Court Reporters Certification

Frequently Asked Questions 

Certification & Registration

  1. You are required to:

    1. have a high school diploma or GED equivalent,
    2. pass the state certification exam, and
    3. pass a state and federal criminal history background check.

    The exam consists of:

    • part A (the skills portion) and
    • part B (the written knowledge portion).

    Texas does not allow passing the skills exam in "legs"; the literary, jury charge, and Q&A portions of the exam must all be passed at the same time. Please refer to the Exam page of our website for details on the exam and the Initial Certification page of our website for additional details on certification. Refer also to the FAQ regarding criminal history requirements for certification.

  2. Court reporting firms, as defined by the JBCC Rules, must register with the Commission. Refer to section 6.1 (f) of the JBCC Rules for additional information.

     

  3. You must apply for registration by mail or via our online licensing and certification system. To apply online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page

  4. If there is an incident in your past that you are concerned may cause a problem with your becoming a Texas CSR, and you are enrolled or planning to enroll in court reporting school or planning to take the certification exam, you may first request a criminal history evaluation letter from the JBCC. Under section 3.5 of the JBCC Rules, you may request a criminal history evaluation letter by a written request in which you state the basis for your potential ineligibility. The Commission will notify you in writing of its determination. If you wish to sit for the exam before a determination has been made you may do so, with the understanding that even if you pass the exam a certification will not be issued until the Commission makes a determination on your eligibility status, and that a refund of the exam/application fees will not be issued. Also, if you take the exam and the Commission then determines you are not eligible, you will not receive a refund of the application and exam fees.

  5. The Commission does not require attendance at a court reporting school, nor a degree, to become a CSR.  Please refer to the Initial Certification page of our website for information on the requirements to become a court reporter.

  6. Please refer to the Initial Certification page of our website for information on reinstating an expired certification or registration.

  7. For information on reciprocity and endorsement, please refer to the Initial Certification page of our website.

     

  8. Please refer to the Renewals page of our website for information on renewal requirements. 

  9. Under section 154.107 of the statute, a certification or registration expires on the last day of the month of the second anniversary of the date the certification or registration was issued. For example, a certification or registration that was issued on 09/15/2018, when renewed, will expire 09/30/2020.

     

Continuing Education

  1. You must obtain 10 hours over your 2-year certification period. Of that 2 1/2 hours must be in ethics, Texas rules, or both. 

    Effective 04/12/2018, under section 6.6 (a) of the JBCC Rules, a certified court reporter may carry forward to the next certification period up to 4 hours of  approved continuing education. Special category CE (i.e., ethics/rules) cannot be carried forward.

  2. The Commission does not track CE hours. Licensees can verify total CE hours by referring to their certificates of attendance. Please note that under Rule 4.3 (g) of the JBCC Rules, you must keep a copy of the CE documentation for a period of three years after completion of the course.

  3. First, check the list of programs that have been approved by the Commission via the online certification and licensing system located on our home page. It is not a complete list of all programs in the State of Texas. Rather, it is just a list of courses submitted to us and approved. 

    If a course you want to take is not on the list, you must submit an application for course approval to the Commission. Your application will be reviewed to determine if, based on the rules, it would be approved and, if so, for how many hours. You must apply for course approval through the online certification and licensing system. 

  4. If you wish to use an NCRA approved program towards your CE requirements, you must submit an application for course approval. You must apply for course approval through the online certification and licensing system. 
    Refer to the pdf Guide to Using the Online System, located on the home page of our website, for instructions on how to apply for CE approval.

  5. No. Attendees can submit their applications prior to or after the program.

  6. Applications are processed as soon as possible in the order received. Also, please remember that course approvals must be submitted  no later than 2 months before your certification expires.

  7. There are no provisions in rule to waive the CE requirement.

  8. No. Please refer to the Rules 4.3 and 6.6 for information on what is and is not acceptable for Texas court reporter CE requirements.

  9. Credit can only be given for actual attendance time. If the program is only 1.5 hours in duration, but NCRA gives you 3 hours of credit for it, only 1.5 hours may be eligible to apply towards your Texas certification.

