Court Reporters Certification
Certification & Registration
You are required to:
- have a high school diploma or GED equivalent,
- pass the state certification exam, and
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please refer to the Initial Certification page of our website for information on reinstating an expired certification or registration.
For information on reciprocity and endorsement, please refer to the Initial Certification page of our website.
Please refer to the Renewals page of our website for information on renewal requirements.
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.
Please refer to the pdf Guide to Using the Online System located in the Online System Resources section of our home page for instructions on how to update your supervisor.
No. Under the rules, documents for good standing are not required for the apprentice applicant. The applicant's Texas CSR supervisor must currently be certified and in good standing though.
If I apply to for an apprentice certification and pass all parts of the oral exam at one time, am I automatically issued a full certification? Is my apprentice application fee refunded?
No. In order to become fully certified, you must complete all requirements for obtaining a full certification before we can issue one, including submitting the application for full certification along with its corresponding application fee. The Initial Certification page of our website provides the requirements for obtaining a full certification.
Under the rules, the application fees are non-refundable.
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 6.9 (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.
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.
Can you tell me if the course I'm taking will count towards the CE requirements? How can I get a list of approved CE courses?
To see a list of programs that have been approved by the Commission you must search for the courses 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 that have been submitted to and approve by the JBCC.
Please refer to the pdf “Guide to Using the Online System” for step-by-step instructions on how to search for approved CE courses.
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.
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.
No. Attendees can submit their applications prior to or after the program.
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.
There are no provisions in rule to waive the CE requirement.
No. Please refer to the Rules 4.3 and 6.9 for information on what is and is not acceptable for Texas court reporter CE requirements.
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.
There are no fees for course approval.
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.
No. Continuing education requirements are for renewing their certification. Under the rules, provisional certifications cannot be renewed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You must pass the oral exam 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.
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.
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.
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.
Applicants must register for the exam with the exam vendor (TCRA). Please refer to their website for details on the registration process.
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.
Applicants must apply using our online licensing system. The link to system is located on the home page of our website.
Effective 09/01/17, per section 152.201 (c-1) of Chapter 152 and section 3.11 (d) of the JBCC Rules, passing exam scores are valid for a period of 2 years after the date of the examination. If you've not become certified within 2 years of passing the exam, you must retake the exam passed. Per section 6.2 (g)(3) of the JBCC Rules, you would not have to retake the exam passed if the scores have not expired.
See Exam Results section of the Exam page of our website for additional information.
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.
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.
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.
Renewal fees are nonrefundable.
My certification has been expired for 1 year or more. I have been living out of state. How do I become recertified in Texas?
You may become recertified without examination only if you meet the following criteria:
- You were certified in Texas prior to moving out of state;
- You are currently certified in the other state;
- 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,
- Your certification is currently in good standing.
If you meet the above criteria you may become recertified in Texas by following the procedures below:
- Submit the renewal application and submit copies of your CE documentation (i.e., copies of your certificates of attendance).
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- 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;
- 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
- Persons whose certification has been expired for one year or longer must sit for the CSR exam and obtain a new certification.
Can I put my new expiration date on my certificates even though I have not received my new certification?
Until your certification is renewed, your expiration date remains the same.
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.
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.
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.
Can I send in part of my renewal paperwork before I expire and the rest later, to ensure I meet the deadline?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Applications are processed as soon as possible, in the order of which they are received. Due to the volume of applications received, processing times can vary; therefore, we are unable to provide more specific timeframes.
Applicants must confirm receipt of their applications, and the status of their applications, by referring to the View Pending Applications page of their online profiles. All applicants are sent automated email confirmations of successful application submission and when applications are approved. Applicants must check their inboxes (and spam folders) for this correspondence.
Inquiries for application status checks or receipt confirmation will not be replied to unless determined by staff that there’s been a delay in processing your application, and you have not received prior notification. We receive many of these inquiries and each email takes time to research and respond to which delays the processing of applications. Thank you for your understanding.
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.
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.
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.
Is a court reporter's home address or home or personal telephone number available to the public if requested?
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.
For timelines, refer to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure for civil cases, and the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure for criminal cases.
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.
Applications are considered received when actually received in our office.
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.
For instructions on how to order a replacement card, please refer to section V of the pdf Guide to Using the Online System on the home page of our website. The replacement fee for a card is $5, and $15 for a wall certificate.
For ownership changes, you must submit an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The specialist will advise you of the proper steps to take and send you any paperwork you must complete. The process must be determined on a case-by-case basis to allow for any and all pertinent factors to be properly evaluated.