Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Are Idaho licensed engineers now subject to the Rules of Continuing Professional Competency I see on your website?
- Do Idaho licensed engineers now submit their log and records of Continuing Professional Competency on renewal?
- I'm interested in becoming licensed as an Professional Engineer (or Professional Land Surveyor). Without scouring all the laws and rules, is there a summary of what qualifications I need?
- Do I get a renewal card/certificate upon renewal by mail as a Business (P.E. or P.L.S or Engineer Intern or Land Surveyor Intern)?
- There's an engineer in our office for whom I need to renew the license. Is there a unique number assigned to him on this renewal form? To what address do I mail the money?
- I'm a building official and want to know is it required for an Engineer to submit an original signature on their plans when submitting for a building permit?
- I'm past my birth month and don't recall getting a renewal notice. Can I print one from the web or just mail in the money? What is the late fee?
- I let my Engineer Intern or Land Surveyor Intern certificate go past the renewal date. What do I have to do to get it reinstated?
- I am licensed in Canada as a P.Eng. What do I need to do to get licensed as a P.E. in the State of Idaho?
- If a client does not require (or request) that certain documents be stamped, does the client accept responsibility for the implementation of those designs?
- I have my A.A.S. in Land Surveying and two years of notable experience. According to the rules in Idaho, I will be eligible to take my exam for the Fundamentals of Surveying in the Fall of 2008. I am planning on taking that exam, but I am concerned that it may be a waste of time and money for the reason that I will not be eligible to take my L.S. exam. Is this correct? From the information that I have gathered, I will not be eligible to take my L.S. exam (presuming I pass the Fundamentals exam) until the year 2011 which puts me beyond the 2010 mark.
- I need to renew my license. Can I do that online or over the phone, and pay by credit card?
- I've been assigned to the exam here in Idaho, but I would like to take the test in another state - is that possible?
- We sent our renewal form and payment some time ago. Did you receive it?
- What titles can an engineer-in-training use and what titles can an engineer use?
- What initials can a Professional Engineer use behind his name?
- Can a PE or PLS digitally sign or seal their work?
- If I (or we) only contract our engineering services to a federal government agency here in Idaho, are we exempt from the licensure requirement?
- Elevation Certifcates -- can engineers and surveyors sign and seal??
- Fees to reinstate from Retired status - what are they?
- Fees to reinstate from an Expired status - what are they?
- Can engineers and architects have "site surveyors" on staff without a PLS on staff?
- How long does it take to get my Idaho License by Comity (or assigned to an exam or to get my Intern Certificate)?
- Should my seal say 'registered' or 'licensed' or does it matter?
- I was licensed originally in Canada (or the U.K.), are there any specific policies regarding my comity application?
- If I change my name (marriage, divorce, civil action), do I need to change my name on my PE (or PLS) seal? Wall Certificate?
- Why does my home address show on the website - can I change that?
- I have been approached by a local government for a bid for services in response to a disaster declaration. Does the QBS rule still apply?
- I’ve changed jobs since I renewed online and listed my employer’s information – how do I change that in your database?
Are Idaho licensed engineers now subject to the Rules of Continuing Professional Competency I see on your website?
Short answer - Yes.
Long answer - The changes in the Idaho Code as a result of the passage of HB 380 last legislative session (2008) and which went into effect on 1 July 2008, enables the Board to require CPD for both engineers and land surveyors. Implementation of that authority is in IDAPA 10.01.04 Rules of Continuing Professional Development for Land Surveyors which places the requirement on both land surveyors and engineers as of May 08, 2009. The engineers are exempt, though, from the date of implementation (May 8, 2009) until their first biennial renewal after that date. At that renewal they must start collecting CPD hours to comply with the requirements. If you collect any PDHs in the current renewal period while you are exempt from the requirement, you may carry forward up to 30 PDHs into the next period.top
Do Idaho licensed engineers now submit their log and records of Continuing Professional Competency on renewal?
Short answer - No.
Long answer - If you look at the Rule, which is available on our website and always at http://adm.idaho.gov/adminrules/rules/idapa10/0104.pdf you will note you are only required to produce your records when audited. You will be notified by the Board office should you be the subject of an audit. You are not required to submit them at any other time.top
I'm interested in becoming licensed as an Professional Engineer (or Professional Land Surveyor). Without scouring all the laws and rules, is there a summary of what qualifications I need?
