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Licensing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Professional Land Surveyors

  1. How do I become eligible for a license as a land surveyor in the state of Maryland?
  2. How do I qualify for licensure in the state of Maryland?
  3. What qualifies as approved experience?
  4. What exams are required to become a licensed professional land surveyor?.
  5. What are the state-specific exams required for Maryland?
  6. How do I report my work experience to the board?
  7. What are the educational requirements if I have a foreign degree?
  8. What is the application process?
  9. Can I use my current license to become licensed in the state of Maryland?
  10. My license is about to expire. What is the process for renewal?
  11. My license is expired. What is the procedure to get it reinstated?
  12. What are the fees for licensure in the state of Maryland?
  13. What types of payments are accepted online?
  14. I met all of the requirements. How will I receive my license?
  15. What are the CPC requirements for a professional land surveyor?
  16. How long is my license valid?
  17. How do I get another copy of my license if it is lost or misplaced?
  18. How do I change my address and/or contact information on my license?
  19. How do I recover my PIN/password?
  20. How do I change my name on my license?
  21. I operate a business that provides land surveying services. Do I need a permit?

1. How do I become eligible for a license as a land surveyor in the state of Maryland?
To qualify for licensure in the state of Maryland you must demonstrate good moral character in addition to meeting education, experience, and testing requirements listed in Maryland law and regulations. Once you verify that you meet the requirements you can complete an electronic application for licensure based upon your status as applying for a license by examination from the Maryland Board for Professional Land Surveyors.

2. How do I qualify for licensure in the state of Maryland?
The state of Maryland has several routes that a potential candidate can choose from based on the individual’s circumstances. Information on Maryland original licenses, renewals, reciprocity, reactivation, and firm permits can be found in the licensing section of our website. Once you have determined that you are eligible to begin the licensing process you can apply online for licensure.

ORIGINAL LICENSE (by examination) – For an original license in Maryland, the applicant has five categories that are divided into academic and non-academic options:

  1. Approved Curriculum Option – This first option requires the applicant to complete a four-year degree from an accredited land surveying curriculum along with two years of approved experience.
  2. Approved Curriculum Option – This second option requires the applicant to complete a four-year degree from an accredited physical science curriculum along with four years of approved experience**
  3. Approved Curriculum Option – This third option requires the applicant to complete any accredited four-year degree with a minimum of 30 credits in land surveying-related curriculum along with four years of approved experience**.
  4. Non-academic Option – This fourth option does not require a college degree. Applicants can satisfy the licensing requirement with a high school diploma and a minimum of 30 credits in land surveying-related curriculum along with six years of approved experience**.
  5. Non-academic Option – This fifth option does not require any college at all. Applicants can satisfy the licensing requirement with a high school diploma and nine years of approved experience.

** The board may allow one year of experience credit for each 30 semester hours or its equivalent that an applicant completes in land surveying-related courses that the board approves, with a three-year maximum.

3. What qualifies as approved experience?
Maryland law requires that applicants for a professional land surveyor’s license meet minimum levels of experience in addition to testing. To meet diverse pre-licensing experience requirements, the board established recommendation criteria and tasks according to surveying category. These guidelines can be found online.

Experience and/or education requirements must be met prior to application.

4. What exams are required to become a licensed professional land surveyor?
Maryland regulations require passage of the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS), Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS), and state-specific exams as part of all of the licensing options.

The FS and PS Exams are administered by the NCEES. You must apply to the Maryland board and NCEES for approval to take the FS exam. Once approved by the board, NCEES will be notified that you are eligible to take the exam.

Visit NCEES’s examination page for more information on the FS and PS examinations.

5. What are the state-specific exams required for Maryland?
Maryland requires that each applicant pass two state-specific exams, Maryland law and storm drain and road grade design. Each test costs $35.00.

Maryland law (Two hours) – Open book test, with 60 multiple-choice questions covering Maryland laws and regulations for professional land surveyors.

Storm drain and road grade design (Four hours) – Open book test covering principles and practice problem-solving. Calculators are allowed.

