What are some basic renewal guidelines?

Personal renewals are based on a two-year cycle. All personal licenses expire on December 31st of even numbered years. When you are licensed in October through December of an even numbered year, your license will not expire until December 31st of the next even numbered year.


Commercial Certificates of Commercial Practice (CoCP) are required to be renewed by December 31st annually.  When you are licensed in October through December, your license will not expire until December 31st of the next year.


Retired personal licenses are required to be renewed every even numbered years.

What are the guidelines for Continuing Professional Development (CPC) / Professional Development Hours (PDH)?

Thirty (30) Professional Development Hours (PDHs) are required each biennium. Twenty of the 30 PDHs must be technical and one must be in ethics.  However, your requirement may be different depending on when you were licensed.


If you were licensed in an odd numbered year, in one of the the months of January though September, your requirement is 30. You may take credit for any continuing education acquired back to January of the respective year.


If you were licensed in  an odd numbers year, in one of the months of October through December, your requirement is 15. You may take credit for any continuing education acquired back to January of the respective year.


If your were licensed in January through September of an even numbered year, your requirement is 15, with one of those being in ethics.  You may take credit for any continuing education acquired back to January of the respective year.


If you were licensed in October through December of a even numbered  year, your requirement is zero.


If you have retired your license in previous renewal periods, you are exempt from submitting the log.  If during the renewal process, you request to place your license in a retired status, you must submit the log as part of your retired renewal packet.


Registrants wish to claim an exemptions from continuing education requirements must submit a document that outlines the justification.  Reference NDAC 28-04-01-07 (https://ndpelsboard.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Consolidated-Title-28-effective-October-1st-2021-2.pdf), which describes the only four exemptions.


North Dakota does accept continuing education credits you have earned and recorded for licensure in other jurisdictions, to include ethics.


For your convenience, you may use the ND continuing education log found at  https://ndpelsboard.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/PDH-log_2022.pdf or you may submit a log that you use for other jurisdictions.


We do not substitute certificates in lieu of the required log.  Only submit your log.


Finally, North Dakota does NOT pre-approve courses or vendors.

What is the significance of a Model Law Designation for Engineers and Land Surveyors from NCEES?

Model Law is a designation given by NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) to Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors after NCEES  reviews their professional record.  The designation is a NCEES term used to  identify individuals they have evaluated as being qualified for licensure, without further review.  North Dakota accepts this designation and expedites licensure applications.  After receiving a properly completed application, our staff will issue a license within 1-2 workdays.


If you wish to gain this designation, you must contact NCEES directly and have them evaluate your records.  Applicants should request NCEES transmit their evaluation to North Dakota.

Are exams mandatory for licensure?

Yes.  North Dakota law requires that all applicants have taken and passed Board approved examinations totaling 8 hours in length at both the fundamental level and the principles and practice level. NCEES examinations combined with ND 2-hour specific examinations will fulfill the examination requirements.


Applicants who are registered/licensed by another jurisdiction, that did not require examination, must still take and pass the appropriate examination(s) in order to become licensed in North Dakota.


The North Dakota Board only recognizes the examinations administered by NCEES.


There are NO provisions to waive these requirements.

How do I get my exams verified by North Dakota or another jurisdiction?

If North Dakota requires verification of your license(s) or exam(s), we will first look at NCEES for your profile and verifications.  If you do not have a profile with NCEES, you will need to create one.  If you have no license(s) and/or exam(s) verifications in NCEES, you must request your license(s) and/or exam(s) be verified by the appropriate jurisdiction (state) that administer them to you.  You must let North Dakota know when verification has been completed by emailing us at contact@ndpelsboard.org.  We will then download the verification.


If another jurisdiction (state) is asking for verification of your North Dakota license(s) and/or exam(s) administered by North Dakota, we will use NCEES to verify your information.  If you do not have a profile with NCEES, you will need to create one.  You must request your license(s) and/or exams be verified by North Dakota, using NCEES.  The North Dakota staff will verify your information.  It is your responsibility to ensure the state requiring the verification is notified that the verification in NCEES has been completed.


If another jurisdiction (state) requires you to complete their verification form, you must complete your portion of the form and email it to contact@ndpelsboard.org.  We will complete the verification and email it to the jurisdiction (state) requesting the verification.


North Dakota does not charge for providing verifications to other jurisdictions (states).

How long does the application to licensure process take?

Most applications require consideration by the Board, which meets every 6-8 weeks.


Processing of applications depends on the completeness of the application.  Things that will generally hold up processing of the application are:

  1. The timeliness of references providing us with their letters of reference.  We accept reference letters that are no older than five years.
  2. Documented experience must be up to present date. Gaps of more than 30 days are NOT allowed throughout the documented experience.
  3. Legal convictions, if any,  must be explained in a memo that should accompany the application.
  4. Transcripts from University(ies).  Transcripts msut be “Official” and not a student copy.  If the degree is from a foreign country, it should be evaluated by NCEES prior to application submission.


All applicants need to have taken the FE and PE exams offered by NCEES.  If an applicant took a 6-hour FE exam he/she would be required to take our 2-hour ND Intern exam.  That exam requirement would be part of the Board’s guidance to our staff, if they approve the applicant for licensure.  The 2-hour intern exam cannot be done prior to the Board’s consideration of the application.  It is a 2-hour computer based, non-proctored, exam that focuses on ND laws.  All reference material links are provided to the examinee for use during the exam. The exam hour requirements exist in law, so they are not waivable.


