Board Information

Welcome to the Montana Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors

The Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors makes every effort to include on this web site all relevant information pertaining to the licensing and regulation of professional engineers, professional land surveyors, engineer interns and land surveyor interns in Montana.

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NEW!! New test, new study sources, new protocols for Montana state-specific Land Surveyor Exam.

Starting in June 2017, the Board will begin using a revised state-specific exam for applicants for licensure as Professional Land Surveyor. The new exam is computer-based and will be administered through ISO-Quality Testing, Inc. or “IQT.” (Website: http://www.isoqualitytesting.com)

The exam will no longer be administered at the Board office.

IQT has testing centers across the United States, including two in Montana (Billings and Bozeman) and several in adjoining states. Please visit the IQT website for more information on testing locations.

A new list of "sources for questions" has been created for this exam and is available for examinees to use in their pre-exam preparations. Click here to access it.

Once an applicant has been approved by the Board to sit for the Montana exam, the Board office will inform IQT, which then will make contact with the applicant and begin the registration process. The examinee then will coordinate with IQT regarding test date and location.

Examinees will be informed of their results (pass/fail) by the Board 8-10 weeks following the exam.

 

 

To all Applicants: Make sure you are using the correct and current version of application forms!

At its May 2013 meeting, the Board directed the Department to only accept applications made on the most current application forms available. This is important since the 2015 Legislature amended statutes governing licensure and the Board made changes to its administrative rules in 2016. The applications on this website are updated regularly to reflect current statutes, rules and Board policies.

Click here for some additional tips for applicants.

If you have recently taken an exam administered by NCEES, Click here to learn about your “Next Steps.”

Note: Hand-written applications may be returned by the Board as incomplete.

                                                         ***

Engineer Intern and Land Surveyor Intern Renewals:

Engineer Interns and Land Surveyor Interns now must renew their certificates every two years by June 30. In November 2014, the board adopted new rules that made EI and LSI certificates valid for two years. The change also made those certificates renewable. If you are unsure of your certificate’s issue date, renewal date or status, visit https://ebiz.mt.gov/pol and look up your certificate on the free Licensee Lookup service.

         
For additional assistance please feel free to contact the board office at (406) 841-2360

Contact Information

Board Management:
Ian Marquand, Executive Officer
Board Management Bureau
Phone: (406) 841-2360
Email:

For information on filing a complaint against a licensee contact:
Rita Reichert, Compliance Specialist
Phone: (406) 841-2319
Email:

For information on continuing education:
Phone: (406) 444-5696
Email:

For information on renewals, license verifications, and name changes contact:
Phone: (406) 444-6880
Email:

For information on Professional Engineer and Professional Land Surveyor applications and licensing by comity contact:
Phone: (406) 444-5773
Email:

For information on applications and licensing for Engineer Interns, Land Surveyor Interns and Certificates of Authorization, contact:
Phone: (406) 444-5711
Email:

Board Events

Board meetings are held 4 times per year—usually early in February, May, August and November (although meetings might be held at the end of the preceding month for scheduling purposes.) Each meeting typically takes place on a Thursday. Meeting agendas are posted about 2 weeks in advance of each meeting and are subject to change up to 72 hours prior to the meeting.

Scheduled Board Meetings for the remainder of calendar 2017:

  • Thursday, May 11
  • Thursday, Aug 3
  • Thursday, Nov 2

All Board of PELS meeting dates are subject to change due to Board member schedules and/or weather conditions.

For NCEES examination applicants:
The Board considers non-routine applications for the April NCEES exams at its November and February meetings.
Applications for the October NCEES exams are considered at the May and August meetings.

Once approved for an exam, applicants have one full year from the date of approval to complete NCEES exam requirements. Professional Land Surveyor by Exam applicants have two years to complete the state-specific Land Surveyor examination, but must pass the NCEES PS exam prior to sitting for the state-specific exam. 

Failure to complete exam requirements in the time specified will result in the termination of an application.

For Comity applicants:
The Board reviews non-routine Comity applications at each meeting.
Professional Land Surveyor by Comity applicants who are approved for licensure by the Board have two full years from the date of approval to complete the Montana state-specific LS exam. Failure to do so will result in the termination of an application.

To all applicants for licenses or certificates:
To have an application included on a Board meeting agenda, all materials must be received by the Board office 4 weeks in advance of the scheduled meeting.

Please click on the link below for scheduled meeting dates, times and agendas. Board meetings are open to the public, although Screening Panel meetings and any necessary executive sessions are closed to the public.

Scheduled and Proposed Meetings

Board Members

Board members are appointed by the Governor with Senate confirmation.
Members serve 4 year terms. A member, after serving three consecutive terms, may not be reappointed.

Individual Board Members can be contacted by email at dlibsdpel@mt.gov. In your message please specify which board member you would like to contact. For additional contact information and information on board member terms, please visit the Governor’s Office link for Board Members and Councils at http://boards.mt.gov/.

Byron Stahly- Presiding Officer, Professional Engineer
Ron Drake- Vice-Presiding Officer, Professional Engineer
Wallace Gladstone- Secretary, Professional Engineer
Thomas Pankratz, Professional Engineer
M. Ruhul Amin, Professional Engineer
David Elias, Professional Land Surveyor
Raymond Gross, Jr., Professional Land Surveyor
Hal Jacobson, Public Member
Roger Wagner, Public Member

License Information

To apply for your License using the online application please click the "Apply for a License" link under "Quick Links."

