Frequently Asked Questions -
Physician Applicants

Q: Whom do I contact at the board when I have questions?

A: Call (512) 305-7030 to reach a member of the Pre-Licensure, Registration, and Consumer Services department between the hours of
8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time.

Q: How do I obtain an application for physician licensure?

A: Applications are on-line. Click here.

Q: What is the fee?

A: The fee for physician licensure in
Texas is $1002.00. The entire fee must be submitted before your application can be assigned and processed. This fee does not include the registration fee, which is due and payable upon issuance of your permanent license.

Q: I don't want a Texas license. Can I get a refund of my application fee?

A: Refunds are allowed in limited circumstances. For more information please refer to Board Rule 175.5(c). Please note that a portion of the fee is a non-refundable processing fee.

Q: How long does it take to process an application?

A: We are legislatively mandated to process all physician licensure applications in an average of 44 days. The processing time clock begins when the applicant has submitted all initial requirements and the application has passed from Pre-Licensure to Licensing. A licensing analyst is then assigned to process the application. Individual application processing time will vary according to the complexity of the application. Factors that increase complexity are "yes" answers to any of the Professionalism questions on the application, or graduation from a medical school not listed on the Substantial Equivalence list. Once the licensing analyst determines the application is complete, the applicant is scheduled for licensure. Currently staff issues licenses twice a month.

Q: Can my application be expedited?

A: Applicants who agree to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients, practice in a medically underserved area, a health professional shortage area, or a rural area may be eligible for expedited handling. For more information about requirements, click here.

For information about rural practice, you may wish to visit the following web sites:

Texas Department of Rural Affairs

Southern Rural Access Program

Q: How many attempts can I have on the licensing exams and still be eligible

A: Three, however, applicants who held a Texas Physician in Training permit on 9/1/05, or who have been licensed in good standing in another state for at least 5 years, and who have no restrictions, orders, or probation on any other state medical licenses, are eligible for exceptions to the three attempt exam limit. A detailed explanation of the law is available here.

Q: What additional examinations are required for licensure in Texas?

A: All applicants for licensure are required to pass the Texas Medical Jurisprudence Examination.

If you have not passed the FLEX, SPEX, NBME, NBOME, USMLE, COMLEX,  or LMCC within the preceding 10 years, or if you have not obtained American Specialty Board certification or re-certification or the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists certification or re-certification within the preceding 10 years, you will be required to pass the Special Purpose Examination (SPEX) under the board's 10- year rule. The SPEX is a computer-based exam administered by the Federation of State Medical Boards.

Q: I have passed a licensing exam but do not hold a state or provincial license. Can I apply for licensure in Texas?

A: Yes. If you have passed a licensing examination (
FLEX, NBME, NBOME, USMLE, COMLEX, LMCC or a state board examination) acceptable by the board, you may apply for licensure.

Q: My school isn't listed on the document entitled "Schools Whose Graduates Do Not Have To Prove Substantial Equivalence of Their Education." What does that mean and what do I have to do?

A: There are two reasons your school might not be on the list: 1) the Texas Medical Board has never licensed a graduate of your school before; or, 2) the Texas Medical Board more thoroughly investigates the education of graduates of your school.

If your school is not listed the board will require additional documentation from you, your school, and some government entities in the country in which your school is located. Click here to go to the Additional Forms page and review the Licensure Forms Z1-Z7, which contain the details of the additional information the board requires.

Q: My licensing analyst informed me that I need a foreign education evaluation. What do I need to do?

A: A foreign education evaluation is one tool the board uses in evaluating the medical education of a physician applicant who attended a medical school located outside the United States . The board will accept evaluations from either the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) or the Foreign Credentials Service of America (FCSA). The cost of the evaluation is borne by the applicant. Applicants can find the appropriate request form on our website at Additional Forms "Form N"

Q: Will I have to have my fingerprints taken?

A: Yes. All applicants are required to submit their fingerprints for a criminal background check. For more information, click here.

Q: Can I apply only for a temporary license if I will be coming to
Texas for just a week or so?

A: No. A temporary license may only be issued after an applicant has met all requirements established by the state of
Texas for permanent licensure

Q: How do I find out about career opportunities in rural Texas?

A: For information concerning practice opportunities in rural
Texas please contact:

         Texas Department of Rural Affairs

         Southern Rural Access Program

Q: What is FCVS? What information do they collect? Would this service benefit me?

A: The Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) is a service created by the Federation of State Medical Boards to streamline the credentialing and licensing process. FCVS is not a requirement for
Texas licensure and is in no way a guarantee of licensure or of an expedited application process in Texas. FCVS will be of the greatest benefit to an applicant who is applying from a school that will not issue multiple sets of documents or will be applying to several other states in addition to Texas. The Federation of State Medical Boards collects information regarding an applicant's identity, medical education, postgraduate training, licensure examination history, ECFMG certification, and board action history. This information is verified by the FCVS and maintained as a primary source record of a physician's credentials. FCVS will send a standard portfolio to state boards, hospitals, managed care plans, or professional societies at the applicant's request. Please contact the Federation of State Medical Boards directly concerning service fees and processing times.

 Q: How do I register for USMLE Step 3?

A: For information on how to register for USMLE Step 3 contact the Federation of State Medical Boards.

Q: How do I register for COMLEX Level 3?

A: For information on how to register for COMLEX Level 3 contact the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.

 Q: It has been over ten years since I took a licensing exam. Is that a problem?

A: Applicants who have not passed a licensing examination in the ten years before application will be required to pass a monitored specialty board certification or recertification exam; or take the SPEX exam. Alternatively, 6 months in an ACGME or AOA accredited residency program, or board approved fellowship, completed in the 12 months prior to application will also satisfy this requirement.  

Q: I haven't been practicing medicine for a while. Is that a problem?

A: Maybe. In order to be eligible for physician licensure in Texas you must prove that you have actively diagnosed or treated patients, or been on the active teaching faculty of a Texas medical school on a full time basis for either of the two years preceding the date of your application. The Board defines "full time" to be at least 20 hours per week for 40 weeks duration during a given year.

If you don't meet that requirement the Executive Director may determine that certain conditions must be met before licensure can be granted. Alternatively, licensure under a non-disciplinary order limiting your practice to administrative medicine may be offered.  

Q: What other fees may I have to pay besides the $1002 application fee?

A: Fees are typically required from other institutions that provide documents or services - such as the FSMB for the FCVS packet, or exam transcripts; the NPDB/HIPD for their reports, AACRAO or FCSA for a foreign education evaluation; the jurisprudence exam which is administered by PearsonVue; and the criminal history background check. Finally, the application fee does not cover any part of your initial registration. Initial registration fees are pro-rated.

Any and all statements herein should not be construed as official policy or positions of the Texas Medical Board and are merely provided by Board staff for general guidance. No individual staff member is authorized to provide a binding opinion or statement for the full Board. Nothing herein should be construed as legal advice for any particular situation