The Applications link in navigation bar at the left summarizes the forms required and the information and qualifications needed, as well as linking you to the Law and Rules Compendium and the Application packages.top
Do I get a renewal card/certificate upon renewal by mail as a Business (P.E. or P.L.S or Engineer Intern or Land Surveyor Intern)?
For P.E. or P.L.S.: You're wallet card is printed on your renewal notice top portion.
For a Business or Engineer Intern or Land Surveyor Intern: No receipt and no new wall certificate (replacement wall certificates may be ordered) will be issued.
There's an engineer in our office for whom I need to renew the license. Is there a unique number assigned to him on this renewal form? To what address do I mail the money?
For P.E.: The number is P-# on the renewal form.
For a combination PE/LS: The number is PL-# on the renewal form.
For Land Surveyor: The number is a L-# on the renewal form.
No receipt will be issued. Your cancelled check or money order is your receipt.
For all categories: You can check your current expiration at http://ipels.idaho.gov/rostersearch.cfm.
The address is printed on the renewal form and is on our home page and, additionally, a pre-addressed envelope is included in the mailing. Our address is:
I'm a building official and want to know is it required for an Engineer to submit an original signature on their plans when submitting for a building permit?
Idaho Code states: "The seal and signature of the licensee and date shall be placed on all original documents in such a manner that such seal, signature and date are reproduced when the original document is copied."
Generally speaking, the engineer possesses the original document and stores it in his or her office. When copies or prints of that document are made, the seal and signature and date are reproduced, so an "original" or "wet" signature is not produced on copies which are typically submitted to the regulatory bodies for review and permitting. Engineers are not required to have an original signature on plan sets submitted for issuance of building permits.top
I'm past my birth month and don't recall getting a renewal notice. Can I print one from the web or just mail in the money? What is the late fee?
The late fee is 50% of the renewal amount per month or any portion thereof. There is no late fee for EI/LSI/Retired licensees. You can email the Board Office at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address, and we'll mail you another notice, or you can renew online and change your address online at: https://www.accessidaho.org/ipels/. Most of the time, the notice was mailed to the address on file, which wasn't updated by the licensee (as required) when the licensee moved, changed jobs, or otherwise changed addresses. Check http://ipels.idaho.gov/rostersearch.cfm to verify the contact information on file.top
I let my Engineer Intern or Land Surveyor Intern certificate go past the renewal date. What do I have to do to get it reinstated?
The Engineer Intern or Land Surveyor Intern certificate doesn't ever "expire." Without renewing, we don't keep you on the mailing list of "current" Engineer Intern or Land Surveyor Intern's. To get back on the mailing list, simply request a renewal notice to be sent to you, and then send it in with the Engineer Intern or Land Surveyor Intern renewal fee.top
I am licensed in Canada as a P.Eng. What do I need to do to get licensed as a P.E. in the State of Idaho?
If you're licensed as a P.E. in any other jurisdiction of the United States, or you have been licensed and practicing in Canada for over 8 years with no disciplinary actions against you (see Idaho Code 54-1219), you may complete an Application for Licensure by Comity. If not, fill-out the Application for Assignment to the Fundamentals Exam, and provide all the necessary documentation including college transcripts. A local law and rules examination may also be required.top
If a client does not require (or request) that certain documents be stamped, does the client accept responsibility for the implementation of those designs?
Idaho Law clearly says that whenever you submit final plans to a client or to a public or governmental agency, you must stamp, sign, and date. If it is not final, it must be marked as "Not for construction" or "draft" (or similar words). Your client does not have the 'option' of stamped or unstamped drawings. You either need to stamp the final plans or indicate that they are not final by marking them as noted above.top
I have my A.A.S. in Land Surveying and two years of notable experience. According to the rules in Idaho, I will be eligible to take my exam for the Fundamentals of Surveying in the Fall of 2008. I am planning on taking that exam, but I am concerned that it may be a waste of time and money for the reason that I will not be eligible to take my L.S. exam. Is this correct? From the information that I have gathered, I will not be eligible to take my L.S. exam (presuming I pass the Fundamentals exam) until the year 2011 which puts me beyond the 2010 mark.