If you apply online for ES (Engineer-Surveyor): This is not a unified application for a single license.To be licensed as an Engineer-Surveyor (ES) in Montana, you must complete the applications for both:   

*Professional Engineer

*Professional Land Surveyor

This means you must submit all required documentation for each license type. Each application will be reviewed separately and will be evaluated on its own merits.
The Board reviews applications for ALL applicants seeking dual licensure as Professional Engineer and Professional Land Surveyor, including those who already have one license and are seeking the other; there are no exceptions. The Board also requests that applicants for dual licensure appear before the Board at the time their application(s) are reviewed.

Engineer-Professional

The following outlines general license information. For specific information on filing an application, you will need to obtain the application which includes a detailed listing of the requirements.

Professional Engineer by Exam ( application)

A. Application Fee: $100.00

B. Education Requirements: See MCA 37-67-323 and ARM 24.183.501. All Foreign Degrees Must Be Evaluated by NCEES. www.ncees.org. For more information see ARM 24.183.502(3)

C. Experience Requirements: See MCA 37-67-323 and ARM 24.183.702

D. Examination Information: NCEES Principles and Practice Examination (Most applicants also must have passed the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering Examination.) See MCA 37-67-327.

E. Renewal Period: Biennial: every two years- June 30th on even numbered years

F. Renewal Fee: $100.00 Professional Engineer or $120.00 Engineer-Surveyor

G. Continuing Education Requirements: 30 Professional Development Hours (PDH) for a two year cycle (i.e. July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016). For more information see ARM 24.183.2105


Professional Engineer by Comity ( application)

To apply for the PE License using the online application please click here

A. Application Fee: $150.00

B. Application requirements: See MCA 37-67-312,  37-67-323 and ARM 24.183.701

C. Education Requirements: See MCA 37-67-323 , 312 and ARM 24.183.501. All Foreign Degrees Must Be Evaluated by NCEES. www.ncees.org. For more information see ARM 24.183.502(3)

D. Experience Requirements: See MCA 37-67-323, MCA 37-67-312 and ARM 24.183.702.
Important: MCA 37-67-312 was amended in 2015. It now requires that applicants who were licensed in another state with less experience that is required by Montana for the same pathway demonstrate post-licensure experience equal to 2x the pre-licensure experience deficit.

E. Examination Information: See MCA 37-67-312 and 37-67-327

F. Renewal Period: Biennial: every two years- June 30th on even numbered years

G. Renewal Fee: $100.00 every two years

H. Continuing Education Requirements: 30 Professional Development Hours (PDH) for a two year cycle (i.e. July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016). For more information see ARM 24.183.2105

Engineer Intern Certificate

NOTE: The EI certificate is not a license to practice engineering.

The following outlines general information. For specific information on filing an application, you will need to obtain the application which includes a detailed listing of the requirements.

A. Application Fee: $25.00

B. Education Requirements: ARM 24.183.501

C. Experience Requirements: See MCA 37-67-324, ARM 24.183.702

D. Examination Information: See MCA 37-67-324, 37-67-327 and ARM 24.183.509

E. Renewal Period: The EI expires after two years. EI certificates will have an expiration date of June 30 and may expire in either an odd-numbered or even-numbered year, depending on when they were issued.

F. Renewal Fee: $25.00 (good for two years)

G. Continuing Education Requirements: None

H. Other Special License Requirements: All Foreign Degrees Must Be Evaluated by NCEES. www.ncees.org

Land Surveyor Intern

NOTE: The LSI certificate is not a license to practice land surveying.

The following outlines general information. For specific information on filing an application, you will need to obtain the application which includes a detailed listing of the requirements.

Land Surveyor Intern

A. Application Fee: $25.00

B. Education Requirements: See MCA 37-67-326 and ARM 24.183 30324.183.501

C. Experience Requirements: See MCA 37-67-326 and ARM 24.183.802

D. Examination Information: MCA 37-67-326, 327 and ARM 24.183.509

E. Renewal Period: The LSI certificate expires after 2 years. LSI certificates  have an expiration date of June 30 and may expire in either an odd-numbered or even-numbered year, depending on when they were issued.

F. Renewal Fee: $25.00

G. Continuing Education Requirements: None

H. Other Special License Requirements: All Foreign Degrees Must Be Evaluated by NCEES. www.ncees.org

Land Surveyor-Professional

 

The following outlines general license information. For specific information on filing an application, you will need to obtain the application which includes a detailed listing of the requirements.

Professional Land Surveyor by Exam (application)

A. Application Fee:$100.00 with an additional $100.00 fee to sit for the Montana state-specific LS law exam. The fees can be paid separately or together.

B. Education Requirements: See MCA 37-67-325 and ARM 24.183.303 and 24.183.501

C. Experience Requirements: See MCA 37-67-325 and ARM 24.183.802

D. Examination Information: NCEES Fundamentals of Surveying exam; NCEES Principles and Practice of Land Surveying; Montana State-Specific Law Exam. See 37-67-325, 327 and ARM 24.183.509

E. Renewal Period: Biennial: every two years- June 30th on even numbered years

F. Renewal Fee: $100.00 every two years

G. Continuing Education Requirements:30 Professional Development Hours (PDH) for a two year cycle (i.e. July 1, 2014 to June 30 2016) For more information see and ARM 24.183.2105

H. Other Special License Requirements: All Foreign Degrees Must Be Evaluated by NCEES. www.ncees.org


To apply for the LS License using the online application please click here

Professional Land Surveyor by Comity (application)

A. Application Fee: $200.00 with an additional $100.00 fee to sit for the Montana state-specific LS law exam. The fees can be paid separately or together.

