Instructions on How to Apply for a California Professional Engineer License

GENERAL - These instructions highlight some of the requirements for licensure as a Professional Engineer, but they are not intended to apply to every situation. The applicant is responsible for complying with and completing the current requirements in the Professional Engineers Act (Act) and the Board Rules.

Should conflicts or questions arise, the Professional Engineers Act will take precedence. The Act is found in Chapter 7 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code commencing with Section 6700 and the Board Rules in Chapter 5 of Title 16 commencing with Section 400 of the California Code of Regulations. Neither U.S. citizenship nor California residence is required for licensure. However, disclosure of your social security number or individual taxpayer identification number is mandatory. U.S. citizens who do not have a social security number may contact their local United States Social Security Office at 1-800-722-1213 or https://www.ssa.gov/. Non-U.S. citizens without a social security number may request an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the Department of Treasury (Internal Revenue Service) at (215) 516-4846 or https://www.irs.gov/.

There are three categories of Professional Engineer licensure available in California: (1) practice act, (2) title act, and (3) authority. The practice acts are Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering. Practice act means that only a person appropriately licensed with the Board may practice or offer to practice these branches of engineering. The title acts are Agricultural, Chemical, Control System, Fire Protection, Industrial, Metallurgical, Nuclear, Petroleum, and Traffic Engineering. Title act means that only a person licensed by the Board in that branch of engineering may use the title in any manner. The authorities exist for two sub-branches of civil engineering: Structural Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering. An authority indicates a proficiency in that field greater than what is required for civil engineering licensure. Persons who pass the written examination will be issued a license in the branch of engineering for which they applied.

Information regarding the New Application Process

DO NOT FILE BEFORE YOU HAVE ACTUALLY ACQUIRED SUFFICIENT QUALIFYING EXPERIENCE!

Qualifying experience is computed on an actual time basis, not to exceed forty hours per week. If education is used as a part of the required qualifying experience, the additional actual work experience must be gained after graduation.

It is the applicant's responsibility to compile and submit a complete application package. This application must demonstrate that you are fully qualified to be licensed as a professional engineer examination.

A COMPLETE APPLICATION PACKET MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Completed and signed two-page application form. Application MUST be typed or completed online. Handwritten forms are not accepted. (Board Rule 420(a)(1)) [Make a copy to keep for yourself.]
  • A check or money order made payable to the "Department of Consumer Affairs."
  • A minimum of four envelopes from your references containing Part A and Part B of the Engagement Record and Reference Forms. Your references must place their professional seal/stamp over the sealed flap of the envelope. You should provide envelopes to your references. Do NOT open the envelopes -- they must be sealed to be considered. Click here for information on what constitutes a satisfactory reference.
  • If you are claiming education credit or requesting a waiver of the EIT: Sealed college transcripts. Do NOT open the envelopes -- they must be sealed to be considered. The Board does not accept evaluations of foreign transcripts. If the transcript is not in English, you must obtain a notarized translation of the foreign transcript and submit both the translation and the original language version of the transcripts.
  • If you are applying by comity, without an NCEES record, or if you have an EIT certificate issued by another state: Verification of licensure/examination information from the state(s) in which you are licensed or were examined. You must use the verification system available through NCEES. You will need to log in to your MyNCEES account (or create one) and then follow the directions there to request verification be sent to California by the other state(s).
  • If you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor: Certified copies of court documents for all criminal convictions. If the court will not release the records to you, you must indicate that in the Remarks section of the application, along with the date you requested the records and provide the name/location of the court, the case number (if known), and the date of the conviction in the Remarks section of the application. If the court indicates the records have been destroyed, you must provide an official letter from the court.
  • Completed Take Home Examination.

NOTE: The Board has the authority to seek such other information pertinent to the education and experience of the applicant as may be required to verify his or her qualifications. The Board suggests you keep copies of all materials sent to this Board for your files.

COMITY:
All Comity applicants must meet the same requirements as first-time applicants and must apply as if they were taking the professional engineer exam for the first time. This includes, the completion of the application forms, school transcripts (if you are claiming education credit), a minimum of four Engagement Record and Reference Forms, the application fee and exam fees for any required California Specific examinations. You must provide verification of your licensure and examinations from the other state(s) by using the verification system available through NCEES. You will need to log in to your MyNCEES account (or create one) and then follow the directions there to request verification be sent to California by the other state(s). You must also submit your completed Take Home Examination with your application. The Board accepts, but does not require, NCEES Council Records in lieu of Engagement Record and Reference Forms. However, you need to be aware that NCEES Council Records do not always provide the information the Board needs to determine if you meet the requirements for licensure in California. After reviewing the NCEES Council Record, we often have to request that the applicant, and the applicant's references provide additional information, which slows down the processing of the application. You may wish to simply complete the Engagement Record and Reference Forms instead of submitting an NCEES Council Record.

ASSIGNMENT TO EXAM SITES/LOCATIONS:
Applicants are required to choose an examination site during the NCEES registration process.

SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS:
The Board no longer directly handles requests for special accommodations at examinations. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) oversees this procedure. If you have a need for special testing accommodations due to religious beliefs or for reasons falling within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you must contact NCEES regarding your request. ALL requests must be submitted to NCEES by the final filing date of the examination for which you are applying. NOTE: You must request special accommodations for each examination administration cycle, even if none of the information has changed since the last request. Information regarding the process for requesting special accommodations is available on the NCEES website. Do NOT contact the Board to request special accommodations; you must contact NCEES.

PHOTO ID:
In order to gain entrance into the examination, a photo ID is required and you will not be admitted without one. Identification will NOT BE ACCEPTED UNLESS IT MEETS ALL of the following criteria:

  1. Issued by a state or federal governmental agency (including other U.S. states and foreign countries). [Student identification cards or employee identification cards will NOT be accepted]
  2. Contains your photograph
  3. Contains your visible signature
  4. Contains your printed (typed) name
  5. Other materials required by testing vendor (Exam Authorization, etc.)
If you do not have identification which meets ALL of the above criteria, you will NOT be allowed to sit for the examination. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS