WSR 02-08-075

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING


[ Filed April 3, 2002, 9:15 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 01-22-001.

Title of Rule: Professional engineers and land surveyors fees, this chapter explains conditions, procedures and amounts of the various fees that are assessed by the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (board).

Purpose: In order for the board to provide the services required under chapter 18.43 RCW, fees are charged to applicants and license holders to cover the costs of processing, examinations, staffing and indirect costs. RCW 43.24.086 requires that professional licensing programs must collect sufficient revenue through the fees to pay for the services provided.

Other Identifying Information: The approved state budget for the 2001-2003 biennium provides a limited opportunity for the Department of Licensing to adopt fees, in excess of the limits imposed under Initiative 601, to meet the requirements of RCW 43.24.086 to be self-supporting.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 43.24.086.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 18.43 RCW.

Summary: The existing fees under chapter 196-26 WAC will not be sufficient to pay for projected increases in program costs in the next six years. This deficit will cause the fund balance in the board's dedicated account (204) to decline into a negative balance by the end of the 05-07 biennium. Because of the need to collect sufficient revenue to pay for projected program expenses and revise most of the text portions of this chapter to make them easier to read and understand, chapter 196-26 WAC is being repealed in its entirety and replaced with a new chapter 196-26A WAC. This new chapter also shows extensive reorganization from the existing chapter 196-26 WAC.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: This proposal is presenting two issues, first is the increases in fees to maintain long term revenue stability and the second is to provide stakeholders with a more readable and understandable format on how and when certain fees are applied.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Rick Notestine, 405 Black Lake Boulevard, Olympia, WA, (360) 664-1578; Implementation and Enforcement: George Twiss, 405 Black Lake Boulevard, Olympia, WA, (360) 664-1565.

Name of Proponent: Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The rules within this chapter are being rewritten and they explain the amounts of the various fees and the conditions under which the fees must be paid. The purpose is to put the engineers, land surveyors, and general public on notice of the fee schedule. It is anticipated that the rewritten chapter will provide a clear concise description of the fees and explanation of the various application and licensing circumstances under which fees must be paid.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The existing chapter 196-26 WAC is being completely rewritten to improve clarity. The chapter contains two rules and is being repealed in its entirety. The new chapter will be chapter 196-26A WAC, will have the same title and contains eleven rules to better describe the various fees and the purposes for them.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. All but two of these fees relate to the individual engineer or land surveyor applicant who wishes to become licensed in the state by examination or comity and then maintain that license by paying a fee every two years. The burden to pay those fees is on the individual applicant or licensee and not on a business.

The two fees related to business is an application fee for an engineering or land surveying corporation or LLC to obtain a certificate of authority to practice in the state and a renewal fee paid each year to keep the certificate of authority to practice in force. The initial application fee of $150 did not change. The annual renewal fee increased from $100 to $110. The board believes that an increase of $10 a year will not create an undue burden on small business.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. Neither the Department of Licensing nor the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors are one of the named agencies in this statute.

Hearing Location: La Quinta Inn, 1425 East 27th Street, Tacoma, WA 98421, on May 9, 2002, at 6:00 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Kim Chipman by May 6, 2002, TDD (360) 586-2788, or (360) 664-1564.

Submit Written Comments to: Rick Notestine, Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, P.O. Box 9649, Olympia, WA 98507-9649, fax (360) 664-2551, by May 8, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: May 24, 2002.

April 3, 2002

Alan E. Rathbun

Assistant Director

OTS-5569.1


REPEALER
     The following chapter of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 196-26-020 Engineer and land surveyor fees and charges.
WAC 196-26-030 License renewals.

OTS-5568.3

Chapter 196-26A WAC

PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS FEES


NEW SECTION
WAC 196-26A-010   State fee authority, applications and payment procedures.   The state fees listed in this chapter are adopted by the director of the department of licensing (department) in accordance with RCW 43.24.086. For registration under provisions of chapter 18.43 RCW, the required state fee must accompany all applications. If payment is made by check or money order, the payment should be made payable to the state treasurer. Should an applicant be judged ineligible for examination, the fee shall be retained to cover the costs of processing. An applicant who fails an examination may be scheduled for a retake by paying the required fee within the time frame established by the board of registration for professional engineers and land surveyors (board). Applicants who fail to appear for their scheduled examination will forfeit their fees as determined by the board. Applicants may withdraw from a scheduled examination without forfeiting their fees by submitting a written notice to the board office by the date established by the board.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 196-26A-020   Examination vendor, procedures and costs.   The board has determined the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) will administer their examinations on behalf of the board. In addition to state fees, all approved applicants are charged by NCEES for the costs of examinations, exam administration and grading. All these costs must be paid in advance by the applicant to NCEES to reserve a seat at the examination. Applicants who have not paid the required costs will not be admitted to the examination. Applicants who fail to appear for their scheduled examination will forfeit all moneys paid to NCEES. The schedule of the costs charged by NCEES is available from NCEES or the board offices.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 196-26A-025   State fees for examinations.  

FUNDAMENTAL EXAMINATIONS:
Fundamentals of Engineering (FE):
Application fee (incl. wall certificate): $ 30
Processing fee to retake the FE examination: $ 20
Fundamentals of Land Surveying (FLS):
Application fee (incl. wall certificate): $ 30
Processing fee to retake the FLS examination: $ 20

Note: Additional charges to cover costs of NCEES fundamentals examinations, exam administration and grading will be billed by NCEES to approved applicants.

PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING EXAMINATIONS:
NCEES Examinations: (All branches other than board prepared examinations)
Application fee (incl. wall certificate and initial license): $ 65
Processing fee to retake the NCEES PE exam: $ 30

Note: Additional charges to cover costs of NCEES PE examinations, exam administration and grading will be billed by NCEES to approved applicants.