The law which requires a 4-year degree in order to be assigned to the F.S. or L.S. exam after July 1, 2010 was passed in 2002. The reason there was an eight-year gap between the passage of the law and the effective date of the requirement was to allow persons interested in becoming a professional land surveyor time to obtain the necessary education and to put them on notice well in advance of the requirement. In any event, effective July 1, 2010, the law will require a four-year degree in order to be assigned to either the F.S. or P.S. exam. Whether or not you choose to apply for the F.S. exam is your decision. An alternative you may want to consider is seeking a license in another jurisdiction. If you are licensed in another jurisdiction prior to July 1, 2010, the law requires the Board to measure your credentials against the law that was in effect in Idaho at the time you were licensed in the other jurisdiction.top
You can renew licenses and intern certificates online at: https://www.accessidaho.org/ipels/. At this time we cannot accept Certificate of Authority renewals online, over the phone, or credit card payments. We expect to upgrade our system in the future.top
I've been assigned to the exam here in Idaho, but I would like to take the test in another state - is that possible?
You cannot be assigned to an NCEES examination in Idaho and plan to take it in another state. NCEES will require you to specify the state you intend to take the examination in, and will specify you must meet the requirements of that state to be eligible to take it in that state. However, all NCEES examinations are the same in every state, so the state you take the examination in should not matter. If you meet the residency and other eligibility requirements of Idaho, you should plan to take the examinations in Idaho, as there is no advantage to taking them in another state. The professional examinations are offered twice per year in Boise and are proctored by NCEES. We may proctor other state specific land surveyor examinations and Canadian Professional Engineering examinations in our office when requested.top
We moved to our current office location (1510 E Watertower St STE 110, Meridian, Idaho 83642-7993) several years ago. At that time, we notified all license and certificate holders of the address change. However, that information might not have been forwarded to your Accounts Payable division—which results in checks being auto-addressed to our old location. Unfortunately, our mail forwarding orders expired (USPS Regulation is one year maximum) and sometimes it takes weeks before your mailing is returned as "undeliverable."
Check with your Accounts Payable division to verify the address to which they mailed the check. If the check was cashed, please fax or email us a copy of the pertinent information so that we can research our records with the State Treasurer's Office.top
The Board has expressed opinions previously that use of the title "engineer" is not protected, but use of any title that implies that the person is licensed is protected. Obviously "professional engineer" is protected, as would be "licensed engineer" or "civil engineer" or any other discipline preceding "engineer" in a discipline used for licensing purposes. The Board has previously expressed an opinion that the title "Project Engineer" is not protected, but if a person is certified as an Engineer Intern, their title should reflect the same with those words or the acronym "E.I." In this case, the use of the title "Design Engineer" would likely not be a problem so long as it included "Engineer Intern". Like some other states, the title "Graduate Engineer" would not be a problem, but again, tell the whole story and include "E.I." so no one will be misled regarding your licensure status.top
Idaho licenses persons "generically" as opposed to "by discipline" so individuals are licensed as PE's regardless of the exam they take for licensing purposes. Idaho does not object to discipline designations such as C.E., M.E., E.E. or S.E. if that indicates the principal area of practice. The Board has previously expressed an opinion that a PE who has not passed the SE exams may still use the initials "S.E." in their title if structural engineering is their principal area of practice.top
Yes! The statute for sealing work is found in http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title54/T54CH12SECT54-1215.htm (see 54-1215 3(a)). Therein it allows such work to be done with use of "a rubber stamp, crimp or electronically generated image." It goes on in the paragraph to say that "If the signature is handwritten, it shall be adjacent to or across the seal." And "A facsimile signature generated by any method will not be acceptable unless accompanied by an electronic signature." The electronic signature and electronically generated image sections were added in the 2002 Legislative Session.
Further, the definition of "signature" is found in subparagraph (14) of the Idaho Code (54-1202) pertaining to Engineers and Land Surveyors at http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title54/T54CH12SECT54-1202.htm
The Idaho Code that allows electronic signatures for business and describes their required characteristics is found at http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title28/T28CH50.htm.
