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Requirements for Signed and Sealed Construction Documents

On May 18, 2000 the Department of Business and Professional Regulation amended rule 61G1-16.003 requiring that each plan sheet be individually signed and sealed.  The following is the amended rule:

61G1-16.003 When Seal May Be Affixed. 

The personal seal, signature and date of the architect or interior designer shall appear on all architectural or interior design documents to be filed for public record and shall be construed to obligate his partners or his corporation. A corporate seal alone is insufficient. Documents shall be signed personally and sealed by the responsible architect or interior designer. Final official record documents (not tracings, etc.) shall be so signed. The signing and sealing of the specification index sheets shall be considered adequate. All drawing sheets and pages shall be so signed and sealed. An architect or interior designer shall not affix, or permit to be affixed, his seal or name to any plan, specifications, drawings, or other related document which was not prepared by him or under his responsible supervising control as provided in Rule Chapter 61G123, F.A.C. An architect or interior designer shall not use his seal or do any other act as an architect or interior designer unless holding at the time a certificate of registration and all required renewals thereof. 


Specific Authority 481.2055, 481.221 FS. Law Implemented 481.221, 481.225(1)(e), (g), (j), 481.2251(1)(g), (h), (i) FS. History-New 12-23-79, Formerly 21B-16.03, Amended 727-89, Formerly 21B-16.003, Amended 11-21-94, 4-18-00. 


Due to this amended rule each and every sheet of documents submitted to this office for permit or for submission to the SFM for review must be signed and sealed by the appropriate architect/engineer.  The signing and sealing of the specification index sheet will continue to be considered adequate.  This change in policy shall become effective immediately. 


Excerpted from Chapter 471 (Engineering) of the Florida Statutes, the following persons are not required to be a Florida registered engineer: 


 FS 471.003 

(a) A person acting as a public officer employed by any state, county, municipal, or other governmental unit of this state when working on any project the total cost of which is $10,000 or less. 


(b) Any electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, or mechanical contractor whose practice includes the design and fabrication of electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, or mechanical systems, respectively, which he installs by virtue of a license issued under chapter 489, under part I of chapter 553, or under any special act or ordinance when working on any construction project which: 


  1. Requires an electrical or plumbing or air-conditioning system with a value of $125,000 or less; and 
  2. Requires an aggregate service capacity of 600 amperes (240 volts) or less on a residential electrical system or 800 amperes (240 volts) or less on a commercial or industrial electrical system; 
  3. Requires a plumbing system with fewer than 250 fixture units; or 
  4. Requires a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system not to exceed a 15-ton-per-system capacity, or if the project is designed to accommodate 100 or fewer persons.  


Excerpted from Chapter 481 (Architecture) of the Florida Statutes, the following persons are not required to be a Florida licensed architect: 


FS 481.229   

(1) No person shall be required to qualify as an architect in order to make plans… for: 

  • Any building upon any farm for the use of any farmer, regardless of cost; or 
  • Any one-family or two-family residence building, townhouse, or domestic outbuilding appurtenant to any one-family or two-family residence, regardless of cost; or 
  • Any other type of building costing less than $25,000, except a school, auditorium, *or other building intended for public use, provided that the services of a registered architect shall not be required for minor school projects pursuant to s. 235.211.  

 Note: The dollar values referenced above must be real construction costs, including all material and labor for the project. If we do not feel that the values provided are correct we may ask that you itemize labor/material costs with substantiating data from a recognized and current estimating standard.   

*Buildings or construction in areas where the public is invited. Private office buildings, storage facilities, telephone equipment buildings, for the exclusive use of the owner (not tenants), are examples of buildings that may not require signed & sealed plans.