South Carolina Legislature


 

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S*513
Session 109 (1991-1992) 

S*0513(Rat #0163, Act #0099 of 1991)  General Bill, By Drummond, J.V. Smith and 
J.M. Waddell
 A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Chapter 22
 in Title 40, relating to professions and occupations, so as to revise and
 recodify the law relating to the registration of engineers and land surveyors
 by the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers
 and Land Surveyors and provide penalties for violations; to repeal Chapter 21,
 Title 40 of the 1976 Code, relating to the registration of engineers and land
 surveyors; to provide for the continuation of regulations promulgated under
 prior law; to authorize a fee for the temporary registration of engineers; to
 provide for the continuation in office of the members of the South Carolina
 State Board for Registration of Engineers and Land Surveyors; and to save
 proceedings before the Board arising under prior law.

   01/17/91  Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-14
   01/17/91  Senate Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and
                     Industry SJ-14
   03/12/91  Senate Committee report: Favorable Labor, Commerce and
                     Industry SJ-17
   04/25/91  Senate Read second time SJ-50
   04/25/91  Senate Unanimous consent for third reading on next
                     legislative day SJ-50
   04/26/91  Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-2
   04/30/91  House  Introduced and read first time HJ-14
   04/30/91  House  Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and
                     Industry HJ-14
   05/01/91  House  Committee report: Favorable Labor, Commerce and
                     Industry HJ-7
   05/09/91  House  Read second time HJ-54
   05/14/91  House  Read third time and enrolled HJ-9
   05/27/91         Ratified R 163
   05/29/91         Signed By Governor
   05/29/91         Effective date 07/01/91
   05/29/91         Act No. 99
   05/29/91         See act for exception to or explanation of
                     effective date
   07/03/91         Copies available



(A99, R163, S513)

AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 22 IN TITLE 40, RELATING TO PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS, SO AS TO REVISE AND RECODIFY THE LAW RELATING TO THE REGISTRATION OF ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE BOARD OF REGISTRATION FOR PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS AND PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS; TO REPEAL CHAPTER 21, TITLE 40 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE REGISTRATION OF ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS; TO PROVIDE FOR THE CONTINUATION OF REGULATIONS PROMULGATED UNDER PRIOR LAW; TO AUTHORIZE A FEE FOR THE TEMPORARY REGISTRATION OF ENGINEERS; TO PROVIDE FOR THE CONTINUATION IN OFFICE OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE BOARD FOR REGISTRATION OF ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS; AND TO SAVE PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE BOARD ARISING UNDER PRIOR LAW.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Engineers and land surveyors

SECTION 1. Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"CHAPTER 22

Engineers and Land Surveyors

Section 40-22-10. As used in this chapter:

(1) `Engineer' means a professional engineer as defined in this section.

(2) `Professional Engineer' means a person who, by reason of his special knowledge of the mathematical and physical sciences and the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, acquired by professional education and practical experience, is qualified to practice engineering as defined in this section, all as attested by his legal registration as a professional engineer in this State.

(3) `Engineer-in-Training' means a person who has qualified for and passed the Fundamentals of Engineering examinations as provided in this chapter and is entitled to receive a certificate as an `Engineer-in-Training'.

(4) `Practice of engineering' means a professional service or creative work requiring engineering education, training, and experience, and the application of special knowledge of the mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences to professional services or creative work as consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning, design, and observation of construction for the purpose of evaluating compliance with specifications and design in connection with public or private utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, works, or projects. A person is construed to practice or offer to practice engineering, within the meaning and intent of this chapter who:

(a) practices any branch of the profession of engineering;

(b) by verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card, or in any other way represents himself to be a professional engineer or through the use of some other title implies that he is a professional engineer; or

(c) holds himself out as able to perform or does perform any engineering service or work or any other professional service designated by the practitioner or recognized by educational authorities as engineering.

(5) `Professional Land Surveyor' means a person who is qualified and licensed to practice TIER A or TIER B land surveying in this State, as defined in this section and as attested by his legal registration as a TIER A or TIER B Professional Land Surveyor in this State.

(6) `Land Surveyor-in-Training' means a person who has qualified for and passed the Fundamentals of Land Surveying examinations as provided in this chapter and is entitled to receive a certificate as a Land Surveyor-in-Training.

(7) The `practice of land surveying' means:

(a) `Practice of TIER A land surveying' includes measuring and locating lines, angles, elevations, natural and manmade features in the air, on the surface of the earth, within underground workings, or on the beds of bodies of water for the purpose of determining areas and volumes, for the monumenting of property boundaries and for the platting and laying out of lands and subdivisions of lands, including the topographic alignment and grades of streets and for the preparation of maps, plats, and property descriptions that represent the surveys. The practice of TIER A land surveying also includes, but is not limited to, establishing the horizontal and vertical control for aerial surveys and photogrammetric compilation; astronomical observations for the determination of the true azimuth; layout of proposed improvements, including land development plans, site plans, subdivision plans, profiles, typical sections, and cross sections for streets; measurements for and preparation of plans showing existing improvements after construction, including condominium plot plans; measurements for and preparation of topographic maps and surveys; and preparation of descriptions and plans or use in legal instruments of conveyance of real property and property rights.

