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State of Nebraska Board of Engineers and Architects

FAQ's Architects

The Board

Who is on the Board?

Our Board comprises four professional engineers, three architects, and one member of the public. One architect and one professional engineer are University of Nebraska faculty appointed upon recommendation of the Dean of Architecture or the Dean of Engineering, respectively. All Board members are appointed by the Governor of Nebraska and serve terms of five years. 

What does the Board do?

The Nebraska Board of Engineers and Architects was created in 1937 to regulate the practice of engineering and architecture in the state of Nebraska. We license architects and professional engineers to ensure that those who practice these professions are qualified through education, examination, and experience. We also enforce the laws governing the practice of engineering and architecture. 

What is The Nebraska Engineers and Architects Regulation Act?

The Nebraska Engineers and Architects Regulation Act contains the statutes and Board rules that must be adhered to by the public and licensees. You can view the complete set of statues and rules here or request a hard copy at nbea.board@nebraska.gov

 

Licensing/Practice

What are temporary permits?

Temporary permits allow an individual licensed in another jurisdiction to obtain a one-time use permit to practice in the state on a single project for two years. Outside of these circumstances, the individual must obtain a license in Nebraska. 

What is a coordinating professional?

A coordinating professional is a member of the design team who coordinates all of the disciplines needed to complete a project. The seal of the coordinating professional does not designate responsible charge for the architectural or engineering work, and also provides a contact for the project for building officials. The Coordinating Professional’s seal must appear on the cover sheet of all documents along with specific identifying language. Review Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-3437.02 and Chapter 6 in the Board’s rules and regulations for more guidance.

Is our company allowed to go after projects (bid) in Nebraska without an active license in the state?

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-3442 states that it is unlawful for any person to practice or offer to practice architecture or engineering in this state without being licensed in accordance with the Engineers and Architects Regulation Act (the “Act”). In addition, N.R.S. § 81-3436 states that an individual licensed under the Act may practice or offer to practice through an organization if the organization is issued a certificate of authorization by the Nebraska Board of Engineers and Architects (the “Board”).

However, Title 110, Neb. Admin. Code, Section 5.6 explains the steps by which non-licensed architects or professional engineers, and by extension organizations who do not hold a certificate of authorization, may offer to provide their services on projects in Nebraska subject to the Act:

5.6.2   Architects or professional engineers who are not licensed in Nebraska, but who hold a valid license in another jurisdiction recognized by the Board:

5.6.2.2   May identify themselves as such on correspondence and other documents that offer to provide professional services in Nebraska, if such documents clearly indicate and disclose that the architect or professional engineer:

5.6.2.2.1   Holds a valid and current license in another jurisdiction recognized by the Board;

5.6.2.2.2   Does not hold a current and valid license from Nebraska;

5.6.2.2.3   Would have to obtain a license in Nebraska in order to perform the services described in the offer; and

5.6.2.2.4   Has a reasonable likelihood of being issued a license in Nebraska.

Architectural and engineering organizations who do not hold a certificate of authorization may respond to RFPs if they comply with Rules 5.6.2.2.1 through 5.6.2.2.4.

Referencing Rule 5.6.2.2.1, jurisdictions recognized by the Board for architecture at this time include the all U.S. states and territories, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand; jurisdictions recognized for the purpose of engineering include all U.S. states and territories.

Once architectural or engineering organization(s) are awarded the project, those firms must apply for and be issued a certificate of authorization from the Board before entering into an agreement with the project owner to provide their respective professional services.

Similarly, architects and professional engineers not practicing through an organization, who are not licensed by the Board to practice their respective professions in Nebraska, may offer their services in accordance with the same rules, but must apply for and be granted a license prior to entering into an agreement with the owner to provide their services.

Can a temporary permit be used for an organization to obtain a Certificate of Authorization?

Yes, a temporary permit holder can be the architect or professional engineer in responsible charge (AIC or EIC) for purposes of obtaining a certificate of authorization. An organization itself cannot receive a temporary permit.

Do I need an electrical engineer for the design of electrical work?

It depends on the project. The E&A Regulation Act requires professional engineers to design electrical installations on all non-exempt projects. Master electricians licensed by the State Electrical Board are authorized to “plan, layout or supervise” the installation of wiring, apparatus, or equipment for projects they are installing.

Can professional engineers practice in a discipline other than the discipline on their seal?

Yes, professional engineers may practice in disciplines of engineering other than the discipline noted on their seal if they have the education, training, and experience to do so. If a licensee’s practice is called into question, the individual may be required to provide the Board with evidence that they are competent to practice other disciplines. If the Board has deemed a licensee not competent in an engineering discipline, they are not allowed to practice engineering in that discipline.

Review Board Rule 5.1 for more imformation. 

 

Continuing Education

How are hours calculated for CEUs?

