Information for Architects & Engineers

18VAC10-20-760. Use of seal.
A. The application of a professional seal shall indicate that the professional has exercised direct control and personal supervision over the work to which it is affixed. Therefore, no professional shall affix a name, seal or certification to a plat, design, specification or other work constituting the practice of the professions regulated which has been prepared by an unlicensed or uncertified person unless such work was performed under the direct control and personal supervision of the professional while said unlicensed or uncertified person was an employee of the same firm as the professional or was under written contract to the same firm that employs the professional. If the original professional of record is no longer employed by the regulant or is otherwise unable to seal completed professional work, such work may be sealed by another professional, but only after a thorough review of the work by the professional affixing the professional seal to verify that the work has been accomplished to the same extent that would have been exercised if the work had been done under the direct control and personal supervision of the professional affixing the professional seal.

B. An appropriately licensed or certified professional shall apply a seal to final and complete original cover sheets of plans, drawings, plats, technical reports and specifications and to each original sheet of plans, drawings or plats, prepared by the professional or someone under his direct control and personal supervision.

1. All seal imprints on the cover or first sheet of final documents shall bear an original signature and date. "Final Documents" are completed documents or copies submitted on a client's behalf for approval by authorities or recordation. In such cases, the cover sheet of the documents or copies shall contain a list of drawings or plats included in the set on which a seal, original signature and date shall be affixed for all regulated disciplines. Every page of the submission, other than the cover, may be reproduced from originals which contain the seal, original signature and date by each discipline responsible for the work.

a. An electronic seal, signature and date are permitted to be used in lieu of an original seal, signature and date when the following criteria, and all other requirements of this section, are met:
(1) It is a unique identification of the professional;
(2) It is verifiable; and
(3) It is under the professional's direct control.

b. A professional should not seal original documents made of mylar, linen, sepia, or other materials, or that are transmitted electronically, which can be changed by the person or entity with whom the documents are filed, unless the professional accompanies such documents with a signed and sealed letter making the recipient of such documents aware that copies of the original documents as designed by the professional have been retained by the professional and that the professional cannot assume responsibility for any subsequent changes to the reproducible original documents that are not made by the professional or those working under his direct control and personal supervision.

2. Incomplete plans, documents and sketches, whether advance or preliminary copies, shall be so identified on the plan, document or sketch and need not be sealed, signed or dated.

3. All plans, drawings or plats prepared by the professional shall bear the professional's name or firm name, address and project name.

4. The seal of each professional responsible for each profession shall be used and shall be on each document that was prepared under the professional's direction and for which that professional is responsible. If one of the exemptions found in § 54.1-402 of the Code of Virginia is applicable, a professional licensed or certified by this board shall nevertheless apply his seal to the exempt work.

5. Application of the seal and signature indicates acceptance of responsibility for work shown thereon.

6. The seal shall conform in detail and size to the design illustrated below and shall be two inches in diameter.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-404 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR130-01-2 § 12.8, effective October 18, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 8, effective March 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 20, effective September 1, 1990; Volume 7, Issue 14, effective May 8, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 7, effective February 1, 1992; Volume 10, Issue 15, effective May 19, 1994; Volume 13, Issue 23, effective October 1, 1997; Volume 16, Issue 3, effective December 1, 1999; Volume 18, Issue 7, effective March 1, 2002; Volume 23, Issue 1, effective February 1, 2007; Volume 25, Issue 3, effective December 1, 2008; Volume 26, Issue 4, effective July 1, 2010.