(b) `Practice of TIER B land surveying' includes all rights and privileges of TIER A land surveying practice; and in addition to these rights and privileges, TIER B land surveying includes, for subdivisions, preparing and furnishing subdivision plans for sedimentation and erosion control and storm drainage systems, if the systems do not require the structural design of system components and are restricted to the use, where relevant, of any standards prescribed by local, state, or federal authorities. Regulations defining the scope of the additional powers granted to TIER B land surveyors must be promulgated by the board.

(8) `Board' means the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors as provided by this chapter.

(9) `ABET' means the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. `EAC' means the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

(10) `Resident Professional Engineer' or `Resident Professional Land Surveyor' with respect to principal office and branch office requirements means a licensed practitioner who spends a majority of each normal workday in the principal or branch office.

(11) `Branch office' means a place of business separate from the principal place of business where engineering services or land surveying services are provided. A specific project or construction site office is not a branch office. Nothing contained in this chapter prevents a professional engineer or professional land surveyor from undertaking an engineering or a land surveying project anywhere in the State.

(12) `Registered' means the engineer or land surveyor is duly registered in the State.

(13) `Misconduct' means the violation of a provision of this chapter or of the board's regulations.

(14) `Gross negligence' means an act or course of action, or inaction, which denotes a lack of reasonable care, or a conscious disregard or indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others and which does or could result in financial loss, injury, or damage to life or property.

(15) `Incompetence' means the practice of engineering or land surveying by a registrant determined to be either incapable of exercising ordinary care and diligence or lacking the ability and skill necessary properly to perform the duties undertaken.

(16) `Direct supervision' means the direct responsibility for supervision, critical watching and checking of engineering and/or land surveying activities with the authority directly to review, enforce, and control compliance with all engineering and/or land surveying criteria, specifications, and procedures as the work progresses.

(17) `Direct responsibility', `direct supervisory control', and `responsible charge' all mean the direction of engineering work by an engineer or land surveying work by a land surveyor to the extent that successful completion of the work is dependent on the personal supervision, direct control, and final decisions by the qualified registrant to the extent that the qualified registrant assumes professional responsibility for the work.

(18) `Fraud or deceit' means intentional deception to secure gain, through attempts deliberately to conceal, mislead, or misrepresent the truth in a manner that others might take some action in reliance or an act which provides incorrect, false, or misleading information on which others might rely.

(19) `Good character' refers to a person of good moral character and one who has not been convicted of violent crimes as defined in Section 16-1-60, or a crime of moral turpitude.

(20) `Current certificate of registration' means a certificate of registration which has not expired or has not been revoked, and which has not been suspended or otherwise restricted by the board.

(21) `Professions of architecture, landscape architecture, and geology' mean those specified professions as defined by the laws of this State and applicable regulations.

Section 40-22-20. The mere execution, as a contractor, of work designed by a professional engineer or the supervision of the construction of such work as a foreman or superintendent is not considered the practice of engineering.

Section 40-22-30. In order to safeguard life, health, and property and to promote the public welfare, a person in either public or private capacity practicing or offering to practice engineering or land surveying must submit evidence that he is qualified to practice and must be registered as provided in this chapter. It is unlawful for a person to practice or to offer to practice in this State engineering or land surveying, as defined in Section 40-22-10, or to use in connection with his name or otherwise assume, use, or advertise a title or description tending to convey the impression that he is a professional engineer or a land surveyor, unless the person is registered under the provisions of this chapter.

Section 40-22-40. (A) The practice or offer to practice engineering and land surveying as defined in this chapter by individual professional engineers or professional land surveyors registered under this chapter through a corporation, partnership, or firm offering engineering services or land surveying services to the public through individual registered professional engineers or professional land surveyors, as agents, employees, officers, or partners, is permitted if:

(1) one or more of the corporate officers in the case of a corporation, or one or more of the principal owners in the case of a professional corporation, partnership, or similar entity, are designated as being responsible for the professional services regulated by this board and are licensed under the provisions of this chapter;

(2) all personnel of the business entity who act in this State on behalf of the business entity as professional engineers or land surveyors are licensed under the provisions of this chapter; and

(3) the corporation, professional corporation, or partnership has been issued a certificate of authorization by the board as required by this section.

Nothing in this section may be construed to mean that a certificate of registration to practice engineering or land surveying may be held by a corporation, partnership, or firm.

(B) Effective July 1, 1992, the practice or offer to practice, of professional engineering or land surveying through a corporation, professional corporation, partnership, or similar entity is permitted only through entities holding a valid certificate of authorization issued by the board. For the purposes of this subsection, a certificate of authorization is also required for a corporation, professional corporation, partnership, or other entity practicing in this State under a fictitious name. However, when an individual is practicing engineering or land surveying in his own given name, he is not required to register for a certificate of authorization.

