Land Surveying License Process

Becoming a Professional Land Surveyor
 
  • By Examination
    You are an individual who is not already licensed in another state.
  • By Endorsement
    You are an individual who is already licensed in another state.
  • By Reinstatement
    You were licensed in Kentucky and allowed it to expire.

 

Exam Results

Exam results will be provided by NCEES. If you passed the FS exam, you may apply for the certificate but it is not required; see #2 below.

If you passed the PS exam, you may apply for licensure when you have obtained the required experience; see #4 below. 
  

If you failed an exam less than three times, you can retake by registering directly with NCEES.  If you have failed three or more times, please contact bdavid.cox@ky.gov and provide proof of gaining additional knowledge, such as a review course.

 

Becoming a Professional Land Surveyor by Examination

1. Education
 
Kentucky requires a four year college degree.  Below are the three options:
 
Option 1 – Graduation from a board approved program of four (4) years or more in land surveying from a college or university or Senior standing.

Option 2 – Graduation from a program of four (4) years or more other than land surveying from a college or university of recognized standing plus completion of the 24 semester credit hour surveying core curriculum.

Option 3 – Graduation from a civil, mining, or agricultural engineering program of four (4) years or more accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (EAC/ABET) plus completion of the 12 semester credit hours of the surveying core curriculum.
 
If you have questions about your particular circumstances, please email  bdavid.cox@ky.gov.

 

2. Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) Exam

You may register for the FS exam at http://ncees.org/exams/ and log in to your MyNCEES account.
 
Do not register for the FS exam unless you meet the educational requirements outlined under 1.above or have senior standing in such a program with at least 12 semester hours of surveying related courses; or you have previous written approval from us.
 
Passage of the FS exam does not guarantee:
    • Certification as a Land Surveyor-In-Training (LSIT);
    • Future approval to take the Principles & Practice of Surveying exam;
    • Licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS).
 
LSIT certification is not required, but if you need it for another purpose you can apply after passing the FS exam, completing the online application below, and having your school send us an official transcript showing graduation:
 
 
If you have questions about your particular circumstances, please email  bdavid.cox@ky.gov.

 

3. Principles & Practice of Surveying (PPS) Exam

You may register for the PPS exam at ​http://ncees.org/exams/ and log in to your MyNCEES account.
 
Do not register for the PPS exam unless you meet the educational requirements outlined under 1. above and have passed the FS exam; or you have previous written approval from us.
 
If you have questions about your particular circumstances please email bdavid.cox@ky.gov

 

Please be aware that Ohio currently will require you to retake the PPS exam if you take it before obtaining the required experience.  We are not aware of any other states where this is an issue.  Please contact the individual states you are interested in before deciding when to take the exam.

Please note that passage of the Principles & Practice of Land Surveying exam does not guarantee licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS).  You must meet all requirements of KRS 322 including education, examinations, experience, and moral character and make application (see #4 below).

 

4.  Initial Licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS)

***If you are already licensed in another state, you must apply for licensure by endorsement.  See "Become a Professional Land Surveyor by Endorsement" and complete "Online Application for Licensure by Endorsement".***

After meeting the Education, FS, and PPS requirements listed above, and obtaining four years of progressive surveying experience under the direct supervision of a licensed surveyor (three years under education option 1) with at least two years following graduation, you may apply for licensure.

Kentucky requires an NCEES Record as an application for licensure. Information regarding obtaining a record can be found at NCEES Records. Please follow the instructions at that website and contact the NCEES Records Department at 800-250-3196 if you encounter problems. You must request NCEES transmit the record to us; we cannot do this for you.
 
NCEES will charge a fee of $100 to transmit the completed record to us.  However, we charge no application fee or any other fee until you need to renew the license in approximately two years.  You will then have a Record that you can maintain throughout your career with no charge for updates and a reduced fee of $75 for each transmission to other states where you seek licensure.
 
In addition to the NCEES Record, please complete the online application below. 

Online Application For Initial Licensure
 
If your application is approved, you will then need to pass the 2-hour state specific exam, which will be given in our office at various dates throughout the year.  Once that is passed, your license will be issued.
 
Following are the suggested study materials for the 2-hour state specific exam

  

Becoming a Professional Land Surveyor by Endorsement

If you are licensed in any state, territory, or possession of the United States, District of Columbia, or any foreign country, you are eligible for Kentucky licensure provided the requirements and qualifications supporting your license equals or exceeds Kentucky’s requirements in effect on the date of issuance.

Applicants Licensed in a State, Territory, or Possession of the United States or District of Columbia
Kentucky requires an NCEES Record as an application for endorsement licensure. Information regarding obtaining a record can be found at the NCEES Record. Please follow the instructions at that website and contact the NCEES Records Department at 800-250-3196 if you encounter problems. You must request NCEES transmit the record to us; we cannot do this for you.

In addition to the NCEES Record, please complete the online application below.  You will be required to pay the $300 application fee during the application process.  All fees are nonrefundable.  If your application is approved, you will then need to pass the 2-hour state specific exam.  Once that is passed, your license will be issued.

Online Application For Licensure By Endorsement

We can only view your NCEES Record for 60 days and we will not begin the review process without both the record and the online application.  The review process generally takes about one week after receipt of both the online application and the NCEES Record.
 
Please be aware that your company will also need a Business Entity Permit unless you are a sole proprietor practicing in your own name.

Following are the suggested study materials for the 2-hour state specific exam KY EXAM SUGGESTED STUDY MATERIALS.docKY EXAM SUGGESTED STUDY MATERIALS.doc

 
Applicants Licensed in a Foreign Country
Please contact bdavid.cox@ky.gov for further information.

 

Becoming a Professional Land Surveyor by Reinstatement

Application for reinstatement must be made by individuals who previously held a Kentucky license that has been expired for more than one year, or a licensee who has elected "inactive" or "retired" status and now wants to practice land surveying.

Apply for reinstament according to the instructions below:

  1. Fill out the application form.
    • Reinstatement Application (PDF - 1028KB)
    • Part III "Endorsers" should only be completed for the time period from licensure in Kentucky through the application date. The endorser number (left hand side of table) must be written in the upper right hand corner of the corresponding Report of Professional Experience (RPE). (PDF - 780KB) The applicant is to complete Sections 1 and 3 and mail to the endorser to complete Section 2. Do not return with your application.
    • Sign and date page 3 and include a check or money order for $500 made payable to the Kentucky Board of Licensure. All fees are non-refundable.  If you prefer to pay this fee with a credit card, please call our office at (502) 573-2680.
    • Mail application and fee to the Kentucky State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors, 160 Democrat Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601.

      The applicant must complete eight (8) professional development hours for each reporting period since the license expired or was placed in inactive or retired status, up to a maximum of thirty-two (32) hours including compliance with the requirements for courses in professional ethics and standards of practice. See 201 KAR 18:192 for further information.

Please be aware that your company will also need a Business Entity Permit unless you are practicing in your own name.

 

 Complete the Surveying Affidavit.

    • Surveying Affidavit (PDF - 10KB)
    • Indicate whether or not you have practiced land surveying since your license expired or was placed in inactive or retired status. If you did practice, please describe such practice on a separate sheet and attach to the affidavit.
  1. Include a cover letter explaining the following:
    • Why did you allow your license to expire or why did you place it in inactive or retired status?
    • Why are you seeking reinstatement?
    • What do you intend to do with your license if reinstated?
    • What evidence of qualification for continued practice do you have as required by 201 KAR18:115?

​Checklist for Surveying Reinstatement Application

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