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The Florida Statutes

The 2020 Florida Statutes

Title XXXII
REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
Chapter 481
ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN, AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
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CHAPTER 481
CHAPTER 481
ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN, AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
PART I
ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN
(ss. 481.201-481.231)
PART II
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
(ss. 481.301-481.329)
PART I
ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN
481.201 Purpose.
481.203 Definitions.
481.205 Board of Architecture and Interior Design.
481.2055 Authority to make rules.
481.207 Fees.
481.209 Examinations.
481.211 Architecture internship required.
481.213 Licensure and registration.
481.2131 Interior design; practice requirements; disclosure of compensation for professional services.
481.215 Renewal of license or certificate of registration.
481.217 Inactive status.
481.219 Qualification of business organizations.
481.221 Seals; display of certificate number.
481.222 Architects performing building code inspection services.
481.223 Prohibitions; penalties; injunctive relief.
481.225 Disciplinary proceedings against registered architects.
481.2251 Disciplinary proceedings against registered interior designers.
481.229 Exceptions; exemptions from licensure.
481.231 Effect of part locally.
481.201 Purpose.The primary legislative purpose for enacting this part is to ensure that every architect practicing in this state meets minimum requirements for safe practice. It is the legislative intent that architects who fall below minimum competency or who otherwise present a danger to the public shall be prohibited from practicing in this state.
History.ss. 1, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 2, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 296, ch. 94-119; s. 1, ch. 95-389; s. 17, ch. 2000-332; s. 40, ch. 2020-160.
481.203 Definitions.As used in this part, the term:
(1) “Architect” or “registered architect” means a natural person who is licensed under this part to engage in the practice of architecture.
(2) “Architecture” means the rendering or offering to render services in connection with the design and construction of a structure or group of structures which have as their principal purpose human habitation or use, and the utilization of space within and surrounding such structures. These services include planning, providing preliminary study designs, drawings and specifications, job-site inspection, and administration of construction contracts.
(3) “Board” means the Board of Architecture and Interior Design.
(4) “Business organization” means a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, or an individual operating under a fictitious name.
(5) “Certificate of registration” means a license or registration issued by the department to a natural person to engage in the practice of architecture or interior design.
(6) “Common area” means an area that is held out for use by all tenants or owners in a multiple-unit dwelling, including, but not limited to, a lobby, elevator, hallway, laundry room, clubhouse, or swimming pool.
(7) “Department” means the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
(8) “Diversified interior design experience” means experience which substantially encompasses the various elements of interior design services set forth under the definition of “interior design” in subsection (10).
(9) “Interior decorator services” includes the selection or assistance in selection of surface materials, window treatments, wallcoverings, paint, floor coverings, surface-mounted lighting, surface-mounted fixtures, and loose furnishings not subject to regulation under applicable building codes.
(10) “Interior design” means designs, consultations, studies, drawings, specifications, and administration of design construction contracts relating to nonstructural interior elements of a building or structure. “Interior design” includes, but is not limited to, reflected ceiling plans, space planning, furnishings, and the fabrication of nonstructural elements within and surrounding interior spaces of buildings. “Interior design” specifically excludes the design of or the responsibility for architectural and engineering work, except for specification of fixtures and their location within interior spaces. As used in this subsection, “architectural and engineering interior construction relating to the building systems” includes, but is not limited to, construction of structural, mechanical, plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, ventilating, electrical, or vertical transportation systems, or construction which materially affects lifesafety systems pertaining to firesafety protection such as fire-rated separations between interior spaces, fire-rated vertical shafts in multistory structures, fire-rated protection of structural elements, smoke evacuation and compartmentalization, emergency ingress or egress systems, and emergency alarm systems.
(11) “Nonstructural element” means an element which does not require structural bracing and which is something other than a load-bearing wall, load-bearing column, or other load-bearing element of a building or structure which is essential to the structural integrity of the building.
(12) “Reflected ceiling plan” means a ceiling design plan which is laid out as if it were projected downward and which may include lighting and other elements.
(13) “Registered interior designer” means a natural person who holds a valid certificate of registration to practice interior design.
(14) “Responsible supervising control” means the exercise of direct personal supervision and control throughout the preparation of documents, instruments of service, or any other work requiring the seal and signature of a licensee under this part.
(15) “Space planning” means the analysis, programming, or design of spatial requirements, including preliminary space layouts and final planning.
