Stamp - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Any additional questions regarding the California architect’s stamp can be directed to the California Architects Board. You may also review Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 5536.2 or the California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 136 both of which can be found in the CCR section 136.
- May I have a stamp of the embossing type?
- Does the shape and size of the stamp make a difference?
Yes. A circular shape 1" minimum–2" maximum in diameter is specified in the regulations.
- May architects design their own stamps?
Yes. Provided that they comply with the requirements set in the CCR section 136.
- What elements can the design incorporate?
The design can be composed of solid lines (thin or thick), or broken lines, such as dashes or dots. Other possibilities include a rope or beaded effect or words forming the circle.
- Is there a particular type style that is required?
No. Any type style is acceptable as long as it is legible.
- Does the ink used for stamping plans, specifications, and other instruments of
service have to be a special type?
No. It only has to be permanent and photo-reproducible.
- Can the stamp be generated by computer onto the documents that require a stamp?
Yes. A stamp generated as a drawn image from a computer will be acceptable, provided that all required elements are present in the design. However, verify with local jurisdiction for specific stamp and signature requirements.
- What is the difference between renewal date and expiration date?
None, as far as the stamp is concerned. Although the Architects Practice Act specifies "renewal date" for the language that indicates validity of the license, the term "expiration date" will be acceptable. The date to be written is the date when the current license comes up for renewal in the future. It is designated that way to indicate the period of validity, just as a charge card does.
- Can the architects in a firm share a stamp?
No. Each licensee must have his or her own stamp.
- Can a stamp manufacturer or stationer demand proof of certification when I order my
Yes. However, there is no law requiring it.
- May an architect be referred to as a "registered architect" on his or her
No. Although some states may have used that designation, the Architects Practice Act specifies the term "licensed architect" as the required title for California licensees.
- Is there a required layout within the circular design for the terms and information
required in an architect’s stamp?
No, but the stamp must be readily legible and all information must be contained within the 1"–2" diameter circle.