UPDATE: TMB Continues to Clarify New Fingerprinting Requirement Ahead of License Renewals
By Patrick McDaid

As the first round of this year’s physician licensure renewals get under way, a new fingerprinting requirement affecting certain renewals has sparked confusion and concern among Texas physicians.  

The Texas Medical Assocation is working closely with the Texas Medical Board (TMB) to help ensure physician licenses are renewed on time as the agency takes steps to clarify the process.  

The fingerprinting requirement for physicians is a result of legislation passed during the 2023 session. Similar legislation was previously passed requiring physician assistants and surgical assistants to be fingerprinted.  

Physicians who were fingerprinted after Jan. 15, 2018, are exempt from this requirement. According to TMB, those fingerprinted prior to that date must undergo the one-time process beginning with February 2024 renewals.  

“Fingerprint results will not be required until your renewal. Reminders of the fingerprint requirement will be included in the renewal notice sent out 90 days prior to your current expiration date. Detailed instructions will be included in the email renewal reminder notices,” TMB said about those who are renewing during their designated renewal period.  

TMB encourages licensees to begin the fingerprinting process early. While it can be done before the 60- to 90-day window of license renewal, physicians must contact TMB to submit them to the agency earlier than that window. 

For those who wish to submit their fingerprints early, “please contact registrations@tmb.state.tx.us and request instructions for your fingerprint submission. You can complete the fingerprint requirement at any point prior to your license expiration date,” TMB said via its website.  

However, TMB cautions that “completing your fingerprints before your renewal period will not enable you to renew your license early. Your registration window will only open within 60-90 days of your expiration date.”  

TMA Associate Vice President of Public Affairs Michelle Romero encourages TMA members to begin the process early. 

“I would emphasize that physicians need to be keenly aware of their registration expiration date and be looking out for email renewal information from TMB. Since fingerprinting is a new requirement, physicians should act right away to ensure they meet the fingerprinting requirement before their license expiration date,” said Ms. Romero. 

TMB Director of Governmental Affairs and Communication Taurie Sloan told Texas Medicine Today she understands that some physicians have experienced difficulty finding these emails. 

Email renewal reminders are sent 60 to 90 days before a license’s expiration date. Those emails will come from no.reply@tmb.state.tx.us, and “we recommend that [physicians] add this email address to your contacts list so they will not be lost,” she said. “Please check your junk and spam mail for these notices if you are not receiving them. If you have any questions about the fingerprint requirements or the renewal process, please contact us.”   

Another area of confusion for physicians has been the six-digit ID number required for fingerprint submission to TMB.  

The agency would have previously issued a five-digit ID number at the time of licensure application submission, and that number will be included in email renewal reminders, Ms. Sloan says. 

She explained, however, that “many physicians were not instructed to put a ‘0’ before their previously issued five-digit ID number. This is something we detail on the website.” 

TMB officials also note physicians cannot receive fingerprints from any fingerprinting service: Physicians must sign up for fingerprinting through IdentoGO.  

Agency officials also remind physicians of a $38.25 processing fee, which is due at application time and includes processing fees for the fingerprint vendor, Texas Department of Public Safety, and FBI.  

In November, shortly after the new process began, TMB President Sherif Zaafran, MD, emphasized that once a licensee submits fingerprints, he or she will not have to do so at subsequent renewals.  

Given the volume of licenses impacted by the new process, TMB is “just asking everyone to bear with us through this process,” he told Texas Medicine Today

Continue to read TMT for updates. If you have questions or concerns, contact the TMA Knowledge Center

Last Updated On

March 11, 2024

Originally Published On

January 24, 2024

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Patrick McDaid

Patrick McDaid is a reporter for Texas Medicine Today and Texas Medicine. His prior work included local newspaper journalism in New Jersey after graduating from Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. A new resident to Texas after 25 years of Northeast living, Patrick is eager to explore the best coffee shops, sports game venues, and outdoor trails that Austin has to offer.

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