(16) “Townhouse” is a single-family dwelling unit not exceeding three stories in height which is constructed in a series or group of attached units with property lines separating such units. Each townhouse shall be considered a separate building and shall be separated from adjoining townhouses by the use of separate exterior walls meeting the requirements for zero clearance from property lines as required by the type of construction and fire protection requirements; or shall be separated by a party wall; or may be separated by a single wall meeting the following requirements:
(a) Such wall shall provide not less than 2 hours of fire resistance. Plumbing, piping, ducts, or electrical or other building services shall not be installed within or through the 2-hour wall unless such materials and methods of penetration have been tested in accordance with the Standard Building Code.
(b) Such wall shall extend from the foundation to the underside of the roof sheathing, and the underside of the roof shall have at least 1 hour of fire resistance for a width not less than 4 feet on each side of the wall.
(c) Each dwelling unit sharing such wall shall be designed and constructed to maintain its structural integrity independent of the unit on the opposite side of the wall.
History.ss. 2, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 27, 48, ch. 82-179; ss. 3, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 297, ch. 94-119; s. 171, ch. 94-218; s. 2, ch. 95-389; s. 1, ch. 2006-276; s. 41, ch. 2020-160.
481.205 Board of Architecture and Interior Design.
(1) The Board of Architecture and Interior Design is created within the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The board shall consist of 11 members. Five members must be registered architects who have been engaged in the practice of architecture for at least 5 years; three members must be registered interior designers who have been offering interior design services for at least 5 years and who are not also registered architects; and three members must be laypersons who are not, and have never been, architects, interior designers, or members of any closely related profession or occupation. At least one member of the board must be 60 years of age or older.
(2) Members shall be appointed for 4-year staggered terms.
(3)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of ss. 455.225, 455.228, and 455.32, the duties and authority of the department to receive complaints and investigate and discipline persons licensed or registered under this part, including the ability to determine legal sufficiency and probable cause; to initiate proceedings and issue final orders for summary suspension or restriction of a license or certificate of registration pursuant to s. 120.60(6); to issue notices of noncompliance, notices to cease and desist, subpoenas, and citations; to retain legal counsel, investigators, or prosecutorial staff in connection with the licensed practice of architecture or registered interior design; and to investigate and deter the unlicensed practice of architecture as provided in s. 455.228 are delegated to the board. All complaints and any information obtained pursuant to an investigation authorized by the board are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) as provided in s. 455.225(2) and (10).
(b) The board shall contract with a corporation or other business entity pursuant to s. 287.057 to provide investigative, legal, prosecutorial, and other services necessary to perform its duties.
(c) The corporation or business entity shall comply with all the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of s. 455.32 applicable to the scope of the contract and shall report directly to the board in lieu of the department. Records of the corporation or other business entity contracting with the board shall be considered public records as specified in s. 455.32(15).
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 455.228, the board may use funds in the unlicensed activity account established under s. 455.2281 to perform its duties relating to unlicensed activity under this subsection.
(e) The board shall submit an annual budget request to the department by October 1 of each year for the purpose of funding its activities under this subsection. The department, on behalf of the board, shall submit the budget request unchanged to the Executive Office of the Governor and the Legislature pursuant to s. 216.023.
(f) The board shall issue an annual report on the activities under this subsection by October 1 of each year. The annual report shall be submitted to the Executive Office of the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the chairs of the legislative appropriations committees. The report shall describe all of the activities performed under this subsection for the previous fiscal year and shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:
1. The number of complaints received.
2. The number of complaints determined to be legally sufficient.
3. The number of complaints determined to be legally insufficient.
4. The number of complaints dismissed.
5. The number of complaints filed in circuit court.
6. The number of complaints determined to have probable cause.
7. The number of administrative complaints issued and the status of the complaints.
8. The number and nature of disciplinary actions taken by the board.
9. The number and the amount of fines and penalties imposed.
10. The number and the amount of fines and penalties collected.
11. Total revenues received and all expenses incurred by the contractor during the previous fiscal year.
12. Total completed investigations.
13. Total pending investigations.
14. A summary of any audits performed, including financial reports and performance audits of the contractor.
(4) The board may establish minimum procedures, documentation, and other requirements for indicating evidence of the exercise of responsible supervising control by a person licensed under this part in connection with work performed both inside and outside the licensee’s office.
History.ss. 3, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 23, ch. 87-172; ss. 4, 23, 24, 25, ch. 88-383; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 32, ch. 92-173; s. 298, ch. 94-119; s. 172, ch. 94-218; s. 3, ch. 95-389; s. 1, ch. 2002-274; s. 6, ch. 2004-292; s. 2, ch. 2006-276; s. 2, ch. 2008-134; s. 36, ch. 2010-151; s. 51, ch. 2015-4; s. 42, ch. 2020-160.
