March 2019

Effective Today – New TDI Rules for All Texas Licensed Escrow Officers and Title Agents
Designed to Simplify and Streamline the Licensing and Renewal Process


Background and Overview 
In December TDI Commissioner Sullivan adopted new title licensing rules to implement statutory changes recently made by the Texas Legislature. The changes go into effect today, March 7, 2019. The changes will streamline the licensing and renewal process by simplifying forms and by moving the renewal and continuing education process online (the online platform for submitting continuing education documentation will be www.sircon.com). There will be an initial implementation and adjustment period and TDI asks for your patience as the new program gets fully in place. If you have any questions, you can contact TDI at TDI-TitleLicensing@tdi.texas.gov or 512.676.6500.
 

What You Need to Know – Some Key Highlights of the Changes

 

Escrow Officers:

  • Escrow officers will no longer be licensed through their employer/title agent. Escrow officers must, however, have an appointment from a title agent to use their license.
  • Escrow officers will hold their own individual licenses and will have their own individual license number and expiration/renewal date. 
  • Escrow officers will be issued a new license number and new expiration/renewal date.
  • After an initial six-month grace period, new escrow officer expiration dates will be on the last day of the escrow officer's birth month.
  • Escrow officers will be responsible for renewing their own license and for ensuring that their continuing education requirements are met.
  • The continuing education requirements have changed to require two hours of Ethics out of the 10 total hours required every two years.
  • Read below "What You Need to Do" for more important information and specifics about what you need to do to prepare for these changes.
Title Agents:
  • Escrow officer licenses will no longer renew with your agent license. 
  • Title agents will continue to be responsible for the escrow officer bond or deposit.
  • Read below "What You Need to Do" for more information and specifics about what you need to do to prepare for these changes.


What You Need to Do – Preparing for the Changes

 
Escrow Officers:
  • TDI will be converting all escrow officer licenses to the new individual license format in mid-March 2019.
  • Within a few days after this change is made, they'll send all licensed escrow officers a new license that includes the new license number and renewal date, along with important information about these changes.
  • Be on the lookout for this correspondence. It will be sent directly to the escrow officer at either your mailing address or email address. Always be sure that TDI has updated contact information for you. Use the Escrow Officer Name or Address Change Request (FINT01) Form for updates.
  • Your current title agent appointment will automatically convert, so no action will be required on that.
  • Note: To allow plenty of time for transition, TDI is instituting a six-month grace period, so none of the new renewal dates will be earlier than six months after the mid-March 2019 conversion date and will be staggered throughout the year based on birth months. You'll know your new expiration/renewal date well in advance and will have plenty of time to adjust to this change and ensure you have your continuing education hours before your new expiration date.
  • New escrow officer applicants will be required to submit an Application for Escrow Officer License (FINT132) Form.
Title Agents:
  • Please be sure to keep your escrow officers informed about these changes and ensure TDI has correct contact information for them. Use the Escrow Officer Name or Address Change Request (FINT01) Form for updates.
  • Again, you will still be responsible for maintaining an escrow officer bond or deposit for all who are appointed by you, so be sure to keep that current. 
  • Going forward, when your title agent license comes up for renewal, you will simply renew the agent license without having to renew all your escrow officer licenses.
  • Any escrow officers currently licensed through you will now have you listed as their title agent appointment. 
  • For new escrow officers, agents must complete an Escrow Officer Appointment (FINT09) Form.
These are the highlights of the order. You may view the full order for more information. View recorded versions of TLTA's escrow officer and title agent webinars, presented by TDI licensing staff, for a deeper dive covering all these changes. TLTA will continue to provide you with compliance updates throughout this transition process, but feel free to contact us if you have any questions. While we know change can be stressful, we believe these modernization efforts are very positive and will make license renewal easier and more efficient for agents and escrow officers in the long run.