  10. There are no fees for course approval.

  11. You must report the JBCC approved CE courses you've taken when you apply for renewal of your certification. You must also upload copies of your certificates of attendance to your renewal application as well.

Criminal Histories

  1. The JBCC Rules, which were adopted by the Supreme Court of Texas, requires a criminal history record search by fingerprint submission. A Texas and a national search will be conducted through the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

  2. Under Rule 3.1 (b) of the JBCC Rules, an applicant must provide the Commission with his or her Texas and national criminal history records by fingerprint search according to directions published on the Commission's website. The criminal history searches cannot be conducted until after an application is submitted.

  3. DPS has a contracted vendor to take and process fingerprint submissions for licensing purposes. We strongly recommend you use this service. We can only accept criminal history reports that are electronically submitted by DPS directly to the Commission. Staff will email the required form needed to schedule their fingerprinting appointment to applicants who have not yet been fingerprinted for the JBCC, after we’ve received their applications.

  4. IdentoGO is a vendor contracted by DPS to provide fingerprinting services in the State of Texas. Fingerprints done with the vendor are submitted digitally to DPS. Results are submitted electronically directly to the JBCC by DPS. This results in fewer rejected fingerprints and faster processing.

  5. If the DPS or FBI is not able to read the fingerprints, they will require another set of fingerprints. If fingerprints are rejected twice the JBCC may request an alternative search method which may be conducted at no additional charge to the applicant. No further action may be required by the applicant. Also, if you do not follow the instructions when scheduling appointments for fingerprinting, the proper reports may not be generated and you may have to be printed again. You may also have to pay fees again. DPS will not issue refunds due to applicant error.

  6. No. Local sheriff's offices cannot submit fingerprints for applicant purposes, only for criminal justice purposes. If you reside in the state of Texas you should utilize one of the existing IdentoGO locations.

  7. Fingerprints will be sent digitally to the DPS by IdentoGO. DPS will submit the fingerprints to the FBI for the national search, and DPS will conduct the Texas search. The results of both searches will be sent electronically directly to the JBCC by DPS.

  8. Fees must be paid to IdentoGO either when you schedule your appointment to have your fingerprints taken, or when you show up to have them taken. Fees are subject to change.

  9. No, the fingerprints must be done by someone trained to collect fingerprints.

  10. Yes. By law, the fingerprints submitted to other entities may not be used by the Commission to obtain criminal history records from DPS and the FBI.

  11. Schedule your appointment with the nearest IdentoGO facility or, if there isn't a facility close to you, you may be able to go to your local law enforcement department to be fingerprinted. However, there is no guarantee that they will fingerprint you. If your law enforcement department cannot fingerprint you, you may need to search locally for fingerprinting services. Once printed, mail the fingerprint card to the facility listed on your Texas Fingerprint Service Code Form. For information on locations, you must contact IdentoGO. Their phone number is 1-888-467-2080. You must submit your completed Texas Fingerprint Service Code Form with your fingerprint card as well. Staff will email the required form needed to schedule their fingerprinting appointment to applicants who have not yet been fingerprinted for the JBCC, after we’ve received their applications.

  12. This is a unique originating agency identifier assigned to the JBCC.

  13. Take it with you when you go to get fingerprinted because this document must be given to staff at IdentoGO when your prints are taken.

  14. Send inquiries to the Commission in writing via email, mail, or fax. Staff will route inquiries to DPS for further research and respond to you in writing via email, mail, or fax (depending on what format was used to submit the inquiry). When submitting inquiries please include your name, CSR or File #, specific problems encountered, the date and location of the fingerprinting facility, and, if known, the name(s) of staff who assisted you at the facility.

  15. You will receive notification only if further action is required.

  16. Under Rule 3.5 (c) of the JBCC Rules, if you are enrolled or planning to enroll in a court reporting program, and you have reason to believe that you may not be eligible due to a criminal history, you may submit a written request to the Commission to issue a criminal history evaluation letter regarding your eligibility. The request must also state the basis for your potential ineligibility.
    Email your request to: courtreporting@txcourts.gov
    Upon receipt of your request, the Commission will contact you with instructions on what procedures you must follow in order for us to obtain your criminal histories. Once the reports have been received, a determination will be made on your eligibility and you will be notified of the determination in writing.