(C) Firms seeking to incorporate or register to do business in this State under provisions of this section shall apply and obtain approval from the board before filing their articles of incorporation or revisions to their article with the Secretary of State. Issuance of a certificate of authorization by the board is contingent upon official notification of approval of the charter or sanction by the Secretary of State.

(D) A firm desiring a certificate of authorization shall file with the board an application on forms provided by the board accompanied by the registration fee as provided by regulation. Each certificate of authorization must be renewed annually. A renewal form provided by the board must be completed and submitted with the annual registration fee, the fee being an amount as provided by regulation. Information to be provided on the application and renewal forms shall include the names and addresses of all officers and directors of the corporation, or professional corporation, or officers and partners of the partnership duly registered to practice engineering or land surveying in this State, including those in responsible charge of branch offices.

(E) Disciplinary action against a corporation, professional corporation, partnership, or similar entity must be administered in the same manner and on the same grounds as disciplinary action against a registrant. No corporation, professional corporation, partnership, or similar entity is relieved of responsibility for conduct or acts of its agents, officers, or employees by reason of its compliance with this section, nor is an individual practicing engineering or land surveying relieved of responsibility for professional services performed by reason of his employment or relationship with the business entity.

(F) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit corporations, professional corporations, partnerships, and similar entities from joining together to offer engineering or land surveying services to the public, if each separate entity providing the services in this State otherwise meets the requirements of this section. For firms practicing as a professional corporation under the laws of this State, the joint practice of engineering and/or land surveying with the professions of architecture, landscape architecture, and geology is specifically approved by the board.

(G) If the requirements of this section are met, the board shall issue a certificate of authorization to the organization, and the organization may contract for and collect fees for professional engineering and land surveying services. The board, however, may refuse to issue a certificate, or suspend or revoke an existing certificate for due cause. A person or organization aggrieved by an adverse determination of the board may appeal to the circuit court as provided in this chapter.

Section 40-22-50. (A) Upon application and approval by the board, and payment of the fee provided by regulation, the board shall grant a temporary registration for work on one specified project in this State for a period not to exceed one year to an engineer who has recently become a resident of this State, or a nonresident engineer having no established place of business in this State, who meets the qualification requirements for registration in this State and holds a valid certificate to practice in another state. A registrant may not renew a temporary certificate at its expiration date, nor may he apply for temporary registration in connection with more than one specific project in any three-year period.

(B) Upon approval by the board and payment of the fee provided by regulation, the board shall grant a temporary certificate of authorization for work on one specified project in this State for a period not to exceed one year. This temporary certificate may be granted only to an out-of-state corporation, professional corporation, partnership, or similar entity, and provided that at least one of the principal officers of the corporation or professional corporation, one of the partners of the partnership, or one of the principals in any other entity is registered under this chapter or has obtained a temporary registration as provided by this chapter. The approval of a temporary certificate of authorization constitutes appointment of the Secretary of State as an agent of the applicant for service of process in an action or proceeding against the applicant arising out of any transaction or operation connected with or incidental to the practice of engineering.

Section 40-22-60. Professional engineers and professional land surveyors engaged in business as sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, or other types of firms involving the practice of engineering or land surveying may maintain branch offices as well as a principal place of business. Each principal place of business as well as each branch office must have a resident professional engineer or professional land surveyor in responsible charge of the field and office surveying or engineering work provided. A professional engineer must supervise the engineering branch office and a professional land surveyor must supervise the land surveying branch office. The resident professional engineer or professional land surveyor is considered in residence in only one place of business at a given time. In this section, `engaged in business' means holding oneself out generally to the public as qualified and available to perform engineering or land surveying services, or both, for a fee.

Section 40-22-70. The South Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors shall administer the provisions of this chapter. The board shall consist of five professional engineers and two professional land surveyors, at least one of whom must be actively engaged in the practice of land surveying. These members must be appointed by the Governor and must be registered in this State and must have the qualifications required by Section 40-22-80. In addition, the board shall have one public member appointed by the Governor. Members of the board shall serve for terms of five years and until their successors are appointed and qualify.

Section 40-22-80. Each engineering member of the board must be a citizen of the United States and a resident of this State, must have been engaged in the practice of engineering in this State for at least twelve years, and must have been in responsible charge of important engineering work for at least five years. Responsible charge of engineering teaching may be construed as responsible charge of important engineering work.

Each land surveyor member of the board must be a citizen of the United States and a resident of this State and must have been engaged in the practice of land surveying in this State for at least twelve years.

The public member of the board must be a citizen of the United States and a resident of this State for at least twelve consecutive years.

Section 40-22-90. A member of the board shall receive a certificate of his appointment from the Governor and before beginning his term of office shall file with the Secretary of State his written oath or affirmation for the faithful discharge of his official duty.