481.2055 Authority to make rules.The board has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement provisions of this part and chapter 455 conferring duties upon it.
History.s. 1, ch. 85-311; s. 2, ch. 87-50; ss. 5, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 128, ch. 98-166; s. 152, ch. 98-200; s. 188, ch. 2000-160.
481.207 Fees.The board, by rule, may establish fees for architects and registered interior designers, to be paid for applications, examination, reexamination, licensing and renewal, delinquency, reinstatement, and recordmaking and recordkeeping. The examination fee shall be in an amount that covers the cost of obtaining and administering the examination and shall be refunded if the applicant is found ineligible to sit for the examination. The application fee is nonrefundable. The fee for initial application and examination for architects may not exceed $775 plus the actual per applicant cost to the department for purchase of the examination from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards or similar national organizations. The initial nonrefundable fee for registered interior designers may not exceed $75. The biennial renewal fee for architects may not exceed $200. The biennial renewal fee for registered interior designers may not exceed $75. The delinquency fee may not exceed the biennial renewal fee established by the board for an active license. The board shall establish fees that are adequate to ensure the continued operation of the board and to fund the proportionate expenses incurred by the department which are allocated to the regulation of architects and registered interior designers. Fees shall be based on department estimates of the revenue required to implement this part and the provisions of law with respect to the regulation of architects and interior designers.
History.ss. 4, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 79, ch. 83-329; s. 1, ch. 87-327; s. 25, ch. 88-205; ss. 6, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 55, ch. 89-162; s. 4, ch. 91-429; ss. 232, 299, ch. 94-119; s. 43, ch. 2020-160.
481.209 Examinations.
(1) A person desiring to be licensed as a registered architect by initial examination shall apply to the department, complete the application form, and remit a nonrefundable application fee. The department shall license any applicant who the board certifies has passed the licensure examination prescribed by board rule and is a graduate of a school or college of architecture with a program accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board.
(2) A person seeking to obtain a certificate of registration as a registered interior designer and a seal pursuant to s. 481.221 must provide the department with his or her name and address and written proof that he or she has successfully passed the qualification examination prescribed by the Council for Interior Design Qualification or its successor entity or has successfully passed an equivalent exam as determined by the department. Any person who is licensed as an interior designer by the department and who was in good standing as of July 1, 2020, is eligible to obtain a certificate of registration as a registered interior designer.
History.ss. 5, 19, ch. 79-273; s. 357, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 7, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 300, ch. 94-119; s. 4, ch. 95-389; s. 5, ch. 96-309; s. 18, ch. 2000-332; s. 3, ch. 2001-269; s. 26, ch. 2012-61; s. 44, ch. 2020-160.
481.211 Architecture internship required.An applicant for licensure as a registered architect shall complete, before licensure, an internship of diversified architectural experience approved by the board, which meets the requirements set forth by rule.
History.ss. 6, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 8, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 301, ch. 94-119; s. 27, ch. 2012-61.
481.213 Licensure and registration.
(1) The department shall license or register any applicant who the board certifies is qualified for licensure or registration and who has paid the initial licensure or registration fee. Licensure as an architect under this section shall be deemed to include all the rights and privileges of registration as an interior designer under this section.
(2) The board shall certify for licensure or registration by examination any applicant who passes the prescribed licensure or registration examination and satisfies the requirements of ss. 481.209 and 481.211, for architects, or the requirements of s. 481.209, for interior designers.
(3) The board shall certify as qualified for a license by endorsement as an architect or registration as a registered interior designer an applicant who:
(a) Qualifies to take the prescribed licensure or registration examination, and has passed the prescribed licensure or registration examination or a substantially equivalent examination in another jurisdiction, as set forth in s. 481.209 for architects or registered interior designers, as applicable, and has satisfied the internship requirements set forth in s. 481.211 for architects;
(b) Holds a valid license to practice architecture or a license, registration, or certification to practice interior design issued by another jurisdiction of the United States, if the criteria for issuance of such license were substantially equivalent to the licensure criteria that existed in this state at the time the license was issued; or
(c) Has passed the prescribed licensure examination and holds a valid certificate issued by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, and holds a valid license to practice architecture issued by another state or jurisdiction of the United States.

An architect who is licensed in another state who seeks qualification for license by endorsement under this subsection must complete a 2-hour class approved by the board on wind mitigation techniques.

(4) The board may refuse to certify any applicant who has violated any of the provisions of s. 481.223, s. 481.225, or s. 481.2251, as applicable.
(5) The board may refuse to certify any applicant who is under investigation in any jurisdiction for any act which would constitute a violation of this part or of chapter 455 until such time as the investigation is complete and disciplinary proceedings have been terminated.
