FAQ for the Georgia Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Board
Continuing Education Questions
GENERAL INFORMATION AND PROCEDURE:
O.C.G.A. 43-15-6(b) and Board Rule 180-11 are the definitive documents which govern what registrants must do to meet biennial renewal requirements. These instructions are intended to give a more complete understanding of the intent of the rules.
The primary purpose of licensing for professional engineers and land surveyors is to protect the public from unqualified or unethical practitioners. The requirement for continuing professional competency (CPC) is also intended to protect the public by reinforcing the need for lifelong learning to stay current with changing technology, equipment, procedures, processes, and established standards.
Registrants are encouraged to select meaningful CPC activities which will be of benefit in the pursuit of their chosen fields. The definition of Course/Activity is: "Any qualifying course or activity with a clear purpose and objective which will maintain, improve, or expand skills and knowledge relevant to the registrant's field of practice."
- New registrants are exempt from their first renewal period only.
- Those in foreign employment or a non-career military registrant serving on active duty for over 120 consecutive days may be exempted upon board approval. Supporting documentation will be required.
- Those who have experienced serious illness or injury of a nature and duration which has prohibited completing CPC requirements during the two years prior to the renewal period, may be exempted. Supporting documentation will be required.
- Those who qualify for “inactive” status. Inactive status means that the registrant is over 65 years of age and is totally separated from the profession of engineering and/or land surveying in Georgia and all other states; the words engineer, engineering, land surveyor or land surveying do not appear in the registrant's work title; the registrant is not employed with a company or organization which performs or offers to perform engineering or land surveying services or a company or organization which uses engineering or land surveying in the company title; and the registrant, as an individual, is not performing or offering to perform engineering or land surveying services or making engineering or land surveying decisions.
- Those who are 65 years of age or older who also have 25 or more years of active registration. Supporting documentation to prove age will be required.
If you qualify for an exemption, you will be required to certify your exemption on the renewal form beginning January 1, 1999. Exemption requested for "Other" reasons will require a letter of explanation.
You must complete sections 1-5 of the application form. If all sections are not completed your application may be returned to you for completion. It is not necessary, however, to submit the documentation which should be contained in the Council Record, e.g., transcripts, references/endorsements, and verifications. If you are applying by comity, you may do so online here.
Each Registrant is responsible for informing the Board within thirty days of a change in his/her address. Address changes require the registrant's full name, license type and number, old address, new address, social security number, date of birth, and an office telephone number.
You may change your address using the online feature at https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/mylicense. Changes may also be faxed to 866-888-9718 or submitted in writing to the Georgia Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia 31217-3858. It is incumbent for all registrants to maintain a current mailing and email address with the Board to receive renewal notices and information of changes to regulations pertaining to the practice of engineering and land surveying. A new address on letterhead or envelope is not construed as a request to change an address.
Applications are reviewed by the Board on an on-going basis. Review of PE Comity applications take approximately 10-15 days to complete and may take longer if there is a high volume of applications. PE comity applicants are notified in writing when the review is complete, not necessarily in correlation with a Board meeting. Exam applications received by the exam cycle deadline are reviewed prior to the NCEES registration deadline. Exam applicants are notified in writing in time to apply with NCEES to sit for the exam. Notices are sent out to the exam applicants as soon as they are reviewed; therefore, your co-worker or friend may be notified sooner than you are, but you will be notified in time to apply with NCEES.
All businesses offering engineering or land surveying services in the State of Georgia through individual registered professional engineers or land surveyors as agents, officers or partners are required to file an Application for Certificate of Authorization with the Board before they are allowed to practice in Georgia. Please refer to O.C.G.A. § 43-15-23 and §43-15-23.1. Sole proprietorships are exempt from this requirement.
You may file a complaint online, or complaints may be mailed to the board at:
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon GA 31217
Investigations of complaints can be a lengthy process and may take many months to complete. The Board makes every effort to pursue the matter as soon as possible. However, some cases take longer than others due to the technical nature and circumstances of the complaint. All cases are initially reviewed by the Board Cognizant Member who decides if additional evidence is needed. The case may then be sent to the Investigations Division of the Office of the Secretary of State, another Board Member, a peer reviewer for another opinion on the matter, Legal Services for voluntary orders, and/or the Attorney General’s office for formal hearings before the Board. The complainant will be notified when the case is concluded and informed of the Board’s recommendations and actions taken.
New licensees are exempt from the first renewal period for CE credits due. Up to 15 hours may be carried over to the next renewal period.
See the Activities for Earning PDH Credits section, below.
The board does not pre-approve courses or activities. A course or activity does not have to be presented by an “approved” sponsor/provider for the licensee to claim credit for the course or activity. It is your responsibility to determine if the activity meets your CPC needs and to maintain documentation adequate to support your decision to claim credit for the activity. You may claim PDH credits only for activities that conform to those described in Chapter 180-11 of the Rules of the Board. These activities should advance the professional or technical competence of the licensee. See “General Information and Procedure” in the Continuing Education link.
