Engineering Licensing Compliance Guide
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Kentucky Engineering Industry Licensing

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Licensing requirements for engineering industry firms and individuals in Kentucky.

This page provides an overview of engineering industry licensing in Kentucky 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

Kentucky Engineering Company Licenses

Kentucky Engineering Business Entity Permit

Agency:Kentucky Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors
Law:

KRS 322.060

Eligible Entity Types:
  • Business Corporations
  • Professional Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Professional Limited Liability Companies
  • Partnerships
Ownership Requirements:

Business Corporations:

  • At least one of the principals, officers, or a designated employee must be a Kentucky licensed engineer.

Professional Corporations:

  • All of the incorporators, shareholders, not less than 1/2 of the directors, and each of the officers other than secretary and treasurer must be licensed engineers.

Limited Liability Companies:

  • At least one of the managers, members, or a designated employee must be a Kentucky licensed engineer.

Professional Limited Liability Companies:

  • At least one of the managers, members, or a designated employee must be a Kentucky licensed engineer.

Partnerships:

  • At least one of the partners or a designated employee must be a Kentucky licensed engineer.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Initial Registration

This section applies to engineering firms that are applying for a license in Kentucky for the first time. If you already have a license and are looking to renew it, please see the renewal section.

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$100 for an engineering firm permit or $150 for an engineering and land surveying firm permit.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:
  • Per KRS 131.1817, our Board provides information on licensees and permit holders to the Kentucky Department of Revenue for the purpose of tax compliance.  If you have questions regarding tax issues, please contact them at http://revenue.ky.gov/
  • Separate permits are required for engineering and land surveying. A Business Entity may apply for both permits on the same application. 
  • To qualify for a Permit, a Business Entity must have a Kentucky licensed Professional Engineer (or Professional Land Surveyor, as appropriate) on staff who will be in responsible charge of the engineering (land surveying) services provided in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
    • If more than one place of business is maintained in Kentucky, a different Kentucky licensed Professional Engineer (Professional Land Surveyor) must be in responsible charge of the engineering (land surveying) work for each office and be located at that facility. A licensee who renders occasional, part-time, or consulting services to or for a business entity shall not be in responsible charge.
  •  All forms of Business Entities are required to obtain a Business Entity Permit.  This includes corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies,  professional limited liability companies, and sole proprietors operating under any name other than the name listed on his or her individual PE or PLS license.   The only exemption from the Business Entity Permit requirement is a sole proprietor practicing in the name listed on his or her individual license.
Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Identify a Kentucky licensed engineer, who is a full-time employee, to be in responsible charge of the firm's engineering activities. If the firm maintains multiple office locations in Kentucky, a separate responsible engineer must be appointed for each office location.
  • Ensure that your business entity will meet ownership requirements.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Identify a Kentucky licensed engineer, who is a full-time employee, to be in responsible charge of the firm's engineering activities. If the firm maintains multiple office locations in Kentucky, a separate responsible engineer must be appointed for each office location.
  • Ensure that your Kentucky entity will meet ownership requirements.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. If the name of the entity will contain some form of the word "engineer", first obtain a letter of name approval from the Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors.
  2. File entity formation documents with the Kentucky Secretary of State.
  3. Complete an online Business Entity Permit Application with the Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your entity will need to foreign qualify in Kentucky. If not required, skip to number 4.
  2. If the name of the entity will contain some form of the word "engineer", first obtain a letter of name approval from the Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors.
  3. File foreign qualification documents with the Kentucky Secretary of State.
  4. Complete an online Business Entity Permit Application with the Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Registration Renewal

This section applies to engineering firms that are already licensed in Kentucky and need to renew their license.

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$100 for an engineering firm permit or $150 for an engineering and land surveying firm permit.

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:
  • Permits are issued on a Calendar Year basis and expire on December 31 of each year, unless renewed.  
  • A renewal notice will be mailed prior to December 31 to each firm which has an active permit.  
  • Permits may be renewed online.  
  • An expired Permit may be renewed for up to one year following the expiration date by completing the online renewal form.  
    • A late renewal penalty equal to ten percent of the renewal fee for each month, or fractional month that the renewal is late will apply.
    • Any permit holder which fails to renew within one year after expiration must apply for reinstatement of its permit.
Required Attachments:
  • List of directors, officers, managers, or members of the firm including addresses
  • List of licensees in responsible charge of the firm's professional services
  • List of branch office locations including licensee in responsible charge
Fact Checked:4/15/20

Amendment

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 30 days of the effective date of the change.

Notes:

Notify the board in writing with any changes.

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Reinstatement

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$500

Notes:

Licenses delinquent for less than a year just pay renewal and late fees. Licenses that are delinquent for more than one year must be reinstated.

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Kentucky Geology Firm License

Not required



Geoscience Firm licensure is not required on the State level in Kentucky.

More information: Kentucky Board of Registration for Professional Geologists

Kentucky Land Surveying Business Entity Permit

Agency:Kentucky Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors
Law:

KRS 322.010 et. seq. 

