Building and Physical Accessibility

Texas Law

  • Requires submission and approval of building plans and site inspections of:
    • Government-funded buildings constructed or renovated after January 1, 1970;
    • State-leased buildings after January 1, 1972;
    • Privately-funded public accommodations built or renovated after January 1, 1992 (includes buildings such as hotels/motels, restaurants, theaters, auditoriums, shopping centers, sales/rental establishments, transportation terminals, museums, parks, schools, day-care centers, and gyms); and
    • Privately-funded commercial buildings built or renovated after September 1, 1993.
    • Does not apply to buildings owned, leased, or operated by the federal government. Such buildings are subject to the federal Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, which requires federal buildings to be accessible.
  • Requires architects, interior designers, landscape architects, or engineers to submit plans for new construction or substantial renovation totaling $50,000 or more to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) not later than the fifth day after the professional issues the plans.
  • Requires building owners who are not utilizing such professionals for construction or substantial alteration to submit plans within 30 days of the date when the construction or modification begins.
  • Provides that a local governmental entity cannot issue a building construction permit without proof that the building owner has filed a plan with TDLR.
  • Provides customers with specific medical conditions may use employee-only restrooms in a retail establishment lacking public restrooms under certain conditions.

Texas Statutes

TAS Equivalency

Buildings and facilities in Texas are subject to compliance with the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS). These standards were written to be consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for accessibility contained in the federal 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. The ADA acknowledges the importance of eliminating structural and architectural barriers so that buildings and facilities are readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. The 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, enforced by the Department of Justice (DOJ), establish minimum requirements for the design and construction of buildings and facilities. In order to facilitate compliance with these standards, the ADA authorizes the DOJ to certify that state accessibility standards meet or exceed the requirements of the ADA. In Texas, the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) has received equivalency certification from the DOJ. This certification does not eliminate an individual’s right to seek relief through the federal courts for noncompliance with ADA accessibility standards. However, compliance with the TAS may be offered as rebuttable evidence of compliance with the federal standards.


Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Architectural Barriers Section
(877) 278-0999; TDLR Main: (512) 463-3211
Technical Assistance:

Relevant Federal Laws

Americans with Disabilities Act:
U.S. Department of Justice
(800) 514-0301; (800) 514-0383 (TTY)

Architectural Barriers Act:
U.S. Access Board
(800) 872-2253; (800) 993-2822 (TTY)