<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
RULE §137.33Sealing Procedures

(a) The purpose of the engineer's seal is to assure the user of the engineering product that the work has been performed or directly supervised by the professional engineer named and to delineate the scope of the engineer's work.

(b) License holders shall only seal work done by them, performed under their direct supervision as defined in §131.2 of this title, relating to Definitions, or shall be standards or general guideline specifications that they have reviewed and selected. Upon sealing, engineers take full professional responsibility for that work.

(c) When a license holder reviews and elects to use standards or general guideline specifications, those items shall be clearly labeled as such, shall bear the identity of the publishing entity, and shall be:

  (1) individually sealed by the license holder; or

  (2) specified on an integral design/title/contents sheet that bears the engineer's seal, signature, and date with a statement authorizing its use.

(d) License holders shall take reasonable steps to ensure the security of their physical or electronic seals and electronic signatures. For electronic seals and electronic signatures, the engineer must have reasonable security measures in place to protect these files. In the event of loss of a seal or electronic signature, the engineer will, as soon as possible, but within 30 days of discovery, give written notification of the facts concerning the loss to board.

(e) Preliminary documents released from a license holder's control shall identify the purpose of the document, the engineer(s) of record and the engineer license number(s), and the release date by placing the following text or similar wording on the title sheet of bound engineering reports, specifications, details, calculations or estimates, and each sheet of plans or drawings regardless of size or binding, instead of a seal: "This document is released for the purpose of (Examples: interim review, mark-up, drafting) under the authority of (Example: Leslie H. Doe, P.E. 0112) on (date). It is not to be used for (Examples: construction, bidding, permit) purposes."

(f) License holders shall affix their seal and original signature or electronic seal and signature with the date on the final version of their engineering work before such work is released from their control.

  (1) The signature and date shall not obscure the engineer's name or license number in the seal.

  (2) Engineering work required to bear a seal and signature includes the original title sheet of bound engineering reports, specifications, details, calculations or estimates, and each original sheet of plans or drawings regardless of size or binding.

  (3) All other engineering work, including but not limited to research reports, opinions, recommendations, evaluations, addenda, documents produced for litigation, and engineering software shall bear the engineer's printed name, date, signature and the designation "P.E." or other terms as described in §137.1 of this chapter (relating to License Holder Designations). A seal may be added on such work if required or at the engineer's discretion.

(g) Work performed by more than one license holder shall be sealed in a manner such that all engineering can be clearly attributed to the responsible license holder or license holders. When sealing plans or documents on which two or more license holders have worked, the seal and signature of each license holder shall be placed on the plan or document with a notation describing the work done under each license holder's responsible charge.

(h) Licensed employees of the state, its political subdivisions, or other public entities are responsible for sealing their original engineering work; however, such licensed employees engaged in review and evaluation for compliance with applicable law or regulation of engineering work submitted by others, or in the preparation of general planning documents, a proposal for decision in a contested case or any similar position statement resulting from a compliance review, need not seal the review reports, planning documents, proposals for decision, or position statements.

(i) A license holder, as a third party, may alter, complete, correct, revise, or add to the work of another license holder when engaged to do so by a client, provided:

  (1) the first license holder is notified in writing by the second license holder of the engagement immediately upon acceptance of the engagement; and

  (2) any work altered, completed, corrected, revised, or added to shall have a seal affixed by the second license holder. The second license holder then becomes responsible for any alterations, additions or deletions to the original design including any effect or impact of those changes on the original license holder's design.

(j) A local authority may require an original seal and/or signature on reproduced documents.

(k) A plan, specification, plat, or report issued by a license holder for a project to be constructed or used in this state must include the license holder's seal placed on the document. A license holder is not required to use a seal if the project is to be constructed or used in another state or country.

(l) An engineer may securely transmit his or her final version of engineering work electronically provided that work bears the engineer's seal and uses one of the techniques described in §137.35(a) of this chapter (relating to Electronic Seals and Electronic Signatures) and must employ reasonable security measures to make the documents unalterable. Electronic correspondence of this type may be followed by a hard copy containing the engineer's printed name, date, signature and the designation "P.E." or other terms described in §137.1 of this chapter.

(m) A license holder is not required to use a seal for a project for which the license holder is not required to hold a license under an exemption set forth under the Act, Texas Occupation Code §§1001.051 - 1001.066.

(n) All engineering documents released, issued, or submitted by a licensee, including preliminary documents, shall clearly indicate the firm name and registration number of the engineering firm by which the engineer is employed.

  (1) If the engineer is employed by a local, State, or Federal Government agency, then only the name of the agency shall be required.

  (2) If the engineer is exempt from sealing a document under subsection (m) of this section, but elects to seal a document, then only the name of the employer shall be required.

(o) Use of a seal that is not in compliance with the requirements of §137.31 of this title (relating to Seal Specifications) by a license holder is a violation of Board rules and subject to sanctions.

Source Note: The provisions of this §137.33 adopted to be effective May 20, 2004, 29 TexReg 4878; amended to be effective January 1, 2006, 30 TexReg 8687; amended to be effective April 27, 2008, 33 TexReg 3266; amended to be effective December 21, 2008, 33 TexReg 10175; amended to be effective December 11, 2016, 41 TexReg 9705; amended to be effective July 3, 2022, 47 TexReg 3687

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page