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Licensing Frequently Asked Questions - Architects

  1. How do I apply for an original license?
  2. What are the licensing requirements?
  3. How long does it take to get a license by reciprocity?
  4. When is my architectural renewal license due?
  5. How much is my annual renewal fee?
  6. My license has expired. How do I get it reinstated?
  7. How long does it take to get a license by reciprocity if I have an NCARB record?
  8. How do I request a verification of my licensure to be sent to another state board?
  9. How long does it take to process a verification request?
  10. How do I go about getting my name changed or corrected?
  11. What is the procedure for change of contact information?
  12. What are the requirements to take the ARE Exam?
  13. Where can I obtain study materials for the exam?
  14. I have a foreign degree. Are there special requirements for applying for the exam?
  15. Do I need a permit issued by the board for my firm?
  16. How does my company obtain a "letter of good standing” to conduct business in Maryland?
  17. What are the continuing education requirements for licensed architects in Maryland?
  18. What are Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) Credits?
  19. What if I am unable to complete 12 LU hours each year?
  20. Can I request an extension to complete my LUs?
  21. Do I have to turn in my AIA transcript of LU certificates?
  22. I completed more than 24 LU hours this licensing term. Can I apply the excess hours that I earned to my next licensing term?

1. How do I apply for an original license?
In order to obtain a Maryland state license you must meet all of the requirements outlined in the provisions of Business Occupations and Professions Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, Title 3 and the Code of Maryland Regulations, Title 9, Subtitle 21. Once an applicant meets the qualifications he or she may apply to the Board for licensure and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) for testing. Note: The state of Maryland approves applicants for testing and NCARB administers the examination.

After the Board has received notification from NCARB that you have completed the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE) and the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) you will receive an e-mail with your registration number and an invitation create a password that will allow you to complete the Boards’ licensing process. The process takes three to five business days and your license will be e-mailed.

2. What are the licensing requirements?
In order to be licensed in the state of Maryland, the applicant must demonstrate good character and reputation in addition to specific education and experience requirements. Once a candidate has met the requirements he or she must apply to the Board and pay the application and licensing fees. Specific requirements can be found online.

3. How long does it take to get a license by reciprocity?
Typically, it takes one to two months to obtain a license by reciprocity. This includes the time it takes the Board to receive supporting documents, such as transcripts from universities, verification of current licensure and exams from other state boards, your support form application and your character references.

4. When is my architectural renewal license due?
Every two years. Expiration dates are different for each individual.

5. How much is my annual renewal fee?
$76.00

6. My license has expired. How do I get it reinstated?
Architects who are 30 days past their expiration date must apply for reinstatement. Reinstatement fees are $100.00 plus the $76.00 application fee. LUs must be completed to apply for reinstatement.

7. How long does it take to get a license by reciprocity if I have an NCARB record?
Applications with an NCARB Council Record are reviewed and approved administratively on an ongoing basis. Therefore, it may take as little as one week to obtain a license.

8. How do I request a verification of my licensure to be sent to another state board?
Pay the $20 verification fee to the Maryland Board via Request a Verification of Licensure.

9. How long does it take to process a verification request?
Our goal is to process a verification request within two weeks if we have all the needed information on hand to process the application. If we have to send away for the information, it may take a month to process.

10. How do I go about getting my name changed or corrected?
All requests for name changes must include all applicable court documents as well as photo ID that includes your correct legal name. You can fax your request to us at 410-962-8483, or you can e-mail it to DLOPLBoardofArchitects-DLLR@maryland.gov.

11. What is the procedure for change of contact information?
Licensees may update their addresses online at Department's website. The licensee's registration number and password are required. Requests for changes of address, daytime phone number or e-mail can be faxed to 410-962-8483 or e-mailed (DLOPLBoardofArchitects-DLLR@maryland.gov). These requests must be in writing, not by telephone.

12. What are the requirements to take the ARE Exam?
To qualify to take the ARE, candidates must have earned either a degree from a NAAB-accredited college, or by a combination of education and qualifying work experience, or by documenting 10 years of work experience and must be enrolled in or have completed the Architectural Experience Program (AXP). For information on AXP requirements, contact the National Council of Architectural Records (NCARB) at 202-879-0520.

