New rules help military families get licensed faster

Expidites request for Texas license

SAN ANTONIO – A new program by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is aimed at helping military families get licensed more quickly.

It expedites licensing requests from military members and their spouses who wish to get a Texas license in one of a number of professions ranging from electrician to air conditioning to cosmetology.

Amanda Allan is a cosmetologist and a cosmetology instructor.

She and her husband Jesse, a military medic now stationed at Fort Sam Houston, transferred here from Washington State.

She was surprised about the process of getting relicensed here.

"It was much easier," Allan said. "I thought it was going to be a headache because you never know if you have to go back to school or if you're going to have to retest."

She said it's important for military families that they get expedited service because they often move frequently.

"That was wonderful," Allan said. "I had never experienced it being so easy. As a military spouse you basically filled out the application. It was very self-explanatory. The cost was less and you were able to just send all the paperwork in and the check and basically you got your license."

The TDLR started the program back in 2003 for military members wanting electrician licenses.

The agency expanded it to air conditioning three years ago and have now added spouses.

TDLR Executive Director Bill Kuntz says it can make a big difference in the lives of those in the military.

"Our job is to get people licensed and get them to work," Kuntz said.

"It's important for the families to be able to set up and earn a living while the person is deployed."

Student Kimberly Aldape said she is glad Allan is teaching rather than waiting for a license because she is learning so much.

"It's been really fun," Aldape said. "We've been learning all kinds of haircuts, colors, treatments."

Allan, too, would rather be teaching and not filling out paperwork or taking tests.