B. Education Requirements: See MCA 37-67-325, , 313, ARM 24.183.501 and ARM 24.183.801

C. Experience Requirements: See MCA 37-67-325, MCA 37-67-313, ARM 24.183.802 and ARM 24.183.801
Important: MCA 37-67-313 was amended in 2015. It now requires that applicants who were licensed in another state with less experience that is required by Montana for the same pathway demonstrate post-licensure experience equal to 2x the pre-licensure experience deficit.

D. Examination Information: Montana State-Specific Law Exam. see ARM 24.183.509

E. Renewal Period: Biennial: every two years- June 30th on even numbered years

F. Renewal Fee:$100.00 every two years. ES licensee renewal is $120.00 every two years.

G. Continuing Education Requirements: 30 Professional Development Hours (PDH) for a two year cycle (i.e. July 1, 2014 to June 30 2016). For more information see and ARM 24.183.2105

Certificate of Authorization

The following outlines general license information. For specific information on filing an application, you will need to obtain the application which includes a detailed listing of the requirements.

A. Application Fee: $100.00

B. Education Requirements: None

C. Experience Requirements: None

D. Examination Information: None

E. Continuing Education Requirements: None

F. Other Special License Requirements: Must have a professional engineer or professional land surveyor licensed in Montana who is in responsible charge of the engineering or land surveying work conducted. Must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State.

G. Renewals:Renew Annually - October 1 with a fee of $25.00. On-line renewal is available for Certificate of Authorizations. If you choose not to renew online please contact the Board office at (406) 841-2300.

Exam Information

NEW!! New test, new study sources, new protocols for Montana state-specific Land Surveyor Exam.

Starting in June 2017, the Board will begin using a revised state-specific exam for applicants for licensure as Professional Land Surveyor. The new exam is computer-based and will be administered through ISO-Quality Testing, Inc. or “IQT.” (Website: http://www.isoqualitytesting.com)

The exam will no longer be administered at the Board office.

IQT has testing centers across the United States, including two in Montana (Billings and Bozeman) and several in adjoining states. Please visit the IQT website for more information on testing locations.

A new list of "sources for questions" has been created for this exam and is available for examinees to use in their pre-exam preparations. Click here to access it.

Once an applicant has been approved by the Board to sit for the Montana exam, the Board office will inform IQT, which then will make contact with the applicant and begin the registration process. The examinee then will coordinate with IQT regarding test date and location.

Examinees will be informed of their results (pass/fail) by the Board 8-10 weeks following the exam.


For applicants seeking to register for NCEES examinations: All national examinations are administered by the NCEES Exam Administration Services. Please go to www.ncees.org for information on current examination registration fees, registration deadlines and other information. Fees paid to NCEES for examination registration are separate from the examination application fee paid to the Board office. All applications for licensure by exam must be received at the Board office four weeks prior to a Board meeting to allow time for processing and potential Board review.

NCEES deadlines may change as its paper-and-pencil exams are changed to computer-based format with multiple opportunities for exam-taking during the year. Please contact NCEES if you have questions about the exam you wish to take.

All examination applicants are urged to submit their applications as early as possible to avoid delays in processing. If you are unsure about any instructions or procedures, e-mail the Board at: dlibsdpels@mt.gov

Special Testing Accommodations: Information regarding ADA accommodation requests is posted on the NCEES Web site: www.ncees.org 

Exams Proctored in another State: Montana does not allow paper-and-pencil exams to be proctored in another state.

Re-Scheduling or Re-taking an Exam Administered by NCEES / Registering for an Additional PE Discipline Exam:
If you need to re-schedule or re-take an exam that is administered by NCEES, please submit the “Re-examination / Exam Re-schedule / Additional Exam form. It can be accessed by the link below. This form also will serve a currently licensed Professional Engineer who wishes to take a Principles & Practices of Engineering (PE) exam in an additional discipline (such as Structural Engineering.)


Re-examination / Exam Re-schedule / Additional Exam

Lookup Licensed Individual

Licensee Lookup System

This site is a primary source for verification of license credentials.

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Business Standards Division, presents Licensee Lookup information as a service to the public. The Division relies upon information provided by licensees to be true and correct, as required by statute. It is an act of unprofessional conduct for a licensee knowingly to provide erroneous information to the Division.

The Department of Labor and Industry makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or reliability of the content of this website. Assessing the accuracy and reliability of information obtained from this website is solely the responsibility of the user. If you have questions regarding information found within this Licensee Lookup website, please contact the specific licensing board directly.

Please note that some disciplinary actions against licensees may not appear immediately on the website. Appeals, effective dates of orders and other administrative processes may delay posting on the website. Please contact the specific licensing board directly if you require discipline information that occurred prior to July 1, 1996.

Download List of Licensees

License Download System

This service allows you to purchase complete lists of individuals, businesses, and contractors licensed with the State of Montana through the Business Standards Division.

Options include:

  • Creating a customized list of licensees by selecting board type, license type, license status, county, etc.;
  • Submitting payment for your list using a credit/debit card or registered user account
  • Downloading your list immediately, and if necessary, retrieving your list within 24-hours of purchase

Statute/Rule Information

All of the Statutes and Rules listed here are applicable to this board.

Statutes are laws passed by the Legislature. All changes in statutes must go through the legislative process and be passed into law before they become effective. Title 37, Chapter 1, Part 3 is the Uniform Regulatory Act passed by the Legislature in 1995. All professional and occupational licensing is covered in these statutes.

Administrative Rules pertaining to engineering and land surveying are written and adopted by the Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors. The Board writes rules in order to administer the laws over which the Legislature has given the Board authority. Rules can be changed by going through the rule-making procedure. They do not go through the Legislative process. The Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors continuously reviews rules to determine needed changes.

The Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) at this site contain what should be the same text as the official version published by the Office of the Secretary of State. There is a possibility, however, that the content may vary from the official version. In addition, the format has been changed for viewing on this web site. A copy of the official ARM in official format can be obtained from the ARM Bureau of the Office of the Secretary of State, by calling (406) 444-2055. A web version of the ARM published by the Secretary of State can be viewed at Secretary of State's Administrative Rules of Montana.

Administrative Rules

Rules Notices

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-183-42

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.101.413 renewal dates and requirements, 24.183.301 standards of responsible charge, 24.183.404 fee schedule, 24.183.406 branch office, 24.183.407 teaching of advanced engineering subjects, 24.183.408 certificate of authorization, 24.183.501 board-approved curricula, 24.183.502, 24.183.503, and 24.183.504 applications, 24.183.505 exhibits of land surveying, 24.183.509 examination procedures, 24.183.510 grant and issue licenses, 24.183.511 license seal, 24.183.701 and 24.183.801 comity, 24.183.702 and 24.183.802 classification of experience, 24.183.1104 and 24.183.1107 uniform standards, 24.183.2102 inactive status, 24.183.2402 complaints, the adoption of NEW RULES I teaching of land surveying subjects and II definitions, and the repeal of ARM 24.183.302 direct supervision, 24.183.512 application for emeritus status, 24.183.2101 renewals, and 24.183.2103 late renewals

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-101-307

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.101.402 definitions and 24.101.403 administrative fees, and the repeal of 24.101.401 purpose, 24.101.407 licensing, and 24.101.414 renewal notification

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-183-41

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.101.413 renewal dates and requirements, 24.183.301 definition of responsible charge, 24.183.402 board meetings, 24.183.404 fee schedule, 24.183.501 approval of schools, 24.183.503 application references, 24.183.509 examination procedures, 24.183.510 grant and issue licenses, 24.183.701 and 24.183.801 comity, 24.183.702 and 24.183.802 classification of experience, 24.183.1001 form of corner records, 24.183.1101 uniform standards for monumentation, 24.183.1107 uniform standards for final subdivision plats, the adoption of NEW RULE I remonumentation and rehabilitation, II architectural services incidental to engineering, III exhibits of land surveying projects, IV unprofessional conduct, and the repeal of 24.183.2201 introduction, 24.183.2203 performance of services, 24.183.2204 conflicts of interest, 24.183.2205 avoidance of improper solicitation, and 24.183.2206 issuance of public statements

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-183-40

In the matter of the adoption of NEW RULE I military training or experience

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-183-39

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.183.1001 form of corner records, 24.183.1104 uniform standards for certificates of survey, and 24.183.1107 uniform standards for final subdivision plats

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-101-259

In the matter of the adoption of NEW RULE I registration for out-of-state volunteer professionals

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED ADOPTION
posted November 7, 2011

NOTICE OF ADOPTION
posted January 27, 2012

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-183-38

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.183.404 fee schedule, 24.183.408 certificate of authorization, 24.183.502 and 24.183.503 application, 24.183.510 grant and issue licenses, and 24.183.1104 and 24.183.1107 uniform standards

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT
posted August 4, 2011

NOTICE OF AMENDMENT
posted January 27, 2012

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-183-37

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.183.502 and 24.183.504 application processes for professional engineers and professional land surveyors

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-183-36

In the matter of the adoption NEW RULES I through IV pertaining to professional land surveyor scope of practice activities

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED ADOPTION
posted October 8, 2010

NOTICE OF ADOPTION
posted March 17, 2011

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-183-35

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.183.408 authorization, 24.183.502 applications, 24.183.509 examination procedures, 24.183.2105 continuing education, and 24.183.2401 screening panel

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT
posted September 3, 2009

NOTICE OF AMENDMENT
posted February 23, 2010

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-101-203

In the matter of the adoption of NEW RULE I pertaining to licensee lookup database

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED ADOPTION
posted January 23, 2009

NOTICE OF ADOPTION
posted July 10, 2009

MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-183-33

In the matter of the proposed adoption of New Rules I through VI, pertaining to activities that are, and those activities that are not, included in the practice of land surveying

Statutes

Complaint Information

In order to meet its mission, the Board is charged with taking appropriate action for unprofessional, incompetent, or unlawful practice. You can learn more about the complaint process or file a complaint with the Board here.

To access a brochure on the complaint process, click here.

To access a complaint form, click here.

Both forms also are located in the "Forms" tab among "General Forms."

Complaint Contact

Eleanor Webster, Compliance Specialist
Telephone: (406) 841-2357
E-mail: dlibsdcomplaints@mt.gov

How to File a Complaint

The Department is charged with regulating professions and occupations for the protection of the public as a whole. Although the Department does not represent individuals filing complaints, the Department will review complaints in a timely manner to ensure a complaint is processed and that the Board will take appropriate action.

The length of time for resolution of a complaint is impossible to estimate due to the various complexities presented in individual complaints.

The following types of complaints may be filed:

  • Unprofessional conduct by a licensee;
  • Unprofessional conduct by a license applicant;
  • Unlicensed practice of the profession or occupation.

If an individual is unsure of what constitutes unprofessional conduct and needs a description of the various types, reference to Montana statutes and rules will provide an answer. These are found at your local public library or at the appropriate board site on this web page.

Drop Off or Mail to:
"Name of the Board or Program the complaint pertains to"
Business Standards Division
301 South Park, 4th Floor
PO Box 200514
Helena, MT 59620-0514

The Complaint Process

This process is used for the Boards that are administered in the Business Standards Division. The various Programs administered in the Division use a similar process.