Section 40-22-100. A member of the board shall receive a per diem allowance when actually attending to the work of the board or any of its committees and for the time spent in necessary travel and, in addition, must be reimbursed for all actual traveling, incidental, and clerical expenses necessarily incurred in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

Section 40-22-110. The Governor may remove a member of the board for misconduct, incompetency, neglect of duty, or for any other sufficient cause. Vacancies in the membership of the board must be filled for the unexpired term in the manner of original appointment.

Section 40-22-120. The board shall hold at least two regular meetings each year. Special meetings must be held at the time as the bylaws of the board may provide. Notice of all meetings must be given in the manner as the bylaws may provide. The board shall elect or appoint annually a chairman, a vice-chairman, and a secretary. A quorum consists of a simple majority of those members eligible to vote.

Neither the board nor any of its members, agents, or employees are liable for acts performed in good faith during the course of their official duties.

Section 40-22-130. The board may adopt and amend all bylaws and rules of procedure, not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of this State, which may be reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties and the regulation of the proceedings before it. The board shall adopt and have an official seal.

Section 40-22-140. All funds derived under the provisions of this chapter must be remitted to the State Treasurer as collected. These funds may be expended as directed by the board upon warrant requisitions directed to the Comptroller General who, after being satisfied of the propriety of payment, shall issue his warrant on the State Treasurer.

Section 40-22-150. The board may employ clerical or other assistants as necessary for the proper performance of its work and make expenditures of the fund of the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors for any purpose which in the opinion of the board is reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties under this chapter, including the expenses of the board's delegates to annual meetings of, and membership dues to, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.

Section 40-22-160. The board shall keep a record of its proceedings and a register of all applications for registration and all applications for certificates of authorization.

(1) For professional registration applications, the register shall show:

(a) the name, age, and residence of each applicant;

(b) the date and type of the application;

(c) the business address and telephone number of the applicant;

(d) his educational and other qualifications;

(e) whether or not an examination was required;

(f) whether the applicant was rejected;

(g) whether a certificate of registration was granted;

(h) the date of the action of the board; and

(i) other information considered necessary by the board.

(2) For applications requesting a certificate of authorization, the register shall show:

(a) the name and type of business entity;

(b) the date of application;

(c) the business address and telephone number;

(d) the address for service of due process;

(e) the date of action by the board;

(f) approval or rejection of the application; and

(g) other information considered necessary by the board.

The records of the board are prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the board set forth in the record and a transcript of the proceedings, duly certified by the secretary of the board under seal, is admissible in evidence as if the original were produced.

Section 40-22-170. A roster or roster supplements showing the current names and places of business of all professional engineers and all professional land surveyors must be published by the board each year. Copies must be mailed to each person registered, provided to the State Library, and, upon payment of a fee, provided by regulation furnished to the public on request.

The roster and roster supplements must also provide a listing of business entities holding a valid certificate of authorization to practice engineering or land surveying, or both, in this State.

Section 40-22-180. The board shall make an annual report in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 73 of this title.

Section 40-22-190. To be eligible for registration as a professional engineer, an applicant must be of good character and reputation. When the evidence presented in the application does not appear to the board conclusive, nor warrant the issuing of a certificate of registration, the applicant may be required to present further evidence for the consideration of the board. The applicant must also meet the requirements of the other pertinent sections of this chapter.

The minimum evidence satisfactory to the board that an applicant is qualified for registration as a professional engineer is:

(1) graduation in an EAC/ABET accredited engineering curriculum of four or more years from a school or college approved by the board as being in satisfactory standing, a specific record after graduation of an additional four or more years of progressive experience in engineering work of a character satisfactory to the board, indicating that the applicant is competent to practice engineering (in counting years of experience, the board, at its discretion, may give one year credit for satisfactory completion of a Master's Degree in Engineering or maximum credit of two years for satisfactory completion of the doctorate level degree in engineering), and passing of examinations required by the board; or

(2) graduation in an approved engineering or an approved related engineering science curriculum of four or more years, in a school or college other than those in item (1) of this section, a specific record after graduation of eight or more years of experience in engineering work of a character satisfactory to the board, indicating that the applicant is competent to practice engineering, passing of a written or oral examination designed to show knowledge and skill approximating that attained through graduation in an EAC/ABET accredited four-year engineering curriculum, and then passing of the written examinations required of applicants in item (1) of this section.

Section 40-22-200. The minimum evidence satisfactory to the board that an applicant is qualified for certification as an engineer-in-training is:

(1) graduation in an EAC/ABET accredited engineering curriculum of four or more scholastic years from a school or college approved by the board as being in satisfactory standing and passing of a written examination as required by the board; or

(2) graduation in an approved engineering or an approved related engineering science curriculum of four or more years in a school or college other than those approved by the board in item (1) of this section, a specific record after graduation of four or more years experience in engineering work of a character satisfactory to the board and passing written examinations in engineering subjects designed to show knowledge and skill approximating that attained through graduation in an EAC/ABET accredited engineering curriculum, and passing of the examination as required in item (1) of this section.

