50-State Engineering Licensing Compliance Guide
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California Engineering Industry Licensing

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Licensing requirements for engineering industry firms and individuals in California.

This page provides an overview of engineering industry licensing in California for individuals and firms. You will find state requirements, application fees, filing instructions, and more. For assistance with licensing, please contact us to learn about our software and managed license services.

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Company Licenses

California Engineering Company Licenses

California Geology Firm License

Not required



Geoscience Firm licensure is not required on the State level in California.

More information: California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

California Organization Record

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
Law:

California Business and Professions Code § 6738

Ownership Requirements:

An owner, partner, or officer must be a licensed engineer.

Initial Registration

Form:

Organization Record Form for Businesses Whose Principal Office is in California or  Organization Record Form for Businesses Whose Principal Office is Located Outside of California

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

5-10 business days

How to Apply:

In California, entity registration with the Secretary of State and an Organizational Record Form with the Board for Engineers can be applied for concurrently.

Required Attachments:
  • List of officers or partners of the firm including license numbers and addresses
  • List of engineers and/or land surveyors acting in responsible charge of professional engineering or land surveying services for the firm
  • List of branch offices including addresses, list of officers/partners, and list of engineers and/or land surveyors acting in responsible charge of professional engineering or land surveying services for the branch office 
  • Valid email address

Renewal Not Required

Not required



Registrations do not expire, but firms must notify the board when entity information changes.

Amendment

Form:

Organization Record Form (Amendment)

Instructions:
  • The completed form must be emailed to bpelsg.organization.records@dca.ca.gov
  • Request a confirmation receipt in the body of the email
Filing Method:

E-mail

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 30 days after a change in the reported information.

Notes:

A new Organization Record Form must be submitted to the board if any of the originally reported information changes.

Individual Licenses

California Individual Engineering Licenses

California Civil Engineer License

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
Exam Required?Yes
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Initial Registration

Instructions:

Applying for Licensure as a Civil Engineer

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$180

Due:

Biennially by the end of the assigned quarterly renewal period.

California Engineer-in-Training Certification (EIT)

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$75

Renewal Not Required

Not required



California Engineering Geologist Certification

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically...Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 3008

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically...Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 3008

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Licensure as a Certified Engineering Geologist or Certified Hydrogeologist

Agency Fee:

$175 application fee + $175 exam fee

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$180

Due:

Biennially by the end of the certificate holder's birth month.

California Fire Protection Engineer License

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
Exam Required?Yes
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Initial Registration

Instructions:

Professional Engineer Instructions

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175

Reciprocal Registration

Instructions:

Professional Engineer Instructions

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175

Notes:
  • Applicants licensed in another state (comity applicants) must meet the same application requirements as all other applicants. This includes submitting all required documents and information. Applicants must provide verification of licensure and exam from the other state by using the verification system available through NCEES. Applicants must login to their NCEES account (or create one) and then follow the directions to request that the verification be sent to California.
  • Comity applicants may submit NCEES Records (formerly known as NCEES Council Records) in lieu of Work Experience Engagements/References and transcripts, but NCEES Records are not required.

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$180

Due:

Biennially by the assigned renewal date (not the issue date).

California Geologist-in-Training Certification

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$75

Renewal Not Required

Not required



The certificate shall become invalid when the holder has qualified as a professional geologist.

California Geotechnical Engineer License

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
Exam Required?Yes
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for License as a Geotechnical Engineer

Instructions:

Instructions on How to Apply for a Geotechnical Engineer License

Agency Fee:

$175

Required Attachments:
  • A minimum of 4 Engagement Record and Reference Forms to adequately document that you meet the qualifying experience requirement.
  • Official sealed transcripts if you are claiming credit for a post graduate degree.
  • Proof of completing the fingerprinting requirement, unless you have fulfilled the requirement with a prior application to this Board.

Reciprocal Registration

Form:

Application for License as a Geotechnical Engineer

Instructions:

Instructions on How to Apply for a Geotechnical Engineer License

Required Attachments:
  • A minimum of 4 Engagement Record and Reference Forms to adequately document that you meet the qualifying experience requirement.
  • Official sealed transcripts if you are claiming credit for a post graduate degree.
  • License verification using the verification system available through NCEES if licensed as a Civil Engineer in another state. License verification is required if claiming credit for work experience completed out-of-state or if qualifying experience is gained after licensure as a Civil Engineer in another state.
  • Proof of completing the fingerprinting requirement, unless you have fulfilled the requirement with a prior application to this Board.

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$180

Due:

Biennially by the end of the assigned quarterly renewal period.

California Hydrogeologist Certification

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Licensure as a Certified Engineering Geologist or Certified Hydrogeologist

Agency Fee:

$175 application fee + $175 exam fee

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$180

Due:

Biennially by the end of the certificate holder's birth month.

California Land Surveyor-in-Training Certification (LSIT)

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$75

Renewal Not Required

Not required



California Professional Engineer License

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
Exam Required?Yes
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Initial Registration

Instructions:

Professional Engineer Instructions

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175

Reciprocal Registration

Instructions:

Professional Engineer Instructions

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175

Notes:
  • Applicants licensed in another state (comity applicants) must meet the same application requirements as all other applicants. This includes submitting all required documents and information. Applicants must provide verification of licensure and exam from the other state by using the verification system available through NCEES. Applicants must login to their NCEES account (or create one) and then follow the directions to request that the verification be sent to California.
  • Comity applicants may submit NCEES Records (formerly known as NCEES Council Records) in lieu of Work Experience Engagements/References and transcripts, but NCEES Records are not required.

