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Governor Abbott Approves Journeymen Reciprocity Agreement with Arkansas

Texas and Arkansas reach agreement to reciprocate plumbing licenses

Deal Will Increase Availability of Skilled, Licensed Plumbers in Both States

AUSTIN, Texas (NOVEMBER 2022) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott has approved a reciprocity agreement signed by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) and the Arkansas Department of Health’s Plumbing Examiners Committee (ARDH). The agreement identifies similar qualifications in each state and provides the opportunity for journeyman plumbers to reciprocate their licenses. The new reciprocal license policy will increase the availability of skilled, licensed plumbers on both sides of the 70-mile border that divides the two states.

“We’re very happy we were able to find common ground with the ARDH,” said TSBPE Board Chair Frank S. Denton. “This agreement is a commonsense approach to increase license portability and work opportunities for qualified and experienced journeymen plumbers.”

Texas’ arrangement with Arkansas is a net positive for plumbing professionals in both states. Plumbing companies now have more options when hiring a licensed plumber and increased capacity to respond to emergency declarations in both Texas and Arkansas.  Ultimately, the consumer stands to benefit most from this interstate deal; both agencies expect it to increase the availability of trained plumbing professionals across both states.

The Plumbing License Law was amended by House Bill 636 (HB 636) during the 87th Texas Legislature, Regular Session (2021) to allow license reciprocity with other jurisdictions.  In an effort to reduce regulatory barriers, promote plumbing as a rewarding career option, and expand the population of plumbers to serve the growing needs of Texas, the Board in preparation directed staff to initiate a project to explore journeyman license reciprocity with other states.  Arkansas is the second state with which the TSBPE has entered into a reciprocal licensing agreement.  The first was signed with Louisiana in 2021.

Details on how to apply to have an Arkansas plumbing license reciprocated by the state of Texas are forthcoming.

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About the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners –
Founded in 1947, The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners protects the public’s health and safety by regulating plumbing through examination, licensure, investigating consumer complaints and enforcing public license law.