New Fingerprinting Criminal Background Checks for Physicians

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) licenses and regulates physicians and various other medical professionals in Texas. New physicians must apply for licenses under Texas law to practice medicine in Texas, but practicing physicians are also subject to periodic renewal requirements to maintain their licenses. As part of the initial licensing and licensing renewal process, physicians are now subject to new criminal background check requirements, including new fingerprinting requirements that are likely to affect many physicians. Failure to comply with this new law can adversely affect your license. If you face disciplinary proceedings before the TMB, an experienced medical license defense lawyer can assist you.

New Background Check Requirements

Tex. Occ. Code §156.0015, effective September 1, 2023, requires that physicians submit a complete set of fingerprints to the TMB and their registration permit renewal applications. The TMB must submit each set of fingerprints received to the Department of Public Safety to complete the criminal record check required under Tex. Occ. Code §155.008. Renewal applicants who fail to submit a complete set of fingerprints may be subject to license suspension or rejection of their renewal application by the TMB. The TMB is beginning enforcement of this requirement with the February 2024 expiration dates.  

This new law does provide for some exceptions. A licensee who previously submitted a complete set of fingerprints as part of an initial license application or a renewal registration permit is not required to submit another set of fingerprints if the licensee submitted those fingerprints after January 15, 2018. Applicants or licensees fingerprinted before January 15, 2018, are not part of the current FBI civil rapback system. Therefore, those individuals must submit new fingerprints to the TMB along with their initial or renewal applications. 

Physicians are just some professionals who are subject to this new fingerprinting and background check requirement. The Texas legislature previously passed similar requirements for physician assistants, surgical assistants, and acupuncturists. 

TMB Reminders Concerning Renewal Requirements 

TMB has noted that renewal applications can take a few weeks to process. Fingerprint results can take weeks to receive, and TMB must receive those results before you can access the online registration. Although the average turnaround time is ten days, hard card submissions can take four to six weeks. Therefore, you must start the renewal process early. 

In preparation for this process, you can complete the fingerprinting process early. Fingerprinting services are provided through IdentoGo by IDEMIA (formerly known as MorphoTrust USA, LLC) for a fee payable directly to IdentoGo). You must take a photo as part of the fingerprinting process. The Texas Department of Public Safety – Criminal Records and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will submit your fingerprints directly to the TMB for their records.

You will receive an email renewal reminder 60-90 days before your renewal date from [email protected] with specific information about submitting your fingerprints. Be sure to add this address to your email contacts list to receive these reminders promptly and check your junk and spam folders for these notices if you are not receiving them. 

Your email renewal notice will receive your TMB-issued six-digit ID number that you need to submit your fingerprints. You also will receive the required TMB service code for IdentoGo. If you want to start the process early and don’t want to wait until you receive your renewal notice, you can also obtain this information by emailing [email protected]

Even if you have already submitted your fingerprints to another agency or state since January 15, 2018, you still must resubmit a new set of fingerprints to the TMB. The TMB cannot access your fingerprints submitted to another agency or state.

Various fees apply for fingerprinting, initial licensing, and renewal licensing. You can find more information on the amounts of these fees on the TMB website. All initial and renewal licensing is done electronically, and the payment portion of the licensing process is done through, the official state website. 

Contact Bertolino LLP Today for Legal Assistance 

Do not hesitate to get legal assistance if you are facing potential disciplinary action against your medical license. Retaining the services of legal counsel from the beginning of any disciplinary proceedings before the TMB can be crucial to a more positive resolution of your case. Contact a Texas medical license defense attorney immediately for help with your disciplinary proceedings today.

Call or text (512) 476-5757 or complete a Case Evaluation form