All foreign education must be evaluated by a Board-approved evaluation firm to receive any educational credit. Georgia currently accepts foreign degree evaluations from NCEES Credential Evaluations Service.
Georgia is no longer able to add Veteran's Preference points to an NCEES Exams, because NCEES no longer gives a numerical score.
If you do not renew before the end of the renewal year, the fee is $300.00 for the next 4 years. See fee schedule. Your license is considered in "Lapsed – Late Renewal Period" status for 4 years. To reactivate your license any time in that 4 year period, you may pay the applicable fees and provide proof of Professional Development Hours (PDH) credits (30 for each renewal period for Professional Engineers and 15 for Land Surveyors.) A license that has been expired for 4 years will be administratively revoked and the status will change to “Lapsed.” The licensee must then request to be reinstated and must be approved by the entire Board. The application processing fee for reinstatement is $100. If you have maintained licensure in another state, then you may be required to pay an additional $1000 reinstatement fee after approval. If you have not maintained a license in another state, then the Board may require you to sit for the Principles and Practices Exam as a stipulation of reinstatement.
Board Rule 180-8-.02 requires that a registrant be over the age of 65 and retired or disabled to apply for inactive status. You must submit a request in writing or so indicate during the biennial license renewal process to be considered for inactive status.
Most vendors of seals and stamps described as makers of "Rubber Stamps" can make a rubber stamp seal in the size required by the Board. If they are unable to make a crimp type seal, they should be able to refer you to a company that is able to make it. Most dealers know the requirements for our seals.
Following is a facsimile of the stamp/seal design approved by the Georgia State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. See code section 43-15-22 of the O.C.G.A. and code section 180-12 of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia for more information. Take this facsimile to any office supply location for referencing.
The seal authorized by the Board for registrants may be of the crimp type and/or rubber stamp facsimile or may be computer generated. The seal design is to be circular in form, the diameter of the outer circle being 1-1/2 inches, and the diameter of the inner circle being one inch. The registration seal design will be furnished each registrant as part of the licensure process.
You may request a roster online for engineers and engineering firms here or for land surveyors or land surveying firms here. The fee for a roster of professional engineers, land surveyors or professional engineering firms is $100 each and $50 for a roster of land surveying firms. A license inquiry or search for a specific professional engineer or land surveyor may be performed from the Board's web site at no charge.
The best way to track your application status is to check the new online feature here. The staff will notify you of missing information; however, it is in your best interest to follow-up until your file is complete.
Registrants of the Board must renew their licenses every year. The Board renews Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor licenses, as well as firms. Firms include companies, corporations, professional corporations, partnerships, associations, limited liability corporations, and other entities. Licenses may be in active, inactive, lapsed, or revoked status. Individual registrants in inactive status cannot hold themselves out to the public as a registrant of the Board or practice professional engineering or land surveying. The same is true for those in lapsed status. Those in inactive or lapsed status can reinstate their licenses to active status.
All registrant licenses expire on December 31 of each year. Renewal forms are mailed from the Board office in mid-November. To renew without penalty, registrants should return their renewal forms and fees to the post office box indicated on the form by December 31. Renewals postmarked after December 31 will require a $50.00 renewal fee plus a penalty of $300.00 for the next four years of delinquency. Alternatively, you may renew online by clicking here . Licenses that have expired for more than four (4) years are automatically revoked per OCGA 43-15-17(b).
With each renewal form is included a report for continuing education professional development hours (PDH) to be completed by the registrant. Registrants are responsible for their own renewal forms; and they should not rely on their firms, spouses, or employees. The Board audits renewals annually for accuracy and compliance with the rules.
All firm certificates of authorization expire on June 30 of even-numbered years. Renewal forms are mailed from the Board office in May. Firms should return their renewal of certificate of authorization forms to the Board office by June 30 to avoid lapsing their certificate. If the license is not renewed by June 30, the license will lapse and must be reinstated.
The Board may reissue a certificate of registration to any person whose certificate has been revoked, or may terminate any suspension imposed by it upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Board and upon the payment of a fee prescribed by the board.
An individual whose license has lapsed for more than 4 years may reapply for licensure in Georgia under the following provisions:
you must reapply in accordance with OCGA 43-15-16. A new application is required with an application processing fee of $100. A penalty of $1000 will be assessed only if the reinstatement is approved.
Provide proof of 30 Professional Development Hours of Continuing Education.
Be aware that the reinstatement process may take three to four months since the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Board is required by law.
The complete 2019 Policy on programs offering Land Surveying courses relevant to SI and PLS applicants in Georgia is available as a PDF download>>
You can find the Professional Land Surveyors Statutory Scope of Services for Civil Design here.
Activities for Earning PDH Credits
All activities for which PDH credit are claimed must be relevant to the practice of engineering or land surveying within the registrant's field of practice and may include technical, ethical, or managerial content. These activities should advance the professional or technical competence of the registrant.