Important: When filing or responding to a complaint, be as thorough as possible. You may attach additional documents to the complaint form to ensure that all pertinent information has been included. The Screening Panel meeting is NOT a hearing, but is a time for the panel to consider the complaint and response. Attendance is your choice. If you attend the panel may ask additional questions. Please notify this office prior to the meeting if you plan to attend.

After a complaint has been filed against a licensed individual the Compliance Office will send a letter of acknowledgment to the person who filed the complaint (Complainant), and a letter requesting a response (with a copy of the complaint) to the licensee against whom the complaint was filed.

The Licensee may submit a written response addressing the complaint to the Compliance Office. The process continues whether or not a response is submitted. The Complainant is not entitled to a copy of the response.

The Compliance Office will notify the Licensee and Complainant regarding the date and time of any meeting during which the case will be discussed.

Complaints remain confidential unless a Notice of Proposed Board Action is issued, which is a public document along with all subsequent legal filings.

Meetings

  • Closed Meeting - During a Closed Meeting only the Licensee, the Complainant, and/or attorneys for either can be in attendance. Minutes of Closed Meetings are not public documents.
  • Open Meeting - A public meeting which anyone can attend. The minutes of Open meetings are public documents and made available online via the specific Board’s webpage. (Adjudication Panel meetings are usually open.)

Individuals may attend a meeting in person or by telephone. Please notify this office prior to the meeting if you plan to attend the meeting.

Screening Panel

  • Screening Panel - A committee comprised of members of the Board. The Screening Panel’s function is to determine the preliminary action(s) to take on a complaint. Possible preliminary actions include dismissal, investigation, or a finding of Reasonable Cause.

The complaint and response (if any) are submitted to the Screening Panel members. The Screening Panel meeting is not a hearing, but rather a committee meeting to review and discuss the complaint and response to determine if disciplinary action is warranted.

Dismissal

If the Screening Panel dismisses a complaint, the complaint can be dismissed with or without prejudice (see definitions below).

  • Dismissal With Prejudice - The complaint is dismissed and cannot be considered by the Screening Panel in the future.
  • Dismissal Without Prejudice - The complaint is dismissed but may be considered by the Screening Panel in the future if there are ever allegations of a similar nature.

Investigation

Only a member of the Screening Panel can request an investigation of a complaint. If an investigation is requested by the Screening Panel, the case is assigned to an investigator who may request an interview with the Licensee, the Complainant, and/or other individuals. Upon completion of the investigation, a written report is submitted to the Screening Panel, which will then determine if there is Reasonable Cause to proceed with disciplinary action.

Reasonable Cause

  • Reasonable Cause - A finding by the Screening Panel that evidence exists that a violation of statutes and rules has occurred which warrants proceeding with disciplinary action.

If Reasonable Cause is found, the Department Counsel issues a Notice of Proposed Board Action (Notice) to the Licensee. Once a Notice is issued, it is public information. A proposed Stipulation may be included with the Notice.

  • Notice - A legal document from the Department’s Legal Counsel which sets forth the Department’s factual assertions, the statutes or rules relied upon, and advising the licensee of the right to a hearing.
  • Stipulation - A tentative agreement for settlement of the case. A Stipulation is not finalized until approved by the Adjudication Panel.

The Licensee may either sign the Stipulation or contest the proposed action by requesting an administrative Hearing (a legal process before a Hearing Examiner). If the Licensee wishes to request a hearing, written request must be received within twenty (20) days from receipt of the Notice. Failure to either sign a Stipulation or request a hearing within twenty (20) days may result in the issuing of a Final Order of Default against the licensee.

  • Default - the licensee’s acceptance of the disciplinary action demonstrated by failing to participate in the process

Adjudication Panel

  • Adjudication Panel - A committee comprised of members of the Board who are NOT on the Screening Panel. The Adjudication Panel determines the final outcome of a case.

The Adjudication Panel reviews the record to determine appropriate sanctions. A Final Order is issued by the Adjudication Panel, completing the complaint process.

Complaint Process Flow

Current license status and information regarding disciplinary action(s) against a licensee can be accessed online at: https://ebiz.mt.gov/pol/

Unlicensed Practice Complaint Process

Department of Labor & Industry - Business Standards Division

PO Box 200513, Helena, MT 59620-0513

When a complaint or other information is received alleging possible unlicensed practice...

  • (If the allegation is not made in the form of a formal written complaint, a complaint form is completed by the Department and a complaint number is assigned.)
  • A copy of the complaint and a request for a written response are mailed to the person against whom the complaint was filed (Respondent).
  • A written acknowledgment that the complaint has been received is mailed to the person who filed the complaint (Complainant)
  • The respondent may submit a letter of response to the complaint. If a written response is not submitted, the complaint process continues without a response.
  • The complainant and the respondent are sent written notify cation of the date, time, and location of any meeting at which the complaint will be discussed.

The Board Meeting

  • Unlicensed Practice complaints are addressed by the Full Board in executive session (meaning closed to the public). Board meetings are open to the public unless the chairperson determines an individual’s right to privacy outweighs the public’s right to know. If so, that portion of the meeting will be closed to the public (only the respondent, complainant, and legal counsel for each (if any) may be present).
  • The complaint and response (if any) are provided to the board members prior to an upcoming board meeting for their review. The board meeting is not a hearing, but rather a meeting at which the information provided is considered and discussed by the board.

DISMISSAL

  • If the board dismisses a complaint, the complaint can be dismissed with or without prejudice.
  • Dismissal With Prejudice-The complaint is dismissed and cannot be considered in the future.
  • Dismissal Without Prejudice-The complaint is dismissed but may be considered by the board in the future if there are ever allegations of a similar nature.

