Engineering Licensing Compliance Guide

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North Carolina Engineering Industry Licensing

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Licensing requirements for engineering industry firms and individuals in North Carolina.

This page provides an overview of engineering industry licensing in North Carolina 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

North Carolina Engineering Company Licenses

North Carolina Firm License (Engineering and/or Land Surveying)

Agency:North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers & Surveyors
Law:

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 89C-24

Eligible Entity Types:
  • Professional Corporations
  • Professional Limited Liability Companies
  • Partnerships
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Partnerships
Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Ownership Requirements:

Professional Corporations:

  • At least 2/3 of the shares of ownership must be held by licensed design professionals.
  • At least one director and one officer who is a shareholder must be a North Carolina licensee.

Professional Limited Liability Companies:

  • At least 2/3 of the owners must be licensed design professionals.
  • At least one member and manager must be licensed in North Carolina.

Partnerships:

  • Partners need not be licensed, but the partnership must appoint a North Carolina licensed individual to be responsible for all professional activities undertaken by the firm in North Carolina.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Licensure

Agency Fee:

$100

Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Ensure that your business entity will meet ownership requirements.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Ensure that your North Carolina entity will meet ownership requirements.
  • Obtain a certificate of good standing from your business entity's home state (to be filed during the foreign qualification process). The certificate cannot be more than 6 months old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. Email an Application for Licensure and entity formation documents to the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers & Surveyors at firms@ncbels.org.
  2. Once approved by the board, file the approved entity formation documents with the North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division.
  3. After Secretary of State approved, email proof of entity formation with the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers & Surveyors at firms@ncbels.org.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Email an Application for Licensure and foreign qualification documents to the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers & Surveyors at firms@ncbels.org.
  2. Once approved by the board, file the approved foreign qualification documents with the North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division.
  3. After Secretary of State approved, email proof of foreign qualification with the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers & Surveyors at firms@ncbels.org.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$75

Due:

Annually by June 30.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:4/15/20

Amendment

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

The Board of Examiners must be notified within 30 days of any change in personnel status, locations, etc. contained in the license.

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Reinstatement

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$175

Notes:

File for renewal online and then email the board at firms@ncbels.org to let them know that the late renewal was filed online.

Fact Checked:11/5/19

North Carolina Geological Corporation License

Agency:North Carolina Board for the Licensing of Geologists
Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Ownership Requirements:

For firms offering only geological services: NC Licensed Geologist (LG) must be an officer and director if professional corporation, or member and manager if PLLC. For firms offering multiple professional services: Each professional service offered must be represented by an officer or director (member or manager for PLLC). NC licensed geologist must hold one or both positions. Two-thirds of shares/interest must be held by licensed professionals. For domestic corporations the NC licensed geologist must be a shareholder (this requirement does not apply to foreign corporations).

Fact Checked:8/29/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Corporate License

Agency Fee:

$55

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:8/29/19

Registration Renewal

Form:

Renewal Form

Agency Fee:

$25

Due:

Annually by June 30.

Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:8/29/19

Individual Licenses

North Carolina Individual Engineering Licenses

North Carolina Engineer Intern Certification

Agency:North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers & Surveyors
Fact Checked:7/3/18

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Fact Checked:11/2/18

Renewal Not Required

Not required



North Carolina Geologist License

Agency:North Carolina Board for the Licensing of Geologists
Fact Checked:8/29/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Individual License

Agency Fee:

$55

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:8/29/19

Registration Renewal

Form:

Renewal Form

Agency Fee:

$85

Due:

Annually by June 30.

Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:8/29/19

North Carolina Professional Engineer License

Agency:North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers & Surveyors
Fact Checked:7/3/18

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$100

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:11/2/18

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$75

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Fact Checked:11/2/18

North Carolina Professional Land Surveyor License

Agency:North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers & Surveyors
Fact Checked:6/4/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Professional Land Surveyor Application for Licensure

Agency Fee:

$100 application fee + $275 exam fee.

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:6/3/19

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$75

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Fact Checked:6/3/19

North Carolina Surveyor Intern Certification

Agency:North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers & Surveyors
Fact Checked:6/4/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Certification as a Surveyor Intern

Agency Fee:

$0

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:6/3/19

Renewal Not Required

Not required



The surveyor intern certificate does not expire and, therefore, does not have to be renewed.

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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