Eligible Entity Types:

Kentucky allows engineering and surveying firms to practice under most entity types, including corporations, professional corporations, LLCs, professional LLCs, partnerships, and LLPs.

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Business Entity Permit

Agency Fee:

$100 for a land surveying firm permit or $150 for a land surveying and engineering firm permit.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
How to Apply:
  1. Secretary of State: Certificate of Authority
  2. Land Surveying Board: Business Entity Permit

Exception: If the firm name contains the word “Engineering”, “Surveying: (or any derivation of those words), then Board approval, via a certificate or letter, must be gained before registering with the Secretary of State

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Registration Renewal

Form:

Online

Agency Fee:

$100 for a land surveying firm permit or $150 for a land surveying and engineering firm permit.

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:11/5/19

Reinstatement

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$500

Notes:

Licenses delinquent for less than a year just pay renewal and late fees. Licenses that are delinquent for more than one year must be reinstated.

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Individual Licenses

Kentucky Individual Engineering Licenses

Kentucky Geologist in Training Certification

Agency:Kentucky Board of Registration for Professional Geologists
Fact Checked:8/20/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Certification for Geologist in Training

Agency Fee:

$100 if applying during the first half of the biennial license period and $50 if applying during the second half of the license period + exam fees.

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:5/17/19

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$100

Due:

By September 30 of odd-numbered years.

Fact Checked:5/17/19

Kentucky Professional Engineer License

Agency:Kentucky Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

A digital signature shall be permitted in place of an original seal, signature, and date if:

  1. The digital signature is a unique identification of the licensee;
  2. The digital signature is verifiable;
  3. The digital signature is under the licensee’s direct and exclusive control;
  4. The digital signature is linked to the electronic document in a manner that causes changes to be easily determined and visually displayed if any data in the electronic document file is changed subsequent to the digital signature having been affixed to the electronic document;

(5) An attempt to change the electronic document after the digital signature is affixed shall Legislative Research Commission PDF Version Page: 2 cause the digital signature to be removed or altered significantly enough to invalidate the digital signature; and

(6) In the case of an electronic document to be electronically transmitted, the electronic document is converted to a read-only format.

Section 4. (1) A licensee may electronically transmit an electronic document without affixing a digital signature if there is inserted the following language in lieu of an image of a seal or stamp, signature, and date: "This shall not be considered a certified document." (2) This language shall not be required for a document electronically transmitted to a commercial printer or blueprint service for the purpose of reproducing documents or to the licensee’s employer or employees.

201 KAR 18:104

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

See digital signing guidelines.

Fact Checked:5/13/21

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

There is no initial license fee, but the NCEES does charge $100 to send a record to the board.

Fact Checked:5/19/21

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$150

Due:

Biennially by June 30. Licensees with last names beginning with A through K must renew their license in odd-numbered years. Those with last names beginning with letters L through Z must renew their license in even-numbered years.

Fact Checked:5/19/21

Kentucky Professional Geologist Registration

Agency:Kentucky Board of Registration for Professional Geologists
Allow Digital Signatures?No
Digital Signature Guidelines:

Kentucky does not have provisions for the use of electronic signatures.

Allow Digital Sealing?No
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

Kentucky does not have provisions for the use of digital seals.

Fact Checked:5/24/21

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Registration as a Professional Geologist

Agency Fee:

$100 if applying during the first half of the biennial license period and $50 if applying during the second half of the license period + $450 exam fee.

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:5/21/21

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$100

Due:

By September 30 of odd-numbered years.

Fact Checked:5/21/21

Kentucky Professional Land Surveyor License

Agency:Kentucky Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors
Fact Checked:7/9/19

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

There is no initial license fee, but the NCEES does charge $100 to send a record to the board.

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$150

Due:

Biennially by June 30. Licensees with last names beginning with A through K must renew their license in odd-numbered years. Those with last names beginning with letters L through Z must renew their license in even-numbered years.

Learn about engineering licensing in other states:

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

EI (Engineering Intern) - A term also used to describe an Engineer in Training.

EIT (Engineer in Training) - A professional designation granted upon having completed at least 3 years of school at an ABET-accredited university and having passed the FE exam.

FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) - An exam testing on basic engineering principles that is required to become an engineer in training.

PE (Professional Engineer or 'Principles and Practice in Engineering') - Means either Professional Engineer or refers to the Principles and Practice in Engineering exam that is a prerequisite for an engineering license.

Reciprocity - When a licensed engineer in one state can provide documentation (often an NCEES Record) to more easily apply for a license in another jurisdiction.

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
Accrediting board that sets standards for university programs in a variety of applied science disciplines.

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
Engineering, architecture, and land surveying advocacy group.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Organization that provides continuing education, professional conferences, and advocacy efforts to the civil engineering community.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Mechanical engineering organization that focuses on education and professional development.

Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC)
Reviews accreditation requirements and makes final decisions regarding the accreditation process.

National Council of Examiners for Engineering & Surveying (NCEES)
Develops, administers, and scores the exams used for engineering licenses.

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
NSPE is an advocacy group for professional engineers.

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