Frequently asked questions are addressed on this page according to the following categories. If you have a question that is not addressed, please email us.

FAQ Topics

General Questions

Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc.

Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program

General FAQs

How do I order your Texas Municipal Law and Procedure Manual, your Texas Municipal Election Law Manual, your Texas Municipal Clerks Handbook?

Purchasing information about each of our publications can be found on the TMC Publications web page.

What seminars are coming up? Is anyone welcome to register?

Find out about our upcoming seminars here. Anyone may register for TMCCP seminars!

I've just joined TMCA, Inc. Does this mean I'm enrolled in TMCCP?

No, membership in TMCA, Inc., and enrollment in TMCCP are different things.

The Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc., is a professional organization. Membership dues are paid annually. Learn more about TMCA, Inc. One may be a member of TMCA and not necessarily go through the certification program.

The Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program is an educational program. There are four courses in the program, and enrollees must enroll in each one. Learn more about TMCCP. An enrollee of TMCCP must also be a member of TMCA—three years of accumulated TMCA membership dues are required for TMCCP graduation.

Where are you located? Can I visit the office?

Texas Municipal Clerks is located at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. We welcome visitors—please visitor our Contact Us web page first to ensure we are available before you make a trip.

The Program: TMCCP

Enrolling in the Certification Program

An excellent introduction to the certification program can be found here.

Am I eligible to enroll in the certification program? Who is it for?

Anyone may enroll in the Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program. This certification is most beneficial to those in city government, particularly those who have the duties of the municipal clerk. (This includes, but is not limited to, city secretaries, city clerks, assistant city secretaries, deputy city secretaries, and those in similar positions or with similar responsibilities.)

I've attended some non-TMCCP seminars and workshops / I have a degree. Can that count toward my TRMC Certification?

No, only the TMCCP curriculum counts toward your first-time TRMC Certification.

How do I enroll in the certification program?

One may enroll in the Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program by submitting our Enrollment Form with an enrollment fee. A step-by-step guide to beginning the certification program is available here.

I have just enrolled in the certification program—how do I begin?

If you have just submitted your enrollment fee, you will be receiving an email from us. This letter will introduce you to the certification program, and give you an overview of the certification process.

Homework is completed online via our online learning management software, Canvas; you will use your loaned or purchased textbook(s) to answer these homework questions.

You are now welcome to begin your homework. Your completed homework is graded by Education Director Dr. Amy Holt.

You are also welcome to attend our seminars for seminar credit toward your certification.

Assistant Director Miriam Sheehan will guide you through the certification process—please contact her with any questions. You are welcome to request a copy of your transcript (which reflects your progress in the program) at any time. (Learn more about your transcript.)

How long does it take to complete the certification program?

The Certification Program is self-paced distance learning—time to completion varies from enrollee to enrollee. The fastest an enrollee may complete the program is usually three years. There is a time limit to finishing the Certification Program: you have 10 years to complete your work in the Certification Program (after this you must start over; fees already paid do not transfer).

Can I enroll in more than one course at a time?

Yes, you may enroll in more than one course at a time. Many enrollees enroll in all four courses at once. Enrolling in all four courses at once does not mean working on homework in all four courses at once. When you enroll in all four courses, you may choose one course to begin study in, and we will contact you about beginning your homework.

Tip: The advantage of enrolling in all four courses at once is that you may attend any TMCCP seminar and be certain it will be recorded toward your certification. (For example: You are only enrolled in Course 1, and you attend a Course 4 seminar. If you do not enroll in Course 4 within one year, that Course 4 seminar attendance will not count toward your certification.) (Learn more about seminars.)

Which course should I start with?

An enrollee may start in any course. Many enrollees begin with Course 1 simply by virtue of its being the first course.

It may help to decide based on which of the courses has information that would immediately be useful to you. The courses and the material they cover are outlined here.

Working in the Certificaton Program

In what order do I complete the courses, homework, exams and seminars of the certification program?

There is no firm order to your studies in the Certification Program.

