Florida Senate - 2015                              CS for SB 338
       By the Committee on Regulated Industries; and Senator Altman
       580-02173-15                                           2015338c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to engineers; amending s. 471.003,
    3         F.S.; prohibiting a person who is not licensed as an
    4         engineer or a structural engineer from using specified
    5         names and titles or practicing engineering or
    6         structural engineering; exempting certain persons from
    7         the licensing requirements; amending s. 471.005, F.S.;
    8         providing definitions; amending s. 471.011, F.S.;
    9         establishing various fees for the examination and
   10         licensure of structural engineers; amending s.
   11         471.013, F.S.; revising provisions authorizing the
   12         Board of Professional Engineers to refuse to certify
   13         an applicant due to lack of good moral character to
   14         include structural engineer licensure applicants, to
   15         conform; amending s. 471.015, F.S.; providing
   16         licensure and application requirements for a
   17         structural engineer license; exempting under certain
   18         conditions a structural engineer who applies for
   19         licensure before a specified date from passage of a
   20         certain national examination; requiring the board to
   21         certify certain applicants for licensure by
   22         endorsement; amending ss. 471.019 and 471.025, F.S.;
   23         revising continuing education requirements for
   24         reactivation of a license and provisions requiring an
   25         engineer with a revoked or suspended license to
   26         surrender his or her seal, respectively, to include
   27         structural engineers, to conform; amending s. 471.031,
   28         F.S.; prohibiting specified persons from using
   29         specified names and titles; amending s. 471.033, F.S.;
   30         providing various acts which constitute grounds for
   31         disciplinary action against a structural engineer, to
   32         which penalties apply; amending s. 471.037, F.S.;
   33         revising applicability, to conform to changes made by
   34         the act; providing an effective date.
   36  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   38         Section 1. Subsection (1) and paragraphs (f) and (i) of
   39  subsection (2) of section 471.003, Florida Statutes, are amended
   40  to read:
   41         471.003 Qualifications for practice; exemptions.—
   42         (1)(a) No person other than a duly licensed engineer shall
   43  practice engineering or use the name or title of “licensed
   44  engineer,” “professional engineer,” “registered engineer,” or
   45  any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviations, or
   46  device tending to indicate that such person holds an active
   47  license as an engineer in this state.
   48         (b) Beginning March 1, 2019, no person other than a duly
   49  licensed structural engineer shall practice structural
   50  engineering or use the name or title of “licensed structural
   51  engineer,” “professional structural engineer,” “registered
   52  structural engineer,” “structural engineer,” or any other title,
   53  designation, words, letters, abbreviations, or device tending to
   54  indicate that such person holds an active license as a
   55  structural engineer in this state.
   56         (2) The following persons are not required to be licensed
   57  under the provisions of this chapter as a licensed engineer or
   58  structural engineer:
   59         (a) Any person practicing engineering for the improvement
   60  of, or otherwise affecting, property legally owned by her or
   61  him, unless such practice involves a public utility or the
   62  public health, safety, or welfare or the safety or health of
   63  employees. This paragraph shall not be construed as authorizing
   64  the practice of engineering through an agent or employee who is
   65  not duly licensed under the provisions of this chapter.
   66         (b)1. A person acting as a public officer employed by any
   67  state, county, municipal, or other governmental unit of this
   68  state when working on any project the total estimated cost of
   69  which is $10,000 or less.
   70         2. Persons who are employees of any state, county,
   71  municipal, or other governmental unit of this state and who are
   72  the subordinates of a person in responsible charge licensed
   73  under this chapter, to the extent that the supervision meets
   74  standards adopted by rule of the board.
   75         (c) Regular full-time employees of a corporation not
   76  engaged in the practice of engineering as such, whose practice
   77  of engineering for such corporation is limited to the design or
   78  fabrication of manufactured products and servicing of such
   79  products.
   80         (d) Regular full-time employees of a public utility or
   81  other entity subject to regulation by the Florida Public Service
   82  Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or Federal
   83  Communications Commission.
   84         (e) Employees of a firm, corporation, or partnership who
   85  are the subordinates of a person in responsible charge, licensed
   86  under this chapter.
