Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) Application Instructions

Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) applicants must use BPELSG Connect to submit an application for licensure. 

For additional information view the Application and Licensing BPELSG Connect Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) .

How to submit a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) application in BPELSG Connect:
1) Create a user profile in BPELSG Connect using an email address as your username. Once registered, you will receive an email with a temporary password to login and create a personalized password. If during the registration process you did not opt out of receiving SMS (text) messages, you will also receive a SMS message alerting you that you have received a new email from BPELSG Connect.
2) Upon confirming registration with a new password, you will be asked if you have a current license/certification with BPELSG. If you answer “Yes” to that question, you can link any current licenses in your name, which are in good standing. You will need to know the license/certification type and license number to successfully link a license. If you do not link your active certificates/licenses during this step, you will be able to do it later from your profile dashboard.
3) From the dashboard click on “Profile” to enter your preferred address of record or confirm that what is currently shown, is accurate.
4) From the dashboard, click on the “New Application” button to start your application.  When prompted, use the dropdown box to choose the application type.
5) When the application loads, application tabs will appear to the left side of the screen.  As you progress through the tabs, the tabs will change color based on the status. A green check mark indicates that the tab is complete; a red “X” indicates that the tab has been started but is not complete.  You will be required to complete all tabs before you submit the application.

  • Instructions: Read the instructions carefully.
  • General Information: Verify and/or enter all required personal information.
  • Qualifications:  You will answer questions regarding the NCEES exams that you have passed, if you are licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor in another state, if you will be submitting an NCEES Record as part of your application (an option for comity applicants only), and if you have previously filed an application with the Board.
  • Education:  Within the Education Tab, you will enter in your applicable educational information and confirm that you have submitted your transcripts to the Board [or if transcripts were included in an NCEES Record (option for comity applicants only)].  Applicants who are claiming educational credit must request official transcripts for all land surveying degrees. If your university/college provides electronic transcripts, they must be sent directly from the university/college via email to  If your university/college provides paper transcripts they must be mailed to the Board.  Unsealed transcripts are not accepted. Foreign transcripts that are not in English do not need to be sealed, but applicants must submit the original transcripts along with a notarized English translation.  Foreign transcripts are sent back to the applicant after they are scanned and uploaded to the application. Degree evaluations are not accepted.  It is recommended that applicants submit the request for transcripts to each relevant university/college at least two (2) weeks before the anticipated date of application submittal to the Board.
  • Experience: Applicants are required to provide a minimum of four (4) professional Work Experience Engagements/References demonstrating a sufficient number of months of qualifying land surveying experience. Contact information for each professional reference will be required.  For detailed information view the Work Experience Engagement/Reference Instructions for Professional Land Surveyor Applicants.  If your professional references have not responded within two (2) weeks, it is recommended you contact them because your application will not be reviewed until the minimum number of Work Experience Engagements/References have received responses. 
  • Special Considerations:  You will be asked to answer questions to determine if you are eligible for an expedited application review process in accordance with Business and Professions Code Section 115.4, Business and Professions Code Section 115.5  or Business and Professions Code section 135.4.  If you are eligible and wish for your application to be expedited, you will be required to upload the appropriate documents.
  • Fingerprint: All applicants are required to submit a full set of fingerprints prior to certification/licensure.  Applicants residing in California must use the electronic Live Scan fingerprinting process and will be asked to upload a copy of their completed Live Scan Form in the Fingerprint Tab. Out-of-state applicants may either submit the traditional fingerprint cards or travel to California to use the Live Scan process.   Out-of-state applicants will be mailed two (2) FD-258 fingerprint cards after submitting an application and fees in BPELSG Connect .  Both completed fingerprint cards need to be mailed to the Board along with the BPELSG Connect payment receipt received after application submittal.  There is a separate fee for submitting fingerprint cards.  If you have submitted fingerprints to this Board within the last 24 months, you will not be required to supply any fingerprinting documents or information.  For more information regarding fingerprinting please visit the Board's Fingerprinting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
  • Action By Another State:  You will be asked if you have ever had an engineering, land surveying, geologist or geophysicist related certificate or license denied, disciplined, suspended, surrendered, or revoked in any state (other than for lack of minimum qualification or failure of examination).  If you answer “Yes”, you will be asked to explain and upload any applicable documents.
  • Affidavit:  You will be asked to sign and date the application declaration.
  • Exam:  Upon submittal and payment of a complete application, a link to the Laws and Rules Exam will appear on your dashboard.  The exam must be passed before the Board will review your application.  It is recommended that you pass the exam shortly after application submittal because not passing the exam is considered an application deficiency and will significantly delay the processing of your application.    All questions have equal weight. You must achieve a minimum of 70% to pass this exam.  You will have two (2) hours to complete the exam.  If you fail, you will be able to retake the exam until you pass.  The Board must ensure that California licensed Professional Land Surveyors are familiar with the provisions of the Professional Land Surveyors' Act (Business and Professions Code sections 8700-8805) and the Board Rules (Title 16, California Code of Regulations sections 400-476).  The Professional Land Surveyors’ Act and the Board Rules contain the laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to the practice of professional land surveying.
  • Fee and Payment:  You will have the option to make the payment for the application fee and fingerprint card fee (if applicable) by credit card, debit card, personal check, money order, or cash.  If you choose to pay by check, money order, or cash, BPELSG Connect will provide you with a confirmation document that you will need to print and mail to the Board along with the payment.  Please be aware that choosing the check, money order, or cash option will significantly delay the processing of your application, since application review will not start until payment is received and processed.


6) After application payment and submittal, you will be returned to your dashboard, where you can view the status of your application.  If you click on the application number, you can download and print or save a PDF version of your application for your records.   If you pay by credit card or debit card, you will receive a payment confirmation receipt via email.  You can also view and print your payment receipt by clicking on the “Profile” link on your dashboard and finding the view/print link under the “Payment Detail” section.

Application Deficiencies:
If your application is determined to be deficient, Board staff will send you an email.  An application goes through two reviews by Board staff: evaluator initial review and technical review. A deficiency can be issued during one or both review stages. To correct the deficiency, login to BPELSG Connect, follow all directions within the email and all directions within BPELSG Connect, from your dashboard click on “Resolve Deficiency”, choose “resolved”, provide a response (optional), choose “save & next” and “resubmit” in this order.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all identified deficiencies are resolved within BPELSG Connect.

How to check the status of your application:
Once you have submitted your application through BPELSG Connect, you will be able to monitor the status of your application and address any deficiencies by logging into your BPELSG Connect user profile.  Do not contact the Board for status updates; login to your BPELSG Connect account and refer to your dashboard for status updates.   View the Application Status Definitions for detailed information.

You can also check to see if your professional references have filled out Part B of the Work Experience Engagements/References (although you will not be able to see how they responded). From your dashboard click the link under the “Status” column. Next, select the “Reference” tab.  If they have not responded in a timely manner, you can resend the references to them by clicking “Resend.  

Request to take the state-specific exam:
Once your application is exam eligible you will need to login to BPELSG Connect to pay for and request to take the state-specific exam.  You will have a choice between the spring or fall exam dates.  Applicants who have yet to schedule and pay their exam fee by March 9th for the spring exam, or September 9th for the fall exam, will need to choose the next exam window. For example, if it is past the current fall exam date, choose spring; otherwise, you will be scheduled for the fall of the following year.  After payment, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) notice via email with instructions on how and when to schedule your exam.  Contact the Board if you do not receive your ATT after payment is made.

Visit the Re-Exam Information page for instructions regarding how to retake an exam.