Applying for a License

Effective November 1, 2020, the Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC or the Council) launched a collaboration with the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to improve access to the licensing exam. 

Prior to this change, prospective examinees were required to:

  1. Apply to BHEC for approval to sit for the exam
  2. Apply with ASWB to take the exam
  3. Apply with BHEC after exam passage to receive the license

The collaboration with ASWB eliminates the approval step.  Now, rather than requesting approval from BHEC, prospective examinees apply directly to ASWB.

  1. Apply with ASWB to take the exam
  2. Apply with BHEC after exam passage to receive the license

Breakdown of the New Process:

Current Social Work Students

In the last semester of your social work program, you can apply for the exam with ASWB by visiting their website and initiating the application process.  Visit our “ASWB Licensure Examinations” page for details.

Once you have passed the exam and graduated from your social work program you are eligible to apply online for the license.  DO NOT APPLY FOR THE LICENSE PRIOR TO GRADUATION AND EXAM PASSAGE. 

To apply for the license, you will access our online licensing system.  This system allows the user to apply for the license and upload any required first-person documentation.  A user-guide for applying online can be found here: https://www.bhec.texas.gov/how-to-user-guides/index.html

Existing Texas Licensees Upgrading to LMSW or LCSW

LBSW – LMSW: In the last semester of your social work program, you can apply for the exam with ASWB by visiting their website and initiating the application process.  Visit our “ASWB Licensure Examinations” page for details.

Once you have passed the exam and graduated from your social work program you are eligible to apply for the license.  DO NOT APPLY FOR THE LICENSE PRIOR TO GRADUATION AND EXAM PASSAGE.   The online upgrade application is still in development.  Until it is completed, download and complete the LMSW license application form found on the “Forms and Publications” page.  Submit the completed form and fee.

LMSW – LCSW: When you have completed your 3,000 hours of supervised experience you can apply for the exam with ASWB by visiting their website and initiating the application process.  Visit our “ASWB Licensure Examinations” page for details.

Once you have passed the exam you are eligible to apply for the license.  DO NOT APPLY FOR THE LICENSE PRIOR TO COMPLETION OF EXPERIENCE AND EXAM PASSAGE.   The online upgrade application is still in development.  Until it is completed, download and complete the LCSW license application form found on the “Forms and Publications” page.  Submit the completed form and fee.

Applying For A Social Worker License

The Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) is in the process of moving all license and specialty applications online.  During this transition, some applications may be available in one format or the other.  Please use the instructions below when applying.

Click the license you wish to apply for:

New LBSW or LMSW (Online)

LBSW, LMSW, or LCSW licensed in another state (Online)

Upgrade to LMSW or LCSW (Paper Application Only)

Board Approved Clinical Supervisor (Paper Application Only)

New LBSW or LMSW (never held a social work license before)

BEFORE accessing the Online Licensing System you must have already graduated from your social work program and have passed the ASWB examination.  For information on scheduling the ASWB exam, please visit our “ASWB Licensure Examinations” page.     

If you have already passed the exam AND graduated from your Social Work program, you will need to have the following document(s) completed and scanned into your device to be uploaded and attached to your electronic application. 

Jurisprudence Examination Completion Certificate – You must take the Jurisprudence Exam prior to submitting your application for licensure.  Please note, the exam must be completed no earlier than six months prior to submission of your application.  Upon completion of the exam, you will be issued the certificate. 

Additional Documents that must come in from 3rd Parties (cannot be uploaded with app):

National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) self-query report – Please request a self-query from the NPDB.  This will be mailed to you by the NPDB.  You will need to mail us the unopened self-query.  Information on NPDB self-query is found here.

Fingerprinting – Upon submission of your online application you will be sent a confirmation email.  This email will include a link to the information on getting fingerprinted.  The fingerprinting is done electronically and locations all over the country. There is a fee paid to the fingerprint facility. Typically, it takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the process of getting fingerprinted.

Official Transcripts – The Council requires submission of official transcripts.  These cannot be uploaded with your application.  Instead, they must be received by the Council directly from the awarding institution, a transcript or credential delivery service, or a credentials bank that utilizes primary source verification.  The board prefers electronic submission but will accept hardcopy transcripts.

Electronic transcripts should be emailed to: transcripts@bhec.texas.gov

Hardcopy transcripts should be mailed to:

BHEC SW Transcripts

333 Guadalupe St., Ste. 3-900

Austin, TX  78701

Military Service Members, Veterans, and their Spouses – If you or your spouse have qualifying military service, please complete the Military Supplemental Form.

Once you have all the required documentation saved to your device, proceed to the Online Licensing System

Instructions for setting up your account can be found here.

The user guide for using the online licensing system to apply for an LBSW/LMSW can be found here.

LBSW, LMSW, or LCSW licensed in another state

Supplemental Documentation

In addition to the application, there is supplemental documentation that must be attached to your application.  BEFORE accessing the Online Licensing System, you will need to have the following forms completed and scanned into your device to be attached to your electronic application. 

Jurisprudence Examination Completion Certificate – All applicants must take the Jurisprudence Exam prior to submitting your application for license.  Please note, the exam must be completed no earlier than six months prior to submission of your application.  Upon completion of the jurisprudence exam you will be issued the certificate. 

Clinical Supervision Verification Form (LCSW Only) – If you have held the out-of-state LCSW for less than one year and your endorsing state’s verification does not display the hours of supervised experience you accrued to meet eligibility requirements, you will need to have this form completed by your former supervisor(s).  If this information cannot be provided contact BHEC staff for guidance after you have submitted your application.  Note: If you have held an active, unrestricted LCSW in another U.S. jurisdiction for the past year or more, you are not required to provide this form.

Additional Documents that must come in from 3rd Parties (cannot be uploaded with app):

National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) self-query report – Please request a self-query from the NPDB.  This will be mailed to you by the NPDB.  You will need to mail us the unopened self-query.  Information on NPDB self-query is found here.

Fingerprinting – Upon submission of your online application you will be sent a confirmation email.  This email will include a link to the information on getting fingerprinted.  The fingerprinting is done electronically and locations all over the country. There is a fee paid to the fingerprint facility. Typically, it takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the process of getting fingerprinted.

Verification of Licensure in Another State – Submit this form to every state licensing agency that has issued you a professional license (even if the license is now expired).  The board will accept either the completed form or the standard verification form used by a particular state.  The board will also accept online verification of licensure for those states that no longer provide hardcopy verifications so long as the online information includes disciplinary action taken by the agency.

ASWB Scores – Please contact ASWB to request a copy of your scores be made available to our office. 

Official Transcripts – The board requires submission of official transcripts.  These cannot be uploaded with your application.  Instead, they must be submitted directly to the board.  The board prefers electronic submission but will accept hardcopy transcripts.

Electronic transcripts should be emailed to: transcripts@bhec.texas.gov

Hardcopy transcripts should be mailed to:

BHEC SW Transcripts

333 Guadalupe

Tower 3, Suite 900

Austin, TX  78701

Military Service Members, Veterans, and their Spouses – If you or your spouse have qualifying military service, please complete the Military Supplemental Form

Once you have all the required documentation saved to your device, proceed to the Online Licensing System

Instructions for setting up your account can be found here.

The user guide for using the online licensing system to apply for a social worker license from out-of-state can be found here.

Upgrade from LBSW to LMSW or LMSW to LCSW

The online licensing system is not currently able to process upgrade applications.  While this is still in development please download the paper application found here

Jurisprudence Examination Completion Certificate – You must take the Jurisprudence Exam prior to submitting your application for licensure.  Please note, the exam must be completed no earlier than six months prior to submission of your application.  Upon completion of the exam, you will be issued the certificate.

Clinical Supervision Verification Form (LCSW Only) – This form documents the hours of supervised experience you have accrued under a specific supervisor.  You may have several or only one depending on how many supervisors you worked under.

Clinical Supervisor

Clinical Supervisor isn’t a type of license.  Rather, it designates an LCSW who is approved by the board to supervise LMSWs pursuing licensure as LCSWs. 

To apply, download a copy of the application here.  Complete the application and submit it with the fee and a copy of the supervisor training documentation.  For information on acceptable training please visit the board rules.