  17. Please notify us in writing if you feel your information is incorrect and whether or not you intend to challenge it so that staff may anticipate what, if any, actions are necessary on this end. If you believe your FBI criminal history record is inaccurate, you may change, correct or update the information. Procedures for doing so are set forth in Title 28, C.F.R., § 16.34. Please visit www.fbi.gov for more information. The Commission will not make a determination regarding your application until you have had a reasonable time to correct or complete the record, or have declined to do so (Title 42, U.S.C. § 14616, Article IV(c); Title 28 C.F.R. §50.12 (b)). You may also challenge the accuracy and completeness of your Texas criminal history record information. Please visit www.txdps.state.tx.us, then choose Crime Records for more information.

CSR Examination

  1. The CSR examination is currently administered by the Texas Court Reporters Association (TCRA) on behalf of the Commission. Please refer to TCRA's website for questions regarding exam registration, exam fees, scores, etc.

  2. Currently the Eleventh Edition of Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. This is subject to change, so check with the vendor prior to taking the exam.

  3. Accommodations are made according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Under section 3.10 of the JBCC Rules, you must submit written notification to the exam vendor within 10 days of the scheduled exam. It is recommended that you submit your registration paperwork as early as possible to allow time to research and make any necessary accommodations prior to the exam.
    Documentation from your physician relating to your disability will be required. This documentation must include the type of disability and the recommended accommodations.

  4. Yes. You are not required to use paper notes, but you are strongly encouraged to use them in the event you have equipment failure and can no longer access your notes electronically. Please be advised that only the final paper transcript is accepted for grading purposes. If you cannot turn in a transcript you will receive a failing grade.

  5. You must pass the oral exam for each method. You must also provide an SOP (statement of proficiency), or other allowable qualifying document, for each method. If you have previously taken and passed the written exam, you do not need to retake it, but you do need to note on your paperwork that you have passed it, when you passed it, and the file number you tested under when you passed it. 

  6. Please refer to the website for the Texas Court Reporters Association for this information since they administer the certification exam on behalf of the Commission.

  7. Effective September 01, 2019, the JBCC no longer requires you to qualify to sit for the oral exam. Please refer to the Exam page of our website for information on exam requirements.

  8. Regrades are done as quickly as possible. However, there are no guarantees that results will be provided before the registration deadline of the next CSR examination. It would be advisable not to wait on the regrade results if you're planning to sit for the next exam.

  9. Applicants must register for the exam with the exam vendor (TCRA). Please refer to their website for details on the registration process.

  10. Test results will be provided according to the timeline established in Rule 3.11 of the JBCC Rules. Test results are not provided by phone, fax, or to third parties. Certification cards will be issued by regular mail after the Supreme Court certifies the names of the successful examinees.

  11. Applicants must apply using our online licensing system. The link to system is located on the home page of our website.

  12. Notwithstanding Rule 3.11 (d), an applicant who passes Part A (i.e., the oral exam) or Part B (i.e., the written knowledge exam) but fails the other part will not be required to be reexamined on the part that the applicant passed. The oral exam cannot be passed in legs. 

  13. You must submit the appropriate form for a regrade to TCRA, the exam vendor. The form to request a regrade can be obtained from TCRA. Please refer to their website for any additional information. Applications for a regrade must be submitted within 20 days of notice (i.e., the date that results were issued) that you did not pass the exam. You may also request a review of your skills exam after the exam has been re-graded. The deadline to request a review of your skills exam is within 20 days of notice of your regrade results. 

     

  14. They can be viewed in circumstances when something is in question and to determine if someone cheated, but they cannot be considered when determining grades. The final (printed) transcript is the only document that will be used to determine whether an examinee passed or failed the CSR exam.

Renewals

  1. Courses must be approved before you submit your renewal, as part of the renewal process is reporting the approved courses you have taken. Courses approval applications must be submitted no later than 2 months before your certification expires.

  2. Renewal fees are nonrefundable.

  3. You may become recertified without examination only if you meet the following criteria:

    1. You were certified in Texas prior to moving out of state;
    2. You are currently certified in the other state;
    3. You have been practicing court reporting in the other state for a period of at least 1 year preceding the date of application for recertification in Texas; and,
    4. Your certification is currently in good standing.