   87         (f) Any person as contractor in the execution of work
   88  designed by a professional engineer or structural engineer or in
   89  the supervision of the construction of work as a foreman or
   90  superintendent.
   91         (g) A licensed surveyor and mapper who takes, or contracts
   92  for, professional engineering services incidental to her or his
   93  practice of surveying and mapping and who delegates such
   94  engineering services to a licensed professional engineer
   95  qualified within her or his firm or contracts for such
   96  professional engineering services to be performed by others who
   97  are licensed professional engineers under the provisions of this
   98  chapter.
   99         (h) Any electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, or
  100  mechanical contractor whose practice includes the design and
  101  fabrication of electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, or
  102  mechanical systems, respectively, which she or he installs by
  103  virtue of a license issued under chapter 489, under part I of
  104  chapter 553, or under any special act or ordinance when working
  105  on any construction project which:
  106         1. Requires an electrical or plumbing or air-conditioning
  107  and refrigeration system with a value of $125,000 or less; and
  108         2.a. Requires an aggregate service capacity of 600 amperes
  109  (240 volts) or less on a residential electrical system or 800
  110  amperes (240 volts) or less on a commercial or industrial
  111  electrical system;
  112         b. Requires a plumbing system with fewer than 250 fixture
  113  units; or
  114         c. Requires a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning
  115  system not to exceed a 15-ton-per-system capacity, or if the
  116  project is designed to accommodate 100 or fewer persons.
  117         (i) Any general contractor, certified or registered
  118  pursuant to the provisions of chapter 489, when negotiating or
  119  performing services under a design-build contract as long as the
  120  engineering services offered or rendered in connection with the
  121  contract are offered and rendered by an engineer or structural
  122  engineer licensed in accordance with this chapter.
  123         (j) Any defense, space, or aerospace company, whether a
  124  sole proprietorship, firm, limited liability company,
  125  partnership, joint venture, joint stock association,
  126  corporation, or other business entity, subsidiary, or affiliate,
  127  or any employee, contract worker, subcontractor, or independent
  128  contractor of the defense, space, or aerospace company who
  129  provides engineering for aircraft, space launch vehicles, launch
  130  services, satellites, satellite services, or other defense,
  131  space, or aerospace-related product or services, or components
  132  thereof.
  133         Section 2. Subsections (14) and (15) are added to section
  134  471.005, Florida Statutes, to read:
  135         471.005 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
  136         (14) “Licensed structural engineer,” “professional
  137  structural engineer,” “registered structural engineer,” or
  138  “structural engineer” means a person who is licensed to engage
  139  in the practice of structural engineering under this chapter.
  140         (15) “Structural engineering” means an engineering service
  141  or creative work that includes the structural analysis and
  142  design of structural components or systems for threshold
  143  buildings as defined in s. 553.71. The term includes
  144  engineering, as defined in subsection (7), that requires
  145  significant structural engineering education, training,
  146  experience, and examination, as defined by the board.
  147         Section 3. Subsections (1) and (6) of section 471.011,
  148  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  149         471.011 Fees.—
  150         (1) The board by rule may establish fees to be paid for
  151  applications, examination, reexamination, licensing and renewal,
  152  inactive status application and reactivation of inactive
  153  licenses, and recordmaking and recordkeeping. The board may also
  154  establish by rule a delinquency fee. The board shall establish
  155  fees that are adequate to ensure the continued operation of the
  156  board. Fees shall be based on department estimates of the
  157  revenue required to implement this chapter and the provisions of
  158  law with respect to the regulation of engineers and structural
  159  engineers.
  160         (6) The fee for a temporary registration or certificate to
  161  practice engineering or structural engineering shall not exceed
  162  $25 for an individual or $50 for a business firm.
