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 your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is mandatory. Your 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.
Review all applicable laws and regulations to confirm that you meet the qualifying experience requirements before you 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.
Agricultural, Chemical, Control Systems, Electrical, Fire Protection, Industrial, Mechanical, Metallurgical, Nuclear, and Petroleum Engineer Applicants
All applicants are required to supply the Board with a full set of fingerprints upon submittal of an application for licensure/certification. If an Agricultural, Chemical, Control Systems, Electrical, Fire Protection, Industrial, Mechanical, Metallurgical, Nuclear, or Petroleum 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.
- Applying for Licensure as a Professional Engineer
- How to Use BPELSG Connect to Complete and Submit a PE Application
- BPELSG Connect (Carefully follow all instructions within BPELSG Connect)
- Engagement Record and Reference Form Instructions for Professional Engineer Applicants
Civil Engineer Applicants
Important Note: Civil engineer initial and re-exam applications are currently not available on the Board’s website. In an effort to ease the transition from its legacy system to the new BPELSG Connect online portal, the Board has decided to temporarily suspend acceptance of both initial and re-exam applications for the civil engineer license during the month of October 2021 and the beginning of November 2021. Any paper applications, initial and re-exam, for this license type received after September 30, 2021 will be returned to the sender in its entirety. The Board anticipates beginning the second week of November 2021 that all initial and re-exam applications for the civil engineer license will be submitted and processed online through BPELSG Connect. Applicants that have previously submitted paper applications and are currently in review within the legacy system will continue to be processed in that manner without change until such time as the applicant submits payment and a request to sit for any of the California state Civil Engineering exams.
Traffic Engineer Applicants
All applicants are required to supply the Board with a full set of fingerprints upon submittal of an application for licensure/certification. If a Traffic Engineer applicant has submitted fingerprints with a previous application to the Board, they do not need to resubmit fingerprints with a subsequent application. Please view the Fingerprinting FAQs for detailed information.
- Applying for Licensure as a Traffic Engineer
- Application for Licensure as a Traffic Engineer (Carefully follow all instructions on the application checklist)
- Engagement Record and Reference Form (References must place their professional seal/stamp over the sealed flap of the envelope. Applicants must not open the envelopes.)
- What Constitutes a Satisfactory Reference?
- California PE Laws and Board Rules Examination (Take Home Examination)
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 [also known as an Engineering-in-Training (EIT) waiver] need to submit a complete application. The applicant must check the box on the application indicating that they are seeking a waiver. The documents that are 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 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:
Applicants licensed in another state (comity applicants) must meet the same application requirements as all other applicants. This includes submitting all required documents.
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 Engagement Record and Reference Forms 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.
NOTE: 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 sent to the Board for their records. If applicants fail to provide additional information or references within 90 days following the mailing of a request by Board staff, the application may be considered abandoned, and the application fee forfeited (Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 428).