Sign Language Interpreter CEU Annual Renewal: Missouri
Scenario 1: “My CEU’s need to be submitted and postmarked by December 2nd. As long as I have them postmarked I can still work.” Yes and No! As long as your certification has been processed by December 2nd, you can work.
Scenario 2: “I have 60 days from my certification expiration on December 2nd to obtain and submit my CEU’s; since my license doesn’t expire until January 31st.” Nope! Your license is no longer valid if you have no certification.
This is a common freak out moment for many sign language interpreters over their CEU annual renewal realization. It is important to know the sign language interpreter CEU annual renewal requirements regarding Missouri state certification and licensure.*
I Thought My License and Certification Were the Same Thing?
Under Missouri law we have two required documents to maintain: certification and license. When Missouri developed standards they separated certification and licensure. This was presumably to uphold checks and balances. It can seem like a pain to submit information to both entities, but there is no argument that this system works the best. Both the Board of Certification of Interpreters (BCI) and the State Committee of Interpreters (SCI) are very active, so combining them may not be possible at this time. For example, in 2018 there was talk of merging certification and licensure; however, after further deliberation, it was decided to keep them separate.
CEU Completion Requirements
After November 2nd of every year, you may not complete any more CEUs. Completed CEU’s within that year apply to that that cycle only, according to the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH). ALL workshops and independent CEU work must be completed on or before this date to be approved within that cycle.
CEU Submission Due Date
Certification (Processed by MCDHH): On or before December 2nd of every year all CEU forms must be postmarked for delivery to MCDHH. This is so your current certification does not expire. NOTE: The certification is always yours; however, proof of CEU’s must be proved annually for validity. Be aware, if you postmark your CEU annual renewal paperwork after 12/2, the fee is $60 to reinstate your expired certification. Additionally, this reinstatement application will not be accepted after 12/1 of the following year. For example, if your certification renewal is due 12/2/18, you may not request a reinstatement after 12/1/19.
License (Processed by Missouri Division of Professional Registration): If your certification is expired, your license becomes invalid. Because of this law, you MUST have valid certification by the expiration date for your license to be considered valid.
License Renewal Due Date
Certification paperwork is processed before and on 12/2 (excluding holidays and weekends, if so it would occur on prior business day); then it is sent to licensure. On 12/3 The Missouri Division of Professional Registration knows which interpreters have or have not renewed their certification. At that time, licensure (Missouri Division of Professional Registration) inputs the information into their database and sends out license renewal notices to ensure all interpreters submit for license renewal by January 31st of every year. Also, note there have been recent fee changes regarding your license.
Understanding the Timeline
December 2nd – All certified and not-certified interpreter information is sent to licensure.
December 3rd – Licensure processes the data and sends out license renewal information.
NOTE: There is not a 60 day processing time between December 2nd and January 31st for interpreters to complete CEU’s and submit forms. If you have not postmarked certification by December 2nd, then you are not certified and your license is invalid.
We recommend sending in CEU information to certification as soon as you can. We tend to get ours notarized as soon as possible, purchase the money order, update our number of CEU’s once completed, and mail it off ASAP. This will ensure the information arrives early. Keep in mind the logistics of the post office. Just because you mailed it doesn’t mean it arrived. We suggest copying all mailed documents, including the money order, to prove you had it (in case it gets lost). If you haven’t received your certification card by the expiration on December 2nd, contact MCDHH. Once your license information comes to you from the Division of Professional Registration, we suggest renewing that ASAP.
Reminder, you should “always carry and be ready to produce your current certification and license cards.” (MCDHH)
*All gathered information above is accurate as of January 2019. Refer to MCDHH and the Missouri Division of Professional Registration for current standards.