So if anyone is wondering... I did call TDI and it is true.
In Texas, if a license expires before the licensee has done all of their CE credit, then there will be a penalty of $50 per credit hour needed.
This penalty must be paid before the license can be reinstated and/or the licensee can apply for a new license.
The CE can not just be obtained through classwork or purchasing credits, the penalty must be paid.
So, my potential agent would have to pay roughly $1500 to apply for a new license, even though it has been 4 years since her license expired.
Keep your CE current and do not let your license expire if there is an inkling you would ever want to return to the insurance industry