Transforming problem houses into Dream Homes

License Renewed!

File this under “keeping up with bureaucracy”.

In California architects are required to renew their licenses to practice architecture every two years. I have to renew in odd numbered years. I just received confirmation of my license renewal.

Renewal requires that we attend an approved Americans with Disabilities Act related class equal to 5 hours of class room time.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is federal level civil rights legislation that ensures that people with disabilities, permanent or temporary, are not denied equal access to facilities. The legislation is enforced by the Attorney General’s office.

The Attorney General’s office has created design guidelines that are updated frequently. Attending this class every 2 years ensures that architects are “up to date” with the most recent design guidelines.

Every two years, I attend a class, usually one presented by the local chapter of the AIA (American Institute of Architects), though in the past I have also taken the class online. I also write a check to the California Architects Board for $300 and mail in the renewal form. A month later, I receive in the mail confirmation of my license renewal. This confirmation certificate looks like the same one your barber or hair dresser has, except for the return address in the upper right corner is for the California Architects Board.

When I submit documents for a project’s building permit application, I have to stamp and sign each page of each copy of the drawings I have made. The stamp has to indicate the renewal date of my license. This date can be either part of the stamp, or handwritten when I sign. Stamping the drawings is a legal act indicating that the drawings have been made by me or under my direct supervision and that I have a license to practice architecture in the state of California.

Stamps are important. I have worked in offices where the stamps of the partners and others authorized to stamp drawings for the firm were kept under lock and key. In the days before microfilm/microfiche, some states required that the stamp actually be embossed. I still have an embosser with my stamp on it somewhere. Because the stamp is so important, I am not posting a picture of it. In general, architects will only stamp drawings going to the governing body (city or county), though some large corporations will require in their contracts that they receive a stamped/signed copy of the documents that are submitted to the governing body.

So I am renewed for the next two years!


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