The Certification Program is comprised of four courses. Each course is made up of homework, an examination over that homework, and two seminars. A course's seminars and homework are independent of each other; e.g., if you're enrolled in Course 2 you can attend a Course 2 seminar whether or not you're working on the homework, and you can work on Course 2 homework whether or not you've attended any seminars.

You may take the four courses in any order. We encourage enrollees to finish the homework of one course before moving on to the homework of another course. Seminars, however, can be taken in any order at any time. (Make sure you are actually enrolled in the course in order to receive seminar credit for attending that particular course's seminar.)

Homework in each course is broken down into four modules. You may complete these modules of homework in any order.

Examinations are given over your homework. You are only eligible to take an examination in a course after you have successfully finished that course's homework and it has been successfully graded. Examinations cover your homework, not the course seminars.

Seminars are offered throughout the year; we encourage enrollees to attend our seminars when they can. Seminars can be taken in any order at any time. (Make sure you are actually enrolled in the course in order to receive seminar credit for attending that particular course's seminar.)

Is there a time limit to finish the certification program?

Yes, TMCCP sets a 10-year time limit to finish the certification program. (Most enrollees finish in less time.) If the enrollee has not finished his or her Certification Program work within ten years, he or she must start over (fees already paid do not transfer). 

Some other deadlines you may encounter within the certification program:

  • Homework. Because enrollees work at their own pace, they are ready to take exams at many different times of the year—thus we offer examinations prior to every seminar. If you have your sights set on a certain exam date, the homework for that course exam must be submitted for grading two weeks before the exam date. If you do not finish your homework for grading in time for this exam date, simply plan to take your exam at a future exam date.
  • Staying up-to-date. Enrollees are given the choice of purchasing or borrowing their textbooks. If you borrow your textbooks, we will make sure to send you the latest editions of the textbooks. However, if you purchase your textbooks, we will only allow you a three year commitment to those books. Sometimes enrollees take many years to work through one course, and we prefer our enrollees not go longer than three years without updating their materials. If you purchase your textbooks and do not finish your study in that course within three years, you will simply be required to update to any new materials at that time.
  • Loan library book due dates. Textbooks are loaned to members of the TMCA Loan Library for a period of 45 days each (extensions may be available on a loan upon request). The 45-day loan period is only the amount of time we loan out books—it is not a deadline for your homework.
  • Yearly opportunity to graduate. When an enrollee successfully completes all homework, passes the four exams, and attends eight seminars, the enrollee is eligible to graduate. TMCCP holds a graduation ceremony each January at the TMCCP Election Law Seminar. The yearly deadline for completing requirements for graduation is Nov. 15. For example, an enrollee planning for January 2023 graduation must finish all her homework, exams, and seminars by November 2022.

How are the seminars and homework and exams related?

A course's seminars, homework, and examinations are all tailored toward the content of that course.

Homework and Examinations

Homework assignments and examinations give the enrollee a chance to demonstrate to the education director that the course materials have been mastered. The exams include only the homework material, not the seminar material. Read more about Homework.


The seminars offer a focus on an aspect of the course's subject matter. They also give an enrollee the opportunity to discuss the subject matter of the course with specialists and with other city secretaries. The seminars bring together the knowledge of the specialist with the knowledge of the experienced city secretary in an environment that encourages discussion and the sharing of viewpoints. In the process, enrollees develop professional relationships with other secretaries and clerks.

What is my transcript?

Your transcript is a document that displays your progress in the certification program. Your transcript is available to you at any time—if you are a current TMCCP enrollee, contact us to request a copy of your transcript.

Click here to view a diagram explaining the TMCCP transcript.

I completed some work in the Certification Program, but I set aside my studies for several years. Do I have to start over from the beginning now?

This varies from case to case.

There is a 10-year time limit for completing the Certification Program. This rule was instated Jan. 1, 2016. Those who enrolled before Jan.1, 2016, must complete their studies by Nov.15, 2025, or start over; paid fees do not transfer.

We will always keep track of all work you do in the Certification Program. Homework you successfully completed a few years ago may still count toward your certification. Any seminars you have had credited toward your certification could still be credited toward your certification. Circumstances vary from case to case, especially in relation to time lapsed, so please do contact us and we'll get you back in the Certification Program with the latest study materials.

Working in the Certification Program: Homework

How do I complete my homework?

Homework is completed online via our online learning management software, Canvas. You will be emailed a user's guide for Canvas when you are ready to begin your homework.

Enrollees must submit the Affirmation of Academic Honesty form. See the next question below for more information about academic honesty.

My colleague is working on TRMC Certification, too. Can we share homework?

No. TMCCP has a strict policy of each enrollee doing his or her own original work. Go to the full TMCCP Policy on Academic Misconduct.

How long does it take for homework to be graded?

It may take one to two weeks for your homework to be graded. Turn-around is faster at some times than others; please be aware that all enrollee homework is graded by Education Director Dr. Amy Holt, and there are many demands on Dr. Holt's time.

NOTE: If homework was submitted right before the homework deadline for an examination, be aware there may be a "bottleneck" of many homework submissions to grade at that time, which can slow down the grading process.

I'm enrolled in a course. Can I attend a course's seminar even though I haven't started my homework in that course yet?

Yes, attend any of our seminars any time you want. The sooner you begin accumulating your seminar credits, the sooner you may graduate!

It is required that an enrollee attend two seminars for a particular course in order to pass that course. You may attend the seminars at any time—your course homework and exam are independent of the seminars.

Tip: In order to receive credit for TMCCP seminar attendance, you must be enrolled in that course, or enroll in that course within one year of attending the seminar.

Working in the Certification Program: Examinations

An exam date is coming up. Does this mean I have to hurry and finish my homework?

Whether or not you take an exam now is up to you. Because an enrollee's work in the Certification Program is self-paced, enrollees are ready to take their course exams at different times of the year. Therefore, we offer exam dates five times a year, one before each seminar.

You are not under any obligation from TMCCP to rush to take the upcoming exam. If your homework is completed and has been graded, you are eligible to take the exam over that course at the upcoming exam date, and you are welcome to apply to take the exam.

How hard is the exam? What is on the exam?

The perceived difficulty of an exam varies with each individual. Exam questions are taken from the course homework. If an enrollee completes all the course homework, submits it for grading, and studies the graded homework, it is very likely the enrollee will do well on the exam.

Examination questions are a mixture of multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, and essay questions.

How do I sign up for an examination? Where and when is it held?

To sign up for an exam, download the exam application, fill it out, and submit it to us with your exam fee.

All enrollees will receive an email alert about the upcoming exam date six weeks prior to the exam date. This email will contain information about the upcoming exam date, as well as a link to the exam application. We prefer to know at least two weeks in advance of the exam date if you plan to take an examination. (Course homework must be submitted for grading at least two weeks prior to the exam date.)

The exam is held the Wednesday evening before each TMCCP seminar at the seminar hotel.

How do I know if I'm eligible to take an exam?

You will be eligible to take an examination if you have completed all of the homework for one course and it has been graded. Your completed modules of homework will be reflected on your transcript.

If you have any questions about eligibility to take an exam, please do not hesitate to contact Assistant Director Miriam Sheehan.

I can't attend the next exam date but I'm ready to take my exam. Can I take the exam now?

Exam dates are offered Wednesday preceding each seminar. We encourage enrollees to plan in advance to take advantage of these offered exam dates.

If needed, we allow enrollees to take a needed examination at the Texas Municipal Clerks office or an alternate location with a proctor. However, we encourage enrollees to take advantage of the locations we arrange for regular exam dates; alternative testing sites are not as optimal an environment for exam-taking.

Do I have to attend that seminar if I'm taking the exam?

Because our exam dates are held prior to each seminar at the seminar hotel, enrollees often wonder if they are required to attend the seminar also. The answer is no—the exam date and the seminar are separate. Examinees are welcome to register for the seminar, but seminar attendance is not required.

What if I fail the exam?

Examinations are pass/fail. Whilst the rate of success is high, occasionally some enrollees do fail the exam on the first try. If you fail an examination, you will be given an opportunity to take the exam again (usually at convenient time during that seminar*, if possible).

(If the exam is failed, the fee does not need to be paid again for the retake.)

*Exam dates are held the evening prior to each TMCCP seminar. If the enrollee is attending the seminar that will be held in the following days, our staff may be available to proctor a retest.

Working in the Certification Program: Seminars

How do I make sure I get seminar attendance credit for a seminar I attend?

Enroll in the seminar's course within one year of the seminar in order to retain credit for attending this seminar. (If you are already enrolled in the seminar's course you will receive credit.) For example, if it is a Course 2 seminar, enroll in Course 2.

We verify an enrollee's attendance at each seminar via barcoded name badges.

If you leave a seminar early or arrive late, you will be docked those hours from your seminar attendance. A full 12 hours are needed for each seminar requirement. You may make up any missed hours at a future seminar of the same course number. Missing seminar attendance hours will prevent an enrollee from being eligible for graduation. (Any incomplete seminar hours will be noted on your transcript for reference.)

Do I have to attend the seminars for a course before I take the exam?

No. The seminars are independent of the exams. Examinations cover the homework. Attend seminars when you can, and take the course exam after you have finished course homework. (Note: be sure to enroll in a seminar's course to receive seminar attendance credit for that course.)

I'm ready to graduate this January, but I'm one seminar short of completion. The next (and last) seminar this year will be a different course number than the one I need. What can I do?

You may be eligible for "seminar substitution," which is unusual, but sometimes allowed. If an enrollee has completed all course homework, passed all four exams, and attended seven of the eight seminars, he may be eligible to substitute one of our remaining seminars for the final needed seminar. (The requirements are further described in the "example" paragraph below.) The substitution shall be for a future seminar only.

To apply, an eligible candidate may write a letter to the TMCA Certification Committee chair requesting a substitution of an upcoming course seminar in lieu of the needed course seminar. For further questions regarding eligibility for substitution, contact the TMCCP office.

EXAMPLE: Jane Doe has completed all her homework, passed all her exams, and has attended seven of the eight required seminars. All she lacks is one Course 3 seminar, but the only seminar left this year is a Course 4 seminar. If it weren't for the seminar she lacks, she could graduate in January. Jane Doe may apply to the TMCA Certification Committee with a substitution request, asking to attend the Course 4 seminar as a substitution for her needed Course 3 seminar. If the Certification Committee allows this request, and if Jane Doe then attends the seminar in its entirety, she would be eligible to graduate in January. (All requests must be made in advance of the seminar in question; substitutions cannot be granted retroactively.)

More about Seminars

Can I attend your seminars even though I'm not enrolled in your certification program?

Yes! We welcome anyone to register for the TMCCP seminars.

I attended a TMCCP seminar—can I get a certificate to show that I attended?

We do not issue certificates of attendance to attendees of our seminars.

If you are enrolled in the certification program, proof of your seminar attendance will be available on your TMCCP transcript.

What exactly is the Graduate Institute seminar? Can I attend?

The TMCCP Graduate Institute Seminar is for everyone, but is especially tailored to TMCCP graduates—those who have earned their Texas Registered Municipal Clerks Certification. The subject level is usually chosen with the graduates in mind, providing different material than most other seminars and sometimes taking the material covered to a slightly higher level. Anyone may register.

How do I get credit for attending a TMCCP seminar?

Attendance for TMCCP seminars is counted via the scanning of barcoded name badges.

Anyone is welcome to attend TMCCP seminars, but only TMCCP enrollees will receive TMCCP credit toward their TRMC Certification.

What if I can't attend an entire seminar, and I leave the seminar early or arrive late?

Enrollees of the certification program will receive seminar credit only for the hours they are actually present. Attendance count at seminars is maintained through the use of scanned barcoded name badges. 

