Architecture Licensing Compliance Guide
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Washington D.C. Architecture Industry Licensing

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Licensing requirements for architecture industry firms and individuals in Washington D.C..

This page provides an overview of architecture industry licensing in Washington D.C. for individuals and firms. You will find state requirements, application fees, filing instructions, and more. For assistance with licensing, please contact us to learn about our software and managed license services.

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Company Licenses

Washington D.C. Architecture Company Licenses

District of Columbia Architecture Firm License

Not required



Architecture Firm licensure is not required on the State level in District of Columbia.

The District of Columbia will require architecture firms to obtain a license sometime in 2020.

More information: District of Columbia Occupational and Professional Licensing Administration - Board of Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture
Eligible Entity Types:
  • Business Corporations
  • Professional Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Professional Limited Liability Companies
  • Partnerships
Ownership Requirements:

Business Corporations:

  • At least one of the principal officers must be a District of Columbia licensed architect.

Professional Corporations:

  • Each of the of the original shareholders and directors must licensed in a professional service performed by the firm.
  • At least one of the principal officers must be a District of Columbia licensed architect.

Limited Liability Companies:

  • At least one of the principal members must be a District of Columbia licensed architect.

Professional Limited Liability Companies:

  • At least one of the principal members must be a District of Columbia licensed architect.

Partnerships:

  • At least one of the partners must be a District of Columbia licensed architect.

District of Columbia Landscape Architecture Firm License

Not required



Landscape Architecture Firm licensure is not required on the State level in District of Columbia.

Firm licenses are not currently issued in the District of Columbia, however, firms will need to apply for a license starting in July 2018.

More information: District of Columbia Occupational and Professional Licensing Administration - Board of Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture

Individual Licenses

Washington D.C. Individual Architecture Licenses

District of Columbia Architect License

Agency:District of Columbia Occupational and Professional Licensing Administration - Board of Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture
NCARB Certificate:Required
Completion of CE/PDH:Required
Interview:Not required
NAAB-accredited degree:Required
NCARB IDP:Required
Additional Experience:Not required
State-specific exam:Not required

Initial Registration

This section applies to architects that are applying for a license in District of Columbia for the first time.

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$65.00 application fee + $65.00 exam fee

Reciprocal Registration

This section applies to architects licensed in another state that are looking for reciprocal licensure in District of Columbia.

Agency Fee:

$65

Registration Renewal

This section applies to architects that are already licensed in District of Columbia and need to renew their license.

Agency Fee:

$155

Due:

By April 30 of even-numbered years.

District of Columbia Interior Designer License

Agency:District of Columbia Occupational and Professional Licensing Administration - Board of Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture
Fact Checked:11/12/19

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$65 application fee + $110 license fee.

Fact Checked:11/18/19

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$120

Due:

By October 31 of even-numbered years.

Fact Checked:11/18/19

Learn about architecture licensing in other states:

ARE (Architect Registration Examination) - Assesses candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide the various services required to be a practicing architect.

AXP (Architectural Experience Program) - NCARB program for architectural internship, a requirement for licensure that occurs after filling the educational requirements.

BEFA (Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect) - An alternative NCARB certification that allows foreign architects to independently practice architecture.

COA (Certificate of Authorization) - The most common name of the registration required for firms to practice architecture in a given state.

Design Firm - Architectural firm registration is sometimes grouped with engineering and land surveying on a single “design firm” application form.

NCARB Certification - Licensed architects have the option to become Certificate holders to signify that they have met national standards established by U.S. licensing boards for protecting public health, safety, and welfare. Certification also facilitates reciprocal registration in all 54 jurisdictions, 11 Canadian jurisdictions, and can be used to support an application for licensure in other countries.

Reciprocity - This is when a licensed architect in one state can provide documentation (often a NCARB certificate) to more easily apply for licensure in another jurisdiction.

State Board - Often referred to as the State Architects Licensure Board or Board of Architects, an individual state’s board serves as the regulatory authority for architects. The board qualifies and licenses individuals seeking architectural licensure. The board is responsible for preserving the public health, safety, and welfare of individuals who occupy built environments.

National Architecture Accrediting Board
NAAB establishes criteria for and accredits professional architecture degree programs in the United States.

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
AIAS is an independent, student-run group that promotes excellence in architecture education, training, and practice.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
AIA is a voluntary professional organization for architects providing advocacy, information, and community.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)
ACSA represents architectural education programs across the globe.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
NCARB is the national organization representing the state registration boards.

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