(6) The board shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this part relating to the examination, internship, and licensure of applicants.
(7) For persons whose licensure requires satisfaction of the requirements of ss. 481.209 and 481.211, the board shall, by rule, establish qualifications for certification of such persons as special inspectors of threshold buildings, as defined in ss. 553.71 and 553.79, and shall compile a list of persons who are certified. A special inspector is not required to meet standards for certification other than those established by the board, and the fee owner of a threshold building may not be prohibited from selecting any person certified by the board to be a special inspector. The board shall develop minimum qualifications for the qualified representative of the special inspector who is authorized under s. 553.79 to perform inspections of threshold buildings on behalf of the special inspector.
(8) A certificate of registration is not required for a person whose occupation or practice is confined to interior decorator services or for a person whose occupation or practice is confined to interior design as provided in this part.
History.ss. 8, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 9, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 5, ch. 89-66; s. 9, ch. 89-162; s. 4, ch. 91-429; ss. 155, 236, 302, 308, ch. 94-119; ss. 5, 6, ch. 95-389; s. 129, ch. 98-166; s. 38, ch. 2000-141; s. 189, ch. 2000-160; s. 28, ch. 2012-61; s. 17, ch. 2014-18; s. 45, ch. 2020-160.
481.2131 Interior design; practice requirements; disclosure of compensation for professional services.
(1) An interior designer may perform “interior design” as defined in s. 481.203. Interior design documents prepared by a registered interior designer shall contain a statement that the document is not an architectural or engineering study, drawing, specification, or design and is not to be used for construction of any load-bearing columns, load-bearing framing or walls of structures, or issuance of any building permit, except as otherwise provided by law. Interior design documents that are prepared and sealed by a registered interior designer must, if required by a permitting body, be accepted by the permitting body for the issuance of a building permit for interior construction excluding design of any structural, mechanical, plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, ventilating, electrical, or vertical transportation systems or that materially affect lifesafety systems pertaining to firesafety protection such as fire-rated separations between interior spaces, fire-rated vertical shafts in multistory structures, fire-rated protection of structural elements, smoke evacuation and compartmentalization, emergency ingress or egress systems, and emergency alarm systems. If a permitting body requires sealed interior design documents for the issuance of a permit, an individual performing interior design services who is not a licensed architect must include a seal issued by the department and in conformance with the requirements of s. 481.221.
(2) An interior designer shall, before entering into a contract, verbal or written, clearly determine the scope and nature of the project and the method or methods of compensation. The interior designer may offer professional services to the client as a consultant, specifier, or supplier on the basis of a fee, percentage, or markup. The interior designer shall have the responsibility of fully disclosing to the client the manner in which all compensation is to be paid. Unless the client knows and agrees, the interior designer shall not accept any form of compensation from a supplier of goods and services in cash or in kind.
History.ss. 10, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 303, ch. 94-119; s. 46, ch. 2020-160.
481.215 Renewal of license or certificate of registration.
(1) Subject to the requirement of subsection (3), the department shall renew a license or certificate of registration upon receipt of the renewal application and renewal fee.
(2) The department shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for the biennial renewal of licenses and certificates of registration.
(3) A license or certificate of registration renewal may not be issued to an architect or a registered interior designer by the department until the licensee or registrant submits proof satisfactory to the department that, during the 2 years before application for renewal, the licensee or registrant participated per biennium in not less than 20 hours of at least 50 minutes each per biennium of continuing education approved by the board. The board shall approve only continuing education that builds upon the basic knowledge of architecture or interior design. The board may make exception from the requirements of continuing education in emergency or hardship cases.
(4) The board shall by rule establish criteria for the approval of continuing education courses and providers and shall by rule establish criteria for accepting alternative nonclassroom continuing education on an hour-for-hour basis.
(5) For a license or certificate of registration, the board shall require, by rule adopted pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, 2 hours in specialized or advanced courses on any portion of the Florida Building Code, adopted pursuant to part IV of chapter 553, relating to the licensee’s respective area of practice. Such hours count toward the continuing education hours required under subsection (3). A licensee may complete the courses required under this subsection online.
History.ss. 9, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 11, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 1, ch. 90-84; s. 22, ch. 90-228; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 156, ch. 94-119; s. 14, ch. 98-287; s. 120, ch. 2000-141; s. 35, ch. 2001-186; s. 4, ch. 2001-372; s. 127, ch. 2008-4; s. 22, ch. 2009-195; s. 47, ch. 2020-160.
