CHAPTER 286 - STATE BOARD OF REGISTRATION FOR PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS.

AN ACT TO REGULATE THE PRACTICES OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING AND LAND SURVEYING; CREATING A STATE BOARD OF REGISTRATION FOR PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS; DEFINING ITS POWERS AND DUTIES; REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION; REGULATING EXAMINATION OF APPLICANTS FOR REGISTRATION; PROVIDING FOR ISSUANCE AND REVOCATION OF CERTIFICATES OF REGISTRATION; UNLAWFUL TO ENGAGE IN CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC WORK UNLESS PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS AND ESTIMATES PREPARED BY REGISTERED ENGINEER; AND PROVIDING PENALTIES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Sec. 1. That in order to safeguard life, health, and property, any person practicing or offering to practice professional engineering or land surveying in this State, shall hereafter be required to submit evidence that he or she is qualified so to practice and shall be registered as hereinafter provided; and it shall be unlawful for any person to practice or to offer to practice in this State, professional engineering or land surveying, as defined in the provisions of this Act, or to use in connection with his name or otherwise assume, use, or advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that he is a professional engineer or a land surveyor, unless such person has been duly registered under the provisions of this Act.

Definition—Engineer.

Sec. 2. The term engineer as used in this Act shall mean a professional engineer as hereinafter defined.

Definition—Professional Engineer.

The term professional engineer as used in this Act shall mean a person who is qualified by reason of his knowledge of mathematics, the physical sciences, and the principles of engineering, acquired by professional education and/or practical experience, to engage in the practice of professional engineering as hereinafter defined.

Definition—Engineering.

The term engineering as used in this Act shall mean professional engineering as hereinafter defined.

Definition—Professional Engineering.

The practice of professional engineering within the meaning and intent of this Act includes any professional service, such as consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning, design, or responsible supervision of construction or operation, in connection with any public, or private utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, works, or projects, wherein the public welfare, or the safeguarding of life, health or property is concerned or involved, when such professional service requires the application of engineering principles and data.

Definition—Act Inapplicable to Certain Operators, etc.

The practice of professional engineering shall not include the work ordinarily performed by persons who operate or maintain machinery or equipment.

Definition—Land Surveyor.

The term land surveyor as used in this Act shall mean a person who engages in the practice of land surveying as hereinafter defined.

Definition—Land Surveying.

The practice of land surveying within the meaning and intent of this Act includes all land surveying, surveying of areas for the correct determination and description, and for conveyancing, or for the establishment or re-establishment of land boundaries and the plotting of lands and subdivisions thereof; also, grades for buildings, ditches, roads, sewers, etc., or same as now being done by land surveyors.

Definition—Board,

The term "Board" as used in this Act shall mean the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, provided for by this Act.

Definition—Responsible Charge.

The term "Responsible Charge" as used in this Act shall mean the control and direction of the investigation, design, construction, or operation of engineering work, requiring initiative, professional skill and independent judgment.

Board—Appointments--Terms.

Sec. 3. A State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors is hereby created, whose duty it shall be to administer the provisions of this Act. The Board shall consist of four professional engineers and three land surveyors, one land surveyor being selected from each of the three counties of the State, who shall be appointed by the Governor. Not more than four members of said Board shall be appointed from any one political party. Not more than two professional engineers shall be from any one branch, namely, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, and Chemical, all of the profession of engineering as defined in this Act. The members of the first Board shall be appointed within ninety days after the passage of this Act, to serve for the following terms: For the professional engineers, one member for one year, one member for two years, one member for three years, one member for four years; for the land surveyors, one member for one year, one member for two years, and one member for three years from the date of their appointment, or until their successors are duly appointed and qualified. Every member of the Board shall receive a commission of his appointment from the Governor and before beginning his term of office shall file with the Secretary of State his written oath or affirmation for the faithful discharge of his official duty. Each member of the Board first appointed hereunder shall receive a certificate of registration under this Act from said Board. On the expiration of the term of any member, the Governor shall, in the manner hereinbefore provided, appoint for a term of four years a registered professional engineer or for a term of three years a registered land surveyor having the qualifications required by Section 4, to take the place of the member whose term on said Board is about to expire. Each member shall hold office until the expiration of the term for which such member is appointed or until a successor shall have been duly appointed and shall have qualified.

