Licensure by Comity

Individuals licensed in one state or U.S. territory are often interested in becoming licensed to practice in additional jurisdictions. However, comity licensure provisions vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For example, some but not all U.S. jurisdictions require that candidates graduate from an accredited program, and some jurisdictions may waive examination requirements if candidates have obtained postgraduate education or have extensive experience. Jurisdictions may also differ in their specific requirements regarding what constitutes acceptable engineering experience. Candidates who received their initial license based on different standards may encounter difficulty in becoming licensed by comity in other jurisdictions.

To expedite the process of becoming licensed in multiple jurisdictions, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying established the Council Records Program. The program assists engineers by compiling all licensure credentials in one place, minimizing duplicate efforts, and reducing the processing time at the board level. A completed Council Record includes a concise report of education, experience, professional references, exam results, and licensure status. Once an engineer has successfully obtained a Record, NCEES can transmit it electronically to multiple jurisdictions.

An important component of the NCEES Records Program is the Model Law Engineer designation, which NCEES developed to simplify the comity licensure process. Most jurisdictions have adopted all or parts of the NCEES Model Law, and they can expedite the licensure process for engineers who meet all criteria for the MLE designation.

To attain MLE status, applicants must meet four criteria:

  1. They must have graduated from an engineering program accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET Inc.
  2. They must have passed the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exams.
  3. They must have completed four years of acceptable engineering experience after confirmation of a bachelor's of science degree in an engineering program.
  4. Their license must be clear of any disciplinary action.

Although a Council Record does not completely eliminate the need for paperwork, it does significantly streamline the application process for engineers whose services are needed beyond state borders.