  • 1 actual hour = at least fifty (50) minutes of instruction
  • CEU = 1 PHD/PDU = 1 actual hour
  • semester credit hour of formal education = 45 actual hours
  • 1 quarter credit hour of formal education = 30 actual hours

Does the Board pre-approve CE courses?

No. The Board does not pre-approve any continuing education.

Review Board Rule 9.4.1 for determination of credit. 

What types of CE courses are accepted?

It is up to licensees to determine if the continuing education activity applies to their discipline and if it is truly valuable to the education process. These are biennial hours (required over a two-year period) and documentation must be maintained by the licensee. 

To learn more about CE courses, review Chapter 9

What are my requirements for continuing education if I want to reinstate my license?

You must prove that you completed the biennial continuing education requirement in the two years prior to your application for license reinstatement, along with the reinstatement application and application fee

If I complete CE hours during my initial renewal period, can I use excess hours as carryover?

New licensees are exempt from CE requirements during their initial renewal period. In order to use excess hours as carryover, the new licensee must accrue more than the CE requirement and may then be able to use up to one-half of the biennial requirement.

A professional engineer may carry over a maximum of 15 hours of CE credit, while an architect may carry over a maximum 12 hours.

Can I carry over any of my continuing education hours?

Yes, licensees can carry over excess hours, up to one-half of the previous biennial requirement. 

For example, if you have accrued 45 hours in a 2-year period, a professional engineer (30 CE hours required every two years) may carry over 15 hours of CE credit, and an architect (24 CE hours every two years) may carry over 12 hours of CE credit.

How do I use carryover?

To use excess hours accrued during the previous biennial renewal period as carryover, you will need to provide a CE log and supporting documentation of all hours completed during the previous renewal period in addition to the CE log and documentation for the current renewal period. This documentation will be required if you are selected for a CE audit and intend to use carryover hours.

Can I self-report hours?

Yes. You can report “self-designed activities” for up to one-quarter of the total requirement. 

Self Guided Report Form

Can I fulfill CE requirements through Internet-based programs?

Yes, you can gain credit through Internet-based continuing education programs. The Internet-based program must provide documentation of those hours, and credit from some providers may be restricted (see Rule 9.2.3 FAQ for more information).

How do I know if I have been selected for a CE audit?

Licensees are randomly selected for a CE audit when the online renewal system is activated. You will find out if you have been selected for an audit of your continuing education at the end of the renewal process after payment of the license renewal fee. Your license will not be renewed until you successfully complete the audit. 

Learn more about audits in our CE Guidelines. 

If selected for an audit, must I complete it right away?

If you renew online, your receipt will include further instructions on how to complete the audit. You will not need to complete the audit immediately following the renewal process but, you are encouraged to send documentation as soon as possible. Your license will not be renewed until you successfully complete the audit.

Learn more about audits in our CE Guidelines

 

The Licensee Seal

When do I need to seal plans and technical documents?

  •  All original drawings, copies, tracings, or other reproducible drawings, the seal must appear on all pages.
  •  For specifications, reports, and studies, the seal must appear on the first and last pages.

By sealing technical documents, the licensee certifies that the work was prepared in accordance with the E&A Regulation Act.

Documents clearly marked as “Draft” prepared for preliminary submission and review do not require a seal and signature, unless otherwise required by the client or governmental agency.

Review Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-3437.01 and Chapter 6 for more information. 

Does Nebraska allow electronic seals and signatures?

Yes, electronic seals and signatures are allowed in Nebraska. The seal, signature, and date must be legible. Refer to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-3437 and Chapter 6 of the Board's Rules for correct usage.

How do I seal documents with my Temporary Permit?

A temporary permit holder will seal documents with the seal of the state of verified licensure and use the temporary permit information provided by the Board. This information includes the temporary permit holder’s name, temporary permit number, expiration date, state of licensure and license number, and project name.

 

Review Board Rule 4.2.3.4 for more information.

What are the specifications and design requirements for the Nebraska architect's seal?

Architects licensed in Nebraska receive a seal letter from the Board when initially licensed that shows the approved design of the seal, along with the statutory requirements pertaining to the correct use of the seal.

The seal will bear the architect's name, license number, have 'STATE OF NEBRASKA' at the bottom, and 'ARCHITECT' at the top.

Seals that read 'REGISTERED ARCHITECT' are not compliant.

The seal must include other design elements as shown on the seal letter. The Board does not require a certain size or diameter; however, whenever applied via embossing, ink, or electronically-rendered, should be legible.

How should one handle changes or revisions to plans when an architect leaves a company or retires?

Our office is responsible for a non-exempt project that requires design materials be submitted by an architect licensed in the state of Nebraska. After reviewing an applicant submittal, it was found that the architect who did the initial drawings for the project has since left the company. Another individual is in the process of obtaining reciprocity from Nebraska. Can the "new" architect seal drawings and revisions completed by the architect who left the company? In general, how should one handle changes or revisions to plans when an architet leaves a company or retires?