INVESTIGATION

  • The board can request an investigator be assigned to gather additional information surrounding the allegations made in the complaint. This may involve interviews with the respondent, the complainant, and possible witnesses.
  • After the investigation has been completed, an investigative report is prepared and presented to the board for consideration at a subsequent meeting.
  • Following the board’s review of the investigative report, a determination is made to either dismiss the complaint or take action in the form of a Cease and Desist or an Injunction.

CEASE & DESIST / INJUNCTION

  • The board may issue a Cease & Desist or seek an Injunction.
  • Cease & Desist–A letter from the administrative agency prohibiting a person or business from doing or continuing to do a certain activity.
  • Injunction-A writ granted by a court prohibiting a person or business from doing or continuing to do a certain activity.

For more information, contact DLI Business Standards Division at 406-841-2300

FAQ

Who sits on the Board of PELS?
The Board currently has nine members: five licensed professional engineers, two licensed land surveyors and two public members. Each is appointed by the Governor for a four-year term. A Board member can serve a maximum of three terms (12 years.) Anyone interested in joining the Board should apply to the Governor’s office.

When and where does the Board meet?
The board holds four regularly-scheduled meetings per year, usually on the first Thursday in February, May, August and November. (Exact dates are subject to change.) The meetings typically start at 8 a.m. Meetings take place at the Business Standards Division offices at 301 South Park Ave. in Helena (the former federal building.)

How can I participate in a meeting?
All Board meetings are open for anyone to attend in person. For the convenience of people who live out of Helena, the Board also provides a conference call option for all meetings held at the Park Avenue Building.

How can I get something on the meeting agenda?
It’s easy. Just contact the Board’s Executive Officer with a written request to be placed on the agenda. The EO and Board chair will make the final determination as to what goes on a given meeting’s agenda.

How can I find out what the requirements are for becoming a Licensed Professional Engineer in Montana?
The best way is to visit the "Forms" tab of this website and review (or download) a copy of the application form and instructions that best meets your situation. (Namely, P.E. by Exam or P.E. by Comity.)  Those forms should answer all of your questions about the documents you need, about fees, and about timelines for application. If you are unsure of anything, contact the Board via e-mail at dlibsdpels@mt.gov or call the BSD office at 406-841-2300 and ask for the licensing unit that handles engineer applications. (If you are contacting us by phone, please specify if you wish to apply "by exam" or "by comity.")

What happens to my application once I've sent it?
Your application is reviewed by a trained application specialist. If that person notes that anything is missing, he or she will contact you about whatever you need to provide. Once an application is complete, the application specialist will advise the Board’s Executive Officer. If the application is determined to be "non-routine," the completed application will be placed on the agenda for the next available Board meeting. Be advised, however, that the Board has strict deadlines for applications received prior to a meeting. Currently, only completed applications received four weeks or more before a meeting will be considered. This allows staff and Board members adequate time to prepare and review applications before the meeting.

I'm already Licensed in another State. Does the Board have to review my application?
It’s important to understand that Montana does not offer full reciprocity for licensees in other states. You still must apply to become a “P.E. by Comity.” Essentially that means you must meet the same standards as someone applying to become a licensed engineer by sitting for the Principles and Practices of Engineering Exam. The only difference is you do not have to sit for that exam.

The only P.E. applications that do not automatically require Executive Officer review are those in which the applicant already is licensed in another state and has a Record with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES.) The NCEES Record allows the applicant to bypass the “references” portion of the Montana P.E. by Comity application. Applicants with an NCEES Record also do not have to submit separate transcripts of their education or verifications of exam passage. However, NCEES Record holders must submit the Board's experience resume and detail sheets, regardless of experience information contained in the NCEES Record.

Application specialists can approve a P.E. by Comity application with a NCEES Record, as long as all Board standards are met. However, if there’s any question about whether an applicant meets Board standards, the application will go to the Executive Officer and, perhaps, the Board for a final decision.

Once I'm Licensed, when do I renew my Licensed?
P.E. licenses must be renewed in each even-numbered year by June 30. The board will send a reminder notice in advance of that date.

Do I need Continuing Education to Renew?
At the time of renewal, you will be asked whether you have completed the Board’s Continuing Education (CE) requirement of 30 hours for the two-year license period.

How can I find out what the requirements are for beoming a Licensed Professional Land Surveyor in Montana?
The best way is to visit the "Forms" tab of this website and review (or download) a copy of the application form and instructions that best meets your situation. (Namely, P.L.S. by Exam or P.L.S. by Comity.)  Those forms should answer all of your questions about the documents you need, about fees, and about timelines for application. If you are unsure of anything, contact the Board via e-mail at dlibsdpels@mt.gov or call the BSD office at 406-841-2300 and ask for the licensing unit that handles professional land surveyor applications. (If you are contacting us by phone, please specify if you wish to apply "by exam" or "by comity.")

It also will be worth your while to look at the Board-approved Land Surveying curriculum as defined by ARM 24.183.303. (Look for it in "Administrative Rules" in the  "Regulations" tab.) This is the standard upon which Land Surveying education will be judged.

 What happens to my application once I've sent it?
Your application is reviewed by a trained application specialist. If that person notes that anything is missing, he or she will contact you about whatever you need to provide. Once an application is complete, the application specialist will advise the Board’s Executive Officer. In all cases, completed P.L.S. applications will be placed on the agenda for the next available Board meeting. Be advised, however, that the Board has strict deadlines for applications received prior to a meeting. Currently, only applications that are complete four weeks or more before a meeting will be considered. This allows staff and Board members adequate time to prepare and review applications before the meeting.
NOTE: All applicants for a P.L.S. license must pass the Montana State-Specific Land Surveyor Exam on laws and rules. Applicants take this exam following passage of the national Principles & Practices of Land Surveying Exam, or upon Board approval of a P.L.S. by Comity application.