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$180

Due:

Biennially by the end of the assigned quarterly renewal period.

California Professional Geologist License

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically...Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 3008

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically...Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 3008

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Licensure as a Professional Geologist or Geophysicist

Agency Fee:

$175 application fee + $175 exam fee

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$180

Due:

Biennially by the end of the licensee's birth month.

California Professional Geophysicist License

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically...Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 3008

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically...Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 3008

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Licensure as a Professional Geophysicist

Agency Fee:

$175 application fee + $175 exam fee

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$180

Due:

Biennially by the end of the licensee's birth month.

California Professional Land Surveyor License

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

Initial Registration

Instructions:

Applying for Licensure as a Land Surveyor

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175 application fee + $175 exam fee

Reciprocal Registration

Instructions:

Applying for Licensure as a Land Surveyor

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175 application fee + $175 exam fee

Notes:
  • Applicants licensed in another state (comity applicants) must meet the same application requirements as all other applicants. This includes submitting all the required information and documentation.
  • Applicants must provide verification of licensure and exam from the other state by using the verification system available through NCEES. Applicants must login to their NCEES account (or create one) and then follow the directions to request that the verification be sent to California.
  • Comity applicants may submit NCEES Records (formerly known as NCEES Council Records) in lieu of Work Experience Engagements/References and transcripts, but NCEES Records are not required.

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$180

Due:

Biennially by the end of the assigned quarterly renewal period.

California Structural Engineer License

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
Exam Required?Yes
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Reciprocal Registration

Form:

Application for License as a Structural Engineer

Instructions:

Instructions on How to Apply for a Structural Engineer License

Agency Fee:

$175

Notes:

Applicants that have been licensed and practicing in another state may apply prior to 3 years after obtaining their license as a Civil Engineer in California under certain circumstances. The Board will consider an application submitted sooner than 3 years after licensure as a Civil Engineer in California by a person who meets any of the following requirements:

  • Has practiced under the exemption for officers and employees of the government of the United States of America; or
  • Has actually practiced in responsible charge in another state (licensure in another state does not allow for responsible charge experience in California); or
  • Has practiced in responsible charge in another country.

The Board will accept an applicant under any one of the above conditions provided that the conditions occurred prior to the time that the applicant arrived in California, provided that the applicant has six (6) years of qualifying experience that can be counted toward the application for licensure as a Civil Engineer and at least three (3) additional years of experience in structural engineering work in excess of those six (6) years required for the civil engineering license, and further provided that an applicant who wishes to be considered under any of these provisions so indicates to the Board at the time of filing of his or her application, and files the application at least six (6) months prior to the announced final filing date for the examination for which the applicant is applying.

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$180

Due:

Biennially by the end of the assigned quarterly renewal period.

California Traffic Engineer License

Agency:California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
Exam Required?Yes
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

The seal shall be capable of leaving a permanent ink representation, a permanent impression, or an electronically-generated representation on the documents. The signature may be applied to the documents electronically....Each licensee shall include the date of signing and sealing immediately below or next to the signature and seal.

16 CCR § 411

Initial Registration

Instructions:

Professional Engineer Instructions

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175

Reciprocal Registration

Instructions:

Professional Engineer Instructions

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175

Notes:
  • Applicants licensed in another state (comity applicants) must meet the same application requirements as all other applicants. This includes submitting all required documents and information. Applicants must provide verification of licensure and exam from the other state by using the verification system available through NCEES. Applicants must login to their NCEES account (or create one) and then follow the directions to request that the verification be sent to California.
  • Comity applicants may submit NCEES Records (formerly known as NCEES Council Records) in lieu of Work Experience Engagements/References and transcripts, but NCEES Records are not required.

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$180

Due:

Biennially by the end of the assigned quarterly renewal period.

Learn about engineering licensing in other states:

Design Firm - Engineering firm registration is sometimes grouped with architecture and land surveying on a single “design firm” application form.

EI (Engineering Intern) - A term also used to describe an Engineer in Training.

EIT (Engineer in Training) - A professional designation granted upon having completed at least 3 years of school at an ABET-accredited university and having passed the FE exam.

FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) - An exam testing on basic engineering principles that is required to become an engineer in training.

PE (Professional Engineer or 'Principles and Practice in Engineering') - Means either Professional Engineer or refers to the Principles and Practice in Engineering exam that is a prerequisite for an engineering license.

Reciprocity - When a licensed engineer in one state can provide documentation (often an NCEES Record) to more easily apply for a license in another jurisdiction.

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
Accrediting board that sets standards for university programs in a variety of applied science disciplines.

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
Engineering, architecture, and land surveying advocacy group.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Organization that provides continuing education, professional conferences, and advocacy efforts to the civil engineering community.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Mechanical engineering organization that focuses on education and professional development.

Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC)
Reviews accreditation requirements and makes final decisions regarding the accreditation process.

National Council of Examiners for Engineering & Surveying (NCEES)
Develops, administers, and scores the exams used for engineering licenses.

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
NSPE is an advocacy group for professional engineers.