The new architect must review, revise as appropriate, and seal. If the original architect did not provide written consent for the adaptation or such permission cannot be reasonably obtained, the new architect must provide a written explanation of the circumstances preventing permission from being obtained.

Refer to Board Rule Section 6.2.

Can my seal be in colors other than black?

Yes, your seal can be affixed to plans in any color, as long as it is legible.

Do I have to sign my name exactly as it appears on my seal?

Use your regular signature, however, the signature must be legible.

 

Administrative Services

I've recently had a name change. What do I need to do with the Board?

For those who have had legal name changes, you will need to send the Board a written request for a name change along with official documentation of the change. The request and documentation may be sent via email or mail. Proof of the name change does not have to be the original paperwork but can be a copy. Your licensee seal will also need to be updated to reflect the name change.

Does the Board have Change of Address forms?

No. Address and contact changes can be sent directly to the Board staff at nbea.office@nebraska.gov.

Nebraska does not fine or penalize licensees for not updating contact information in a timely manner. However, please note that if the Board does not have your most up-to-date contact information, you may miss out on important information about renewing your license or changes to rules and regulations. 

How do I obtain another wall certificate?

If you would like another copy of your wall certificate, please email nbea.office@nebraska.gov with your request. Additional wall certificates require a $25 fee and will need to be paid for via check or cash.

 

Emeritus

How do I change my status to emeritus?

To change your status to emeritus from January to September, you will need to contact the Board staff to have a Change of Status form mailed to your address. There will also be a $25 fee every biennium to retain the title.

Between October and December, your status can be changed to emeritus during the online renewal period. 

Emeritus members are not allowed to practice architecture or engineering in the state of Nebraska.

If I am an emeritus, and want to reinstate my license - what do I need to do?

1. Fill out the application, pay all applicable fees, sign the reinstatement affidavit

2. Show documentation of two years of continuing education

3. Pass the Nebraska exam (the exam will be sent to you)

 

After the above steps have been completed, your application will be sent to the Board for approval. The Board meets every month excluding July and November. 

 

Remediation/ Enforcement

My project is already under construction. Must construction stop during remediation?

Not necessarily. A complaint and the remediation process is not a stop order. The licensed remediation professional will review any existing plans and the structure itself to identify any deficiencies.

If the remediation professional identifies immediate concerns of public safety, it is the professional’s responsibility to notify appropriate authorities. Notification may result in a stop order from a local building official. It may be appropriate to stop construction if the remediation professional identifies deficiencies that constitute an immediate threat to life, health, and property.

Stopping construction may allow deficiencies to be corrected and can reduce the likelihood of additional potential deficiencies created during construction.

Do new building plans and technical documents need to be produced for a project being remediated?

Not for every project. There are three general conclusions of a remediation review:

1.   The remediation professional did not identify any deficiencies. When there are no deficiencies, there is no need to produce technical documents.

2.   Deficiencies were identified, but they can be corrected without new technical documents. In this situation, the deficiencies can be corrected through a detailed written description provided by the remediation professional in a remediation letter.

•    If building plans already exist, the remediation professional may be able to make corrections through annotations, clouding, and deltas.

•    If existing documents are revised, the revisions must be attributed to the individual responsible for the revisions.

3.   Deficiencies were identified that will require design corrections detailed in technical documents. In this case, technical documents will be produced by the remediation professional in addition to the remediation letter.

Do technical documents need to be submitted to the local building official and State Fire Marshal again?

It depends. If the deficiencies require design corrections or revisions to existing documents constituting the practice of engineering or architecture, these officials may require another submission of technical documents.  The corrected or revised documents should be accompanied by a copy of the remediation letter.

I am the remediation professional for this project. What should I include in my remediation letter?

The remediation letter should reflect every step of the remediation process provided in Board Rule 8.4.1.1. Generally, the letter should include:

1.   Identification of the project and an explanation of the remediation professionals’ relationship to the project.

 

2.   Identification of any deficiencies, including any that raise immediate concerns of public safety. If there are immediate public safety concerns, the remediation professional should indicate whether there is a local authority to notify and whether they did notify the authority.

 

3.   Describe your recommendations to correct deficiencies and the kinds of technical documents that may need to be produced.

 

4.   A statement affirming that the remediation professional takes responsibility for the remediation design.

 

5.   If remediation requires the involvement of other design disciplines, identify those disciplines or licensed professionals and designate a coordinating professional.

• If there are multiple design professionals, each licensee may prepare their own remediation letter. The coordinating professional would then prepare a letter that lists each design professional involved and their roles in the remediation. Alternatively, each licensee would prepare their portion of the remediation letter and identify the portion that they are responsible for.

 

6.   Seal, sign, and date the letter.

How do I file a complaint?

If you believe a licensee or non-licensee is in violation of the E&A Act, fill out the Board's Complaint Form.

Once the complaint has been received, a member of our staff will follow up on the information sent.

 

 

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