On April 28, 1915, New York State incorporated into the General Business Law Article 7-A, entitled "Registered Architects" providing for the appointment of a State Board of Examiners and restricting the use of the title architect.

In 1927 the legal basis for the regulation of architects was changed to Education Law and in 1932 licensure replaced the certification process then in effect. Over time amendments were made and in 1971 the present definition of the practice of the profession was adopted. Today, the statutory requirements may be found in Education Law Article 147.

New York State Education Law Article 147 (excerpts):

§7301. Definition of Practice of Architecture

The practice of the profession of architecture is defined as rendering or offering to render services which require the application of the art, science, and aesthetics of design and construction of buildings, groups of buildings, including their components and appurtenances and the spaces around them wherein the safeguarding of life, health, property, and public welfare is concerned. The services include, but are not limited to consultation, evaluation, planning, the provision of preliminary studies, designs, construction documents, construction management, and the administration of construction contracts.

The following section of Article 147 also addresses practice:

§7307. Special Provisions

  1. Every architect shall have a seal, approved by the Board, which shall contain the name of the architect and either words "Registered Architect" and other such words or figures as the board may deem necessary. All working drawings and specifications, prepared by such architect or by a full-time or part-time subordinate employed under his supervision, shall be stamped with such seal and shall also be signed on the original with the personal signature of such architect when filed with public officials. Except for plans and specifications excluded from the provisions of this article by section seventy-three hundred six of this article, no official of this state, or of any county, city, town or village therein, charged with the enforcement of laws, ordinances or regulations relating to the construction or alteration of buildings or structures, shall accept or approve any plans or specifications that are not stamped:

    1. With the seal of an architect or professional engineer registered in this state and bearing the authorized facsimile of the signature of such architect or professional engineer;


    2. With the official seal and authorized facsimile of the signature of an architect or professional engineer not a resident of this state and having no established business in this state, but who is legally qualified to practice as such in his own state or country, provided, that such person holds a limited permit issued by the department, and provided further that the plans or specifications are accompanied by and have attached thereto written authorization issued by the department for the specific project.

Regulations of the Commissioner Part 69 - Architecture (excerpt):

Part 69.5 Seals

  1. For those applicants initially applying for licensure on or after the effective date of this Part [January 1, 1987], seals used by licensed architects shall be circular in shape, approximately 1 ¾ inches in diameter, bearing the legend at the top of the outer band, "Registered Architect" and at the bottom "State of New York". In the inner circle above the Great Seal of New York shall be shown the name of the licensee, and below the Great Seal the license number with no other letters or numbers.
  2. To all plans, specifications and reports to which the seal of an architect has been applied, there shall also be applied a stamp with appropriate wording warning that it is a violation of the law for any person, unless acting under the direction of a licensed architect, to alter an item in any way. If an item bearing the seal of an architect is altered, the altering architect shall affix to the item his seal and notion "altered by" followed by his signature and the date of such alteration, and a specific description of the alteration.

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Last Updated: June 12, 2009