Legislation requires all RIDs to pass national registration examination

By now most Texas RIDs have heard about a new law passed by the Legislature that requires all RIDs to pass, if they have not done so already, a national registration exam. Understandably, this new requirement has generated some discussion and some confusion. In addition to the information you may already have received or will receive, below please find questions and answers regarding the new requirement and how TBAE and other organizations will implement it with a minimum of difficulty for those affected.

Q: What changed for Texas Registered Interior Designers (RIDs)?

A: The new law requires all RIDs who have not yet passed the NCIDQ exam (or the ARE, see below) to do so by September 1, 2017. Those who do not pass the exam by that date will not be permitted to renew their RID licenses.

Q: Does this requirement apply to all statuses of RIDs, or just to Active status RIDs?

A: The requirement applies to all statuses of RIDs. Active, Inactive, and Emeritus status RIDs will all need to meet the same requirement.

Q: Which bill contained this new requirement?

A: HB 1717 of the 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, contains the provision making this change.

Q: Who administers the exam, how much does it cost, and what else do I need to know about fees?

A: The required examination is provided through the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications, or NCIDQ. (Recently that organization changed its name to CIDQ and left the name of the exam “NCIDQ,” but for simplicity we will refer to both as NCIDQ.) As of today, the NCIDQ exam costs a total of $1,010.00 for all three parts. Current RIDs will not owe TBAE any additional fees to take the test, though they will need to pay NCIDQ’s test-taking fees. TBAE has no control over fees charged by outside organizations. If you are an RID also registered as an architect, see below for more information particular to your situation.

Q: What if I have only passed one or two of the three exam parts by the deadline?

A: It is our understanding that all three parts of the exam must be passed in order to maintain an RID license after September 1, 2017.

Q: What do I need to do to become eligible to sit for the exam?

A: Simply email exams@tbae.state.tx.us or call us at 512-305-9000 and we will get you set up. There is no charge for this process, and all you need to tell us is your name, your date of birth, correct email address, and that you would like to be listed as eligible to sit for the NCIDQ exam.

Q: How do I confirm, for 100 percent sure, whether I need to pass the examination to maintain my license after 2017?

A: The simplest way to be absolutely sure of your status is to simply call us at 512-305-9000 to check. And if it turns out that you do need to pass the test, we can get you on the list during the same quick phone call.

Q: How many test administrations are there before the September 1, 2017 deadline?

A: Eight. Two administrations are given per year, each spring and fall. The upcoming exam administration is in October, and if you would like to register for that administration, time is short. Becoming eligible to sit for the exam is simple, free, and handled through TBAE, not through NCIDQ. Simply call us at 512-305-9000 or email exams@tbae.state.tx.us and tell us (1) your full name, (2) your date of birth, and (3) your preferred email address for receiving important information.

Q: Do I have to go back to school and/or earn extra internship/experience?

A: No. The new law only requires passage of the examination.

Q: I am licensed both as an architect and as an RID. I’ve passed the ARE, but not the NCIDQ. What about me?

A: The Board has proposed a rule change (at the urging of the Legislature) to allow the ARE to count as an acceptable examination for RID license continuation. The proposed rule will be published shortly in the Texas Register, and you may submit public comment for the Board’s consideration before adoption of the rule.

Q: I haven’t passed the NCIDQ, but I did pass the AID exam (or another exam). Do I still need to pass the NCIDQ exam?

A: The Board is scheduled to discuss this issue, since we know there are at least a few RIDs who have passed the AID or similar examinations in the past. We will keep you updated on what decisions the Board makes with regard to this issue and others.

Q: Where do I find information on the exam, so I can start getting ready?

A: The NCIDQ Web site is a great place to start, and includes many helpful links, materials, and information straight from the source. Information on study groups and resources for exam preparation can be found here.



The mission of the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) is to serve the State of Texas by protecting and preserving the health, safety, and welfare of the Texans who live, work, and play in the built environment through the regulation of the practice of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design.

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