Autodesk in their AutoCadd and Acrobat products facilitates this electronic signing process and embeds the required electronic verification methodology. The Board approved a White Paper on E-Signatures and electronic files (revised 12/13/13). top
If I (or we) only contract our engineering services to a federal government agency here in Idaho, are we exempt from the licensure requirement?
Although the Idaho Code doesn't exempt you, since your offering engineering services here in Idaho, the courts have decided that state licensing laws cannot regulate with whom the federal government contracts.
see Leslie Miller, Inc. v. Arkansas, 352 U.S. 187, 190, 77 S.Ct. 257 (1956); having said that, if you offer your services to anyone other than the federal government, you need to be licensed.top
See 54-1202 (10) & (11)
Prior to the amendment to the code in July, 2012, which added the words "or to certify elevation information", there was no mention of elevations in the code for either engineers or surveyors. The discussion regarding elevation certificates provided an opportunity to inject the 3rd dimension, elevations, into the code.
Engineers went about their work designing and certifying plans for roads, sewers, water, grading and drainage, hydrologic studies and the determination of the base flood elevation (where FEMA did not have a published BFE and an engineer probably did the BFE for the mapping). All of these plans and studies required the engineer to certify elevations.
Surveyors performed and certified topographic surveys, bench mark networks, elevations of buildings & radio towers, surveys for engineering design and FEMA elevation certificates. When surveyors stamped these drawings or reports, they were certifying elevations.
Now that the code has been amended, what has changed in practice? Nothing!
The amendment merely codified what was already being practiced. It does not encourage working beyond the area of expertise or allow anything that was not already being done. It does not tell an engineer to do surveys for FEMA elevation certificates, nor does it tell a surveyor to do hydrologic studies or road, drainage and sewer plans.
See IDAPA 10.01.01.020 Retired and Expired Licenses - 06. "The fee for renewing a retired license shall be as established by the Board."
07. The fee for reinstatement of a retired license to active practice shall be as required for renewals in Section 54-1216, Idaho Code.(top)
See IDAPA 10.01.01.020 Retired and Expired Licenses - 08. "The fee for reinstatement of an expired license or certificate to active practice shall be as required for delayed renewals in Section 54-1216, Idaho Code. Delayed renewals require a late fee of 50% per month up to a maximum of $500.(top)
The title of “surveyor” is protected under the statute to those who possess a professional land surveyor license. The statute does not regulate who can be hired or employed, but the titles used and the advertisement of professional credentials must be accurately displayed. Site surveying is undefined, but usually means the creation of site specific control and topography for the purposes of designing or improving infrastructure or conducting analysis that requires topographic data (hydrologic or geotechnical investigations, etc.). This work is now included in the recently revised definition of professional land surveying, and must be performed by a professional land surveyor or those under his or her responsible charge. The statute also allows “professional engineers qualified and duly licensed… to perform non-boundary surveys necessary and incidental to the work customarily performed by them.” However, if the firm is advertising “site surveying” credentials and offering this service to the public, they cannot use the term “surveying” unless a professional land surveyor is signing and sealing this work. (top)
How long does it take to get my Idaho License by Comity (or assigned to an exam or to get my Intern Certificate)?
The minimum time to process an application,after all supporting documentation is received, is ten (10) business days. If there is anything requiring Board approval, it will be placed on the next available Board agenda and your answer will be a minimum of ten (10) business days after the Board meeting concludes. Similarly, if you have posed a question to the Board, your response will be in writing either by letter or email and you should allow ten (10) business days for that response after the Board meeting concludes. (top)
See the article in the NewsBulletin #41 (June 2008): NEW SEALS TO SAY “LICENSED” INSTEAD OF “REGISTERED” As reported elsewhere in this NEWS BULLETIN, House Bill No. 380, among other things, changed the terminology of the engineers and surveyors act to consistently use the term “license” or “licensee” or “licensure” when referring to a professional engineer or a professional land surveyor. Idaho Code provides that the design of the professional seal shall be as determined by the Board. Prior to July 1, 2008, the effective date of HB 380, the standard seal indicated that the PE or PLS was “Registered.” Beginning July 1, 2008, the seal specification will require the use of the word “Licensed” in keeping with the language in the amended statute. PE’s and PLS’s who have a seal that says “Registered” may continue to use those seals, or they may choose to obtain a new seal which uses the term “Licensed.” If you choose to do the latter, you are required to submit a copy of the seal along with your signature to the Board office.(top)
,I was licensed originally in Canada (or the U.K.), are there any specific policies regarding my comity application?
