Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers and Professional Land Surveyors - Position Statements

Under What Circumstances can an Unlicensed Person Prepare Plans, Drawings, or Specifications for the Erection, Enlargement, or Alteration of a Building?

Wis. Stat. § 443.15 provides that an unlicensed person or unlicensed corporation may make plans and specifications for the erection, enlargement, or alteration of buildings containing less than 50,000 cubic feet total volume, single family dwellings and outbuildings, apartment buildings used exclusively as the residence of not more than 2 families, buildings used exclusively for agricultural purposes, and temporary buildings or sheds for construction, not exceeding two stories in height and not living quarters.

Are There any Exemptions for Unlicensed Persons?

Yes. Wis. Stat. § 443.14 lists 14 categories which are exempted from licensing requirements as long as they practice within the scope of their exemptions. Please review the statutory provision for further information.

Can an Unlicensed Person use the Title of an Architect, Engineer, Landscape Architect, or Land Surveyor in his or her Advertisements or Other Business Endeavors?

Wis. Stat. § 443.02(3) prohibits an unlicensed person from offering to practice architecture or engineering or use such a title in connection with his or her name, or any description that conveys such an impression unless he or she has been registered or has a permit under Wis. Stat. § 443.10(1)(d).

Must all Plans, Drawings, Documents, or Specifications be Signed, Sealed, Dated, and Stamped by the Professional Engineer, Architect, Landscape Architect, Designer, or Land Surveyor who Prepared Them?

Wis. Admin. Code § A-E 2.02(4) states that each sheet of plans, drawings, documents, specifications, and reports for architectural, landscape architectural, professional engineering, design, or land surveying practice shall be signed, sealed, and dated by the permit holder who prepared or directed and controlled preparation of the written material.

Can a Document Include Both the Firm/Corporation Stamp and the Individual Professional Engineer's Stamp as its Official Seal?

A corporate stamp or seal alone would likely not be adequate if it did not identify the person responsible for the actual work. The critical stamp is that of the registered licensee who prepared or supervised the drawings. However, the Department does not object to double-stamping. Please review Wis. Admin. Code § A-E 2.02(8)(a) and § A-E 2.02(8)(b).

What is the Signature Requirement for Documents Signed and Sealed by Architects, Engineers, Landscape Architects, Designers, and Land Surveyors?

Wis. Admin. Code § A-E 2.02(7)(b) states that all seals and stamps must be signed and dated by the registered licensee. Signature methods include 1) permanent ink contrasting with the seal, 2) electronic signatures that meet the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 137.06 if permitted by the governmental unit that receives the documents, and 3) other standards for signatures or seals prescribed by the statute. The signature must reflect the surname of the licensee; therefore, an illegible mark, letter, or character does not constitute an acceptable signature.