481.217 Inactive status.
(1) The board may prescribe by rule continuing education requirements as a condition of reactivating a license. The rules may not require more than one renewal cycle of continuing education to reactivate a license or registration for a registered architect or registered interior designer.
(2) The board shall adopt rules relating to application procedures for inactive status and for the reactivation of inactive licenses and registrations.
History.ss. 10, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 112, ch. 83-329; ss. 12, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 26, ch. 91-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 233, ch. 94-119; s. 29, ch. 2012-61; s. 48, ch. 2020-160.
481.219 Qualification of business organizations.
(1) A licensee may practice architecture through a qualified business organization that offers architectural services to the public, subject to the provisions of this section.
(2) If a licensee or an applicant proposes to engage in the practice of architecture as a business organization, the licensee or applicant shall qualify the business organization upon approval of the board.
(3)(a) A business organization may not engage in the practice of architecture unless its qualifying agent is a registered architect under this part. A qualifying agent who terminates an affiliation with a qualified business organization shall immediately notify the department of such termination. If such qualifying agent is the only qualifying agent for that business organization, the business organization must be qualified by another qualifying agent within 60 days after the termination. Except as provided in paragraph (b), the business organization may not engage in the practice of architecture until it is qualified by another qualifying agent.
(b) In the event a qualifying agent ceases employment with a qualified business organization, the executive director or the chair of the board may authorize another registered architect employed by the business organization to temporarily serve as its qualifying agent for a period of no more than 60 days. The business organization is not authorized to operate beyond such period under this chapter absent replacement of the qualifying agent who has ceased employment.
(c) A qualifying agent shall notify the department in writing before engaging in the practice of architecture in her or his own name or in affiliation with a different business organization, and she or he or such business organization shall supply the same information to the department as required of applicants under this part.
(4) All final construction documents and instruments of service which include drawings, specifications, plans, reports, or other papers or documents that involve the practice of architecture which are prepared or approved for the use of the business organization and filed for public record within the state must bear the signature and seal of the licensee who prepared or approved them and the date on which they were sealed.
(5) The board shall allow a licensee or an applicant to qualify one or more business organizations to offer architectural services, or to use a fictitious name to offer such services, if one or more of the principal officers of the corporation or limited liability company, or one or more partners of the partnership, and all personnel of the corporation, limited liability company, or partnership who act in its behalf in this state as architects, are registered as provided by this part.
(6) Each qualifying agent who qualifies a business organization, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation certified under this section shall notify the department within 30 days after any change in the information contained in the application upon which the qualification is based. Any registered architect who qualifies the business organization shall ensure responsible supervising control of projects of the business organization and shall notify the department of the termination of her or his employment with a business organization qualified under this section within 30 days after such termination.
(7) A business organization is not relieved of responsibility for the conduct or acts of its agents, employees, or officers by reason of its compliance with this section. However, except as provided in s. 558.0035, the architect who signs and seals the construction documents and instruments of service is liable for the professional services performed, and the interior designer who signs and seals the interior design drawings, plans, or specifications shall be liable for the professional services performed.
(8) This section may not be construed to mean that a certificate of registration to practice architecture must be held by a business organization. This section does not prohibit a business organization from offering architectural, engineering, interior design, surveying and mapping, and landscape architectural services, or any combination of such services, to the public if the business organization otherwise meets the requirements of law.
History.ss. 7, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 13, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 6, ch. 89-66; s. 10, ch. 89-162; s. 4, ch. 91-429; ss. 119, 304, ch. 94-119; s. 7, ch. 95-389; s. 415, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 2005-124; s. 5, ch. 2013-28; s. 49, ch. 2020-160.
481.221 Seals; display of certificate number.
(1) The board shall prescribe, by rule, one or more forms of seals to be used by registered architects holding valid certificates of registration.
(2) Each registered architect shall obtain one seal in a form approved by rule of the board and may, in addition, register her or his seal electronically in accordance with ss. 668.001-668.006. All final construction documents and instruments of service which include drawings, plans, specifications, or reports prepared or issued by the registered architect and being filed for public record shall bear the signature and seal of the registered architect who prepared or approved the document and the date on which they were sealed. The signature, date, and seal shall be evidence of the authenticity of that to which they are affixed. Final plans, specifications, or reports prepared or issued by a registered architect may be transmitted electronically and may be signed by the registered architect, dated, and sealed electronically with the seal in accordance with ss. 668.001-668.006.
