Land Surveying License Process

There are several ways of applying for licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor.  Read the descriptions below to determine which application is appropriate for your situation.
 
  • If you meet the qualifications for licensure and are not already licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor in another jurisdiction, then you must apply for an initial License By Examination

  • If you are already licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor in another jurisdiction then you must apply for licensure  By Endorsement

  • If you were licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor in Kentucky but you license is expired for more than one year, you must apply for licensure By Reinstatement

 

Exam Results

Exam results will be provided by NCEES. 

If you passed the FS exam, you may apply for a "Land Surveyor in Training" (LSIT) Certificate.  The board does not require that you obtain the LSIT certificate but it is available if you need it for another purpose.  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 it by registering directly with NCEES.  If you have failed three or more times, please contactjamese.manning@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.

  • Option 2 – Graduation from a program of four (4) years or more in a major 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 12 semester credit hours of the surveying core curriculum.
 
If you have questions about your particular circumstances, please email jamese.manning@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 above, or you have senior standing in such a program and have completed at least 12 semester hours of the surveying core curriculum, or you have previous written approval from this board.
 
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 and graduating from one of the degree programs described above.  To apply, complete  the online application, a link to which is provided below; and have your school send an official transcript showing graduation either directly to us, or directly to NCEES.
 
 
If you have questions about your particular circumstances, please email jamese.manning@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 emailjamese.manning@ky.gov

 

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) By Examination

***If you are already licensed in another state, you must apply for licensure by endorsement.  See "Become a Professional Land Surveyor by Endorsement" in the next section.  Do not complete the application in this section.***

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 part of an Application for Initial Licensure By Examination. 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.  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 receive documentation of selected Statutes and Regulations pertaining to practice of Professional Land Surveying in Kentucky.  Once you acknowledge receipt of this material, your license will be issued.
  

Becoming a Professional Land Surveyor by Endorsement

Applicants Already Licensed in another State, U.S. Territory, or Possession, or the District of Columbia

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 licensure in Kentucky by Endorsement provided the requirements and qualifications supporting your original license equal or exceed Kentucky’s requirements in effect on the date your original license was issued.

Kentucky requires an NCEES Record as part of an Application for Licensure by Endorsement. 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 receive documentation of selected Statutes and Regulations pertaining to practice of Professional Land Surveying in Kentucky.  Once you acknowledge receipt of this material, 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.

Applicants Licensed in a Foreign Country

Please contactjamese.manning@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 sixteen (16) 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.

  2. 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.

3. 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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