Becoming a Licensed Professional Engineer in Another State

As a professional engineer, there are certain situations where you may need to obtain a license in another state. Unfortunately, earning a professional engineering license in one state does not automatically make you eligible to obtain a license in another state. 

Why transfer PE licenses between states?

In order to do work in another state as a professional engineer, you must be licensed. If you’re relocating to a new state or your firm services many states, you might be required to obtain multiple state licenses. 

Some states vary in their requirements for professional engineering licensure, but these requirements are typically the same across the board:

  • Proof of passing the PE exam
  • Completion of state-specific paperwork
  • School transcripts/supplementary experience records and references
  • Completion of state-specific PE license application

Obtaining your PE license in another state

Since you’re already licensed in one state, you’re one huge step closer to obtaining your PE license in a different state. Keep in mind, if your previous professional engineering license expired prior to filling out a license application for another state, you may be considered an unlicensed applicant and might have to take the PE licensure exam again – this varies state by state.

The common thought many engineers have is they can achieve multi-state licensure by reciprocity, meaning that another state will automatically recognize a license held in another state. This is not the case. Those trying to obtain their license in another state must meet the same requirements as those that initially apply in the state.

If your current PE license is in good standing, typically obtaining a new license in another state is as simple as filling out some paperwork and an application. This is considered licensure by comity. This just means that most states allow a licensed professional engineer in one state to become licensed in another by meeting all of their application requirements. If you received your license on different standards, it may be more difficult for you to become licensed by comity in another state.

NCEES making your life easier

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying has made getting a PE license in a different state a little bit easier with their Council Records Program. This program compiles all of your license credentials in one place. Your record will include most – if not all – of the records and paperwork you’ll need to apply for licensure in another state. The process of getting started with this program is as simple as applying for an NCEES Record. Once your record is established, they’ll even electronically submit it to the licensing board on your behalf.

For more topics on professional engineering licensure, check out our blog.

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