If an enrollee leaves a seminar early or arrives late, those hours will be docked from her seminar attendance. A full 12 hours are needed for each seminar requirement. An enrollee may make up any missed hours at a future seminar of the same course number. Missing seminar attendance hours will prevent an enrollee from being eligible for graduation. Any incomplete seminar hours will be noted on the enrollee's transcript for reference.

Can I receive seminar credit for the same seminar I have attended before? For example, I attended the TMCCP Election Law Seminar last year and received Course 4 credit. If I attend the Election Law Seminar this year, will I still earn another Course 4 credit?

Yes, you can attend two course seminars with the same name and you will earn credit. Even though some our seminars carry the same title, no two seminars are identical. For example, the annual TMCCP Election Law seminar is different each year: there are new topics, new updates, and new speakers.

Some of the TMCCP seminars offer two choices for seminar attendance credit (for example, a certain seminar could be advertised as credit towards Course 2 or Course 4). How do I receive the course credit I want?

In the case of a seminar like this, you can choose to which course your attendance is attributed. We prefer that you let us know your preference immediately, otherwise we will make a default choice for you. However, you are welcome to move this seminar attendance credit to the needed seminar credit of your choice up until the time you graduate.

EXAMPLE: John Doe attends a seminar that noted as applicable toward Course 1 or Course 2 TMCCP seminar credit. After attending the seminar, John Doe asks the TMCCP office to assign this seminar toward his Course 1 seminar credit on his transcript. However, close to graduation, John Doe finds that over the years he was able to attend three Course 1 seminars and only one Course 2 seminar—it would be useful to switch this old "Course 1 or 2" seminar to Course 2 so he can complete his Course 2 requirements. John Doe can contact the TMCCP office and ask us to change that seminar to Course 2 credit on his transcript.

Graduating from the Certification Program

How do I become eligible to graduate?

An enrollee is eligible to graduate from the certification program when she has met all the requirements: successful completion of homework in every course, passing the examination in every course, and full attendance at two TMCCP seminars per course. There is also a graduation fee, which is described on the web page about costs.

If you are closing in on completion of the certification program, and you plan to graduate at the upcoming January ceremony, please be aware that all your requirements must be met by Nov. 15 of this year, e.g., an enrollee anticipates graduating in January 2023; all his requirements must be met by Nov. 15, 2022.

As soon as all the requirements for certification are met, an enrollee is welcome to use the Texas Registered Municipal Clerk, TRMC, designation after his name. Completion of all the requirements also means graduation: TMCCP holds a graduation ceremony each January at the TMCCP Election Law Seminar. Regardless of an enrollee's ability to attend the ceremony, the enrollee will still be considered a graduate. A final certificate will be presented to the graduate along with a graduation pin, and their photograph will be taken in a group photo of all graduates of that year.

How many people have become certified/earned their TRMC?

A total of 801—and counting—have completed the Texas Municipal Clerk Certification Program and earned their Texas Registered Municipal Clerk certification as of 2016.

Is January the only time graduation is held?

Yes. Graduation ceremonies are conducted once a year, at the first seminar of the year: the annual TMCCP Election Law Seminar. It is not necessary to attend the Election Law Seminar if the graduate would only like to attend the graduation ceremony; the graduate will need to purchase only a luncheon ticket.

Regardless of whether a graduating enrollee attends the ceremony, the graduate will still earn the Texas Registered Municipal Clerk Certification, diploma and graduation pin.

How do I maintain my certification now that I have graduated?

After certification? Recertification. Learn about the Texas Municipal Clerks Recertification Program.

Will my work in TMCCP count as credit at my college/university?

The answer depends upon the college or university. Every institution has different standards of what they choose to accept for credits. Contact your college/university registrar for a definite answer. Provide them with a transcript prepared by the TMCCP office staff that will list actual textbooks used and coursework completed. (Contact us to request this special transcript.)

TMCCP Recertification

Learn more about recertification here.

