Practice Guidelines

Law, rules and regulations, not Guidelines, specify the requirements for practice and violating them constitutes professional misconduct. Not adhering to this Guideline may be interpreted as professional misconduct only if the conduct also violates pertinent law, rules and regulations.

A. Seal and Signature

1. Sealing and Signing of Documents


  1. Meaning of the Seal and Signature

    The seal and signature of an architect on a document has been interpreted as an attestation that, to the best of the licensee's belief and information, the work represented in the document:

    • is accurate,
    • conforms with governing codes applicable at the time of submission,
    • conforms with reasonable standards of practice and with a view to the safeguarding of life, health, property and public welfare,
    • is the responsibility of the licensee.

  2. Application of the Seal and Signature

    Section 7307 of the State Education Law requires every architect to have a seal and identifies when it must be applied. It does not specify whether it is to be an embossing seal or a rubber stamp. An architect might comply with the requirement of the law by using any legally equivalent method, but common practice, and the apparent preference of most local authorities having jurisdiction, is the rubber stamp.

    Options on applying the seal which are acceptable to the Department and the State Board for Architecture include, but are not be limited to:

    • A rubber stamp applied to an original drawing or a copy.
    • A sheet on which the seal has been printed, usually as an integral part of the title block.
    • Affixing a pressure sensitive or adhesive label on which the seal has been printed.
    • An electronic reproduction of the seal incorporated into a computer-generated drawing.

    In all cases the licensee should ensure that the seal is legible and, in accordance with Section 7307.1, should personally sign the document so as not to obscure the information contained in the seal. Where a pressure sensitive or adhesive label is used, it is recommended that the signature should not be applied to the actual label, but rather to the document itself.

    • See Guideline A 2 for those situations where a licensee may seal work prepared by others.
    • See Guideline A 3 for those situations where the seal and signature of a licensee may not be required.

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Last Updated: June 17, 2009