I’m already Licensed in another State. Does the Board have to review my application?
Yes. It’s important to understand that Montana does not offer full reciprocity for licensees in other states. You still must apply to become a “P.L.S. by Comity.” Essentially that means you must meet the same standards as someone applying to become a licensed land surveyor by sitting for the Principles and Practices of Land Surveying Exam. The only difference is you do not have to sit for that exam. However, the Board still must review your application at a public meeting. This is also true for licensed Land Surveyors who have a NCEES Record. In fact, by Board policy, Land Surveyors with NCEES Records still must fill out the entire P.L.S. by Comity application, including the portions dealing with experience. Only educational transcripts, exam verifications and references are accepted from a Professional Land Surveyor's NCEES Record.

Once I'm Licensed, when do I renew my License ?
P.L.S. licenses must be renewed in each even-numbered year by June 30. The Board will send a reminder notice well in advance of that date.

Do I need Continuing Education to Renew?
At the time of renewal, you will be asked whether you have completed the Board’s Continuing Education (CE) requirement of 30 hours for the two-year license period.

How can I find out what the requirements are for becoming an Engineer Intern in Montana?
The best way is to visit the "Forms" tab on this website and review (or download) a copy of the Engineer Intern Certificate application form and instructions.
If you already have passed the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering exam (the F.E.), you will need to send the Board the application for Engineer Intern Certification.
The form should answer all of your questions about the documents you need, about fees, and about timelines for application. If you are unsure of anything, contact the Board via e-mail at dlibsdpels@mt.gov or call the BSD office at 406-841-2300 and ask for the licensing unit that handles Engineer Intern applications.

What happens to my Application once I've sent it?
Your application is reviewed by a trained application specialist. If that person notes that anything is missing, he or she will contact you about whatever you need to provide. Once an application is complete, the application specialist can approve the application or advise the Board’s Executive Officer if anything requires further review. "Non-routine" EI applications will be placed on the agenda for the next Board meeting. Be advised that the Board has strict deadlines for applications. Currently, only applications that are complete four weeks or more before a meeting will be considered. This allows staff and Board members adequate time to prepare and review applications before the meeting.

How long will my Engineer Intern Certificate Last?
Two years. This is the final step in the evolution of the EI certificate. Prior to 2012, the certificate was perpetual, with no expiration date. Then, in January of 2012, a new Board rule went into effect shortening the life of the EI certificate to 6 years. The rule was retroactive, which means any EI certificate more than six years old automatically became “Closed” in the licensing database. (Meaning the life of the certificate had ended.) In November of 2014, the Board adopted a rule change making the EI certificate valid for two years with a renewal process and a renewal fee of $25.

Can I renew my E.I. Certificate?
Yes. Renewals of EI certificates take place each year with a renewal deadline of June 30. The Department will notify EI holders when renewal is approaching. Be sure to inform the Department if your mailing address changes.

Will I need an E.I. to apply for a Professional Engineer License, Either by Exam or Comity?
Yes. Under HB 63, which passed in the 2015 legislature, an E.I. is now a requirement to receive a P.E. license or be approved to sit for the NCEES PE exam. (The only exception is for applicants with a Ph.D. degree in engineering who never passed the FE exam.)

Will a "closed," "expired" or "terminated" E.I. certificate affect my ability to apply for a Professional Engineer License?
No, the Board has determined that if an applicant for PE has held an EI certificate, even if it was terminated by an action of the Board, that former certificate can be considered during the application review. The Board has granted its staff permission to be “liberal” in its interpretation of how the E.I. requirement is met, and to alert the Board if someone has a questionable E.I.

How an I find out what the requirements are for becoming a Land Surveyor Intern in Montana?
The best way is to visit the "Forms" tab on this website and review (or download) a copy of the application form and instructions.
Those forms should answer all of your questions about the documents you need, about fees, and about timelines for application. If you are unsure of anything, contact the Board via e-mail at dlibsdpels@mt.gov or call the BSD office at 406-841-2300 and ask for the licensing unit that handles land surveyor intern applications.

What happens to my Application once I've sent it?
Your application is reviewed by a trained application specialist. If that person notes that anything is missing, he or she will contact you about whatever you need to provide. Once an application is complete, the application specialist will advise the Board’s Executive Officer, who will determine whether it must be placed on the agenda for the next available Board meeting. Be advised that the Board has strict deadlines for applications. Currently, only applications that are complete four weeks or more before a meeting will be considered. This allows staff and Board members adequate time to prepare and review applications before the meeting.

How long will my Land Surveyor Intern Certificate last?
In November of 2014, the Board adopted a rule change that makes the Land Surveyor Intern certificate valid for two years. (Before that, LSI certificates had no expiration date.) The Board also established a renewal deadline of June 30 and a renewal fee of $25. Renewals will occur in both odd-numbered and even-numbered years. The Department will notify LSI certificate holders when the renewal period is approaching. Be sure to notify the Department if your mailing address changes.

What is a Certificate of Authorization? Do I need one to Practice in Montana?

A “COA” is required for any business entity that:

  1. offers engineering or land surveying services in Montana, and
  2. is required to register with the Montana Secretary of State.
  1. NOTE: A sole proprietor may be required to register with the Montana Secretary of State. If you have questions about this, please contact the Secretary of State’s office. The Board office cannot speak for the Secretary of State.

To apply for a COA, please submit the completed application form, the application fee, and the additional information required--notably proof of Secretary of State registration (if it’s required for your firm by the SOS) and information about the Montana-licensed professional(s) in responsible charge for your firm.

