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 a 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 certificate 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 and TSBDE.
  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

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 (You may need to check your spam folder). Print a copy of these two documents.

Step 5. Mail the following documents to the TSBDE at 333 Guadalupe Street, Tower 3 Suite 800, Austin, Texas 78701 to complete your registration:

  • Copy of your Online Application and Online Payment Summary receipt.
  • Copy of your RDA Course Completion Document.
  • A 2x2 passport photo.
  • 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). If you are submitting a DANB card, please note you are also required to complete the TSBDE Jurisprudence Assessment.  The assessment must have been taken within the year prior to submitting your application.
  • 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. 
  • If you have previously held a Dental Assistant permit and are reapplying due to the permit having been canceled, you must also submit the American Association of Dental Boards (AADB) self-query report.  This report must remain in the original sealed envelope.  You may download the Self-Query Report form from http://dentalboards.org/clearinghouse/.

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. Effective May 1 ,2017 the current application must be submitted.  Previous versions will not be accepted.
  • 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 entire application package for your records.

Step 3. Mail the following to the TSBDE:

  • Your RDA Application and Fee.  Please make sure you are sending the current version of the application.  Previous versions will not be accepted.
  • A copy of your RDA Course Completion Document.
  • A 2x2 passport photo
  • 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).
  • 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. 
  • If you have previously held a Dental Assistant permit and are reapplying due to the permit having been canceled, you must also submit the American Association of Dental Boards (AADB) self-query report.  This report must remain in the original sealed envelope.  You may download the Self-Query Report form from http://dentalboards.org/clearinghouse/.

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 6 to 8 weeks. Applicants with a criminal history or disciplinary action may expect a longer processing time.
  • Incomplete applications will not be processed and will be returned to the applicant.
  • Please allow six weeks before you call or email the Licensing Division requesting a status of your application.
  • If you change your address after submitting your application, email licensinghelp@tsbde.texas.gov 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.

Step 2. Paying to Activate your License

  • The status of your license will be "Expired" after it is first issued.
  • Initial Renewal (License Activation)  Process
    • When your application has been approved you will be assigned an expired RDA Registration Number.
  • When your application has been processed you will be assigned an expired RDA Registration Number.
  • You will receive a letter in the mail with instructions for paying your pro-rated Initial Renewal Fee online.  This fee will activate your license and change the status to Active.  This letter will authorize you to practice for 30 days.  Once you pay your fee online you should receive your new license in the mail approximately 7-10 days later.
  • Exception:  Active duty military, veterans and active duty military spouses are not required to pay to activate their license.  The license will be issued and mailed to the applicant after the application has been approved.  
  • Your first license may be valid anywhere between 6 months to 17 months.   A reminder post card will be mailed to your mailing address on file with the Board approximately 45 days prior to your license expiration date.

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 mailing  Address. Changes may be emailed to licensinghelp@tsbde.texas.gov  provide your full name, license or registration type, the last four (4) numbers of your Social Security Number, and your new mailing address.

  • or  you may mail your new information to the TSBDE using the change of address form.

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 Permit Application