Section 40-22-210. In considering the qualifications of applicants, engineering teaching as qualified by the board may be considered as engineering experience.

Section 40-22-220. To be eligible for registration as a professional land surveyor an applicant must be of good character and reputation. When the evidence presented in the application does not appear to the board conclusive nor warranting the issuing of a certificate of registration, the applicant may be required to present further evidence for the consideration of the board. The applicant must also meet the requirement of the other pertinent sections of this chapter.

The minimum evidence satisfactory to the board that an applicant is qualified for registration as a TIER A Professional Land Surveyor is:

(1) graduation from a school or college of four or more years with a bachelor of science degree or a bachelor of engineering technology degree in an ABET Commission accredited curriculum of land surveying or engineering technology, including completed courses in surveying and mapping of not less than twelve semester hours or the equivalent in quarter hours satisfactory to the board, a specific record of two or more years of progressive practical experience of a character satisfactory to the board and performed under a practicing registered professional land surveyor, and passing of the Fundamentals of Land Surveying examinations and the written or written and oral examinations in the Principles and Practices of TIER A Land Surveying as prescribed by the board; or

(2) graduation from a school or college of two or more years with an associate degree in an ABET Commission accredited curriculum of engineering technology or land surveying, including completed surveying courses of a character satisfactory to the board, a specific record of four or more years of progressive practical experience of a character satisfactory to the board and performed under a practicing registered professional land surveyor or other comparable and equivalent supervision, and passing of the Land Surveyor-in-Training Fundamentals of Land Surveying examinations and the written or written and oral examinations in the Principles and Practices of TIER A Land Surveying as prescribed by the board.

Section 40-22-230. (A) Persons registered only as professional land surveyors as of May 13, 1986, are classified TIER A Professional Land Surveyors and are allowed to practice surveying in the TIER B classification as described in Section 40-22-10(7)(b) only after passing the written examination for TIER B Land Surveyor applicants as prescribed by the board.

(B) Persons registered as both professional land surveyor and professional engineer are classified TIER B professional land surveyors.

(C) Persons not registered as professional land surveyors as of May 13, 1986, under the appropriate provisions of Chapter 21 of this title as that chapter existed before that date, applying for registration as a TIER B Land Surveyor, must meet the four-year education requirement in Section 40-22-240, in addition to all other requirements of this chapter.

Section 40-22-240. The minimum evidence satisfactory to the board that an applicant is qualified for registration as a TIER B Professional Land Surveyor is:

graduation from a school or college of four or more years with a bachelor of science degree, including in the curriculum not less than fifteen semester hours or the equivalent in quarter hours of surveying, mapping, hydraulics, and hydrology courses satisfactory to the board, or a bachelor of engineering technology degree in an ABET Commission accredited curriculum of land surveying or engineering technology including in the curriculum not less than twelve semester hours or the equivalent in quarter hours of surveying, mapping, hydraulics, and hydrology courses satisfactory to the board, a specific record of two or more years of progressive practical experience of a character satisfactory to the board and performed under a practicing registered land surveyor, and passing of the Land Surveyor-in-Training Fundamentals of Land Surveying Examinations and the written or written and oral examinations in the Principles and Practices of TIER A and TIER B Land Surveying as prescribed by the board.

Section 40-22-250. The minimum evidence satisfactory to the board that an applicant is qualified for certification as a land surveyor-in-training is:

(1) graduation from a school or college of four or more years with a bachelor of science degree or a bachelor of engineering technology degree in an ABET Commission accredited curriculum of land surveying or engineering technology including in the curriculum not less than twelve semester hours or the equivalent in quarter hours of surveying, mapping, hydraulics, and hydrology courses satisfactory to the board, and a specific record of one or more years of progressive practical experience of a character satisfactory to the board and performed under a practicing registered professional land surveyor, and has passed the written or written and oral examinations in the fundamentals of land surveying as prescribed by the board; or

(2) graduation from a school or college of two years or more with an associate degree in an ABET Commission accredited curriculum of engineering technology or land surveying, including completed surveying courses of a character satisfactory to the board, and a specific record of three years or more of progressive practical experience of a character satisfactory to the board, and performed under a practicing professional land surveyor or other comparable and equivalent supervision, and has passed the written or written and oral examinations in the fundamentals of land surveying as prescribed by the board.

Section 40-22-260. No person is eligible for registration as a professional engineer or professional land surveyor or certification as an engineer-in-training or land surveyor-in-training who is not of good character and reputation and who cannot effectively communicate in the English language.

Section 40-22-270. A person having the necessary qualifications prescribed in this chapter to entitle him to registration is eligible for registration although he may not be practicing his profession at the time he applies.

Section 40-22-280. Applications for registration must be on forms prescribed and furnished by the board and must contain statements made under oath showing the applicant's education and a detailed summary of his technical work.

(1) The application for engineering registration must contain no fewer than five references of whom three or more are registered engineers having personal knowledge of the applicant's engineering experience. In addition, the application must contain references to verify each employment period. The board shall solicit comments from references furnished; these comments must be confidential and privileged information for use only by the board.

