Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Additional Certifications

Introduction: Effective June 19, 2009, the Texas Legislature amended the Texas Engineering Practice Act in part by adding subsection "e" to § 1001.401. Use of Seal. The new subsection prohibits an entity from requiring an engineer to obtain additional certifications strictly to perform engineering services. We have written this Frequently Asked Questions page to aid in the interpretation of this added subsection.

§ 1001.401. Use of Seal
(a) On receiving a license, a license holder shall obtain a seal in a design authorized by the board, showing the license holder’s name and the legend "Licensed Professional Engineer" or "Registered Professional Engineer."
(b) A plan, specification, plat, or report issued by a license holder for a project to be constructed or used in this state must include the license holder’s seal placed on the document. A license holder is not required to use a seal required by this section if the project is to be constructed or used in another state or country.
(c) A person may not place a seal on a document if the license of the license holder named on the seal has expired or has been suspended or revoked.
(d) A license holder is not required to use a seal under this section for a project for which the license holder is not required to hold a license under an exemption provided by Subchapter B.
(e) A license holder shall not be required to provide or hold any additional certification, other than a license issued under this chapter, to seal an engineering plan, specification, plat, or report.
Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, § 1, eff. June1, 2003, Amended 79th Leg., HB1817, Effective September 1, 2005. Amended 80th Leg. HB 899, eff. September 1, 2007.
Amended 81st Leg., HB2649, Effective June 19, 2009.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Section 1001.401 (e) of the Texas Engineering Practice Act:

1) What are examples of certifications that can not be required to be held by a Texas professional engineer to strictly perform the duties of a professional engineer?

a) Required membership in a trade or professional organization such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) etc.
b) A trade license from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation such as electrical contractor license, air conditioning contractor license or a Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners license. (Note, if an engineer is providing services as an electrical, plumbing or air conditioning contractor, then an appropriate license is required since the engineer is not strictly performing the duties of a professional engineer).
c) Certifications provided by 3rd party/independent organizations such as, but not limited to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and CPESC (Certified Professional Erosion and Sediment Control).

2) What are examples of requirements that are not in violation of this statute?

a) Required attendance at project specific briefings, pre-bid meetings, project progress meetings and other activities that are required to communicate project information.
b) Training and orientation classes to familiarize engineers with specific statutes, codes and rules that are required to complete a project or provide inspection or oversight services for an entity (such as a Texas Department of Insurance inspector). A requirement to pass an exam on the class material is also not prohibited by this statute.
c) Being evaluated and listed on a qualified vendor or provider list by a governmental agency.
d) Mandated training to comply with a Federal government bond, loan or tax credit program.