How to Become an ALF Provider

Contracting to Provide Services

To be eligible to provide services and receive reimbursement for these services, a provider agency must meet certain eligibility criteria. Rules regarding program and contracting requirements can be found in Title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) as follows:

A facility must obtain a DADS Assisted Living License (Type A or B).  Rules regarding licensing requirements can be found in Title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) as follows:

For more information about DADS provider enrollment process and requirements, please click here.

An individual or provider agency must complete an application to provide services in the Community Services programs. Once you have met the minimum eligibility criteria, you may review the required application documents on:

The required application documents may be downloaded for completion. Please contact your local Community Services Contracts Unit Manager to obtain the mailing address to submit completed documents.

If you prefer DADS mail you the required application documents, please contact your local Community Services Contracts Unit Manager to request an application packet and obtain the mailing address to submit completed documents.


DADS licenses and inspects assisted living facilities to ensure compliance with state regulations. Through these regulatory activities, DADS protects Texas citizens who receive long-term care services.

Assisted living facilities must be licensed to operate in Texas. To become licensed, a facility must:

In addition, background checks are conducted on the individuals and corporations responsible for resident health and safety to ensure that the responsible parties have a good history of operating long-term care facilities.

For a facility to retain its license, the results of any inspection, follow-up visit or complaint/incident investigation must show the facility complies with the current state licensure laws and rules.

Unlicensed Facilities

Some businesses illegally provide food and shelter to four or more individuals and provide personal care services to those individuals. These providers have never applied for a license or have been denied a license based on their failure to meet health, fire or building safety requirements.

DADS is aware of some unlicensed facilities. DADS is either working to get the facilities licensed and to comply with health and safety requirements or is in the process of closing them. If you have a question about the license status of a facility, call DADS Consumer Rights and Services at 1-800-458-9858.

Licensing Forms

Applications and required fees should be sent to:

Regular Mail
Accounts Receivable
Mail Code E-411
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030

Overnight delivery
Accounts Receivable
Mail Code E-411
Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
701 West 51st Street
Austin, TX 78751

Required documents

Note: Facilities should use Form 3720, Application for State License to Operate a Long-term Care Facility, to:

Apply for a License

  • Initial
  • Initial new construction - provisional license (Assisted Living Facility's only)
  • Change of ownership
  • Relocation of a facility

Report Changes and Updates

  • Management company
  • Replacement of facility
  • Change of real estate owner, lien holder, or other encumbrance changes
  • Changes of ownership interests or stock transfers of 5 percent to 49 percent

For Initial Applications

Request for a Provisional License — For Newly Constructed Assisted Living Facilities Only. The department shall, upon submission of a written request by the applicant, automatically issue a six-month provisional license without conducting a Life Safety Code (LSC) inspection if:

  1. before beginning construction, the license applicant has submitted building plans (including working drawings and specifications) to DADS for an early compliance review in accordance with Health and Safety Code Section 247.0261 and Texas Administrative Code, Title 40, Part 1, Chapter 92, Section 92.64;
  2. all local approvals, including a certificate of occupancy where required, have been obtained;
  3. a complete license application form is submitted within 30 days of receipt of all local approvals;
  4. the license fee has been paid;
  5. the department determines that the license applicant (or a person who owns the license applicant and controls the operations of the license applicant) constructed in this state another facility that complies with the department's LSC standards; and
  6. the facility is in compliance with resident care standards based on an on-site health inspection.

Request for an Expedited Life Safety Code (ELSC) Inspection

  • An applicant for an initial license may obtain an ELSC inspection after DADS receives a completed application, all fees and all required documents.
  • To request an ELSC inspection, you must submit:
    • a written request informing the Facility Licensing unit, Regulatory Services, that the facility meets the architectural requirements and is ready for its ELSC inspection; and
    • the required fee in accordance with the Assisted Living Licensing Standards, 40 TAC §92.4 Expedited Life Safety Code and Physical Plant Inspection Fees.
  • A fee is required for each ELSC inspection. This fee covers only one ELSC inspection. If the applicant doesn't pass the first LSC inspection and requests that the follow-up be expedited, the applicant must pay the ELSC inspection fee again.
  • DADS will conduct the ELSC inspection within 15 business days after receipt of the request and fee, and after all requirements are met.
  • Use the following forms if you are requesting an ELSC inspection for Alzheimer's Certification or a Licensed Capacity increase:

For new construction, remodeled buildings or buildings that have never been licensed:

Completed applications for a license should be submitted 45 days before the building is expected to conform to the LSC and architectural requirements.

After DADS determines that the building meets the LSC requirements, at least one but not more than three residents may be admitted to the facility. After the facility has admitted at least one but no more than three residents, the applicant must send a written notice to DADS indicating that the facility is ready for a health inspection. An unannounced inspection will then be conducted to determine whether the facility meets all requirements for a license.

  • Health Authority Letter
  • Property documents (lease, sublease, mortgage, lien information) (one copy of each)
  • Certificate of Account Status or Certification of Exemption and a Certificate of Incorporation, if the application is submitted by a corporation. (From the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts)
  • Certificate of Registration (if not formed in Texas, authority to transact business in Texas, formerly called Certificate of Authority)
  • Form 3736, Application for State Licensing to Operate a Type C Assisted Living Facility (One original)
    Note: Please include the $100 license fee with the initial (new) or change of ownership application.

Alzheimer's certification required documents

Required entity documents

Time frames


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Inspections and Investigations of Complaints and Incidents

DADS inspects assisted living facilities every two years to ensure that they are in compliance with state licensure regulations. DADS also investigates self-reported incidents from facilities and complaints from residents, family members, friends and others. Inspectors initiate investigation of complaints and incidents in facilities within 24 hours, 14 days, 30 days or 45 days, depending on the priority assigned by the intake program specialist who receives the complaint or incident report. The priority is based on the immediacy and seriousness of the allegation.

DADS conducts on-site investigations for all complaints received. If the agency determines that the facility has investigated a self-reported incident, has determined the cause, and has made the necessary changes to remove the problem, DADS may elect not to conduct an on-site investigation. If inspectors find a violation during a visit, they make a follow-up visit to ensure that the facility has corrected the violation and is in compliance with the regulations. DADS does not notify facilities before conducting inspections or investigations. For information on how to report a complaint, please visit the DADS Consumer Rights and Services website.

DADS has inspectors from a number of professional disciplines, including registered nurses, social workers, nutritionists, pharmacists, architects, engineers and Life Safety Code specialists. DADS assigns one or more inspectors from specific areas of expertise to investigate complaints and incidents based on the nature of the complaint or incident and facility size.

Inspection Reports

When the inspection team completes the inspection, investigation, follow-up or other visit, it writes a report of the findings that details the facility's failures to comply with regulations, which are called violations. The facility must make inspection reports available to all facility residents and visitors. Interested parties may also request inspection team visit results from Consumer Rights and Services at 1-800-458-9858.

Enforcement Actions

Once the inspection team completes its report, DADS staff review the findings to determine if an enforcement action is necessary. An array of enforcement actions are available under state licensing laws, including actions against a facility's license and monetary sanctions such as an administrative penalty or civil penalty.

State regulations give facilities the right to request an informal dispute resolution of the cited violations and to appeal enforcement actions.

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Updated: May 27, 2016