Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) X-Ray Certification

Who Needs to Register with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE)?

Dental Assistants who make x-rays in Texas must register with the TSBDE.

Which of the following statements applies to you?

  1. I have made x-rays while working as a dental assistant in Texas or in another state. If this applies to you, you must take an RDA Course given by a TSBDE-approved RDA Course Provider then register with the TSBDE. Once you hold a TSBDE RDA Certificate and display your certificate where you work you may begin making x-rays. The TSBDE does not recognize an RDA Certificate issued by another state.
  2. I have never made x-rays while working as a dental assistant. Select the one that applies to you:
    • Under the direct supervision of a Texas licensed dentist, you may legally make x-rays for one year from the date you begin your employment as a dental assistant. Before this first year of employment ends you will need to take and pass a RDA Course given by a TSBDE-approved RDA Course Provider then register with the TSBDE to continue making x-rays.
       
    • OR
       
    • Before you begin employment as a dental assistant you may take and pass an RDA Course given by a TSBDE-approved RDA Course Provider then register with the TSBDE. Once you hold a TSBDE RDA Certificate and display your certificate where you work you may begin making x-rays.​
  3. I have never worked as a dental assistant and never made x-rays in Texas or any other state. If this applies to you, you must take an RDA course given by a TSBDE-approved RDA Course Provider then register with the TSBDE. Once you hold a TSBDE RDA Certificate and display your certificate where you work you may begin making x-rays.
  4. I earned a Certificate of Completion at a Dental Assisting School in Texas or another state. If this applies to you, you must take an RDA course given by a TSBDE-approved RDA Course Provider then register with the TSBDE. The TSBDE does not recognize an x-ray certificate issued by another state board.  Once you hold a TSBDE RDA Certificate and display your certificate where you work you may begin making x-rays.
  5. I hold a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Card issued by the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB). If you are currently paying an annual renewal fee for this credential and completing twelve (12) Continuing Dental Education credits to maintain your DANB CDA Card you must take the online TSBDE Jurisprudence Assessment for DANB CDAs then apply for the RDA Certificate with the TSBDE.

RDA Courses and the Approved Course Provider List

RDA Course Information
  1. The TSBDE will only accept a RDA Course Completion Document issued by one of the approved course providers listed below.
  2. Courses are offered online and in a classroom setting and generally last 8 to 16 hours long.
  3. Each Course Provider charges a different fee. Course fees are collected by the course provider.
  4. Study materials are provided by the RDA Course Provider.
  5. Course Providers maintain a copy of your course results for two years.  Keep a copy of your results for your records.
RDA Course Provider List

Five-Step RDA Registration Process

Here is a very short explanation on how to register. Read further down this page for more information on how to apply online or apply by mail.

Step 1. Take and pass a TSBDE-approved RDA Course.

Step 2. Apply for your RDA Certificate and pay your RDA Application Fee.

Step 3. Check your mail. You will receive a letter of instructions for activating your RDA Certificate.

Step 4. Pay your Initial Renewal Fee Online to activate your RDA Certificate.

Step 5. Check your mail. You will be mailed your RDA Certificate.

Note: Keep a copy of your application package and payments for your records.

Instructions for Applying Online

Step 1. You must have a e-mail account and be prepared to create a personal password so you can log-in later to renew this RDA registration.

Step 2. Use the link at the bottom of this page to Apply Online. Read the instructions carefully.  Military applicants cannot apply online.

Step 3. Create your online account and apply for your new license. Answer the questions and make your payment online. You can pay by credit card or debit card.

Step 4. You will receive an email with a copy of your Online RDA Application and your Online Payment Summary receipt. Print a copy of these two documents.

Step 5. Mail the following documents to the TSBDE to complete your registration:

  • Copy of your Online Application and Online Payment Summary receipt.
  • Copy of your RDA Course Completion Document.
  • Proof of current Basic Life Support (BLS) cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.
  • Copy of your driver's license, naturalization papers, or passport.
  • Copy of your DANB Card (if you hold this card). 
  • Copy of your National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) Self-Query Report.  The report results must remain in the original sealed envelope and be attached to your Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Application to the TSBDE.  NPDB self-query reports are valid for 60 days.  You may contact the NPDB at (800) 767-6732 or at http://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/pract/howToGetStarted.jsp. 

(Important Note:  If you are using one envelope to mail more than one optional certificate application to the TSBDE you only need to mail one copy of your NPDB Self-Query Reports with your applications.  Optional certificates issued by the TSBDE include:  Pit and Fissure Sealants, Coronal Polishing, Nitrous Oxide Monitoring, Registered Dental Assistant (X-Ray) Certificate).

Our mailing address is 333 Guadalupe Street, Tower 3, Ste. 800, Austin, TX 78701.