(3) The board shall adopt a rule prescribing the distinctly different seals to be used by registered interior designers holding valid certificates of registration. Each registered interior designer shall obtain a seal as prescribed by the board, and all drawings, plans, specifications, or reports prepared or issued by the registered interior designer and being filed for public record shall bear the signature and seal of the registered interior designer who prepared or approved the document and the date on which they were sealed. The signature, date, and seal shall be evidence of the authenticity of that to which they are affixed. Final plans, specifications, or reports prepared or issued by a registered interior designer may be transmitted electronically and may be signed by the registered interior designer, dated, and sealed electronically with the seal in accordance with ss. 668.001-668.006.
(4) No registered architect shall affix, or permit to be affixed, her or his seal or signature to any final construction document or instrument of service which includes any plan, specification, drawing, or other document which depicts work which she or he is not competent to perform.
(5) No registered interior designer shall affix, or permit to be affixed, her or his seal or signature to any plan, specification, drawing, or other document which depicts work which she or he is not competent or registered to perform.
(6) No registered architect shall affix her or his signature or seal to any final construction document or instrument of service which includes drawings, plans, specifications, or architectural documents which were not prepared by her or him or under her or his responsible supervising control or by another registered architect and reviewed, approved, or modified and adopted by her or him as her or his own work according to rules adopted by the board.
(7) No registered interior designer shall affix her or his signature or seal to any plans, specifications, or other documents which were not prepared by her or him or under her or his responsible supervising control or by another registered interior designer and reviewed, approved, or modified and adopted by her or him as her or his own work according to rules adopted by the board.
(8) Final construction documents or instruments of service which include plans, drawings, specifications, or other architectural documents prepared by a registered architect as part of her or his architectural practice shall be of a sufficiently high standard to clearly and accurately indicate or illustrate all essential parts of the work to which they refer.
(9) Studies, drawings, specifications, and other related documents prepared by a registered interior designer in providing interior design services shall be of a sufficiently high standard to clearly and accurately indicate all essential parts of the work to which they refer.
(10) Each registered architect must include her or his license number in any newspaper, telephone directory, or other advertising medium used by the registered licensee. Each business organization must include the license number of the registered architect who serves as the qualifying agent for that business organization in any newspaper, telephone directory, or other advertising medium used by the business organization.
(11) When the certificate of registration of a registered architect or interior designer has been revoked or suspended by the board, the registered architect or interior designer shall surrender her or his seal to the secretary of the board within a period of 30 days after the revocation or suspension has become effective. If the certificate of the registered architect or interior designer has been suspended for a period of time, her or his seal shall be returned to her or him upon expiration of the suspension period.
(12) A person may not sign and seal by any means any final plan, specification, or report after her or his certificate of registration has expired or is suspended or revoked. A registered architect or interior designer whose certificate of registration is suspended or revoked shall, within 30 days after the effective date of the suspension or revocation, surrender her or his seal to the executive director of the board and confirm in writing to the executive director the cancellation of the registered architect’s or interior designer’s electronic signature in accordance with ss. 668.001-668.006. When a registered architect’s or interior designer’s certificate of registration is suspended for a period of time, her or his seal shall be returned upon expiration of the period of suspension.
History.ss. 12, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 14, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 416, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 2005-30; s. 2, ch. 2005-124; s. 50, ch. 2020-160.
481.222 Architects performing building code inspection services.Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who is currently licensed to practice as an architect under this part may provide building code inspection services described in s. 468.603(5) and (8) to a local government or state agency upon its request, without being certified by the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board under part XII of chapter 468. With respect to the performance of such building code inspection services, the architect is subject to the disciplinary guidelines of this part and s. 468.621(1)(c)-(h). Any complaint processing, investigation, and discipline that arise out of an architect’s performance of building code inspection services shall be conducted by the Board of Architecture and Interior Design rather than the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board. An architect may not perform plans review as an employee of a local government upon any job that the architect or the architect’s company designed.
History.s. 8, ch. 98-419; s. 11, ch. 99-254; s. 29, ch. 2000-372; s. 9, ch. 2017-149.
481.223 Prohibitions; penalties; injunctive relief.
(1) A person may not knowingly:
(a) Practice architecture unless the person is an architect or a registered architect; however, a licensed architect who has been licensed by the board and who chooses to relinquish or not to renew his or her license may use the title “Architect, Retired” but may not otherwise render any architectural services.
(b) Use the name or title “architect,” “registered architect,” or “registered interior designer” when the person is not then the holder of a valid license or certificate of registration issued pursuant to this part. This paragraph does not restrict the use of the name or title “interior designer” or “interior design firm.”
(c) Present as his or her own the license of another.
(d) Give false or forged evidence to the board or a member thereof.
(e) Use or attempt to use an architect license or interior design certificate of registration that has been suspended, revoked, or placed on inactive or delinquent status.