If originally licensed in a Canadien province or in the U.K., please read Board Policy on Comity Licensure for Foreign Applicants
If I change my name (marriage, divorce, civil action), do I need to change my name on my PE (or PLS) seal? Wall Certificate?
Short answer – Yes!.
Long answer –You must have the same name on your seal as you sign your signature (see letter from Board when you received your license). See also IDAPA 10.01.02.006.03 “Use of Seal on Documents. A Licensee shall affix his signature and seal only to plans or documents prepared under his responsible charge.” IC 54-1215 “(1) … Licenses shall show the full name of the licensee, shall give a license number, and shall be signed by the chairman and the secretary of the board under seal of the board. … (3) Each licensee hereunder shall, upon licensure, obtain a seal, the use and design of which are described below.” As far as Wall Certificates are concerned, it is up to you. See: IC 54-1221. Reissuance of licenses and wall certificates. … A new wall certificate to replace any wall certificate revoked, lost, destroyed or mutilated may be issued upon payment of such reasonable charge therefor as shall be fixed by the board to cover the estimated cost of such reissuance, but not exceeding ten dollars ($10.00) in any case. top
Why does my home address show on the website - can I change that?
Short answer – Yes!.
Long answer –Per our Board attorney, “Idaho Code § 74-106 governs personal information exempt from disclosure pursuant to a public records request. Subsection (8) limits information available from the Board to the public regarding licensees to names, business addresses and business phone numbers.” We have assume the address you provide is your business address, which we must have in order to provide notice to you of renewals and for other official communications to you from the Board. If you inadvertently provided a home address, you can change that online to your business address by logging back into the renewal system and updating the address, then, once completed, logging back out of the system. top
I have been approached by a local government for a bid for services in response to a disaster declaration. Does the QBS rule still apply?
Per our Board attorney, "...there is no question that a county may suspend formal bidding in its entirety in cases of emergency to deal with the emergency. Idaho Code § 67-2320 seems to indicate (although rather awkwardly) that QBS policy should be followed unless the "expenditure is otherwise exempt from the bidding process provided by law." Your rule of professional responsibility 009.05 indicates that professionals should follow QBS in those circumstances "required pursuant to § 67-2320." So it seems that bidding is not required in declared emergencies at all, hence it follows that niceties of QBS should not be required. Ergo, you should not be looking to discipline a professional for responding to an emergency offer of contract.
[The] scenario seems to be that [licensees] are being asked what it will cost to help the county engineer deal with a declared emergency. Given what appears to be the intent of the statutes and rule, it is my opinion that an attempted prosecution of a responding engineer would be outside the law, and subject to dismissal. I recognize that someone may parse the wording of the statutes and rules differently, but I believe the intent of the statutory scheme is clear.
Michael J. Kane"
A discussion with the Idaho Office of Emergency Management (IOEM), Karen Wallen, clarified how the process works. During the RESPONSE phase, the above emergency provisions apply. However, if the contracting office asks for a bid and includes within the scope of work a PERMANENT FIX or ENHANCED PROJECT to alleviate future risks, then the emergency provisions do not apply since this work is accomplished within the RECOVERY or DISASTER MITIGATION phases of an emergency operation and the criterion for an emergency no longer exists.
A comment from the QBS Facilitator's Council: "The fees will most likely be under $25000, so why [would the jurisdiction] not just follow the law and get qualifications from three firms and hire one? That process could, in theory, only take a day (just as long as getting the bids...). - Teri Ottens"
I’ve changed jobs since I renewed online and listed my employer’s information – how do I change that in your database?
At this point you don’t. We asked the question to be sure that employer’s had COA’s and licensees wouldn’t get in trouble for providing services through an unlicensed firm. That information in our database was your situation when you renewed – e.g., a snapshot in time. So you wouldn’t need to change it nor can you. When we get our db features programmed to show current employer and current licensee’s in responsible charge for COA’s, you’ll be able to change the information for the current situation.