Step 6. Check Your Mail.
A letter will be mailed to you telling you how much you must pay to activate your new RDA Certificate. It will also tell you where to pay this fee online and what your future RDA Certificate Number will be.

Step 7. Pay your Initial Renewal Fee Online to Receive Your RDA Certificate.
Once this fee is paid online your new RDA Certificate will be printed and mailed to you. Your first certificate will be valid for 6 to 18 months. You must renew your certificate before it expires every year.

Instructions for Applying By Mail

Step 1. Applying for your RDA Certificate.

  • Fill out the RDA Application.
  • In front of a Notary Public, sign your RDA Application.
  • Ask the Notary Public to fill out the bottom portion of the RDA Application.

Step 2. Make a Copy of your enter application package for your records.

Step 3. Mail the following to the TSBDE:

  • Your RDA Application and Fee.
  • A copy of your RDA Course Completion Document.
  • Copy of your current Basic Life Support (BLS) cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.
  • Copy of your driver's license, naturalization papers, or passport.
  • Copy of your DANB Card (if you hold this card).
  • Copy of your National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) Self-Query Report. The report results must remain in the original sealed envelope and be attached to your Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Application to the TSBDE.  NPDB self-query reports are valid for 60 days.  You may contact the NPDB at (800) 767-6732 or at http://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/pract/howToGetStarted.jsp. 

(Important Note:  If you are using one envelope to mail more than one optional certificate application to the TSBDE you only need to mail one copy of your NPDB Self-Query Report with your applications.  Optional certificates issued by the TSBDE include:  Pit and Fissure Sealants, Coronal Polishing, Nitrous Oxide Monitoring, Registered Dental Assistant (X-Ray) Certificate).

Note: Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for processing.

Step 4. Check Your Mail for your letter on how to pay to activate your new RDA Certificate.

Step 5. Pay Your Initial Renewal Fee Online to Activate your RDA Certificate.
The letter you receive in the mail will tell you your future RDA Number, the fee you need to pay to activate your RDA Certificate and the website address you need to visit to pay your fee.

Step 6. Receiving your RDA Certificate.
After your Initial Renewal Fee is paid your RDA Certificate will be printed and mailed to you at the address you provided on your RDA Application. If you have moved, please send an email to the TSBDE with your primary mailing address.

Processing Your RDA Application

  • TSBDE Licensing Specialists process applications in the order received. Your payment will be processed before your application is reviewed. The estimated processing turnaround time is six to eight weeks. Applicants with a criminal history or disciplinary action may expect a longer processing time.
  • Incomplete applications cannot be processed until all documents are received and payments made. Should the TSBDE receive an incomplete application package, you will be notified in writing of any missing materials. The TSBDE’s preferred method of communication with applicants is by email.
  • Please allow six weeks before you e-mail the TSBDE requesting a status of your application.
  • If you change your address after submitting your application, e-mail the TSBDE immediately and provide your full name, the type of application you mailed to the TSBDE, the last four (4) numbers of your Social Security Number and your new mailing address.

Fees

  • Fees are non-refundable.
  • Two fees are required for an RDA Registration in Texas. An Application Fee and an Initial Renewal Fee needed to activate the newly issued license. Military Active Duty, Veterans, and Military Active Duty Spouse applicants are not required to pay these fees.
  • The Initial Renewal Fee is a one-time prorated activation fee based on the month the TSBDE received your application and the last day of your birth month going forward. This window can range from 6 to 18 months. If your birth month is within 6 months of the date the TSBDE receives your application, one year will be added to your future expiration date.

Activating Your First RDA Certificate

  • When your application has been processed you will be assigned an expired RDA Registration Number.
  • You will receive a letter in the mail giving you instructions on how pay your Initial Renewal Fee required to activate your RDA Certificate. You should pay this fee within 30 days of the date listed on the letter. Once your fee has been paid the status of your license number will update to “Active” and your new certificate will be mailed to you within 7-10 business days.

Notification of Work Address or Changes of Address

  • A Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) is required to notify the TSBDE of any change of address within 60 days. This includes a Work Address or Home Address. Changes may be emailed to the TSBDE or mailed to the TSBDE using the Change of Address Form.
  • An RDA should notify the TSBDE which address (Work or Home) is their primary mailing address. This will help ensure all mailings from the TSBDE are received by the licensee.
  • The primary mailing address will be displayed online to the public.

Continuing Education Requirements

  • During your first year of licensure you are exempt from completing Continuing Education (CE). After you pay your first yearly renewal fee you should begin collecting CE hours.

Renewing of Your Texas RDA Certificate

  • An RDA Certificate expires every year on the last day of the month you were born in.
  • A reminder post card will be mailed to you approximately 45 days before your certificate expires.
  • Your post card is mailed to the last known address the TSBDE has on file for you.

Apply Online or Paper Dental Assistant Registration Application