Court Reporters Certification

Initial Certification 

Requirement of Certification or Registration

Certification of Court Reporters

A person may not engage in shorthand reporting in this State or be appointed an official court reporter or deputy court reporter unless that person is certified as a shorthand reporter by the Supreme Court of Texas.

A certification must be for one or more of the following methods of shorthand reporting:

  1. Written shorthand;
  2. Machine shorthand;
  3. Oral stenography; or
  4. Any other method of shorthand reporting authorized by the Supreme Court.

To qualify for certification, a person must pay all required fees, comply  with the application procedures, and comply with the following requirements:

  • Pass the CSR Examination.  
  • Have a High School Diploma or GED equivalent.     
  • Provide their state and national criminal histories.

In order to apply to become a certified shorthand reporter (CSR), you must:

  1. Submit the Application for Certification. You must apply for certification via our online licensing and certification system. To apply online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page
  2. Submit the application fee. Please see the Fees section of this page for information on amounts due, acceptable forms of payment, etc.
  3. Submit the Application for Exam Eligibility if you’re also applying to take the exam.
  4. Pass a criminal history background check by DPS and the FBI. 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.
  5. Pass the required CSR examination.

Certification by Endorsement

Rule 3.3 (a) of the JBCC's Rules states: "The Commission may waive any prerequisite to obtaining a certification, registration, or license for an applicant after reviewing the applicant's credentials and determining that the applicant holds a certification, registration, or license issued by another jurisdiction that has certification, registration, or licensing requirements substantially equivalent to those of this State."

  • Applications for certification by endorsement, and supporting documentation, cannot be submitted online. They must be submitted by mail.
  • Do not create an online profile prior to receiving written instructions by staff to do so.
  • The certification by endorsement process does not currently extend to certifications held by associations.
  • The certification by endorsement process does not extend to those with an expired TX certification. Please refer to section 6.3 of the JBCC Rules for the requirements on how to reinstate a certification expired for 1 yr. or more.

In order to consider you for certification by endorsement, you must submit the following:
1. Application for Certification by Endorsement
2. Application fee
3. Verification from your licensing authority that your license is current and in good standing
4. Documentation from your licensing authority of the requirements for certification
5. Documentation from your licensing authority verifying the method of certification you’re licensed under (i.e., machine shorthand, or oral stenography, etc.)
6. A copy of your resume
7. A copy of your exam results; scores, method (i.e., machine shorthand or oral stenography), and if it was a state or national test
8. Verification of how the exam was taken (i.e., taken in legs or passed in one sitting)  

You must have your fingerprints taken for a background check. We will send you the link to the form and instructions after we have received your application for certification by endorsement. If you are currently living outside the state of Texas, please be sure to follow the out of state instructions for submitting your fingerprints; results can take several weeks. Please send a copy of your receipt once your fingerprinting has been done.

Once we have all these documents, your application will be reviewed and a determination made. Court reporters' applications for certification by endorsement may be reviewed by the Court Reporter Certification Advisory Board on a case-by-case basis. You are welcome to submit additional documents that will help us to make a determination; for example: a description of what you did to become certified, any other certificates relating to court reporting that you hold.

You may not have to take the oral skills test, depending on your endorsement eligibility determination. You will be required to take the written exam, which covers Texas laws governing court reporters. You can take the written exam prior to a determination being made on your eligibility for endorsement, if you choose. If you do have to take the oral skills test, please be aware that the Texas oral skills exam consists of three parts. All three parts must be taken at one sitting, and a passing score received on each part. Should you have questions not addressed online, please submit inquiries to courtreporting@txcourts.gov

Criminal History

For more information on the fingerprinting process, including how to submit inquiries on problems encountered during the fingerprinting process, please refer to the Criminal Histories section on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page of our website.

Please refer to section 3.0 of the JBCC Rules for additional information on criminal histories and certification.

Under section 3.5 (a) of the JBCC Rules, an initial or renewal application may be denied, and a regulated person may be disciplined, if the person's criminal history or other information indicates that the person lacks the honesty, trustworthiness, or integrity to hold the certification, registration, or license.

Please be aware that we must have an application from you before we can provide the instructions, service code and disclosure language that is required to make your fingerprinting appointment.  JBCC staff will contact you once we have your application.  Please do not rely on information or forms that you receive from a source other than the JBCC and its staff.  Doing so may result in your having to be re-fingerprinted, and thus delays in processing your application.

Registration of Court Reporting Firms

A court reporting firm and its affiliate offices must register with the Commission.

A court reporting firm may not use the title or designation "court recording firm," "court reporting firm" or "shorthand reporting firm" or any abbreviation, title, designation, words, letters, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that the firm is a court reporting firm or shorthand reporting firm, or offer services as a court reporting firm or shorthand reporting firm, unless the firm and its affiliate offices are registered with the Board.

To register your court reporting firm you must:

  • pay all fees required by rule, and
    • Effective 09/01/19, registration fees are waived for firms with CSR's owning more than 50% of the firm and that maintain actual control of the firm.
  • Submit the Application for Registration. You must apply for registration via our online licensing and certification system. To apply online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page

The  registration form must state whether the firm or office or any officers,  directors, or managerial employees have been finally convicted of a felony or  misdemeanor other than a minor traffic offense or juvenile offense.

Reinstatements

See section 3.2 of the JBCC Rules and section 154.107 of the statute for requirements on reinstating a certification or registration that has been expired for 1 yr. or more.

When initially applying to reinstate, you must submit the paperwork for First-Time Applicants. To obtain this paperwork, you must submit a written request to courtreporting@txcourts.gov so staff can email it to you

Reinstating an Expired Court Reporter Certification 

Applicants reinstating an expired certification must meet the same requirements as new applicants. 

  1. submit the same exam paperwork,
  2. submit the same exam fees, and
  3. pay all unpaid renewal and late fees charged for the expired certification, in addition to complying with all registration requirements and procedures for a new certification including passing the CSR exam and the application for certification fee.

Former TX court reporters who moved out of state and are returning may reinstate 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 Rulesfor details.
  3. Pay to the commission a fee that is equal to twice the normally required renewal fee. 

Reinstating an Expired Court Reporting Firm Registration

Applicants reinstating an expired registration must meet the same requirements as new applicants. 

Those expired 1 year or more must pay all unpaid renewal and late fees charged for the expired registration, in addition to complying with all registration requirements and procedures for a new registration, including the application for registration fee. Staff will advise of the amount due when they send the paperwork required for reinstatement.

Expiration

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.

Fees

All fees are non-refundable.

Application for Certification: $200.00

Application for Registration: $200.00

Acceptable forms of payment: Check, Money Order, or Cashier's Check. Credit cards accepted for online applications only.

Make payable to: The Office of Court Administration

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Updated: 09/18/2019