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New Texas law will require architects to submit fingerprints for license


Architects are used to leaving a mark. Just not like this.

Starting January 1, 2014, occupational licensed architects in Texas will be required to share fingerprints with the state. The fingerprints will be stored in an FBI-accessible database.

This is all part of Texas House Bill 1717, passed in early 2013, which requires applicants seeking a license from the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners to 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.” Texas architects already carrying a license will need to submit fingerprints upon renewal.

Are you scratching your head yet?

Speaking to The Architect’s Newspaper, David Lancaster of the Texas Society of Architects said,

“Sometime back, the legislature became convinced that if there was an individual licensed by the state who had access to someone’s kids, to their house, to their money, or to drugs or explosives, then steps needed to be taken to do a more thorough background check.”

According to Lancaster, the Texas Society of Architects did not fight legislation citing the unfavorable odds they would win.

Massachusetts is the only other state the requires fingerprints from licensed architects.

It’s true that architects have unique access to the homes of their clients. But what do you think of this new measure? Is this something you would like to see in your home state?