Board Information

Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation in Montana, all Montana Department of Labor & Industry offices are closed to the public to protect the health and safety of our clients and staff.  Our services are available through remote delivery.  We are available to assist customers through our online public portal at EBIZ.MT.GOV/POL (Professional and Occupational Licenses) and EBIZ.MT.GOV (for Permits). For other services, please contact us via email at DLIBSDWEBHELP@MT.GOV or by phone (406) 841-2300.

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

The Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors is pleased to provide relevant information pertaining to the licensing and regulation of professional engineers, professional land surveyors, engineer interns and land surveyor interns in Montana.

 COVID-19 Impact

Renewing Licensees: The Board of Professional Engineers has considered the impact COVID-19 has had to licensees’ ability to complete continuing education. In its mission of public protection, the Board will be auditing the continuing education of licensees following this renewal period; however, the Board has made the following changes to the audit that will be conducted:

  1. The deadline for completing the required continuing education has been extended 90 days from the license renewal date. The new deadline to complete continuing education is Sept. 29 th, 2020.
  2. The Board has delegated the discretion to grant hardship waivers to individual licensees. To see if you qualify for a hardship, see review Admin. R. Mont. 24.183.2105(7). Requests for hardship waivers should be submitted to dlibsdpels@mt.gov and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Nonroutine requests will still require consideration by the Board.

It is important to note that there will be no extensions provided for renewal of the license. The normal renewal deadline, lapse, expire, and termination provisions in §37-1-141, MCA will apply.

New Licensees/Applicants: The board recognizes that the current pandemic has created discord in the normal application, examination, and licensure process. We are striving to address these concerns and potential roadblocks as quickly as possible; however, please understand that this will not occur overnight. The board must continue its public safety mission while adapting to daily changes occurring from the pandemic.  For now, applicants are encouraged to begin their application for licensure and to complete as much of the required information as possible. Applications remain valid for one (1) year under normal circumstances. If you submit your application and an item is missing, our licensing specialist will work with you to complete the application. We do not deny applicants for submitting an incomplete application. By completing the application’s remaining parts, exempting exams, etc., you can get ahead on the licensure process.

The board is continuing to monitor the pandemic and will update this website as a point of public communication.  Please make sure your e-mail is up to date in our licensing records using the change address form on the right side of this web-page or e-mailing the help desk at  dlibsdhelp@mt.gov

  • Online applications are the most efficient application method and allow you to upload your own supplemental forms directly into your application at any time.   Click here to go to our online system to create an account and begin your application
  • Paying the fee triggers the beginning of the staff review process. Be aware that to verify authenticity, some documents such as exam results, and transcripts must be sent to the department directly from the source and cannot be uploaded by the applicant.

                       ***

The next NCEES paper-and-pencil PE exams will be administered in October 2020.

If you have any questions about NCEES deadlines and exam requirements, visit NCEES at https://ncees.org/

If you have questions about the Montana Board, application reviews and approvals, contact the Board office at dlibsdpels@mt.gov

 

Applying online for a PE or PLS license by Comity with a NCEES Record?

PE and PLS Comity applicants applying online at https://ebiz.mt.gov/pol frequently contact the Board office to ask if they have to input information from their NCEES Record separately in the online application's "ASI" tables. The answer is "No." Once you have completed the required fields and answered the required questions, you can skip the optional ASI pages of the application and proceed directly to payment of fees. This will open your application and get it before a processing specialist more quickly. You then can go back at your leisure to upload the Board's experience documents (which are required, even with the NCEES Record) and the Board's Laws and Rules Questionnaire, after you've completed them. If you're still unsure about this, open the "Contact Us" Quick Link at the right and e-mail the Board office.

 

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.

                                                              ***

2018 Late Renewals or Change to Inactive Status

The 2018 renewal period ended June 30, 2018 for PE and PLS licensees, Engineer Interns and Land Surveyor Interns. Late renewals still can be made via the "Renew License" Quick Link. You will pay a penalty for late renewal and PE and PLS licensees will be subject to an automatic audit of continuing education.

If you are interested in changing your PE or PLS license status to Inactive, please make sure your license has been renewed. Then contact the Board office for more information about Inactive status.

You still must renew an Inactive license. Failure to renew can lead to late fees and loss of license.

   ***

Information about the Montana state-specific Land Surveyor Exam.

All applicants for licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor must pass this exam. The Board uses a computer-based exam administered through ISO-Quality Testing, Inc. or “IQT.” (Website: http://www.isoqualitytesting.com)

IQT has testing centers across the United States, including Montana locations. 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 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

Thank you for your interest in contacting the Montana Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors.