Board—Qualifications.

Sec. 4. Each member of the Board shall be a citizen of the United States and a resident of this State, and shall have been engaged in the practice of the profession of engineering or land surveying for at least twelve years, and shall have been in responsible charge of important engineering work or land surveying for at least five years. Responsible charge of engineering teaching may be construed as responsible charge of important engineering work.

Board—Compensation and Expenses.

Sec. 5. Each member of the Board shall be reimbursed for all actual traveling, incidental, and clerical expenses necessarily incurred in carrying out the provisions of this Act, but he shall receive no compensation for time spent in attending to the work of the Board.

Board—Removal of Members—Vacancies.

Sec. 6. The Governor may remove any member of the Board for misconduct, incompetency, neglect of duty, or for any other sufficient cause. Vacancies in the membership of the Board shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment by the Governor as provided in Section 3.

Board—Organization and Meetings.

Sec. 7. The Board shall hold a meeting within thirty days after its members are first appointed, and thereafter shall hold at least one regular meeting each year. Special meetings shall be held at such times as the rules and regulations of the Board may provide. Notice of all meetings shall be given in such manner as the rules and regulations may provide. The Board shall elect or appoint annually the following officers: A Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, and a Secretary. A quorum of the Board shall consist of not less than four members.

Board—Powers.

Sec. 8. The Board shall have the power to adopt and amend all rules and regulations not inconsistent with the Constitution and Laws of this State, which may be reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties and the regulations of the proceedings before it. The Board shall adopt and have an official seal.

In carrying into effect the provisions of this Act, the Board, under the hand of its Chairman and the seal of the Board, may subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance, and also may require the production of books, papers, documents, etc., in a case involving the revocation of registration or practicing or offering to practice without registration. Any member of the Board may administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses appearing before the Board. If any person shall refuse to obey any subpoena so issued, or shall refuse to testify or produce any books, papers, or documents, the Board may present its petition to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware of the County of the residence of such person, setting forth the facts, and thereupon such authority shall, in a proper case, issue its subpoena to such person, requiring his attendance before such authority and there to testify or to produce such books, papers, and documents, as may be deemed necessary and pertinent by the Board. Any person failing or refusing to obey the subpoena or order of the said authority may be proceeded against in the same manner as for refusal to obey any other subpoena or order of said Superior Court.

Receipts and Disbursements.

Sec. 9. The Secretary of the Board shall receive and account for all moneys derived under the provisions of this Act, and shall pay the same monthly to the State Treasurer. All monies paid in under the provisions of this Act are hereby appropriated for the use of the said Board, provided, however, that such appropriation shall not exceed the sum of One Thousand Dollars during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1942, and the sum of Five Hundred Dollars during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1943. All funds paid out under the provisions hereof shall be by warrant on the State Treasurer upon itemized vouchers approved by the Chairman and attested by the Secretary of the Board. The Secretary of the Board shall give a surety bond to the State in such sum as the Board may determine. The premium on said bond shall be regarded as a proper and necessary expense of the Board. The Board may employ such clerical or other assistants as are necessary for the proper performance of its work, and may make expenditures of this fund for any purpose which in the opinion of the Board is reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties under this Act, including the expenses of the Board's delegates to annual conventions of, and membership dues to, the National Council of State Boards of Engineering Examiners. Under no circumstances shall the total amount of warrants issued by the State Treasurer in payment of the expenses and compensation provided for in this Act exceed the amount of the examination and registration fees collected as herein provided.

Records and Reports.

Sec. 10. The Board shall keep a record of its proceedings and a register of all applications for registration, which register shall show (a) the name, age, and residence of each applicant; (b) the date of the application; (c) the place of business of such applicant; (d) his educational and other qualifications; (e) whether or not an examination was required; (f) whether the applicant was rejected; (g) whether a certificate of registration was granted; (h) the date of the action of the Board; and (i) such other information as may be deemed necessary by the Board.

The records of the Board shall be prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the Board set forth therein, and a transcript, thereof, duly certified by the Secretary of the Board under seal, shall be admissible in evidence with the same force and effect as if the original were produced.

Annually, prior to December First, the Board shall submit to the Governor a report of its transaction for the fiscal year ending June 30th, and shall also transmit to him a complete statement of the receipts and expenditures of the Board, attested by affidavits of its Chairman and its Secretary.

Roster.

Sec. 11. A roster showing the names and places of business of all registered professional engineers and all registered land surveyors shall be published by the Secretary of the Board prior to September First of each year. Copies of this roster shall be mailed to each person so registered, placed on file with the Secretary of State, and furnished to the public upon request at a fee established by the Board.

General Requirements for Registration.

Sec. 12. The following shall be considered as minimum evidence satisfactory to the Board that the applicant is qualified for registration as a professional engineer, or land surveyor, respectively, to wit:

(1) As a professional Engineer. Engineers—Graduation Plus Experience.

Graduation from an approved engineering curriculum of four years or more in a school or college approved by the Board as of satisfactory standing; and a specific record of an additional four years or more of experience in engineering work of a character satisfactory to the Board, and indicating that the applicant is competent to practice professional engineering. In a case where the evidence presented in the application does not appear to the Board conclusive nor warranting the issuing of a certificate of registration, the applicant may be required to present further evidence for the consideration of the Board, and may also be required to pass an oral or written examination, or both, as the Board may determine; or

Engineers—Examination Plus Experience.

b. Successfully passing a written, or written and oral examination designed to show knowledge and skill approximating that attained through graduation from an approved four year engineering curriculum; and a specific record of eight years or more of experience in engineering work of a character satisfactory to the Board and indicating that the applicant is competent to practice professional engineering.

Engineers of Long Established Practice.

c. A specific record of twelve years or more of lawful practice in professional engineering work of a character satisfactory to the Board and indicating that the applicant is qualified to design or to supervise construction of engineering works and provided applicant is not less than thirty-five years of age.

(2) As a land surveyor.

Land Surveyors—Graduation Plus Experience.

a. Graduation from a school or college approved by the Board as of satisfactory standing, including the completion of an approved course in surveying; and an additional two years or more of experience in land surveying work of a character satisfactory to the Board and indicating that the applicant is competent to practice land surveying; or

Land Surveyors—Examination Plus Experience.

b. Successfully passing a written, or written and oral, examination in surveying prescribed by the Board; and a specific record of six years or more of experience in land surveying work of a character satisfactory to the Board and indicating that the applicant is competent to practice land surveying.

Land Surveyors of Long Established Practice.

c. A specific record of ten years or more of lawful practice in land surveying shall make the applicant eligible for a certificate of registration for life as a land surveyor without an examination, by paying the annual registration fee to the Board at the time and place specified in this Act, and provided applicant is not less than thirty years of age.

Character.

No person shall be eligible for registration as a professional engineer, or land surveyor, who is not of good character and reputation.

Teaching Credits.

In considering the qualifications of applicants, engineering teaching may be construed as engineering experience.

Education Credits.

The satisfactory completion of each year of an approved curriculum in engineering in a school or college approved by the Board as of satisfactory standing, without graduation, shall be considered as equivalent to a year of experience in Sec. 12 (1) b. Graduation in a curriculum other than engineering from a college or university of recognized standing may be considered as equivalent to two years of experience in Sec. 12 (1) b; provided, however, that no applicant shall receive credit for more than four years of experience because of undergraduate educational qualifications.

Work as Contractor.

The mere execution, as a contractor, of work designed by a professional engineer, or the supervision of the construction of such work as a foreman or superintendent shall not be deemed to be practice in professional engineering.

Non-Practicing Applicants.

Any person having the necessary qualifications prescribed in this Act to entitle him to registration shall be eligible for such registration although he may not be practicing his profession at the time of making his application.

Application and Registration Fees.

Sec. 13. Application for registration shall be on forms prescribed and furnished by the Board, shall contain statements made under oath, showing the applicant's education and detail summary of his technical work, and shall contain not less than five references, of whom three or more shall be engineers or land surveyors having personal knowledge of his engineering or land surveying experience.

The registration fee for professional engineers shall be twenty dollars ($20.00), ten dollars ($10.00) of which shall accompany the application, the remainder to be paid upon notification that application has been approved, subject to final payment when registration certificate will be issued. When a Certificate of Qualification issued by the National Bureau of Engineering Registration is accepted as evidence of qualification, the total fee for registration as professional engineer shall be ten dollars ($10.00).

The registration fee for land surveyors, which shall accompany application, shall be five dollars ($5.00).

Should the Board deny the issuance of a certificate of registration to any applicant, the initial fee deposited shall be retained as an application fee.

Examinations.

Sec. 14. When oral or written examinations are required, they shall be held at such time and place as the Board shall determine. If examinations are required on fundamental engineering subjects (such as are ordinarily given in college curricula) the applicant shall be permitted to take this part of the professional examination prior to his completion of the requisite years of experience in engineering work, and satisfactory passage of this portion of the professional examination by the applicant shall constitute a credit for a period of ten years.

The scope of the examinations and the methods of procedure shall be prescribed by the Board with special reference to the applicant's ability to design and supervise engineering works, so as to insure the safety of life, health, and property. Examinations shall be given for the purpose of determining the qualifications of applicants for registration separately in professional engineering and in land surveying. A candidate failing on examination may apply for re-examination at the expiration of six months and will be re-examined without payment of additional fee. Subsequent examination will be granted upon payment of a fee to be determined by the Board.

Certificates—Seals.

Sec. 15. .The Board shall issue a certificate of registration upon payment of registration fee as provided for in this Act, to any applicant, who, in the opinion of the Board, has satisfactorily met all the requirements of this Act. In case of a registered engineer, the certificate shall authorize the practice of "professional engineering"; and in case of a registered land surveyor, the certificate shall authorize the practice of "land Surveying". Certificates of registration shall show the full name of the registrant, shall have a serial number, and shall be signed by the Chairman and the Secretary of the Board under seal of the Board.

The issuance of a certificate of registration by this Board shall be prima facie evidence that the person named therein is entitled to all of the rights and privileges of a registered professional engineer, or of a registered land surveyor, while the said certificate remains unrevoked or unexpired.

Each registrant hereunder shall upon registration obtain a seal of the design authorized by the Board, bearing the registrant's name and the legend, "Registered Professional Engineer," or "Registered Land Surveyor." Plans, specifications, plats, and reports approved by a registrant shall be stamped with the said seal when filed with public authorities, during the life of the registrant's certificate, but it shall be unlawful for anyone to stamp or seal any documents with said seal after the certificate of the registrant named thereon has expired or has been revoked, unless said certificate shall have been renewed or re-issued.

No department, institution, commission, board or body of the State Government, or any political subdivision thereof, being the depository or having the custody of any plan or specification involving professional engineering shall receive or file the same, unless there shall be attached thereto the certificate and seal of a professional engineer licensed pursuant to the provisions of this Act or the certificate and seal of an architect legally registered in the State of Delaware, nor receive or file any plan or specification involving land surveying unless there shall be attached thereto the certificate and seal of a land surveyor licensed pursuant to the provisions of this Act.

Expirations and Renewals.

Sec. 16. Certificates of registration shall expire on the last day of the month of June following their issuance or renewal and shall become invalid on that date unless renewed. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Board to notify every person registered under this Act, of the date of expiration of his certificate and the amount of the fee that shall be required for its renewal for one year; such notice shall be mailed at least one month in advance of the date of expiration of said certificate. Renewal may be affected at any time during the month of July by the payment of a fee, to be determined by the Board but in no case shall the fee exceed five dollars ($5.00) for professional engineers and two dollars ($2.00) for land surveyors. The failure on the part of any registrant to renew his certificate annually in the month of July as required above shall not deprive such person of the right of renewal, but the fee to be paid for the renewal of a certificate after the month of July shall be increased fifty cents for each month or fraction of a month that payment of renewal is delayed, provided, however, that the maximum fee for delayed renewal shall not exceed twice the normal renewal fee.

Practitioners at Time Act Became Effective.

Sec. 17. At any time within one year after this Act becomes effective, upon due application therefor and the payment of the registration fee of twenty dollars ($20.00) for professional engineers, or five dollars ($5.00) for land surveyors, the Board shall issue a certificate of registration without oral or written examination to any professional engineer or land surveyor who shall submit evidence under oath to the Board that he is of good character, has been a resident of the State of Delaware for at least one year, if an engineer, and five years, if a surveyor, immediately preceding the date of his application and was practicing professional engineering or land surveying at the time this Act became effective. Such certificate shall be valid for life upon payment of the annual registration fees as herein provided.

Applicants who are eligible for registration under this section will not be required to comply with the requirements of any other section of this Act.

After this Act shall have been in effect one year, the Board shall issue certificates of registration only as provided for in Sec. 12 or Sec. 19 thereof.

Public Work.

Sec. 18. After the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and forty-one, it shall be unlawful for this State, or for any of its political sub-divisions, such as counties, incorporated cities and towns, school districts or other agencies to engage in the construction of any public work involving professional engineering, unless the plans and specifications and estimates have been prepared by, and the construction executed under the direct supervision of a registered professional engineer; provided, that nothing in this Section shall be held to apply to any public work wherein the contemplated expenditure for the entire completed project does not exceed seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7500.00).

Reciprocity.

Sec. 19. .The Board may, upon application therefore, and the payment of a fee of ten ($10.00) dollars, issue a Certificate of Registration as a Professional Engineer or Land Surveyor to any person who holds a Certificate of Qualification or Registration issued to him by proper authority of the National Council of State Boards of Engineering Examiners, or of the National Bureau of Engineering Registration, or of any State or Territory or Possession of the United States, or of any Country, provided that the requirements for the registration of professional engineers or land surveyors under which said Certificate of Qualification or Registration was issued do not conflict with the provisions of this Act and are of a standard not lower than that specified in Sec. 12 of this Act.

Revocations.

Sec. 20. The Board shall have the power to revoke the Certificate of Registration of any registrant who is found guilty of:

(a) The practice of any fraud or deceit in obtaining a certificate of registration;

(b) Any gross negligence, incompetency, or misconduct in the practice of professional engineering or land surveying as a registered professional engineer or land surveyor.

Any person may prefer charges of fraud, deceit, gross, negligence, incompetency, or misconduct against any registrant. Such charges shall be in writing, and shall be sworn to by the person making them and shall be filed with the Secretary of the Board.

All charges, unless dismissed by the Board as unfounded or trivial, shall be heard by the Board within three months after the date on which they shall have been preferred.

The time and place for said hearing shall be fixed by the Board, and a copy of the charges, together with a notice of the time and place of hearing, shall be personally served on or mailed to the last known address of such registrant, at least thirty days before the date fixed for the hearing. At any hearing, the accused registrant shall have the right to appear personally and by counsel, to cross-examine witnesses appearing against him, and to produce evidence and witnesses in his own defense.

If, after such hearing, four or more members of the Board vote in favor of finding the accused guilty, the Board shall revoke the certificate of registration of such registered professional engineer or land surveyor.

Reissuance of Certificates.

The Board, for reasons it may deem sufficient, may reissue a certificate of registration to any person whose certificate has been revoked, providing four or more members of the Board vote in favor of such reissuance. A new certificate of registration, to replace any certificate revoked, lost, destroyed, or mutilated, may be issued, subject to the rules of the Board, and a charge of three dollars ($3.00) shall be made for such issuance.

Appeals.

Any person who shall feel aggrieved by any action of the Board in denying or revoking his certificate of registration may appeal therefrom to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware of the County in which said person resides and, after full hearing, said Court shall make such decree sustaining or reversing the action of the Board as to it may seem just and proper.

Violations and Penalties.

Sec. 21. Any person who shall practice, or offer to practice, professional engineering or land surveying in this State without being registered in accordance with the provisions of this Act, or any person presenting or attempting to use as his own the certificate or registration or the seal of another, or any person who shall give any false or forged evidence of any kind to the Board or to any member thereof in obtaining a certificate of registration, or any person who shall falsely impersonate any other registrant of like or different name, or any person who shall attempt to use an expired or revoked certificate or registration, or any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this Act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), or suffer imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months, or both.

It shall be the duty of all duly constituted officers of the law of this State, or any political subdivision thereof, to enforce the provisions of this Act and to prosecute any persons violating same. The Attorney General of the State or any Deputy Attorney General shall act as legal adviser of the Board and render such legal assistance as may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this Act.

Saving Clause.

Sec. 22. This Act shall not be construed to prevent or to affect:

Other Professions or Trades.

(a) The practice of any other legally recognized profession or trade; or

Non-Residents.

(b) The practice of a person not a resident of and having no established place of business in this State, practicing or offering to practice herein the profession of engineering or land surveying, when such practice does not exceed in the aggregate more than thirty days in any calendar year; provided, such person is legally qualified by registration to practice the said profession in his own State or Country in which the requirements and qualifications for obtaining a certificate of registration are not lower than those specified in this Act; or

Recent Arrivals in State.

(c) The practice of a person not a resident of and having no established place of business in this State, or who has recently become a resident thereof, practicing or offering to practice herein for more than thirty days in any calendar year the profession of engineering or land surveying, if he shall have filed with the Board an application for a certificate of registration and shall have paid the fee required by this Act; provided, that such a person is legally qualified by registration to practice said profession in his own State or Country in which the requirements and qualifications for obtaining a certificate of registration are not lower than those specified in this Act. Such practice shall continue only for such time as the Board requires for the consideration of the application for registration; or

Employees and Subordinates.

(d) The work of an employee or a subordinate of a person holding a certificate of registration under this Act, or an employee of a person practicing lawfully under paragraphs (b) or (c) of this Section; provided, such work does not include responsible charge and is done under the direct responsibility, checking, and supervision of a person holding a certificate of registration under this Act or a person practicing lawfully under paragraphs (b) or (c) of this Section; or

Government Officers and Employees.

(e) The practice of officers and employees of the Government of the United States while engaged within this State in the practice of the profession of engineering or land surveying, for said Government.

(f) The practice of professional engineering by an architect legally registered in the State of Delaware when such practice is incidental to what may be properly considered an architectural project.

Invalid Sections.

Sec. 23. The appropriation provided for in Section 9 hereof shall be known as a Supplementary Appropriation Act, and the monies hereby appropriated shall be paid out of the General Fund of the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated.

Section 24. If any Section or Sections of this Act shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid, this shall not invalidate any other Sections of this Act.

Repeal of Conflicting Legislation.

Sec. 25. All laws or parts of laws in conflict with the provisions of this Act shall be, and the same are hereby repealed.

Approved April 18, 1941.