Lobby Electronic Filing
Frequently Asked Questions
2. I’ve decided to become a lobbyist. What is my next step?
2. What is the registration fee?
3. How do I pay the lobby Registration fee if I file electronically?
4. Will I get a receipt for an online payment?
5. Can I pay a late-filing penalty online?
6. Is there a Macintosh version of the software?
7. Can I print a copy of my report?
8. How do I get a filing password?
9. What do I do if I forget my password?
10. Can I change the password assigned by the Ethics Commission?
11. How will I know if the Ethics Commission has received a filing?
12. Why am I not receiving email messages from the Ethics Commission?
13. How do I find out what is the latest version of the software?
14. How do I file a Lobby Activities Report for last year?
After you make the decision to become a lobbyist, you must file a Form FILER ID REQ-LOBBY and Form SECURITY-LOBBY. Please be aware that becoming a lobbyist will trigger filing requirements. You can familiarize yourself with these requirements by consulting the Lobbying in Texas Guide and the lobby filing schedule.
If this is your first time filing reports with the Texas Ethics Commission, you will be assigned a Filer ID from the Commission after the Commission has received your Form FILER ID REQ-LOBBY and Form SECURITY-LOBBY. This Filer ID and a link to set your password will be emailed to you. Once you have a Filer ID and have set your password, you can electronically file your campaign finance reports.
The annual lobby registration fee is $750 for all registrants except organizations exempt from federal taxes under the IRS Code, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), or 501(c)(6) and lobbyists who represent only such organizations. The annual fee for those registrants is $150. The fee is not prorated for lobbyists who are registered for only a portion of the year.
You may pay the registration fee using the online filing application at the time you file your registration with a credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa) or electronic check. A non-refundable processing fee is included in the price if you pay electronically. If necessary, you may file your registration using the filing application and indicate that you will submit your registration fee separately by check or money order.
You will receive a confirmation of payment sent to your Primary Email Address and will be able to print a copy of the confirmation. (This payment confirmation is separate from the confirmation email you receive acknowledging the filing of your registration.)
No. To pay a late-filing penalty, you must submit a check or money order.
No need to worry! The new lobby filing application is web-based, so you can use any computer that has access to the internet and a browser that meets the minimum requirements. A list of the browser requirements is available on the Lobby Electronic Filing page.
You can print a copy of a report at any time. Log in to the filing application and select "Manage My Reports" on the home page. On the Reports page, you may click the "Print" button next any filed or in-progress report to generate a PDF copy of the report to preview and print. You may also preview and print while working on an in-progress report by clicking "Preview Report PDF" in the navigational menu bar located down the left side of your in-progress report screen. Most browsers have a default PDF reader (some use Adobe Acrobat and some have their own reader). Depending on your browser and PDF reader, the PDF copy of the report may either download and appear minimized at the bottom of your screen (click to open) or open automatically in a new window or tab. After you print the report, close the window by clicking on the "X" in the top right-hand corner of the preview window. Note: Be sure you are closing the preview window only and not the main browser window running the filing application.
The Primary Email Address authorization (Form SECURITY) must be completed, signed, printed out, and faxed or mailed to the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC). If this is your first time to register as a lobbyist with TEC, you must also complete the filer ID account request (Form FILER ID-REQ-LOBBY) and submit it with Form SECURITY. After you submit the required forms, watch your email in-box. TEC will send an email to your Primary Email Address with your Filer ID, Filer Type, and a link to set up your password and security questions and answers. Note: Your password must contain one special character (special characters include !@#$%^&*), one lowercase letter, and must be at least eight characters long. When setting up your three security answers, remember that your entry will not be case-sensitive, but spacing and punctuation matter. If you forget your password, you will be required to answer all three security questions exactly to reset your password. .
On the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) Filer Login screen, click on the "Forgot Password?" link and enter your Filer ID and Filer Type. You will be asked to answer the three security questions that you set up when you logged in for the first time. Your answers to all three questions must be entered exactly as created. (Remember the answers are not case-sensitive, but punctuation and spacing must be exact.) Once you have answered the security questions correctly, an email containing a link to reset your password will immediately be sent to your Primary Email Address.
Please note that the passwords are encrypted and TEC does not have access to your password. If you cannot answer your security questions and are unable to reset your password yourself, you must complete, sign, print out, and fax or mail Form SECURITY to the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC). TEC will send an email to your Primary Email Address with a link to reset your password.
The Ethics Commission (TEC) no longer assigns passwords for the new filing application. The assigned password you used in the old lobby filing software is only needed the first time you log in to the new lobby filing application. The first time you log in to the new lobby filing application, you must enter your Filer ID, your assigned password from old software, and your Filer Type. At that point, you will immediately be required to reset your password. You may change your password at any time in the filing application by clicking "Manage My Profile" on the home page. Then click the "Password" button to enter your new password.
In the new filing application, if the filing was successful, you will see a Confirmation screen showing the date and time stamp for the filing and you may view or print a PDF copy of your filing. Within a few minutes of filing, you should also receive an email sent to your Primary Email Address from "firstname.lastname@example.org," which also contains a confirmation number. If you do not receive the confirmation, the filing did not succeed. You should try again or call TEC for assistance.
When you return to "Manage My Reports" in the filing application, you should see the filing listed under Filed Reports. You may also check the Lobby Reports page of our website within a few days of filing to verify that the report has been posted.
All password reset links and Ethics Commission (TEC) notices will be sent to your Primary Email Address. This should be an email address that is current and that you check often. You can verify and update your Primary Email Address right after you log in. Also, be sure to "whitelist" or mark as "safe" emails that come from "email@example.com" and be sure to check your Spam or Junk folder for any missing messages.
No need to worry! The new lobby filing application is web-based and will automatically operate using the most current version of the Ethics Commission (TEC) software. To determine what version of the filing application you are using, look for the build number displayed in the left corner on the banner line along the top of your screen.
If you need to file a Lobby Activities (LA) Report that covers the previous year, you MUST file the report under your previous year's Lobby Registration. When you are logged in to the new lobby filing application, click on "Manage My Reports." On the Reports page, click the "Start an Activity Report" button near the top of the screen. Then, click the "Other Report Options" button and select the registration for the appropriate year. The filing application will start the LA report and pre-populate the report type and period covered based on whether you selected Annual or Monthly for reporting purposes when you filed the previous registration.
Last Revision: January 6, 2017