 

If you are already licensed, have applied for a license, are about to apply for a license, or are renewing your license from the Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors:

Professional Licensing Customer Service:

(406) 444-6880

DLIBSDHELP@MT.GOV

 

If you have scope of practice questions or comments for the Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors. Please note that neither the Board nor its staff can provide legal advice:

Sam Hunthausen, Executive Officer

(406) 444-6880

DLIBSDPELS@MT.GOV

 

If you have questions about continuing education:

(406) 444-5696

AUDIT@MT.GOV

 

If you have questions about filing a complaint against a licensee:

(406) 841-2312

DLIBSDCOMPLAINTS@MT.GOV


Mailing Address:

Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors

PO Box 200513

Helena, MT 59620-0513

 

Physical Address:

Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors

301 S. Park Avenue

4th Floor

Helena, MT 59620

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 Tuesday or 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.

Board meetings are open to the public, although Screening Panel meetings and any necessary executive sessions are closed to the public.

Scheduled Board Meetings for 2020

  • Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020
  • Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020

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 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:
Not all applications require Board review. But those that do require Board review must be complete, with all required materials received by the Board office at least 4 weeks in advance of the scheduled meeting.

Please click on the link below for scheduled meeting dates, times and agendas. (NOTE: Accessing "Scheduled and Proposed Meetings" may take a moment. After you click the link, please wait for the page to load.)   

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/.

Ron Drake - Presiding Officer for 2020, Professional Engineer
Wallace Gladstone - Vice-Presiding Officer for 2020, Professional Engineer
Thomas Pankratz - Secretary for 2020, Professional Engineer
M. Ruhul Amin - Professional Engineer
Ray Gross, Jr. - Professional Land Surveyor
Troy Jensen - Professional Land Surveyor
Byron Stahly - Professional Engineer
Roger Wagner, Public Member
Tracy Worley, Public Member

Newsletters

2019

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 a detailed listing of the requirements, please look for the application in the "Forms" tab.

Professional Engineer by Exam

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

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 a detailed listing of the requirements, please look for the application in the "Forms" tab..

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 MCA37-67-324, 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 a detailed listing of the requirements, please look for the application in the "Forms" tab.

Land Surveyor Intern

A. Application Fee: $25.00

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

Three Montana Land Surveyor education programs have been pre-approved by the Board. Graduates of these programs do not have to submit course descriptions with their application:

1) AAS in Land Surveying, Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell MT

2) Minor in Land Surveying (with an engineering degree), Montana State University, Bozeman MT

3) AAS in Civil Engineering Technology with a Land Surveying Certificate, Highlands College of Montana Tech. (program not yet available)


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 a detailed listing of the requirements, please look for the application in the "Forms" tab.

Professional Land Surveyor by Exam 

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

Three Montana Land Surveyor education programs have been pre-approved by the Board. Graduates of these programs do not have to submit course descriptions with their application:

1) AAS in Land Surveying, Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell MT

2) Minor in Land Surveying (with an engineering degree), Montana State University, Bozeman MT

3) AAS in Civil Engineering Technology with a Land Surveying Certificate, Highlands College of Montana Tech. (program not yet available)

 

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 

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

Three Montana Land Surveyor education programs have been pre-approved by the Board. Graduates of these programs do not have to submit course descriptions with their application:

1) AAS in Land Surveying, Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell MT

2) Minor in Land Surveying (with an engineering degree), Montana State University, Bozeman MT

3) AAS in Civil Engineering Technology with a Land Surveying Certificate, Highlands College of Montana Tech. (program not yet available)

 

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 a detailed listing of the requirements, please look for the application in the "Forms" tab.

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

Information about the Montana state-specific Land Surveyor Exam.

All applicants for licensure as Professional Land Surveyor in Montana must pass a state-specific examination. Starting in June 2017, the Board began using a computer-based state-specific exam administered through ISO-Quality Testing, Inc. or “IQT.” (Website: http://www.isoqualitytesting.com)

IQT has testing centers across the United States, including locations in Montana and 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 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 here. 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.)

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 contacting SOSARM@mt.gov. 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

Click here to find rules notices older than one year at the Montana Secretary of State website.


MONTANA ADMINISTRATIVE REGISTER (MAR) 24-101-308

In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.101.417 registration for out-of-state volunteer professionals

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT (published May 29, 2020)


Statutes


OTHER STATUTES RELATED TO THE PRACTICE OF LAND SURVEYING:

Forms

General Forms
Renewal Forms
License Application Forms / Requirements and Checklists
Application Elements (can be downloaded separately)
 

 

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

Shelly Gloege, Compliance Specialist
Telephone: (406) 841-2312
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

Business Standards Division

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.

Frequently Asked Questions about Complaint 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 PanelA 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 administrativeHearing (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

1

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 notification 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

 

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.