In Connecticut, shorthand court reporters must be licensed by the Department of Consumer Protection. There is more than one way to make a verbatim record of legal proceedings. But in this state, the term “shorthand” refers to making a verbatim record of the spoken word by use of written symbols. These symbols may be recorded by a stenotype machine, a computer-aided stenotype transcription machine, or by use of manual means.
It is best to be certified by the National Court Reporter’s Association. But that is not an absolute statutory requirement. Nonetheless, it would be good for both licensing and employment purposes. And as you can see from the next paragraph, Registered Professional Reporters do not have to take the licensing test.
A shorthand court reporter’s exam must be passed unless you are a Registered Professional Reporter with the Association. Both true-or-false and multiple-choice questions may be included on the test by statute. You must also transcribe on this test. The statute calls for 3 tapes: jury charges at 200 words per minute; literary material at 180 words per minute; and Q&A material at 225 words per minute. However, the State Board of Examiners of Shorthand Reporters has the final decision-making authority on the contents of the exam.
When applying for a license, the statute prescribes a $50 nonrefundable application fee and a $150 fee for a 3-year license (this fee had been increased to $190 by the time of this post). The renewal fee is also $150. To renew your license, you must show proof of 30 hours of continuing education. Courses accepted in Connecticut are those that have been approved by the National Court Reporters Association or specifically approved by the Board if not an NCRA-approved course. However, if you are certified by that Association as at least a Registered Professional Reporter, the Board may waive the CE requirements.
Notes: Shorthand reporters must keep a record of proceedings for 7 years. But on notice, they may be required to keep such records for a longer period of time. So all reporters should have some kind of storage space for their records. The statute does not specify what kind of storage space must be used. Reporters must have a phone number, as well. And they must report all felony convictions at the time of license application. This may or may not be grounds for refusal to grant a Connecticut shorthand court reporter license, depending on the type and severity of the felony.
The following Connecticut shorthand reporter application might not be current. But I am providing it for your convenience.