(f) Employ unlicensed persons to practice architecture.
(g) Conceal information relative to violations of this part.
(2) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (1) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3)(a) Notwithstanding chapter 455 or any other law to the contrary, an affected person may maintain an action for injunctive relief to restrain or prevent a person from violating paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph (1)(b). The prevailing party is entitled to actual costs and attorney fees.
(b) For purposes of this subsection, the term “affected person” means a person directly affected by the actions of a person suspected of violating paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph (1)(b) and includes, but is not limited to, the department, any person who received services from the alleged violator, or any private association composed primarily of members of the profession the alleged violator is practicing or offering to practice or holding himself or herself out as qualified to practice.
History.ss. 14, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 15, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 111, ch. 91-224; s. 4, ch. 91-429; ss. 234, 305, ch. 94-119; s. 417, ch. 97-103; s. 4, ch. 2001-269; s. 3, ch. 2006-276; s. 51, ch. 2020-160.
481.225 Disciplinary proceedings against registered architects.
(1) The following acts constitute grounds for which the disciplinary actions in subsection (3) may be taken:
(a) Violating any provision of s. 455.227(1), s. 481.221, or s. 481.223, or any rule of the board or department lawfully adopted pursuant to this part or chapter 455.
(b) Attempting to obtain or procure a license to practice architecture by bribery or fraudulent misrepresentations.
(c) Having a license to practice architecture revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of licensure, by the licensing authority of another state, territory, or country, for any act that would constitute a violation of this part or of chapter 455.
(d) Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of architecture or the ability to practice architecture.
(e) Making or filing a report or record that the licensee knows to be false, willfully failing to file a report or record required by state or federal law, willfully impeding or obstructing such filing, or inducing another person to impede or obstruct such filing. Such reports or records include only those that are prepared in the capacity of a registered architect.
(f) Advertising goods or services in a manner that is fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading in form or content.
(g) Committing an act of fraud or deceit, or of negligence, incompetency, or misconduct, in the practice of architecture, including, but not limited to, allowing the preparation of any architectural studies, plans, or other instruments of service in an office that does not have a full-time Florida-registered architect assigned to such office or failing to ensure the responsible supervising control of services or projects, as required by board rule.
(h) Practicing on a revoked, suspended, inactive, or delinquent license.
(i) Aiding, assisting, procuring, or advising any unlicensed person to practice architecture contrary to this part or to a rule of the department or the board.
(j) Failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation placed upon a registered architect.
(k) Attempting to influence or overrule the professional judgment of an architect by an act that, if carried out, would constitute negligence contrary to the exercise of professional judgment in accordance with professionally accepted standards of practice or would threaten the public health, safety, or welfare.
(l) Performing building code inspection services under s. 553.791, without satisfying the insurance requirements of that section.
(2) The board shall specify, by rule, what acts or omissions constitute a violation of subsection (1).
(3) When the board finds any registered architect guilty of any of the grounds set forth in subsection (1), it may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties:
(a) Denial of an application for licensure.
(b) Revocation or suspension of a license.
(c) Imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed $1,000 for each count or separate offense and a fine of up to $5,000 for matters pertaining to a material violation of the Florida Building Code as reported by a local jurisdiction.
(d) Issuance of a reprimand.
(e) Placement of the registered architect on probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as the board may specify, including requiring the registered architect to attend continuing education courses or to work under the supervision of another registered architect.
(f) Restriction of the authorized scope of practice by the registered architect.
(4) The department shall reissue the license of a disciplined registered architect upon certification by the board that he or she has complied with all of the terms and conditions set forth in the final order.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 16, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 4, ch. 91-429; ss. 235, 308, ch. 94-119; s. 418, ch. 97-103; s. 130, ch. 98-166; s. 15, ch. 98-287; s. 121, ch. 2000-141; s. 190, ch. 2000-160; s. 35, ch. 2001-186; s. 4, ch. 2001-372; s. 3, ch. 2005-30; s. 3, ch. 2005-124; s. 5, ch. 2005-147; s. 60, ch. 2009-195; s. 51, ch. 2010-106.