    If you meet the above criteria you may become recertified in Texas by following the procedures below:

    1. Submit the renewal application and submit copies of your CE documentation (i.e., copies of your certificates of attendance).
    2. Submit all required paperwork to the Commission (along with documentation confirming the above four criteria) with the appropriate renewal fee(s). Please refer to section 3.2 (g) of the JBCC Rules for details.
    3. Pay to the commission a fee that is equal to twice the normally required renewal fee. 

    If you do not meet the criteria above, please refer to the Initial Certification page of our website for information on becoming reinstated.

  4. The expiration date is established in rule and does not provide for extensions. Any certifications not renewed by the expiration date will lapse into inactive status and your options would be as follows, under section 3.2 of the JBCC Rules:

    1. Certifications which have been expired for 90 days or less may be renewed but the CSR is required to pay 1½ times the renewal fee;
    2. Certifications which have been expired for more than 90 days but less than one year may be renewed but the CSR is required to pay twice the renewal fee; or
    3. Persons whose certification has been expired for one year or longer must sit for the CSR exam and obtain a new certification.
  5. Until your certification is renewed, your expiration date remains the same.

  6. Renewals are to be submitted via our online licensing system located on the home page of our website.

    Friendly reminder: It is your obligation and responsibility as a certified shorthand reporter or court reporting firm to keep your certification and your contact information current with the Commission. Notification from this office is sent merely as a reminder.

  7. Check your certification card or firm registration certificate to see the expiration date. Another option would be to refer to the online certification and licensing system on our home page.

  8. You cannot do part of the renewal process online and part of it by mail, email, or fax. Under section 3.2 (c) of the JBCC Rules, you must apply for renewal via our online licensing and certification system. To apply online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page

  9. Under section 3.2 (c) of the JBCC Rules, the Commission will not process incomplete paperwork. If all required items are not submitted your certification or registration will not be renewed.

  10. Under section 3.2 (c) of the JBCC Rules, you must apply for renewal via our online licensing and certification system. The online system will only accept credit card payments. To apply online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page

  11. If you are unsure of the name of a seminar, or any other items on your certificate of attendance, contact the seminar provider directly for this information.

  12. You are not considered renewed until your application has been processed. Submitting applications or paying for a certification does not constitute renewal.  Once your application is processed, an automated email will be sent to the primary address on file. You can also track your status via our online licensing  system. 

    We strongly recommend that you check your email  (including your spam folder) and/or the online system, prior to reporting to work to ensure you are renewed to continue provide court reporting services. Providing services without a valid certification or registration is a violation of the rules and may result in disciplinary actions.

Miscellaneous

  1. You can track your status and confirm receipt using the online certification and licensing system on our home page, or by submitting items using a method that will allow for confirmation on your end.

    When applying online, you'll receive an automated email confirmation when your application is submitted (i.e., received,). You will also receive an automated email confirmation when your application has been approved.

     

  2. You must apply for a name change via our online licensing and certification system. To apply online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page

  3. You must update your information via our online licensing system within 30 days of the change.  To update your information online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page

  4. The deadlines are established in the JBCC Rules adopted by the Supreme Court and by Chapters 151-157, Texas Government Code. Staff adheres to those deadlines.

  5. Personal contact information is exempt from disclosure to the public under Rule 12.5 (d) of the Rules of Judicial Administration. We use the information reporters provide to us for business contact purposes. Additional information regarding Rule 12 and the public's right of access to judicial records may be accessed from the Request for Records page of the JBCC website.

  6. For timelines, refer to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure for civil cases, and the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure for criminal cases. 

  7. The Commission does not have jurisdiction over court reporting for litigation in the courts of other states or federal courts. Contact the appropriate authorities for other jurisdictions to determine what rules are applicable.

  8. Applications are considered received when actually received in our office.

  9. You can search for licensees via our online certification and licensing system. For information on our system, please refer to the home page of our website in the section titled “New Online Certification and Licensing System”. Please refer to the “Guide to Using the Online System” for step-by-step instructions on how to search for licensees.