(2) The application for land surveying registration must contain no fewer than five references of whom three or more must be registered land surveyors having personal knowledge of the applicant's land surveying experience. In addition, the application must contain references to verify each employment period. The board shall solicit comments from references furnished; these comments must be confidential and privileged information for use only by the board.

Section 40-22-290. The examination and registration fees for professional engineers, engineers-in-training, professional land surveyors, and land surveyors-in-training must be promulgated by the board by regulation.

Should the board deny the issuance of a certificate of registration to an applicant, once the processing of his application has commenced, the fee deposited must be retained as an application fee.

Section 40-22-300. When oral or written examinations are required they must be held at the time and place the board determines. Examinations must be given for the purpose of determining the qualifications of applicants for registration separately in engineering and land surveying.

Section 40-22-310. A candidate failing an examination may apply for reexamination at the next examination date and must be reexamined with payment of an additional fee sufficient to cover the cost of reexamination to be determined by the board by regulations. A candidate for registration who has failed the same topical examination two times shall provide evidence satisfactory to the board that the candidate has taken steps such as additional schooling, classes, seminars, or self-study to prepare better the candidate for a third examination on the same topical subject. The board may refuse further examination unless a candidate failing the same topical examination twice has shown evidence satisfactory to the board that measures have been taken to enhance the candidate's chances of success. A new application is required of a candidate having failed the same topical examination three times for a new determination by the board as to whether the candidate has the necessary experience and other qualifications for admittance to further examination.

Section 40-22-320. The board shall issue a certificate of registration upon payment of the registration fee as provided in this chapter to an applicant who, in the opinion of the board, has satisfactorily met all the requirements of this chapter. In the case of a professional engineer, the certificate authorizes the practice of engineering. In the case of a professional land surveyor, the certificate authorizes the practice of TIER A or TIER B land surveying as applicable. Certificates of registration must show the full name of the registrant, have a serial number, and must be signed by the chairman and the secretary of the board under seal of the board.

Section 40-22-330. The issuance of a certificate of registration by the board is prima facie evidence that the person registered is entitled to all the rights and privileges of a professional engineer or of a professional land surveyor while the certificate remains unrevoked or unexpired.

Section 40-22-340. The board, for sufficient reason, may reissue a certificate of registration to a person whose certificate has been revoked if a majority of the members of the board vote in favor of reissuance. A new certificate of registration to replace a certificate revoked, lost, destroyed, or mutilated may be issued, subject to the rules of the board, and a charge to be determined by the board by regulation must be made for the issuance.

Section 40-22-350. Every certified professional engineer and professional land surveyor registered under the provisions of this chapter who decides to continue the practice of his profession shall annually during the month of June, pay the board a fee sufficient to support the costs of the board's operations, to be determined by the board by regulation, for which fee a renewal registration card for the ensuing registration year must be issued. The board shall assess a late renewal penalty of twenty percent of the annual renewal fee against those persons who do not renew their registration within one month of the annual renewal date. The penalty must be assessed for each two months thereafter with a maximum grace period of three months following the annual renewal date. Those persons not renewing their licenses within three months following the annual renewal date shall file a new application accompanied by the required application fee or, if they are in a position to do so, file a notarized affidavit with the board certifying that they have not been engaged in the practice of engineering or land surveying in South Carolina during the period their certificates were not in a current condition, accompanied by the total amount of unpaid renewal fees and penalties. An individual whose certificate has lapsed due to nonpayment of the required renewal fee within three months of the due date is considered in the same category as a previously unregistered person and, at the board's discretion, may be required to pass an oral or written examination as a condition of relicensing.

Section 40-22-360. A person who holds a certificate of registration to engage in the practice of engineering or land surveying issued on comparable qualifications from a state, territory, or possession of the United States, or of a foreign country, must be given comity consideration. The applicant is required to take the examinations the board considers necessary to establish that his qualifications meet the requirements of this chapter and the rules and regulations prescribed or promulgated by the board but, in any event, a land surveying applicant must pass a written or written and oral examination including questions of law, procedures, and practices pertaining to the practice of land surveying in this State.

Section 40-22-370. Each registrant and, effective July 1, 1991, each organization practicing under a certificate of authorization shall obtain a seal of the design authorized by the board.

(1) Individual seals must be under the personal custody and control of the registrant and bear the registrant's name, registration number, and the legend `Registered Professional Engineer' or `Registered Professional Land Surveyor'.

(2) Seals for firms practicing under a certificate of authorization must bear the firm's name, authorization number, and location.

(3) Plans, specifications, plats, and reports prepared by a registrant or prepared under the registrant's direct supervision must be stamped with seals when filed with public authorities during the life of the registrant's certificate.

(4) Plans and specifications prepared by a registrant or prepared under the registrant's direct supervision must be stamped with seals when issued for use as job site record documents at construction projects within this State.