Structural Engineering:

Note: To become licensed in structural engineering a candidate is required to pass sixteen hours of structural examinations when determined eligible under Washington law. The examinations for structural licensing consist of the NCEES Structural II and the Washington Structural III examination. One application is required for structural engineering and when approved a candidate may sit for both examinations when they are offered on successive days.

Application fee (incl. wall certificate and initial license): $ 65
Processing fee to retake the NCEES Structural II or Washington Structural III exams: $ 30

Note: Additional charges to cover costs of NCEES Structural II examination, exam administration and grading will be billed by NCEES to approved applicants.

Structural III examination fee: $ 300
Examination rescore: $ 50/item
Forest Engineering:
Application fee (incl. wall certificate and initial license): $ 65
Processing fee to retake the forest engineering examination: $ 30
Examination rescore: $ 50/item

Note: The examination for licensure in forest engineering is a Washington specific examination that is offered in April of the year depending upon applications received. Interested applicants should confirm schedule by contacting the board office.

PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYING:

Note: The examinations for licensure in professional land surveying include an NCEES PPLS examination, a Washington specific examination and a take-home examination over Washington laws and rules. One application is required and when determined eligible a candidate will sit for the NCEES PPLS examination and the Washington specific examination on the same day.

Application fee (incl. wall certificate, state exams, and initial license): $ 140
Processing and examination fee to retake the state PLS exam: $ 100

Note: Additional charges to cover costs of NCEES LS examination, exam administration and grading will be billed by NCEES to approved applicants.

Processing fee to retake the NCEES PPLS examination: $ 30

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NEW SECTION
WAC 196-26A-030   Applications for comity licensure and temporary permits.   For comity licensure under the provisions of chapter 18.43 RCW, the required state fee must accompany all applications. Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the Washington state treasurer. Should an applicant be judged ineligible for licensure by comity, the fee submitted shall be retained to cover the cost of processing.

A temporary permit to practice in the state of Washington is available to nonresidents for a period of not to exceed thirty days total in any one-year period. Eligible applicants must have a valid license to practice engineering in the United States, have no outstanding disciplinary actions against their licensure and meet the experience requirements for licensure in Washington. Temporary permits must be issued prior to any authorized practice in Washington.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 196-26A-035   State fees for comity licensure and temporary permit applications.  

Professional engineering, comity licensure application: $ 110

Note: For licensure by comity in structural engineering an applicant must have a current license as a professional engineer, meet the experience requirements established by the board and have passed sixteen hours of rigorous examinations in structural engineering as determined by the board to be equivalent to the examinations required by the Washington board.

Professional engineering, temporary permit application: $ 110
Professional land surveying, comity licensure application: $ 140

Note: For licensure by comity in land surveying an applicant must meet the experience requirements established by the board and have passed a written examination deemed satisfactory to the board. Eligible applicants are required to pass the Washington specific examination on Washington laws and rules.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 196-26A-040   Renewals for professional engineer and professional land surveyor licenses.   The date of renewal, renewal interval and renewal fee is established by the director of the department of licensing in accordance with chapter 43.24 RCW. To renew a license, the licensee must:

(1) Include payment of the renewal fee;

(2) Include the licensee's Social Security number as provided for by RCW 26.23.150; and

(3) Include any name/address changes that apply.

If a completed application for renewal has not been received by the department by the date of expiration (postmarked before the date of expiration if mailed or transacted on-line before the date of expiration), the license becomes invalid. Licensees who fail to pay the renewal fee within ninety days of the date of expiration are required to pay an additional penalty fee equivalent to the fee for a one-year renewal. It is the responsibility of each licensee to renew their license in a timely manner regardless of whether they received a renewal notice from the department.

The licenses for individuals registered as professional engineers or professional land surveyors shall be renewed every two years or as otherwise set by the director of the department of licensing. The date of renewal shall be the licensee's date of birth. The initial license issued to an individual shall expire on the licensee's next birth date. However, if the licensee's next birth date is within three months of the initial date of licensure, the original license shall expire on his or her second birth date following original licensure.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 196-26A-045   Professional engineer, professional land surveyor renewal fees and penalties.  

Professional engineer (two years): $ 116
Professional land surveyor (two years): $ 116
Late renewal penalty (PE and LS only): $ 58

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NEW SECTION
WAC 196-26A-050   Application for certificate of authorization.   Except for professional service corporations (PS) and professional service limited liability companies (PLLC) as defined by the Washington secretary of state, all corporations, joint stock associations and limited liability companies that offer engineering or land surveying services to the public must obtain a certificate of authorization from the board. Each application must be accompanied by the required state fee made payable to the state treasurer. Should an applicant be judged ineligible for certificate of authority, the fee submitted shall be retained to cover the cost of processing.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 196-26A-055   Renewal of certificate of authorization.   The date of renewal, renewal interval and renewal fee are established by the director of the department of licensing in accordance with chapter 43.24 RCW. To renew a certificate of authorization, payment of the renewal fee must be received by the department by the date of expiration (postmarked if renewal is mailed by U.S. mail) or the certificate of authorization becomes invalid. The complete renewal must include any changes to: The name of firm, scope of services offered, mailing address of firm and name and address of licensee(s) named in responsible charge for the services provided. A certificate of authorization that is expired is invalid on the date of expiration.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 196-26A-060   Certificate of authorization application and renewal fees.  

Application fee (incl. wall certificate and initial license): $ 150
Renewal fee (one-year): $ 110

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NEW SECTION
WAC 196-26A-070   Replacement document fees.   The department will provide replacement or duplicate certificates or licenses upon written request and payment of the appropriate fee to cover costs of production and mailing.

Duplicate/replacement wall certificate: $ 25
Duplicate/replacement license: $ 15

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office