Texas to Require Architects to Be Fingerprinted
Occupational licensing meets privacy violations
Starting January 1, 2014, architects who apply for an occupational license in Texas will have to share their fingerprints with the state. Texas House Bill 1717, passed earlier this year, says that applicants seeking a license from the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners must submit "a complete and legible set of fingerprints, on a form prescribed by the board, to the board or to the Department of Public Safety for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information." The FBI would also have access to all those fingerprints.
The requirement applies not just to new applicants, but also to licensed architects seeking to have their registrations renewed. Violators face a fine of up to $5,000 per day in which they are not in compliance with the new law. Currently only one other state (Massachusetts) even runs criminal background checks on architects. Now Texas is upping the ante.