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An architect is an individual who is legally qualified to practice architecture.  Since architects and the practice of architecture affect the public health, safety and welfare it is subjected to regulation and control in the public interest.  Pursuant to Code of Ala. § 34-2-31, in order to safeguard life, health and property, and to promote the public welfare, no person shall practice architecture in the state of Alabama.

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) shall receive applications for registration as an architect only on forms prescribed and furnished by the board.  Upon receipt of the application and the payment of a fee, as established by the board, the fee in no event exceeding two hundred dollars ($200), the board shall promptly notify the applicant of examination requirements for certification.

Further, the board may contract with an independent testing agency to prepare, grade, or conduct the examination.  The board may issue to an applicant without further examination, a certificate of registration as an architect, provided the applicant holds an unexpired certificate issued to him or her by the board.

The board shall consider the following as satisfactory evidence to consider an applicant as fully qualified to be examined for certification:

  • Graduation from a school or college of architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and an additional period of practical experience in architectural work under the control and supervision of a registered architect or architects as the board by regulation shall deem appropriate.
  • Acceptable combinations of education and apprenticeship as may be established by the board.

Unless exempted, applicants shall take and pass the professional examination administered by the board or an independent testing agency approved by the board.  In determining the sufficiency of the qualifications of the applicant for registration, a majority vote of the members of the board shall be required.

Certificates for registration shall expire on the thirtieth day of September following their issuance or renewal and shall become invalid on that day unless renewed.  Certificates of registrants who are or may be in the armed forces of the United States shall not expire until the thirtieth day of September following the discharge or final separation of the registrant from the armed forces of the United States.  Renewal may be effected at any time prior to or during the month of September by the payment of a fee established by the board not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150).  A penalty not to exceed the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75) may be added to the renewal fee for failure to renew a certificate upon such terms and conditions as the board may by regulation determine. Failure to renew a certificate of registration by December 31 shall result in a lapse of registration.

Code of Ala. § 34-2-33 provides that , a registrant whose certificate of registration has lapsed may have it reinstated, if in compliance with other relevant requirements, by filing a renewal form and paying, in addition to the appropriate renewal fee and late penalty, a reinstatement fee of one hundred fifty dollars ($150).  There is hereby created, for renewal of certificate purposes, a status to be known as “emeritus status architect,” which shall apply to architects who have been registered for 10 consecutive years or longer, and who are 65 years of age or older, and who have retired from active practice.  The annual renewal of registration for emeritus status shall be renewed without payment of a fee. If an emeritus status architect subsequently wishes to practice, s/he may do so without penalty by proper application to the board.

Pursuant to Code of Ala. § 34-2-34, the board shall have the following disciplinary powers:

  • To issue reprimands to any licensee who violates any provision of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the board;
  • To levy administrative fines for serious violations of the rules and regulations of the board of not more than $5,000 for each day the violation continues, but in no event shall an administrative fine exceed $25,000 total per violation; or
  • To refuse to issue a certificate, to suspend a certificate for a definite period or to revoke the certificate of registration of an architect who is found guilty of:
  1. Any fraud or deceit in obtaining a certificate of registration as determined by the board at a hearing; or
  2. Gross negligence, incompetency or misconduct in the practice of architecture as determined by the board at a hearing; or
  3. A felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude by a court of competent jurisdiction; or
  4. Practicing architecture in this state in violation of the standards of professional conduct established by the board; or
  5. Practicing architecture in this or any other state or country in violation of the laws of that state or country; or
  6. Aiding or abetting any individual, partnership or corporation to engage in the practice of architecture in violation of any provisions of law.

In all cases of reprimand, administrative fine, refusal, suspension or revocation of a certificate of registration, or any other disciplinary action of the board, the accused may appeal to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama.  Either party, the accused or the board, has the right to appeal from the final decree of the circuit court as provided by law.

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