  163         Section 4. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
  164  471.013, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  165         471.013 Examinations; prerequisites.—
  166         (2)(a) The board may refuse to certify an applicant for
  167  failure to satisfy the requirement of good moral character only
  168  if:
  169         1. There is a substantial connection between the lack of
  170  good moral character of the applicant and the professional
  171  responsibilities of a licensed engineer or structural engineer;
  172  and
  173         2. The finding by the board of lack of good moral character
  174  is supported by clear and convincing evidence.
  175         Section 5. Subsections (3) through (7) of section 471.015,
  176  Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (4) through
  177  (8), respectively, present subsection (3) is amended, and a new
  178  subsection (3) is added to that section, to read:
  179         471.015 Licensure.—
  180         (3)(a) The management corporation shall issue a structural
  181  engineer license to any applicant who the board certifies as
  182  qualified to practice structural engineering and who:
  183         1. Is licensed under this chapter as an engineer or is
  184  qualified for licensure as an engineer.
  185         2. Submits an application in the format prescribed by the
  186  board.
  187         3. Pays a fee established by the board under s. 471.011.
  188         4. Provides satisfactory evidence of good moral character,
  189  as defined by the board.
  190         5. Provides a record of 4 years of active structural
  191  engineering experience, as defined by the board, under the
  192  supervision of a licensed professional engineer.
  193         6. Has successfully passed the National Council of
  194  Examiners for Engineering and Surveying structural engineering
  195  examination.
  196         (b) Before February 28, 2019, an applicant who satisfies
  197  subparagraphs (a)1.-5. may satisfy subparagraph (a)6. by
  198  submitting a signed affidavit in the format prescribed by the
  199  board that states:
  200         1. The applicant is currently a licensed engineer in this
  201  state and has been engaged in the practice of structural
  202  engineering with a record of at least 4 years of active
  203  structural engineering experience.
  204         2. The applicant is willing to meet with the board or a
  205  representative of the board, upon its request, for the purpose
  206  of evaluating the applicant’s qualifications for licensure.
  207         (c) An applicant who is qualified for licensure as an
  208  engineer under s. 471.013 may simultaneously apply for licensure
  209  as a structural engineer if all requirements of s. 471.013 and
  210  this subsection are met.
  211         (4)(3) The board shall certify as qualified for a license
  212  by endorsement an applicant who:
  213         (a) Qualifies to take the fundamentals examination and the
  214  principles and practice examination as set forth in s. 471.013,
  215  has passed a United States national, regional, state, or
  216  territorial licensing examination that is substantially
  217  equivalent to the fundamentals examination and principles and
  218  practice examination required by s. 471.013, and has satisfied
  219  the experience requirements set forth in s. 471.013; or
  220         (b) Holds a valid license to practice engineering or, for
  221  structural engineer applicants, a license to practice structural
  222  engineering issued by another state or territory of the United
  223  States, if the criteria for issuance of the license were
  224  substantially the same as the licensure criteria that existed in
  225  this state at the time the license was issued.
  226         Section 6. Section 471.019, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  227  read:
  228         471.019 Reactivation.—The board shall prescribe by rule
  229  continuing education requirements for reactivating a license.
  230  The continuing education requirements for reactivating a license
  231  for a licensed engineer or structural engineer may not exceed 12
  232  classroom hours for each year the license was inactive.
  233         Section 7. Subsection (2) of section 471.025, Florida
  234  Statutes, is amended to read:
  235         471.025 Seals.—
  236         (2) It is unlawful for any person to seal or digitally sign
  237  any document with a seal or digital signature after his or her
  238  license has expired or been revoked or suspended, unless such
  239  license is has been reinstated or reissued. When an engineer’s
  240  or structural engineer’s license is has been revoked or
  241  suspended by the board, the licensee shall, within a period of
  242  30 days after the revocation or suspension has become effective,
  243  surrender his or her seal to the executive director of the board
  244  and confirm to the executive director the cancellation of the
  245  licensee’s digital signature in accordance with ss. 668.001
  246  668.006. In the event the engineer’s license has been suspended
  247  for a period of time, his or her seal shall be returned to him
  248  or her upon expiration of the suspension period.
