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Answers to Licensing of foreign engineers

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I am amazed at the laws which will govern engineers in California. The laws
have been modified to allow reciprocity for engineers outside the United

The California Business and Professions Code Sections:

Section 6751.2.  "The board may consider the professional experience and
education acquired by applicants outside the United States which in the
opinion of the board is equivalent to the minimum requirements of the board
established by regulation for professional experience and education in this

These sections allows the board of registration to determine if the
applicants requirements are comparable to those of other applicants in the
state seeking permission to sit for the PE exam. The wording leaves a lot of
room for interpretation.

6730.2.  "It is the intent of the Legislature that the registration
requirements which are imposed upon private sector professional engineers
and engineering partnerships, firms, or corporation shall be imposed upon
the state and any city, county, or city and county which shall adhere to
those requirements.  Therefore, for the purposes of Section 6730 and this
chapter, at least one registered engineer shall be designated the person in
responsible charge of professional engineering work for each branch of
professional engineering practiced in any department or agency of the state,
city, county, or city and county."

6738.  (a) "This chapter does not prohibit one or more civil, electrical, or
mechanical engineers from practicing or offering to practice within the
scope of their registration, civil, electrical, or mechanical engineering as
a sole proprietorship, partnership, firm, or corporation, (hereinafter
called business), if all of the following requirements are met:
   (1) A civil, electrical, or mechanical engineer currently registered in
this state is an owner, part owner, or officer in charge of the engineering
practice of the business."
This section implies that there must be a professional engineer as a
principle or partner in the firm that promotes or practices an engineering

It appears that a PE must be a principle in the firm but that the
qualifications for reciprocity is left to the discretion of BOPEL.

Dennis S. Wish, PE
The Structuralist Administrator for:
AEC-Residential Listservice
(208) 361-5447 E-Fax