License Requirements

Land Surveying

General Requirements | Fee Schedule | Partial Refunds | Education and Experience Requirements | Examination Requirements | Certification as an Intern Land Surveyor | Interim Practice of Land Surveying

General Requirements

The practice of land surveying or use of the title "land surveyor" within New York State requires licensure.

To be licensed as a land surveyor in New York State you must:

  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least 21 years of age;
  • meet education requirements;
  • meet examination requirements; and
  • meet experience requirements.

You must file an Application for Licensure (Form 1) and the other forms indicated, along with the appropriate fee, to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 145, Section 7206-a of New York's Education Law and Part 68 of the Commissioner's Regulations.

You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.

Fee Schedule

The fee for licensure and first registration is $377.

When the Department determines you are eligible for the examination, you will be sent an examination eligibility letter.  The letter will indicate which of the following exams you are eligible to take including;

  • Part 1- NCEES Fundamentals of Surveying (FS)
  • Part 2- NCEES Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS)
  • The New York State Specific Land Surveying examination (see Examination Requirements).

Fees paid to NYSED cover the processing and evaluation of your application by the Department, as well as, your registration as a land surveyor for three years from the date your New York State license is issued.  Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in effect, by law, when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). You will be billed for the difference if fees have been increased.

  • Do not send cash.
  • Make your personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department. * Your cancelled check is your receipt.
  • Mail your application and fee to:

    NYS Education Department
    Office of the Professions
    P.O. Box 22063
    Albany, NY 12201


*NOTE: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned.

The examination eligibility letter you receive will include instructions on how to schedule and pay an additional fee to sit for the examination with NCEES and our examination administrator - Castle Worldwide Inc.  Please refer to your examination eligibility letter for scheduling and payment of their fees.

Partial Refunds

Individuals who withdraw their licensure application may be entitled to a partial refund.

  • For the procedure to withdraw your application, contact the Land Surveying Unit by e-mailing or by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 250 or by faxing 518-402-5354.
  • The State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing or credentials verification agency.

If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York State licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant, and you will be required to pay the licensure and registration fees and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time you reapply.

Education and Experience Requirements

Eligibility for licensure is based on a combination of education and/or experience totaling 8 years beyond high school graduation. The credit awarded for education determines the required number of years of experience needed.

Approved Accredited/Registered Programs

Approved accredited/registered programs are master's, baccalaureate and associate degree programs in surveying, surveying engineering, surveying engineering technology, or a similar surveying-related title accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). For such ABET accredited programs, you would receive:

  • four years of education and experience credit for a baccalaureate degree; and
  • two years for an associate's degree.

Proportional credit may be awarded for other education completed, depending on the course content. Contact the Bureau of Comparative Education at  or 518-474-3817 ext. 300 for further information. Transcripts must be sent directly to the land surveying unit from the institution attended utilizing a Certification of Education (Form 2).

For more information about currently accredited academic programs in surveying engineering (EAC), surveying engineering technology (ETAC), contact ABET at their Web site External Link Icon.

Acceptable Land Surveying Experience

The State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying evaluates acceptable experience based on criteria specified in regulations. The experience must:

  1. include 50 percent of the required experience spent in charge of work related to property conveyance and/or boundary line determination;
  2. demonstrate adequate experience in the technical field aspects of the profession;
  3. demonstrate adequate experience in charge of the office aspects of the profession;
  4. demonstrate experience in the legal aspects of the profession;
  5. demonstrate adequate direct supervision of experience by a licensed land surveyor; and
  6. include at least two years of experience working on projects requiring a knowledge and use of surveying codes and practices utilized in the United States.

Acceptable experience should include a full and current knowledge of all surveying equipment and shall include measurements of space, water, land and structures to determine boundaries, areas, elevations, alignments and locations; evaluation and analysis of field data, appropriate research of public and private land records, preparation of client service contracts and final surveying reports, maintenance of survey records and the supervision of field and office personnel, all in accordance with legal regulations and statutes and the standards of the professional practice.

"Stake-out" and "line and grade" surveys do not provide adequate training in themselves. However, when such surveys, including "right-of-way" surveys, are performed under the supervision and direction of a licensed land surveyor, the State Board may, at its discretion, consider granting credit for the work toward partial fulfillment of the experience requirement.

All the experience you wish to have evaluated must be reported on the Report of Professional Experience (Form 4) and described on the Verification of Professional Experience (Form 4A) and should be accounted for chronologically. Experience descriptions must include specific duties you personally performed, the complexity of the work, and make clear the extent of your responsibility for the work.

Please list your experience in a comprehensive, detailed and explicit manner. The Department will consider only experience that you have completed by the date the application is signed and which is submitted on the forms 4 and 4A. The quality of the experience, not merely the calendar time, will be evaluated. Time claimed on the forms cannot exceed actual calendar time.


Examination Requirements

Before you can be licensed, you must pass:

  • Part 1 - NCEES Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam;
  • Part 2 - NCEES Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam; and
  • Part 3 - New York State Specific Land Surveying exam.

Parts 1 and 2 are developed by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Part 3 is developed by the New York State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying. (See General Requirements for information about laws and regulations governing licensure as a land surveyor in New York State which may be incorporated in the Part 3 of the exam.)

