Georgia now requires NCEES Record for comity licensure

In an effort to improve its licensure process, the Georgia State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors recently began requiring an NCEES Record for professional engineers seeking licensure by comity.

The state joins four other jurisdictions that have set this requirement: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico require engineering comity licensure applicants to have an NCEES Record. Kentucky requires a record for both engineering and surveying comity licensure applicants.

An NCEES Record contains the documentation needed for comity licensure, the process by which someone licensed in one state applies for licensure in another jurisdiction. This includes college transcripts, exam and employment verifications, and professional references. NCEES collects and stores this information and then submits it to a state licensing board on the individual’s behalf when he or she is applying for comity licensure.

Darren Mickler, executive director of the Georgia board, explained the reasons for the move, which took effect January 1, 2011: “We’re going paperless where possible, and electronic submission is a big saving on manpower and storage space. Using an NCEES Record also ensures we get a complete application. NCEES has done the verifications for us, so we’re several steps ahead when we get our hands on it.”

The Georgia board did not just consider the advantages for itself. “Now, licensees know their application is complete before it comes to us. Plus, having a record in place gives them added mobility—and we encourage that,” Mickler explained. “If an applicant already holds an NCEES Record, there’s just a short online application. And for those who do have to set up a record, they’re sending NCEES the same things we required before. But now at the end of it, they have their record.”

Leigh Fricks, manager of the Records department at NCEES, said she is encouraged that licensees are finding that record valuable: “Ninety percent of record holders are now renewing their record each year; that’s up from 80 percent four to five years ago. Some people may establish a record because a board requires it, but the high renewal rate suggests they find real value in keeping it.”