Qualifying CPC activities may be sponsored or presented by college or universities, by employers, by government agencies, by nationally affiliated engineering or land surveying technical or professional societies, or by other organizations. The American Society of Engineering Education, ASEE, a nonprofit organization committed to continuing engineering education, has an online resource that may help you locate continuing education courses across many engineering disciplines. You may find links here to online courses, video courses, evening courses, or weekend courses offered by U.S. engineering schools and professional societies.
The board does not pre-approve courses for PDH credit. It is your responsibility to assure that the activities in which you participate meet the requirements.
Land surveyors must ensure that, once every four (4) years, at least six (6) PDH's in "Minimum Technical Standards" be included in their PDH's acquired. (See additional information below).
Qualifying activities to meet Georgia's CPC requirement may be earned in any state. A PDH credit is roughly equivalent to one clock hour of instruction and should be rounded to the nearest half hour.
Completing or attending qualifying courses, seminars, instruction, in-house programs, or training; attending technical or professional society meetings when an engineering/land surveying topic is presented as a principal part of the program and covers topics within your area of practice; teaching a course for the first time or if substantial time has been spent in updating material if previously taught; attending satellite video courses where attendance is verified and program material meets the requirements; and language courses or software instructional courses which relate to the improvement of one's business or profession.
Regular employment; courses in real estate licensing; personal estate and financial planning; courses in self-study or personal self-improvement; service club meetings or activities; equipment demonstrations or trade shows; topics not relevant to engineering or land surveying; enrollment without attendance in courses or seminars, etc.; and repetitive teaching of the same course without updating the course material; attending committee and business meetings of any organization; conversational language courses for personal use.
Engineering related activities will not qualify as meeting the requirements of land surveying; and land surveying related activities will not qualify as meeting the requirements for engineering.
If more than 30 PDH credits are earned in a biennial period for professional engineers, or 15 PDH credits earned for land surveyors, then a maximum of 15 PDH's may be carried forward into the next biennial period for professional engineers and 7.5 PDH's for land surveyors. PDH's earned in 1996 may be carried forward into the next registration cycle with a maximum limit of 15 PDH's for professional engineers and 7.5 PDH's for land surveyors.
A registrant will not be renewed unless he/she certifies on the application renewal form that the requirements for PDH units have been met. If the board determines that some credits are unacceptable, the registrant will have 180 days to obtain PDH units that are acceptable. If the registrant, after 180 days, has not obtained the requisite PDH's, the license will be revoked until such time as the units are obtained.
You should maintain a summary log to list your PDH activities and limit your page size to 81/2" x 11." Be sure your registration number is clearly shown.
It is important that sufficient name and/or description be given to identify that the activity relates to engineering/land surveying as appropriate, including the presenter's name. The name of the sponsoring organization must be provided as well as the location of where the instruction or class was held. For classes that are part of a college curriculum, please list the class number. PDH's earned for professional engineering or land surveying credit should be appropriately identified.
All records of attendance and completion of PDH credits should be maintained for four years for audit purposes.
6 PDHs in Minimum Technical Standards are required for Land Surveyors every four years:
The continuing education requirement in Board Rule 180-11-.03 is intended to be comprehensive as to the rules and laws pertaining to the professional practice of Land Surveying in Georgia. As such, the following content is required, per Board Policy 15-1 adopted 1/31/2015:
- Definitions and scope of practice O.C.G.A. 43-15-2
- Continuing Education Requirements O.C.G.A. 43-15-6(b), Rule 180-11-.02, Rule 180-11-.03, Rule 180-11-.07
- Record keeping requirements for Continuing Education (Rule 180-11-.06)
- Grounds for revocation, suspension, or denial of registration O.C.G.A. 43-15-19, 43-15-30
- Direct supervision requirements O.C.G.A. 43-15-22, 43-15-23.1(d)(3), Rule180-6-.03(5), Rule 180-6-.03(6), Rule 180-10-.02(2)
- Business practice and Certificate of Authorization (COA) required O.C.G.A. 43-15-23.1)
- Georgia Plat Act - O.C.G.A.15-6-67 as amended in 2012
- Rules of Professional Conduct and Ethics - Rule 180-6-.02, Rule 180-6-.03(1), Rule 180-6-.03(2), Rule 180-6-.04, Rule 180-6-.05, Rule 180-6-.07
- Certifications (Rule 180-6-.09)
- Research and analysis required of property surveys (Rule 180-7-.02)
- Horizontal measurements (Rule 180-7-.03)
- Vertical measurements (Rule 180-7-.04)
- Monuments (Rule 180-7-.05)
- Coordinates (Rule 180-7-.06)
- Maps and Plats (Rule 180-7-.07)
- Use of GPS (Rule 180-7-.09)
- Sealing of Documents (Rule 180-12-.02 *note this applies to all work except recordable surveys)
Download a PDF of Board Policies >>