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RE: Signing mylars or vellums

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We do alot of work in Florida and they do not allow wet stamps at all.  Every blueline set has to be signed and crimped over the signature (the stamp is similar to a notaries crimp).  With this method there is no doubt as to what came from the engineer.

John Jones
Pell City, AL

-----Original Message-----
From:	Dennis S. Wish [SMTP:wish(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Friday, February 13, 1998 11:48 AM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject:	RE: Signing mylars or vellums

Bill, I believe that you hit the nail on the head when you stated the
definition of "orginal" before electronic media. There are no assurances
that what you produce in your office compared to a vellum in the field will
hold up in court simply because it has your stamp on it.
Assume, that you chose to stamp an original vellum and maintain it in your
office as the "orginal" for comparison against what is in the field. Next
the contractor creates a new vellum and modifies it. In the lawsuit, you
produce the original to show comparisions against the forgery in the field.
The contractor/client claims that you modified the vellum to remove the
change he made and simply stamped it in your office.  Who is to be
believed - the client that forged the document or the engineer who is
portrayed to have covered up his work by creating a new "original".
One assurance is to have a notary public as witness to stamping both
original and that which you release to the field - but isn't that ridiculus.
The most credible (IMHO) solution is to only release plans in the field that
are wet stamped by the EOR and the building official. All other sets much
compare to the set kept on record with the building department - including
changes made in the field and hand noted on the job set.  Once the job is
complete, the final set can be transfered to microfilm or vellum for
permanent storage.
With electronic media, vellums are produced as often as bluelines in many
instances - especially were progress sets are created during design. I have
seen conditions where progress sets were used to develop preliminary bids
for projects and the contractor ends up using a progress set during
construction - often many iterations after the design is changed and
I often thought that another secure way to certify drawings is to stamp only
the backside of blue line sets or vellums since it becomes more difficult to
recreate the signiture.
Inasmuch as the trend is away from individualized hand drawings and to
electronic media, there are two choices necessary to meet the letter of the
code. First, change the code to be representative of electronic originals,
OR change the interpretation of the code to represent a more realistic
definition of original needed to assure uniformity of drawings distributed
in the field against that which is maintained by both the EOR and Building
Therefore, if my definition of "original" appears to be creative it is so by

Dennis S. Wish PE

|-----Original Message-----
|From: Bill Sherman [mailto:SHERMANWC(--nospam--at)]
|Sent: Friday, February 13, 1998 7:25 AM
|To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
|Subject: Re: Signing mylars or vellums
|Dennis Wish wrote:
|>It is my opinion that the use of the word original does not refer to the
|>vellum or mylar, but to the drawings used on the job which have been
|>and permitted by the building official - such as original permit set.
|This sounds like "creative interpretation" to me.  Historically (before we
|electronic media) the "original" was the vellum or mylar on which the
|was drawn.  If I asked for the original and was given a blueline, I would
|wonder what's going on!  I think that the intent is to seal a vellum or
|as the engineer's "original".
|On projects I work on (e.g. large municipal water treatment plants), I
|the mylars and then submit bluelines (from the mylars) to reviewers such as
|the state health department (or a building department).  Then we issue
|multiple bidding sets and final construction sets from the stamped mylars.
|generally don't ever stamp a blueline set.
|We usually submit the stamped mylars to the client for their records.  We
|always keep record sets of what we've stamped in our files.  If someone
|the mylars after they are out of my control (without sealing the changes),
|then they are violating the law - but I can defend myself based on my
|As Roger Turk wrote:
|>With today's technologies, I don't think that it matters much whether a
|>drawing is wet stamped or the original is stamped.  If a person wanted to,
|>he/she could scan a seal, separate out the signature, take the seal and
|>signature down to the local office supply store and get a stamp with the
|>and a signature stamp and then would be able to "wet stamp" all the prints
|>he/she wants to.

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