Professional Engineer Application

General Information:
The following instructions summarize 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 the current requirements of the Professional Engineers Act and the Board Rules and Regulations.  If conflicts arise, the Professional Engineers Act will take precedence.

Neither U.S. Citizenship nor California residency is required for licensure; however, disclosure of the applicant’s Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is mandatory. An application will not be processed without it.  Additional information is located on the Information Collection, Access, and Disclosure page.

Professional Engineer Licensure Available in California:
There are three categories of Professional Engineer licensure available in California: (1) practice act, (2) title act, and (3) title 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 Systems, 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 title authorities exist for two sub-branches of Civil Engineering: Structural Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering. A title authority indicates a proficiency in that field greater than what is required for Civil Engineering licensure. Applicants who meet all licensure requirements, including passing the required exam(s), will be issued a license in the branch of engineering for which they applied.

Eligibility and Experience Requirements:
An applicant for licensure as a Professional Engineer must meet the qualifying experience requirements outlined in Business and Professions Code sections 6751(c) and 6753 and Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 424. There is a Qualification Flowchart depicting the requirements.  Applicants should also review the Process Flowcharts for Scheduling Exams and Applying for Licensure.

The applicant should review the applicable laws and regulations to confirm that they meet the qualifying experience requirements before they submit an application to the Board.  Qualifying experience must be completed by the date of application submittal and is calculated 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 actual work experience must be gained after graduation.

It is the applicant's responsibility to submit a complete application.  A partial application will not be evaluated. The application must demonstrate that an applicant is fully qualified for licensure.

Application and Filing Instructions:
All applicants are required to supply the Board with a full set of fingerprints upon submittal of an application for licensure/certification.  If a Professional Engineer applicant has submitted fingerprints with a previous application to the Board, resubmittal with a subsequent application is required if it has been 24 months or more since the last submittal of fingerprints. Please view the Fingerprinting FAQs for detailed information.

Additional Information for Applicants Applying for a Waiver of the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam:
Professional Engineer applicants who are applying for a waiver of the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam need to submit a complete application for a Professional Engineer license in BPELSG Connect.   The applicant will use the same application as all other applicants; however, they must answer the questions accurately on the Qualifications Tab of the application to indicate they are seeking a FE exam waiver.  The documents and information submitted with the application must substantiate that the requirements have been met.

Review the application filing process for requesting a waiver of the FE exam. For information regarding the qualification requirements, review Business and Professionals Code section 6755(b) and Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 438(a).  There is also an FE Waiver Flowchart depicting the requirements.

Additional Information for Comity Applicants:
Professional Engineer applicants licensed in another state (comity applicants) must meet the same application requirements as all other applicants. This includes submitting a complete application for a Professional Engineer license in BPELSG Connect.  The applicant will use the same application as all other applicants; however, the applicant must provide verification of licensure and exam from the other state by using the verification system available through NCEES. Applicants must log in to their NCEES account (or create one) and then follow the directions to request a verification.

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.  In the case that the NCEES Record does not provide the information the Board needs to determine if an applicant meets the requirements for licensure in California, the applicant will be asked to provide additional information.

Review Business and Professions Code section 6759 for additional information regarding comity.

 The Board has the authority to seek additional information pertinent to the education and experience of the applicant as may be required to verify the applicant’s qualifications. Applicants should keep a copy of all materials submitted to the Board for their records.  If an applicant fails to provide additional information or references within 90 days following the request by Board staff, the application may be considered abandoned, and the application fee forfeited (Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 428).

Examination Information: