Welcome To The California Architects Boards

Reciprocity

Reciprocity in Another Jurisdiction

Requirements vary from state to state and are continually changing. The individual state's licensing board should be contacted directly to obtain their current requirements for reciprocal licensure. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has a list of jurisdictions with their licensure requirements.

Reciprocity in California

To receive reciprocal licensure in California a candidate must meet the following requirements:

  1. Hold a current and valid license or registration in another U.S. jurisdiction.
  2. Provide verification of eight years of experience pre- or post-licensure through either work experience or a combination of work experience and education.
  3. Provide evidence of completion of the NCARB Intern Development Program (if licensed less than three years).
  4. Successfully complete the California Supplemental Examination (CSE) .

Expedited Licensure for Spouses or Domestic Partners of Active Duty Military Personnel

The Board is required to expedite the licensure process for spouses and domestic partners of those on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces who are assigned to a duty station in California under official active duty military orders.

Candidates eligible for expedited licensure must:

  • Hold a current and valid architect license in another U.S. jurisdiction;
  • Complete a California Reciprocity Application; and
  • Provide evidence that he or she is married to, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union with, an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces who are assigned to a duty station in California under official active duty military orders.

Please note that this does not mean a license must be issued but simply requires the process to be accelerated for spouses and domestic partners of active duty military personnel (Business and Professions Code section 115.5).

Licensees of Foreign Countries

California does not have reciprocity with foreign countries (with the exception of Canada and the United Kingdom under the limited conditions below). Subsequently, individuals licensed in a foreign country that have not successfully completed the Architect Registration Examination, cannot receive a license in California through reciprocity.

Canadian Licensees

An architect registered in a Canadian province must hold a current and valid Certification issued by NCARB to be eligible for reciprocity in California.

United Kingdom Licensees

An architect registered in the United Kingdom must hold a current and valid Certification issued on or before December 31, 1996, by NCARB to be eligible for reciprocity in California.

California Supplemental Examination

Successful completion of the CSE is required of all candidates prior to licensure.

The "Application for California Supplemental Examination" is mailed to reciprocity candidates once they are deemed eligible to take the CSE. Candidate information is sent to the Board’s examination vendor, PSI, once they have mailed a completed "Application for California Supplemental Examination," and paid the $100 examination application fee to the Board.

For more information regarding the CSE, please visit our CSE page.

How to Apply

There are two methods listed below used to apply for reciprocal licensure in California. The choice of which method is dependent on whether a candidate possesses NCARB Certification.