parked or operated vehicles.

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