How often must I renew the COA?

Every year by October 1.

What makes for a valid Seal or Stamp in Montana?
To meet Board requirements, a seal or stamp must contain the words “Licensed Professional Engineer” or “Licensed Professional Land Surveyor” as well as the word “Montana” and the number of your license, usually shown as “#####PE” or “#####PLS.”  This is a different arrangement than the “PEL-PE-LIC-#####” (or similar) you will see on your official license certificate issued by the Department, but is appropriate for a seal.

For a dual Engineer/Surveyor licensee, one seal showing “Licensed Professional Engineer and Professional Land Surveyor” with “Montana” and the number (example: “####ES”) is OK.

The Board’s website has a 2005 brochure that will explain further what is necessary to have a legal seal in Montana. Look for the brochure in the “Services/Links" tab on this website. The Board also has revised ARM 24.183.511 regarding the form and use of seals.

I need a Verification of my License sent to another State (or Canadian Province.) How do I do that?
The Department will provide your license information to another state for a fee of $20.00. The Board suggests you send payment along with the official “License Verification Request” form found on this website inside the “Services/Links” tab. That form includes the address where the form and the payment should be sent.
If you also have a form provided to you by the other state/province, please send that along with the Montana form and the payment.

I sat for my NCEES Exams in Montana? How do I get those Exam results to another Jurisdiction?
Follow the same steps noted above for license verifications, including payment of the $20 fee. This will work, whether you are an Engineer Intern or Land Surveyor Intern and need only to have exam scores sent, or you are a licensed Professional Land Surveyor or Professional Engineer and need both exam scores and license information sent somewhere else.

I think the other State already sent a request to the Board for Verification. Do I still need to make my own request?
Yes. Because the license/exam verification is a service with a fee attached to it, the Department will need both your request and your payment before it can process a verification. This includes verifications you wish to send to NCEES.

  1. How do I know if the Board is making a change to its rules?

Under the Montana Administrative Procedure Act, any state entity must issue a public notice that it is about to change its administrative rules. There are three ways to make a rules change:

  1. propose new rules
  2. amend existing rules
  3. repeal (eliminate) existing rules

Public notices about rulemaking are posted on the Board’s website and are mailed to interested parties who have identified themselves as such to the Board. Rulemaking notices also are available through the Montana Administrative Register at the Montana Secretary of State’s office, where all administrative rules for the state are housed. The Secretary of State’s website for administrative rules is www.mtrules.org. You can use that website to view rules and subscribe to the Montana Administrative Register, among other things.

If the Board wishes to undertake a rules change, it first must post a Notice of Proposed Amendment/Adoption/Repeal, or Proposal Notice. This notice will show the existing rule language and note text to be deleted as stricken and new text as underlined. The Board is not allowed to simply show the amended rule in its final form.

Then, following a public comment period, which usually includes a public rules hearing held by the Department, the Board must post a Notice of Adoption that notes the Board’s responses to public comments and includes any changes to the original proposal, using the same stricken and underlined format.

2. How can I express my opinion about a rule change?
Each Proposal Notice must contain information about how to submit a comment on the rules change proposal. In addition, a public hearing is held at the Business Standards Division where individuals can make oral presentations and submit written comment.   
Written comments are accepted in any form until a deadline date established in the Notice.

All public comments are presented to the Board at a public meeting, at which time the Board responds to the substance of all comments received.

3. How will I know when a new or amended rule is in effect?
Once the Board votes to adopt a rules change, the Notice of Adoption is prepared and filed with the Secretary of State. The rule changes are effective the day after the final Notice of Adoption is published by the Secretary of State, unless an alternative effective date is provided specifically by statute or stated in a rule.  At that point, the rule is in place and enforceable. This also is when the Notice of Adoption is posted on the Board website and sent to licensees and interested parties. 

4. When can I see the actual new rule(s) in new, amended form?
Not until the Secretary of State updates and publishes the ARM (Administrative Rules of Montana) with the amended rule(s) on its website and in hard copy. The SoS published rule changes quarterly but, because of the volume of work at the SoS and the nature of the rule publishing calendar, it may be several months between the Board’s adoption of new rules and their publication on the web.

Until that point, the only way to assess any new rule is to compare the former version with the Notice of Proposal and Notice of Adoption. Board members, Board staff and other Department of Labor and Industry employees are prohibited from providing the public with a “clean” and official version of the new rule and must, instead, refer individuals to the Secretary of State website and the rule notices. 

5. Can I be held accountable for violating a new rule before it’s available in its final form?
Yes. Once the Notice of Adoption has been published by the Secretary of State, the rule is enforceable, even though it is not yet published in its final form in the ARM.

6. Let’s say there’s a new or amended rule that’s critical to my practice as a professional. If I must follow it—or hold others accountable to it—but it’s not yet published on the Secretary of State’s website, can I take the rule notices and make my own “clean” version of the amended rule and rely on that until the official version is published?
The Board understands that licensees or other interested parties may be keenly interested in the final language of a new rule for multiple reasons, including their desire to comply with it or hold others to it. And while it discourages individuals from creating their own unofficial “clean copies” from the parts provided by existing rules and rule notices, it cannot prohibit individuals from doing so.

Just be aware that no rule is truly “official” unless it is published by the Secretary of State. It is possible, if unlikely, that a rule might undergo a change during SoS review to correct typographical errors or resolve small deviations from standard rulemaking structure and language. Nobody should rely on an unofficial rule or distribute it to others.

NOTE: Board members and Department employees may not distribute any unofficial versions of rules to the public and must—emphasize MUST—refer the public to the Secretary of State website for the official versions of rules.