FAQs for Seals & Signatures
Note: This is an updated version of an article written by F. Glenn Phinney P.E.
A committee of the Board carefully reviewed the NCEES Model Law and other State laws regarding computerized seals. The Board held a public hearing on December 12, 1997 and subsequently adopted rules and regulations accepting computer generated seals. Information involving digital seals was added in March 2008. In addition to publishing the revised language below, the board offers the following information for professionals to use when purchasing embossed, rubber circular seals or when designing computerized seals.
The approved seal shall be an embossed or rubber circular or computer generated seal consisting of two concentric circles.
The outer circle shall be 1 5/8 inches in diameter. The inner circle shall be 1 1/16 inches in diameter. The arc between the two circles shall contain the licensee's name at the top, and "PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER" below. The exceptions are of course, in the case of Architects, the word "ARCHITECT", in the case of Landscape Architects, the words "LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT", in the case of Professional Surveyors, the words "PROFESSIONAL SURVEYOR", and in the case of Geologists, the word "PROFESSIONAL GEOLOGIST". The inner circle shall contain the words "LICENSED" at the top, and "KANSAS" below, and the number of the license in the center.
Many have asked about how to produce or where to obtain such a computer generated facsimile of their professional seal. It can be easily produced by the individual licensee using most any, if not all CAD programs, and when constructed should conform to the properties as outlined in this article.
I would note that after the seal has been constructed and saved in the CAD program, it will most likely have a white background. This is not a problem if the seal is to be transferred to a document with white pages, however if the intended document is other than white, some additional attention will be required. In that case, it would be desirable to save the seal image as a GIF file and transport it to an image editing program to make the image transparent, as I have done in the example above. This creates a reproduction of your seal that is crisp, looks good and adapts well against most any background on which you choose to place it.
The official regulation is as follows:
Seals and Signatures: K.A.R. 66-6-1
(a) Each licensee shall obtain a seal of the design approved by the board in compliance with K.S.A. 74-7023, and amendments thereto. The seal may contain an abbreviated form of the licensee’s given name or a combination of initials representing the licensee’s given name if the surname listed with the board appears on the seal and in the signature. The seal may be a rubber stamp, an embossed seal, or a digital seal.
(b)(1) After the licensee’s seal has been applied to any document, the licensee shall apply the licensee’s handwritten or authenticated digital signature and the date across the seal. The application of the licensee's seal and signature and the date shall constitute certification that the document on which the seal was applied was created by the licensee or under the licensee's responsible charge.
(2) After a licensee has applied the seal, handwritten or digital signature, and date to a document, that document may be reproduced as necessary for the project in accordance with applicable law.
(3) Any licensee may use a digital signature if the digital signature authentication process meets all of the following requirements: (A) Is unique to the licensee using the digital signature; (B) is able to be verified; (C) is under the sole control of the licensee using the digital signature; and (D) is linked to an electronic document bearing the digital signature in such a manner that the signature is invalidated if any data in the document is altered.
(4) Each transmitted or stored electronic document containing a digital signature shall bear the signature, date of signing, and seal, which shall be a confirmation that the electronic document was not altered after the initial digital signing of the document. If the electronic document is altered, the signature, date, and seal shall be void.
(c)(1) Except as provided in K.S.A. 74-7031, K.S.A. 74-7032, K.S.A. 74-7033, K.S.A. 74-7034, or K.S.A. 74-7042a and amendments thereto, each document, including drawings, technical reports, original land descriptions for the purpose of conveying an interest in real property, records, and papers, shall be sealed, signed, and dated by the licensee who prepared the document or by the licensee who is in responsible charge. The licensee shall seal, sign, and date only work within the licensee’s area of licensure and competence. Unless the licensee is in responsible charge, that licensee shall not review or check technical submissions of another licensed professional or unlicensed person and seal the documents as the licensee's own work.
(2) Documents required to be sealed, signed, and dated shall include the following: (A) Any document submitted to any public or governmental agency, a client, or a user for final approval or recording; and (B) each revision to a sealed, signed, and dated document, which shall be identified and sealed, signed, and dated by the licensee responsible for the revision.
(d)(1) The following documents shall be sealed, signed, and dated as specified in this subsection: (A) For a set of drawings, in one of the following ways: (i) On each drawing sheet of a set of drawings; (ii) only on the first sheet of a multisheet set of project drawings if a digital signature authentication process meeting all the requirements in this regulation and capable of digitally linking all drawing sheets to a licensee’s area of responsibility is utilized; (iii) in a certification block displaying the seal, signature, and date of each licensee in responsible charge and designating the drawing sheets for which each licensee is responsible, which shall be included on the cover sheet or first drawing sheet of the set of drawings;
(B) for project-specific technical specifications, on the cover sheet or index page. If multiple licensees contribute to these specifications, each licensee shall also designate each part for which that licensee is responsible; (C) for each technical report or survey plat, on the first or last page; (D) for original land descriptions for the purpose of conveying an interest in real property, on the first or last page; (E) for each manufacturer’s design document submitted in response to a project’s delegated design requirements, including performance specifications or drawings for a specific system or components that are not commonly manufactured items standard for order, and prepared by or under the direct supervision of a Kansas licensee, with the submittal sealed, signed, and dated by the manufacturer’s Kansas licensee as specified in paragraph (d)(1)(A) or (B); and (F) for modified standard details or drawings required by a public agency to be incorporated in a project, on the cover sheet or index page of the document.
(2) For multiple seals, each licensee shall affix that individual’s seal and signature to the document and shall designate the specific subject matter for which that licensee is responsible, in a note under that licensee’s seal or in the title or index sheet indicating the document to which the seal applies.
(e) The documents not required to be sealed, signed, and dated shall include the following: (1) A working drawing or preliminary document, if the working drawing or preliminary document contains a statement in large, bold letters stating “PRELIMINARY, NOT FOR CONSTRUCTION, RECORDING PURPOSES, OR IMPLEMENTATION” or words of comparable meaning; and
(2) published standard details, drawings, or specifications adopted by a municipal, county, or public agency, if incorporated in that agency’s own projects. These documents shall be referenced within the project’s set of drawings when used. Nothing in this subsection shall relieve a licensee of the duty of professional conduct.
(f)(1) If a licensee who has responsible charge of the work is unavailable to complete the work, a successor licensee may assume responsible charge by performing all professional services, including developing a complete design file with work or design criteria, calculations, code research, and any necessary and appropriate changes to the work, under either of the following conditions: (A) The work is a site adaptation of a standard design plan. (B) The non-professional services, including drafting, are not required to be redone by the successor licensee but clearly and accurately reflect the successor licensee’s work.
(2) The successor licensee shall have responsible charge over the work product.
(3) The successor licensee shall be responsible for compliance with this subsection.
(Authorized by K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 74-7013; implementing K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 74-7023; effective May 1, 1978; amended May 1, 1984; amended May 1, 1985; amended May 4, 1992; amended Feb. 22, 1993; amended Feb. 13, 1995; amended March 1, 1996; amended Feb. 6, 1998; amended Nov. 2, 2001; amended March 28, 2008; amended, T-66-5-30-14, July 1, 2014; amended Sept. 26, 2014; amended June 3, 2016.)
Page last updated September 23, 2016