  249         Section 8. Paragraphs (b) through (g) of subsection (1) of
  250  section 471.031, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
  251  paragraphs (c) through (h), respectively, present paragraph (b)
  252  is amended, and a new paragraph (b) is added to that subsection,
  253  to read:
  254         471.031 Prohibitions; penalties.—
  255         (1) A person may not:
  256         (b) Beginning March 1, 2019, practice structural
  257  engineering unless the person is licensed as a structural
  258  engineer or exempt from licensure under this chapter.
  259         (c)(b)1. Except as provided in subparagraph 2. or
  260  subparagraph 3., use the name or title “professional engineer”
  261  or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviations,
  262  or device tending to indicate that such person holds an active
  263  license as an engineer when the person is not licensed under
  264  this chapter, including, but not limited to, the following
  265  titles: “agricultural engineer,” “air-conditioning engineer,”
  266  “architectural engineer,” “building engineer,” “chemical
  267  engineer,” “civil engineer,” “control systems engineer,”
  268  “electrical engineer,” “environmental engineer,” “fire
  269  protection engineer,” “industrial engineer,” “manufacturing
  270  engineer,” “mechanical engineer,” “metallurgical engineer,”
  271  “mining engineer,” “minerals engineer,” “marine engineer,”
  272  “nuclear engineer,” “petroleum engineer,” “plumbing engineer,”
  273  “structural engineer,” “transportation engineer,” “software
  274  engineer,” “computer hardware engineer,” or “systems engineer.”
  275         2. Any person who is exempt from licensure under s.
  276  471.003(2)(j) may use the title or personnel classification of
  277  “engineer” in the scope of his or her work under that exemption
  278  if the title does not include or connote the term “licensed
  279  engineer,” “professional engineer,” “registered engineer,”
  280  “licensed professional engineer,” “licensed engineer,”
  281  “registered professional engineer,” “licensed structural
  282  engineer,” “professional structural engineer,” “registered
  283  structural engineer,” or “structural engineer.” or “licensed
  284  professional engineer.”
  285         3. Any person who is exempt from licensure under s.
  286  471.003(2)(c) or (e) may use the title or personnel
  287  classification of “engineer” in the scope of his or her work
  288  under that exemption if the title does not include or connote
  289  the term “licensed engineer,” “professional engineer,”
  290  “registered engineer,” “licensed professional engineer,”
  291  “licensed engineer,” “registered professional engineer,”
  292  “licensed structural engineer,” “professional structural
  293  engineer,” “registered structural engineer,” or “structural
  294  engineer,” or “licensed professional engineer” and if that
  295  person is a graduate from an approved engineering curriculum of
  296  4 years or more in a school, college, or university which has
  297  been approved by the board.
  298         Section 9. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) and subsection
  299  (4) of section 471.033, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  300         471.033 Disciplinary proceedings.—
  301         (1) The following acts constitute grounds for which the
  302  disciplinary actions in subsection (3) may be taken:
  303         (e) Making or filing a report or record that the licensee
  304  knows to be false, willfully failing to file a report or record
  305  required by state or federal law, willfully impeding or
  306  obstructing such filing, or inducing another person to impede or
  307  obstruct such filing. Such reports or records include only those
  308  that are signed in the capacity of a licensed engineer or
  309  structural engineer.
  310         (4) The management corporation shall reissue the license of
  311  a disciplined engineer, structural engineer, or business upon
  312  certification by the board that the disciplined person has
  313  complied with all of the terms and conditions set forth in the
  314  final order.
  315         Section 10. Subsection (1) of section 471.037, Florida
  316  Statutes, is amended to read:
  317         471.037 Effect of chapter locally.—
  318         (1) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to
  319  repeal, amend, limit, or otherwise affect any local building
  320  code or zoning law or ordinance, now or hereafter enacted, which
  321  is more restrictive with respect to the services of licensed
  322  engineers or structural engineers than the provisions of this
  323  chapter.
  324         Section 11. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.