All exam applicants are required to read the "NCEES Examinee Guide" prior to being allowed to register for the exam.  Please use this link to access the "NCEES Examinee Guide" at:

Part 1 - Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) Exam

Beginning in 2014, this exam will be delivered via a computer based testing service. The schedule for this exam will begin in January 2014 with a “two months on and one month off” schedule.  See the NCEES website for exact dates and deadlines.

For candidates from a Baccalaureate EAC or ETAC ABET accredited program in surveying or surveying technology:

If you are within 20 credits of graduating or have already graduated from a baccalaureate level EAC or ETAC ABET accredited program in surveying, you are eligible to apply directly to NCEES to take the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam. 

To find out if your program is EAC or ETAC - ABET accredited you may go to the ABET web site here

For candidates NOT from a baccalaureate ABET accredited Program:

If you have not graduated from either an EAC or ETAC ABET accredited bachelors program in surveying, you must download and submit the New York State Land Surveying Application Forms and $70 fee so that your qualifications can be reviewed for approval by the Department.  Once approved, you will be made eligible to sit for the FS exam via a letter sent to you from the NYS Board for Engineering and Land Surveying (Board) that will include instructions for how to schedule and pay the exam administrative fee with NCEES.  Do not attempt to schedule the exam until you have received your letter of eligibility from the Board.


Part 2 - Principals and Practice of Surveying (PS) and Part 3 - the New York State Specific Land Surveying examinations :

The NCEES Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) and Part 3 - the New York State Specific Land Surveying examinations are administered twice a year, in April and October, at various sites throughout New York State. You must meet two different deadlines: the deadline for submitting your licensure application to the New York State Education Department and the deadline for scheduling the examination with NCEES and our examination administrator Castle Worldwide Inc.

The deadlines for submitting a NYS licensure application for these exams are:

Exam Month

Deadline for Licensure Applications


November 1 of previous year


June 1 of same year

All required licensure application forms must be postmarked by the filing deadlines; there are no exceptions.

The Department will notify you when you are eligible to take the professional licensing examinations and will include instructions on how to schedule and pay an additional fee to sit for the examination with NCEES and Castle Worldwide our examination administrator.  Do not attempt to schedule the examination until you receive your notice of eligibility.

Part 3 - New York State Specific Examination

New York State Specific Land Surveying Examination
Test Blueprint - October 2009
Computations/Analysis 3 6%
Documentation/Land Info Systems 7 14%
Ethics/Professional Responsibility 5 10%
Land Planning/Design 4 8%
Legal Principles 15 30%
Measurement/Location 2 4%
Monumentation 2 4%
Project Management 6 12%
Research 6 12%

Suggested Bibliography for the New York State Specific Land Surveyor Examination

The references listed in the link may be located through or obtained from local libraries and their Inter-Library Loan Services; from the State Library; from professional colleagues and local and state professional societies (e.g., New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors).

Bibliography for the New York State LS Exam

NCEES limits calculators allowed in examination room

NCEES has revised the examination policy concerning materials permitted in the examination room.

NCEES policy prohibits calculators that communicate or that may compromise the security of the examination.  NCEES publishes a list of the calculators that are acceptable for the examinations. Only the models listed on the NCEES website will be permitted in the examination room.

For further information regarding NCEES examinations please visit the NCEES website at External Link Icon or call 1-800-250-3196.


Individuals with Disabilities/Sabbath Observers/Military

After your licensure/examination application materials have been reviewed and approved by the Department, you will be sent an eligibility letter. This letter will include instructions on how to schedule and pay the examination fee(s). The process to request a reasonable accommodation or alternate test date will be part of the registration/scheduling process with NCEES and Castle through their online system. If you are requesting accommodations, we suggest you begin the process as soon as the NCEES registration process opens for the exam you plan to take, as this will assist in the timely processing of your request.

Certification as an Intern Land Surveyor

To be eligible for an identification card as an "Intern Land Surveyor," you must:

  • be of good moral character;
  • United States citizen or qualified alien;
  • have graduated from an ABET accredited baccalaureate degree program in surveying; and
  • passed Part 1 – NCEES Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) the licensing examination.
To apply for a Certificate as an “Intern Land Surveyor” you must submit Form 1 with a $70 fee to us and submit Form 2 - Certification of Professional Education to your school so they may submit verification of completion of your ABET accredited baccalaureate degree program in surveying directly to us.

Interim Practice of Land Surveying

Section 7208 (b) of the Education Law allows practice as a land surveyor in New York State by a person who is not a resident, or who has no established place of practice in this State, or who is a New York State resident but has arrived in New York State within the last six months may practice as a land surveyor in New York State.

However, such a person must have filed an application for licensure as a land surveyor in New York State and must be legally qualified for such practice in the state or country of their previous residence or place of practice. This provision for interim practice is valid only until the Board grants or denies the application for license. During this time of interim practice, no title, sign, card or device shall be used to convey the impression that the person rendering such service is a professional land surveyor licensed in this State.

You must submit a Notification of Intent to Practice Land Surveying under Section 7208 (b) of Education Law (Form 5) to practice under this provision. You will also need to verify licensure from your current jurisdiction of residence using a Verification of Out-Of-State Licensure, Registration and/or Examination (Form 3).

Last Updated: May 14, 2015