California Architects Board

The California Architects Board (Board) was created in 1901 by the California Legislature to fulfill the mission of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public through the regulation of the practice of architecture in California. It is one of numerous entities within the Department of Consumer Affairs responsible for consumer protection and the regulation of licensed professionals. The Board establishes regulations for examination and licensing of the profession of architecture in California, which today numbers over 21,000 licensed architects and approximately 10,000 candidates who are in the process of meeting examination and licensure requirements.


Latest News

New and Improved BERF in 2021

Ensure you are in compliance with BPC 5558 Requirements

“Each person holding a license to practice architecture under this chapter shall file with the board his or her current mailing address and the proper and current name and address of the entity through which he or she provides architectural services. For purposes of this section, “entity” means any individual, firm, corporation, or limited liability partnership.”

If you are currently providing professional services in California, you must have a BERF on file.

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Expedited Licensure for Refugees, Asylees, and Holders of Special Immigrant Visas

Starting January 1, 2021, individuals in the following categories who apply for licensure by the California Architects Board may seek an expedited licensure process.

  1. Refugees pursuant to section 1157 of title 8 of the United States Code;
  2. Those granted asylum by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General of the United States pursuant to section 1158 of title 8 of the United States Code; or,
  3. Individuals with a special immigrant visa that have been granted a status pursuant to section 1244 of Public Law 110-181, Public Law 109-163, or section 602(b) of title VI of division F of Public Law 111-8.

In order to receive the expedited licensure process, individuals must provide documentation of their refugee, asylee, or special immigrant visa status when submitting their application package. Please note that this does not mean a license must be issued, but simply that the process will be expedited.

Click here for information and documentation examples.

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Now Available - Latest Issue of the Board’s Newsletter

The latest issue of California Architects is available online.
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California Supplemental Examination Administration Update

The California Supplemental Examination is currently offered at all PSI test centers identified in the CSE Handbook. PSI test centers are operating at half capacity in order to adhere to social distancing and enhanced sanitation of high touch areas/surfaces performed throughout test day. For more information and updates regarding these test centers please visit PSI Exams Online.

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Update on Prometric Test Sites

As of June 1, 2020 Prometric resumed testing, where permitted by regional regulations.

Candidates are advised to visit the Prometric website for the latest information related to site openings for their respective jurisdiction. Please note that the open status of the listed sites is contingent on numerous factors or guidelines; should anything arise that forces Prometric to close one of the listed test centers, impacted candidates will be notified. The list will be updated daily to reflect any changes in status.

Please visit the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) website for the latest 2020 Coronavirus update, including how Prometric will be reopening its test centers, rescheduling information, and updates to NCARB’s testing policies.

You may contact NCARB by calling them at 202.879.0520 or email at customerservice@ncarb.org if you have any questions.

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Coronavirus Update for Licensees

While California continues to navigate the uncertainty of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and limit its spread, the California Architects Board (Board) is committed to supporting our licensees, applicants, and consumers throughout the course of this pandemic and to provide continuity of service at all times. The Board is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, coordinating with the state and local governments, and working with our partners to protect the health of Californians.

The Board understands the ability to perform your jobs with a license is a priority. We appreciate your patience as we work on implementing new technologies to work remotely and adhere to social distancing guidelines. We apologize in advance for any delays in reaching our staff or potential delays in our processing times.

We have received inquiries from our licensees and are providing the below FAQ’s in an effort to provide information.

The best general guidance will continue to come from the California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Q. Will Continuing Education (CE) Requirements Be Postponed?
A. Currently, the law does not allow for a postponement of CE requirements.

2. Q. Are There Fee Waivers Available?
A. Currently, the law does not allow for a waiver of any fees.

3. Q. Should My Business or Practice Remain Open?
A. The Board does not have authority to close businesses or practices solely as a result of COVID-19. We strongly encourage you to assess whether your business is an essential job function as outlined by the Governor and follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Check with your local county health department to determine what activities are also considered essential and non-essential.

4. Q. My Exam Was Canceled. What Does that Mean?
A. The Board will be working to ensure that expedited exam processing will occur when they return and will be looking at ways to mitigate delays. We are actively working to reschedule exams and honoring any fees applied or providing refunds when necessary.

We encourage any other inquiries to be sent through email to cab@dca.ca.gov as a response time may be faster.

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Retired License Update

At its December 11, 2019 meeting, the Board voted to set the retired license fee at $40 and proceed with the process to adopt regulations to establish that fee. Once those regulations are adopted and effective, the Board will resume issuing retired licenses. At this time, the Board is not issuing any retired licenses; retired licenses issued on or before January 3, 2020 are not affected by this change.
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