(5) It is unlawful for anyone to seal documents with a seal after the certificate of the registrant or the certificate of authorization in the case of corporations, professional corporations, partnerships, and similar entities named on the seal has expired or has been revoked or suspended unless the certificate has been renewed, reissued, or reinstated.

(6) Where individual seals are affixed to plans, specifications, plats, and reports, the registrant shall superimpose his original signature and date under or across the face and beyond the circumference of the seal. The signature and date must not be applied in a manner that obliterates or renders illegible the registrant's license number or name.

Section 40-22-380. In implementing the provisions of this chapter, the board, under the hand of its chairman and the seal of the board, may subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance and also may require the production of books, papers, documents, and similar material in a case involving the violation of provisions of this chapter or applicable regulation. A member of the board may administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses appearing before the board. If a person refuses to obey a subpoena so issued or refuses to testify or produce books, papers, documents, or similar material, the board may present its petition to the authority having jurisdiction, setting forth the facts; and the authority shall in a proper case issue its subpoena to the person, requiring his attendance before the authority there to testify or to produce books, papers, documents, or similar material as considered necessary and pertinent by the board. A person failing or refusing to obey the subpoena or order of the authority may be proceeded against in the same manner as for refusal to obey any other subpoena or order of the authority.

Section 40-22-390. The board may suspend, refuse, or revoke a certificate of registration as well as reprimand or fine a registrant who is found guilty of, or in the case of item (6), is the subject of:

(1) the practice of fraud or deceit in applying for or obtaining a certificate of registration;

(2) gross negligence, incompetency, or misconduct in the practice of engineering or land surveying as a professional engineer or professional land surveyor;

(3) a felony or misdemeanor which, in the judgment of the board, adversely affects the registrant's ability to perform satisfactorily within the licensed discipline;

(4) aiding or abetting any person in violation of a provision of this chapter;

(5) a violation of this chapter or of the rules and regulations as prescribed or promulgated by the board;

(6) a declaration of insanity by a court of competent jurisdiction and has not thereafter been declared sane.

Section 40-22-400. A person may prefer charges of fraud, deceit, gross negligence, incompetency, or misconduct against a registrant.

(1) The charges must be in writing, supported by affidavit of specific wrongdoing, and filed with the secretary of the board. All charges, unless dismissed by the board as unfounded, trivial, or otherwise without merit, must be investigated by the board to determine if a hearing is warranted.

(2) If in the judgment of the board a hearing is warranted, the charges may be processed as provided for by the Administrative Procedures Act, Section 1-23-10, et seq. The time and place for a hearing must be fixed by the board. The accused must be furnished a copy of the charges and a notice of the time and place of hearing. Notification must be personally served or served by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the last known address of the registrant at least thirty days before the scheduled hearing date. The accused may appear personally and with counsel to cross-examine witnesses appearing against him and to produce evidence and witnesses in his own defense.

(3) If a majority of the board sustains the charges against the registrant, the board may levy a civil fine against the registrant as well as reprimand, suspend, refuse to renew, or revoke the registrant's certificate. The board may require the registrant to pay a fine of not more than two thousand dollars to the board for each violation of the provisions of this chapter or the regulations promulgated by the board, but the total of the fines imposed for these violations may not exceed ten thousand dollars. All fines must be remitted by the board to the State Treasurer and deposited in a special fund from which the board must be reimbursed for the administrative costs for each case upon the approval of the State Budget and Control Board. If the special fund exceeds twenty thousand dollars, all funds in excess of twenty thousand dollars must be remitted to the general fund of the State. Fines are payable immediately upon imposition. Unless the fine is paid within sixty days after the order becomes final, the order constitutes a judgment and must be filed and execution issued on the judgment in the same manner as the judgment of the court of common pleas. Interest accrues on the amount of the fine from the date imposed until the date paid at the rate specified in Section 34-31-20(B). No registrant against whom a fine is levied is eligible for reinstatement until the fine has been paid in full.

(4) The board may not consider charges in a matter that would otherwise be precluded by prevailing statutes of limitation or repose.

Section 40-22-410. A final order of the board which finds an engineer, land surveyor, or other person guilty of any offense charged in a formal accusation must be made public unless stayed by the court.

Section 40-22-420. A person who is aggrieved by an action of the board in suspending, denying, or revoking his certificate of registration, or a reprimand, may appeal the action to the circuit court and, after full hearing, the court shall make the decree sustaining or reversing the action of the board as it considers just and proper.

Section 40-22-430. A person:

(1) who practices or offers to practice engineering or land surveying in this State without being registered in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;

(2) who presents or attempts to use as his own the certificate of registration or the seal of another;

(3) who gives false or forged evidence of any kind to the board or to a member of the board in obtaining a certificate of registration;

(4) who falsely impersonates another registrant of like or different name;

(5) who attempts to use an expired or revoked certificate of registration; or

(6) who violates a provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

Section 40-22-440. To enforce the provisions of this chapter, or to restrain a violation of this chapter, the board may apply in the name of the State for an injunction as provided generally in civil cases. In such proceedings:

(1) It is not necessary to establish the absence of an adequate remedy at law.