13. Where can I obtain study materials for the exams?
There are a variety of sources for study information. In addition to other sources, study materials are available through the American Institute of Architects (AIA) at 800-AIA-3837.

14. I have a foreign degree. Are there special requirements for applying for the exams?
Yes. Applicants applying with a foreign degree must obtain a course-by-course evaluation of their degree from an approved evaluation service. The evaluation company must receive the transcripts directly from the university, not the individual. The evaluation company must then send the completed evaluation directly to the Maryland Board of Architects. Also, the Maryland Board of Architects accepts NCARB Alternative Path to Certification for Foreign Architects.

15. Do I need a permit issued by the Board for my firm?
A partnership, corporation, or limited liability company through which architecture is practiced in Maryland must hold a permit issued by the Board. Two-thirds of the partners, directors, or members must be licensed in Maryland or any other state to practice architecture, engineering or landscape architecture. One partner, director, or member must be appointed to be in responsible charge of architecture practiced through the firm and must be a licensed MARYLAND architect.

16. How does my company obtain a letter of good standing to conduct business in Maryland?
Contact the Department of Assessments and Taxation at 410-767-1340 for information on obtaining a letter of good standing.

17. What are the continuing education requirements for licensed architects in Maryland?
Licensees must have 12 hours of health, safety, and welfare (HSW) continuing education learning units during each calendar year that precedes each license term, 24 in total. Licensees renewing for the first time after receiving their initial license are exempt. You can find detailed information on our Continuing Professional Competency webpage.

18. What are Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) Credits?
AIA defines HSW credits as topics that relate to the structural integrity and soundness of a building or a building site. Course content must focus on protecting the general public.

  • Health – Aspects of architecture that have beneficial or salutary effects on occupants and users of buildings or sites and address environmental concerns
  • Safety – Aspects of architecture intended to limit or prevent accidental injury or death of occupants and users of buildings or sites.
  • Welfare – Aspects of architecture that engender demonstrable positive emotional responses from, or enable access by, users of buildings.

For more information visit the AIA Health, Safety, and Welfare credit webpage.

19. What if I am unable to complete 12 LU hours each year?
In the event a licensee is unable to complete the 12-per-year requirement, but still completes 24 LUs during the licensing term, the Board will accept such completion as fulfilling the renewal requirements. However, not adhering to the 12-per-year requirement may affect reciprocity in other states.

20. Can I request an extension to complete my LUs?
Under normal circumstances you may not request an extension. However, COMAR does provide for extenuating circumstances as follows:

(1) If a licensee is unable to comply with all or part of CPC requirements due to physical disability, illness, or other extenuating circumstances, the licensee may request the Board grant a one-time exception from compliance (Compliance Exception Request), provided that the Compliance Exception Request is filed with the Board at least 60 days prior to the licensee’s license expiration date.
(2) If a Compliance Exception Request is based on physical disability or illness, the licensee must provide the Board with written documentation acceptable to the Board supporting the basis for the request.
(3) A Compliance Exception Request must be accompanied by a detailed proposal acceptable to the Board indicating the licensee’s intended plan of compliance with CPC requirements within no later than 12 months after the license expiration date. Failure to provide the acceptable plan of compliance within the time period specified in this regulation may result in the Board’s administrative dismissal of the Compliance Exception Request.

21. Do I have to turn in my AIA transcript of LU certificates?
You do not need to send us your transcript unless you have been notified that you are being audited. If you are selected for audit you will receive additional instructions for sending in your documentation.

22. I completed more than 24 hours this licensing term. Can I apply the excess hours that I earned to my next licensing term?
No. LUs earned in excess of the 12 annual units required for a license renewal may not be carried forward.

Frequently used abbreviations

  • ARE® - Architect Registration Examination®
  • NCARB - National Council for Architectural Registration Boards
  • AXP - Architectural Experience Program (formally known as IDP - Intern Development Program)
  • NAAB - National Architectural Accrediting Board
  • IPAL - Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure
  • HSW - Health, Safety, and Welfare

Additional Architectural Resources