6. How do I report my work experience to the board?
Your work experience is reported by filling out a Report of Professional Work Experience (RPE) Form. This form must be started by the applicant and completed by the responsible charge person who is verifying your experience. The board must receive this form directly from the responsible official (not the applicant). For original licenses, the RPE form will be sent to the applicant once the application process is started. For reciprocal applicants, the form is part of the packet online.

7. What are the educational requirements if I have a foreign degree?
Applicants applying for licensure that possess a foreign degree must obtain a course-by-course evaluation of their degree from an approved evaluation service. The evaluation company used must be a member of NACES. The evaluation company must be one that receives transcripts directly from the university. The evaluation company must send the completed evaluation directly to the Maryland Board for Professional Land Surveyors.

8. What is the application process?
The following steps are required to become licensed in Maryland:

  1. Review qualifications to determine licensing option (approved curriculum or non-academic)
  2. Create an NCEES account
  3. Apply to the state of Maryland for a license by examination.
    • Register for and pass the FS exam.
    • Pay licensing fee:$76.00
    • Submit transcripts, RPE forms, professional references and any other relevant supporting documents
  4. Wait for board approval (board approves applications during each monthly meeting)
  5. Register for and pass the PS and the Maryland State Exams.
  6. Notify the board that you passed all exams
  7. License is released

9. Can I use my current license to become licensed in the state of Maryland?
No, all applicants for licensure from the Board for Professional Land Surveyors are required to meet and present all qualifications to apply for an original license from the Maryland Board. The State of Maryland does not have a reciprocal process to gain licensure, however, if you are already licensed in another state you may be eligible to transfer your qualifications.

10. My license is about to expire. What is the process for renewal?
You can renew your license within 60 days of the expiry by visiting the board’s license renewal and reinstatement page. To renew your license you will need to log in with your username and password (or create one), fill out the application, pay the $76.00 renewal fee, and certify that you have completed your required continuing professional competency (CPC).

11. My license is expired. What is the procedure to get it reinstated?
You can reinstate your license after it has expired by visiting the board’s license renewal and reinstatement page. To reinstate your license you will need to log in with your username and password (or create one), fill out the application, pay the $76.00 renewal fee along with a $100.00 reinstatement fee, certify that you have completed your required CPC and complete any additional instructions. You will be required to provide proof of CPCs when you apply for reinstatement.

12. What are the fees for licensure in the state of Maryland?
Fees are set by law and regulation and are subject to change with public notice given.

13. What types of payments are accepted online?
All forms of payment are accepted online with the exception of American Express.

14. I met all of the requirements. How will I receive my license?
The Maryland Department of Labor does not print or mail licenses. An e-mail will be sent to you that will provide you a link with instructions for access to the electronic licensing portal where you will be able to print out your license. If you are a first-time licensee in the state of Maryland you will receive a printed wall certificate with the State Seal.

15. What are the CPC requirements for a professional land surveyor?
You are required to complete a minimum of 24 CPC units earned upon completion of one or more qualifying activities during each individual two-year licensing period. Specific CPC information can be found online.

16. How long is my license valid?
The professional land surveyor’s license is valid for two years.

17. How do I get another copy of my license if it is lost or misplaced?
The ability for a licensee to print a license using the electronic licensing portal expires 60 days from the date that the authorization was provided. The link can be reactivated by contacting the board staff.

18. How do I change my address and/or contact information on my license?
You can change your address and contact information by logging into the electronic licensing portal’s information change page using your license/registration number and PIN/password. There is no fee for making changes to your information.

19. How do I recover my PIN/password?
You can go to the log in screen and select FORGOT MY PASSWORD for instructions on resetting your password.

20. How do I change my name on my license?
If you want to effect a name change on your license, you must provide a copy of an official legal document reflecting your name change (e.g., court document, marriage certificate, etc.) to the board of professional licensing. The legal documents can be submitted by email and fax transmittal. The electronic name change form can be found on the Professional Land Surveyors’ website under Change Your Information.

21. I operate a business that provides land surveying services. Do I need a permit?
Maybe, the state of Maryland requires a firm permit for corporations and partnerships that are practicing, offering to practice, or representing to practice land surveying services. Firm permits are not required for organizations operating as a sole proprietorship. If you are unsure as to whether you require a permit, contact our board staff.