How to Transfer Your PE License Between States
After putting in a lot of effort and clearing the PE examination, you now intend to utilize your PE license in states other than the one in which you took the test.
Will you be able to get approval for that?
The short answer is yes.
Obtaining a professional engineering license in one state does not allow you to practice engineering in other states.
You will need to transfer the PE license between states to continue working and enjoy all the benefits in a state other than the one in which you are licensed.
This article will discuss acquiring a PE license in a different state and why it is crucial.
So without any further ado, let’s dive right in.
Getting a PE License in a Different State
The following are two ways to get a PE license in different states:
Comity and Reciprocity
In several states, an engineer with a license from another state can register through a procedure known as comity or endorsement. Some states also provide licenses through reciprocity. Unfortunately, many individuals confuse the two terms and frequently use them interchangeably. These terms are all related to the method for acquiring an engineering license in another state. But their definitions are not comparable.
Comity means you must satisfy the state board’s criteria before acquiring a license. This often entails filing an application that includes information about your schooling, professional experience, exam results, and references. If a candidate’s credentials seem satisfactory to the board, it will examine the data and grant a license.
On the other hand:
Reciprocity is automatic. It means that if you already have an engineering license in one state, another state will instantly grant you one as well. However, states rarely issue licenses based on professional engineer reciprocity, and comity is people’s most popular method to transfer PE licenses between states.
NCEES® Records Program
With the help of its Records Program, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying has made it significantly convenient to obtain a PE license in another state. In comparison to applying to one state at a time, it expedites the process of licensing in multiple states. The first step is to set up an NCEES® account, which most candidates will already have done as part of prepping for their first examination and getting their license.
The majority of the supporting paperwork needed, such as transcripts, examination results, job validation, and references for PE licensing in other states and territories, can be gathered by creating an NCEES® Record.
You must sign into your NCEES® account, choose “Start an NCEES® Record,” or hit the “Multi-State Licensure” option to obtain your NCEES® record. After that, you will be presented with several requirements, each of which has a distinct color. For example, green indicates that everything is in line, yellow denotes there is more work to be done, and white demonstrates that you have not yet started working.
Why Transfer a PE License From One State to Another?
Earning your state’s Professional Engineer (PE) License provides you with many renowned privileges in the engineering sector. Technically, obtaining a PE entitles you to sign and seal engineering documents for various governmental organizations, academic institutions, and municipalities. Career-wise, being a PE gives you more diverse employment opportunities that enable you to pursue a specialty or earn a better income.
You can reap these perks as a PE in your home state. However, if you serve for a corporation that is aiming to expand, you might be asked to work in or supervise tasks done in several states. In this case, you’ll need to feel just as comfortable outside your home state as you do inside it. Remember that a license in one state does not permit you to practice engineering in another.
That’s why transferring the PE license between states is essential to avail of all the benefits!
Although the PE license requirements by state differ in some cases, the criteria are generally the same nationwide:
- Evidence of clearing the PE examination.
- Submission of documentation specific to each state.
- Transcripts from the school, supplementary employment records, and references.
- Completing the application for a PE license relevant to a given state.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1- Is the PE exam the same in every state?
The PE examinations are similar across the country. They are created by the NCEES® and ratified by all states and territories in the United States. However, the licensing process in some states includes clearing additional examinations for PE exam students.
2- What is the difference between comity and reciprocity?
Reciprocity is automatic. You won’t need to do anything extra to obtain a license in a new state if you already possess one in another.
Whereas comity involves completing an application and all necessary prerequisites. Basic requirements include job experience, professional references, and education proof.
However, some states may impose additional examinations, citizenship requirements, or other special conditions.
3- Does California have PE reciprocity?
No, California does not support PE reciprocity for other states’ PE licenses. However, through comity (same criteria), PEs from other states may be allowed to practice as Professional Engineers in California if they:
- Substantiate that their education and work experience satisfy all California requirements for a PE license.
- Obtain a California license in addition to their current license by applying for one.
You are not necessarily eligible to operate as an engineer in another state just because you have a professional engineering license in your home state. To work in another state as a professional engineer, you must transfer the PE license between states.
So, if you acquire your engineering license in one state, you can get your license in another state easily and swiftly. If you move to another state, you will be issued a new license for that state or an endorsement to your existing license that verifies your status as a professional engineer in that state. Obtaining new licensing requires submitting documentation, paying fees, and waiting for everything to be completed.