Applications for individuals who have received a Model Law designation from NCEES, are generally processed within 1-2 workdays.


The results of applications considered during a Board meeting are mailed to applicants 1-2 workdays after the Board meeting.  This includes the issuance of licenses, if appropriate.


I do not have a U.S. degree(s) or I have a mix of U.S. and non-U.S. degrees; do I need to get my transcript(s) evaluated prior to submitting an application?

Yes. North Dakota requires that all non-U.S. degrees be evaluated.  North Dakota will only accept evaluations from NCEES Education Evaluation Services.


If you have multiple non-U.S. degrees, each transcript must be evaluated together to ensure proper academic credit is recognized by NCEES.


Also, if you have a mix of U.S. and non-U.S. degrees, you must have each transcript evaluated together to ensure proper academic credit is recognized by NCEES.

What are the requirements for personal licensure?

The requirements for licensure can be found at the references below.  Of note, successful completion of the FE\FS and PE\PS NCEES examinations is required by law and is NOT waivable.


Please refer to North Dakota Century Code Chapter 43 at this link (click on the word Statutes):



Also, here is a link to the summary of experience requirements (click on the words License Requirements):

License Requirements

How old can references be?

Reference letters for intern, examination, and endorsement applications must be dated within the last 6 years.


If you have a Model Law designation, the reference letters in your NCEES record will be sufficient, regardless of date, for licensure.

Company licensure Requirements?

Companies offering, practicing, or performing engineering or land surveying services in North Dakota need to have a Certificate of Commercial Practice (CoCP). This includes sole proprietors. If you are practicing as an individual under your own name and not a trade name, you do not need a Certificate of Commercial Practice.


Companies must employ a North Dakota licensed professional in the profession(s) they desire to be licensed, prior to applying for a company license.


Companies must obtain a Certificate of Authority (COA) from the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office , prior to applying for a company license.  Companies whose COA is “Not in Good Standing” with the  ND Secretary of State’s Office will not be allowed to be licensed or to renew their license until they are in ” Good Standing.”


The below information pertains to individuals and companies and illustrates what may require a company to become licensed.


“Practice of engineering and practice of professional engineering” means any service or creative work, the adequate performance of which requires engineering education,
training, and experience in the application of special knowledge of the mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences to such services or creative work as consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning and design of engineering works and systems, engineering teaching of advanced engineering subjects or courses related thereto, engineering surveys, and the inspection of construction for the purpose of assuring compliance with drawings and specifications; any of which embraces such service or work, either public or private, in connection with any utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, work systems, or projects as are incidental to the practice of engineering. A person must be construed to practice or offer to practice engineering if the person practices any branch of the profession of engineering; if the person, by verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card, or in any other way
represents that the person is an engineer and is able to practice engineering in this state if the person through the use of some other title implies that the person is an engineer or that the person is registered under this chapter; or if the person holds out as able to perform, or does perform any engineering service or work or any other service that is recognized as engineering, for a valuable consideration for others, including the public at large.

“Practice of land surveying”:
a. Means making land boundary determinations by providing or offering to provide professional services using such sciences as mathematics, geodesy, and photogrammetry and involving the making of geometric measurements and gathering related information pertaining to the physical or legal features of the earth; improvements on the earth; and improvements on the space above, on, or below the earth and providing, utilizing, or developing the same into land survey products such as graphics, data, maps, plans, reports, descriptions, or projects. As used in this subsection, professional services include acts of consultation, investigation, testimony evaluation, expert technical testimony, planning,
mapping, assembling, and interpreting gathered measurements and information related to any one or more of the following:
(1) Determining by measurement the configuration or contour of the earth’s surface or the position of fixed objects on the earth’s surface;
(2) Determining by performing geodetic land surveys the size and shape of the earth or the position of any point on the earth;
(3) Locating, relocating, establishing, re-establishing, or retracing property lines or boundaries of any tract of land, road, right of way, or easement;
(4) Making any land survey for the division, subdivision, or consolidation of any tract of land;
(5) Locating or laying out alignments, positions, or elevations for the construction of fixed works;
(6) Determining by the use of principles of land surveying the position for any survey monument, boundary or non-boundary, or reference point and establishing or replacing any such monument or reference point; and
(7) Creating, preparing, or modifying electronic or computerized or other data for the purpose of making land boundary determinations relative to the performance of the activities in paragraphs 1 through 6.
b. Includes:
(1) Engaging in land surveying;
(2) By verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card, or any other way representing to a person to be a professional land surveyor;
(3) Through the use of some other title implying to be a professional land surveyor or that the person is licensed or authorized under this chapter; and
(4) Holding out as able to perform or performing any land surveying service or work or any other service designated by the practitioner which is recognized as land surveying.


The list of ND licensed employees must be updated as changes occur.  Companies have 30 days to notify the Board office of changes that occur between renewals.


Corporate Directors/Officers do not need to be updated, after initial licensure.


Disciplinary actions taken by other jurisdictions must be reported to the Board office within 30 days of the final order/ruling.


Company licenses expire on December 31st of every year.



How do I update information pertaining to a Commercial or Personal North Dakota license?

Companies and individuals may use the “Contact Us” form available on this web site under the “About” tab or email contact@ndpelsboard.org with the desired changes.


Be sure to include your North Dakota license number.


Companies undergoing restructure/renaming/merger/dissolution need to provide any pertinent legal document or memorandum signed by a corporate officer.  Those documents must detail the change(s).


Allow 1-2 workdays for processing.