How soon can I enroll in recertification after graduating from the certification program?

Application for recertification can be made immediately after receiving the original certificate of graduation. (Certificates are given to graduates at the January graduation ceremony held during the TMCCP Election Law Seminar.)

I realize that my recertification is due on Nov.15, but I'm one seminar short of the requirements. What can I do?

You may be eligible for a “seminar substitution,” which is very uncommon, but sometimes allowed. If a recertification enrollee has completed all other requirements for recertification (completed all education points and attended five of the required six seminars (keeping in mind that two should be election law, two should be graduate institute, and two should be other TMCCP seminars), he or she may be eligible to substitute the final needed seminar.  The substitution shall be for a future seminar only.

To apply, an eligible candidate shall write a letter to the TMCA Certification Committee chair requesting a substitution of an upcoming course seminar in lieu of the needed course seminar. For further questions regarding the eligibility for substitution, please contact the TMCCP office.

Phone: 940-565-3488 | Email: municlerks@unt.edu

Can I be recertified once my certificate has expired?

The TMCA Certification Committee has formulated procedures for applicants who request reinstatement of their certification which has expired. Those procedures are as follows:

  1. The applicant must complete an application and petition the TMCA Certification Committee for reinstatement.
  2. Applicants who have not recertified within their five-year time frame must:
    a. Attend six (6) TMCCP seminars within two (2) years;
    b. Successfully complete a survey course on the four TMCCP courses and pass a comprehensive examination; and
    c. Recertify every five (5) years upon completion of reinstatement requirements.
  3. Applicants who have not been recertified in six or more years must successfully repeat the Certification Program.

How often do I need to recertify?

After an enrollee graduates from the Texas Municipal Clerks Certification program, he must recertify every five years thereafter to maintain his Texas Registered Municipal Clerk Certification (TRMC).

The Association: TMCA, Inc.


Am I eligible to join the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc.? How do I become a member?

Anyone may join TMCA. Learn more about joining here.

When am I supposed to renew my membership?

Dues last one year: from January 1 - December 31. TMCA emails and mails reminders about dues to all members in the autumn. TMCA members should renew their membership for the coming year around November. However, TMCA members are welcome to pay their membership dues any time during the year.


Why haven't I been receiving email notification for the TMCA NEWS newsletters?

The TMCA NEWS is published four times a year: March, June, September, and December. If you have not been receiving notification of newsletter publications, there are two possible reasons: your current dues have not yet been paid, or we do not have your correct email address/are unable to reach you at your email address. Contact us to see if your dues for this year have been paid, and if your email is correct. Be sure to whitelist email from @unt.edu to make sure our emails are not accidentally filtered out as spam.

How do I contribute something to the TMCA NEWS newsletter?

We welcome news! Submit articles, photos, and press releases to us at any time. (email: alexandra.burke@unt.edu; mail: TMCA NEWS, 1155 Union Circle #305067, Denton, Texas 76203.


I'm enrolled in TMCCP, and I know I have to have three years' membership dues in TMCA before I can graduate. Can I pay the three years' dues in one lump sum right now?

We cannot accept TMCA dues years in advance; we only accept dues one year at a time. The earliest an enrollee may pay for an upcoming year is in the autumn.

I'm enrolled in TMCCP, and I know I have to have three years' membership dues in TMCA before I can graduate. What if I finish all my TMCCP requirements in fewer than three years? Can I graduate anyway?

It is unusual for an enrollee to finish the certification program before he has finished paying the requisite three years' dues. The amount of time it takes an enrollee to complete the homework, exams and seminars often exceeds three years. If an enrollee manages to finish the certification program in two years, she will be allowed to pay the upcoming year's dues to complete the "three years" requirement.

Local Chapters

How do I join my local TMCA chapter?

A list and map of TMCA chapters is available here. You are welcome to contact the chapter and find out about membership and meetings. There are also articles regarding TMCA chapter activities in each issue of TMCA NEWS.

Do you have a question that is not addressed? Contact us.