Many professionals – such as engineers, real estate appraisers, interior designers, land surveyors and architects – are required to sign, stamp and/or seal documents to show they were produced by a registered or licensed professional in that field. The purpose of a seal or stamp is to ensure that the professional is licensed to practice that profession in a particular state under its laws and regulations.
Typically a seal or stamp is affixed to documents which are prepared under the professional’s direct supervision and for which they are responsible. Below are a few examples of when a professional seal or professional stamp is used:
Engineer Stamps and Seals
Most states require that an engineer be licensed or registered and each registration or license is valid only in the state in which it is granted. By stamping or sealing a document (e.g., drawings, calculations, plans, etc.) a professional engineer is taking responsibility for the information in the document and is certifying that he or she is licensed in the state.
Land Surveyor Stamps and Seals
Documents produced by a surveyor may be used by title companies, land owners and lending institutions to determine property boundaries. A professional surveyor’s stamp or seal shows that they are registered in a particular state and that the plans follow that state’s regulations and laws.
Architect Stamps and Seals
To work as an architect, these professionals are required to obtain specialized education and work experience to become licensed. They stamp or seal all drawings, plans and other specs to show they are licensed or registered by a particular state. In some instances, architects are required to have a seal for the architecture firm as well as for the individual architect.
Requirements for Stamps and Seals Vary by State Licensing or registration is performed by individual states because different states have different laws and educational requirements for practicing a profession. Subsequently, each state has different regulations for what is to be displayed on a professional seal or stamp – and these regulations vary between professions in the same state. For instance Iowa’s architecture seal must have a diameter of 1 3/4 inches, include the name of the architect and the words “Registered Architect” along with their Iowa registration number and the word “Iowa”. In South Carolina, an architect seal is also circular and 1 3/4 inches in diameter. South Carolina also specifies that the outer circle contain the words “State of South Carolina” at the top and “Registered Architect” at the bottom with the name of the architect, their business location, and their registration number in the center. Thankfully, most states provide examples of how a seal or stamp should look.
When purchasing a professional seal or professional stamp it is important that the seal or stamp meets the guidelines set forth by your state for your profession. Some retailers keep up with each state’s requirements so that professionals order the correct item needed. Working with one of these retailers can ensure the right information is included in the correct layout for the stamp or seal.
By Adam Raidabaugh
About the Author: Adam Raidabaugh is the president of ACORN Sales Company, Inc., a leader in the marking and stamp industry. ACORN Sales specializes in professional architect seals and professional engineer seals.
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