(2) Board members are not personally liable for damages resulting from a wrongful injunction.

(3) The initial order of injunction must include a rule to show cause and is temporary pending the return to the rule.

Section 40-22-450. All duly constituted officers of the law of this State or a political subdivision of this State shall enforce the provisions of this chapter and prosecute a person violating any of them. The Attorney General or one of his assistants shall act as legal adviser of the board and render legal assistance as may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

(1) The clerk of court or the register of mesne conveyances for any county shall refuse to accept for filing or recording a map, plat, survey, or other document within the definition of land surveying, dated after July 1, 1977, which does not have affixed to it the personal signature and prescribed impression seal of a professional land surveyor. No charge may be made by a professional land surveyor for the application of his impression seal.

(2) The building official, or other designated authority charged with the responsibility of issuing building or similar permits, shall refuse to issue a permit for any undertaking, the plans and specifications for which would require the seal of a professional engineer, unless the permit applicant has furnished satisfactory evidence the documents were prepared by an engineer licensed as required by this chapter or that the documents are exempt from the requirements of this chapter. The building official, or designated authority charged with the responsibility of issuing building or similar permits, shall report to the board the name and address of a person who has or is suspected to have violated provisions of this chapter relating to the unlicensed practice of engineering.

Section 40-22-460. (A) This chapter may not be construed to prevent or to affect:

(1) the practice of any other legally recognized profession or trade;

(2) the work of an employee or other subordinate of a person holding a certificate of registration under this chapter;

(3) the practice of officers and employees of the government of the United States while engaged within this State in the practice of engineering or land surveying for the government;

(4) the work or practice of a regular employee of a public utility, a telephone utility, or an electrical utility by rendering to the employing company engineering service in connection with its facilities which are subject to regulation, supervision, and control in order to safeguard life, health, and property by the Public Service Commission of this State, so long as the person is actually and exclusively employed. Engineering work not related to the exemption in this item where the safety of the public is directly involved must be accomplished by or under the responsible charge of a professional engineer;

(5) the work or practice of a regular employee of an electric cooperative, when rendering to the employing cooperative engineering service in connection with its facilities which are subject to regulations and inspections of the Rural Electric Administration, if the person is actually and exclusively employed. Engineering work not related to the exemption in this item where the safety of the public is directly involved must be accomplished by or under the responsible charge of a professional engineer;

(6) the work or practice of a regular employee of a state authority which is licensed by and subject to the safety regulations of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and which sells and distributes electric power to consumers, so long as the person is actually and exclusively employed. Engineering work not related to the exemption in this item where the safety of the public is directly involved must be accomplished by or under the responsible charge of a registered professional engineer;

(7) the work of a general contractor, specialty contractor, or material supplier in the preparation and use of shop drawings or other graphic descriptions used to detail or illustrate a portion of the work required to construct the project in accordance with plans and specifications prepared under the requirements of this chapter.

(B) If drawings and specifications are signed by the authors with the true title of their occupations, this chapter does not apply to the preparation of plans and specifications for:

(1) farm buildings not designed or used for human occupancy;

(2) buildings and structures less than three stories high and less than five thousand square feet in area, except that buildings of assembly, institutional, educational, and hazardous occupancies as defined by the Standard Building Code regardless of area are not exempt from the provisions of this chapter;

(3) alterations to a building to which this chapter does not apply, provided the alterations do not result in a change which would otherwise place the building under the application of this chapter.

This subsection may not be construed to prejudice a law, ordinance, regulation, or other directive duly enacted by another political body, or a requirement by a contracting authority which would otherwise require preparation of plans and specifications under the responsible charge of a professional engineer or professional land surveyor."

Regulations

SECTION 2. Except where inappropriate, regulations promulgated pursuant to Chapter 21, Title 40 of the 1976 Code are considered to be promulgated pursuant to Chapter 22, Title 40 of the 1976 Code as added by this act.

Fee authorized

SECTION 3. Until the promulgation of regulations prescribing a fee for the temporary registration of engineers pursuant to Section 40-22-50 of the 1976 Code, as added by this act, the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors may charge a fee of not more than one hundred dollars for a temporary registration to practice engineering in this State.

Board members

SECTION 4. Members of the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors serving on the effective date of this act shall continue to serve until the expiration of their terms, after which their successors must be appointed as provided by law.

Repeal

SECTION 5. Chapter 21, Title 40 of the 1976 Code is repealed.

Time effective

SECTION 6. This act takes effect July 1, 1991, and applies with respect to applications for registration made for fiscal years beginning after June 30, 1991. Matters pending before the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors on July 1, 1991, arising under the provisions of Chapter 21, Title 40 of the 1976 Code are saved and must be resolved pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 21, Title 40 of the 1976 Code in effect on June 30, 1991.

Approved the 29th day of May, 1991.




Legislative Services Agency
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