481.2251 Disciplinary proceedings against registered interior designers.
(1) The following acts constitute grounds for which the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) may be taken:
(a) Attempting to register or renewing registration by bribery, by fraudulent misrepresentation, or through an error of the board;
(b) Having an interior design license, certification, or registration revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of licensure, registration, or certification by the licensing authority of another jurisdiction for any act which would constitute a violation of this part or of chapter 455;
(c) Being convicted or found guilty of a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the provision of interior design services or to the ability to provide interior design services;
(d) False, deceptive, or misleading advertising;
(e) Making or filing a report which the registrant knows to be false, intentionally or negligently failing to file a report or record required by state or federal law, or willfully impeding or obstructing such filing or inducing another person to do so. Such reports or records shall include only those which are signed in the capacity as a registered interior designer;
(f) Making deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in the provision of interior design services;
(g) Accepting and performing professional responsibilities which the registrant knows or has reason to know that she or he is not competent to perform;
(h) Rendering or offering to render architectural services; or
(i) Committing an act of fraud or deceit, or of negligence, incompetency, or misconduct, in the practice of interior design.
(2) When the board finds any person guilty of any of the grounds set forth in subsection (1), it may enter an order taking the following action or imposing one or more of the following penalties:
(a) Refusal to register the applicant;
(b) Refusal to renew an existing registration;
(c) Removal from the state registry; or
(d) Imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed $500 for each violation or separate offense and a fine of up to $2,500 for matters pertaining to a material violation of the Florida Building Code as reported by a local jurisdiction.
History.ss. 17, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 306, ch. 94-119; s. 419, ch. 97-103; s. 131, ch. 98-166; s. 16, ch. 98-287; s. 122, ch. 2000-141; s. 191, ch. 2000-160; s. 35, ch. 2001-186; s. 4, ch. 2001-372; s. 4, ch. 2005-124; s. 52, ch. 2020-160.
481.229 Exceptions; exemptions from licensure.
(1) No person shall be required to qualify as an architect in order to make plans and specifications for, or supervise the erection, enlargement, or alteration of:
(a) Any building upon any farm for the use of any farmer, regardless of the cost of the building;
(b) 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
(c) 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. 1013.45.
(2) Nothing contained in this part shall be construed to prevent any employee of an architect from acting in any capacity under the instruction, control, or supervision of the architect or to prevent any person from acting as a contractor in the execution of work designed by an architect.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of this part, a general contractor who is certified or registered pursuant to the provisions of chapter 489 is not required to be licensed as an architect when negotiating or performing services under a design-build contract as long as the architectural services offered or rendered in connection with the contract are offered and rendered by an architect licensed in accordance with this chapter.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of this part or of any other law, no registered engineer whose principal practice is civil or structural engineering, or employee or subordinate under the responsible supervision or control of the engineer, is precluded from performing architectural services which are purely incidental to his or her engineering practice, nor is any registered architect, or employee or subordinate under the responsible supervision or control of such architect, precluded from performing engineering services which are purely incidental to his or her architectural practice. However, no engineer shall practice architecture or use the designation “architect” or any term derived therefrom, and no architect shall practice engineering or use the designation “engineer” or any term derived therefrom.
(5)(a) Nothing contained in this part shall prevent a registered architect or a partnership, limited liability company, or corporation holding a valid certificate of authorization to provide architectural services from performing any interior design service or from using the title “interior designer” or “registered interior designer.”
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, all persons licensed as architects under this part shall be qualified for interior design registration upon submission of a completed application for such license and a fee not to exceed $30. Such persons shall be exempt from the requirements of s. 481.209(2). For architects licensed as interior designers, satisfaction of the requirements for renewal of licensure as an architect under s. 481.215 shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements for renewal of registration as an interior designer under that section. Complaint processing, investigation, or other discipline-related legal costs related to persons licensed as interior designers under this paragraph shall be assessed against the architects’ account of the Regulatory Trust Fund.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, any corporation, partnership, or person operating under a fictitious name which holds a certificate of authorization to provide architectural services shall be qualified, without fee, for a certificate of authorization to provide interior design services upon submission of a completed application therefor. For corporations, partnerships, and persons operating under a fictitious name which hold a certificate of authorization to provide interior design services, satisfaction of the requirements for renewal of the certificate of authorization to provide architectural services under s. 481.219 shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements for renewal of the certificate of authorization to provide interior design services under that section.
(6) This part shall not apply to:
(a) A person who performs interior design services or interior decorator services for any residential application. For purposes of this paragraph, “residential applications” includes all types of residences, including, but not limited to, residence buildings, single-family homes, multifamily homes, townhouses, apartments, condominiums, and domestic outbuildings appurtenant to one-family or two-family residences.
(b) An employee of a retail establishment providing “interior decorator services” on the premises of the retail establishment or in the furtherance of a retail sale or prospective retail sale, provided that such employee does not advertise as, or represent himself or herself as, a registered interior designer.
(7) Nothing in this part shall be construed as authorizing or permitting an interior designer to engage in the business of, or to act as, a contractor within the meaning of chapter 489, unless registered or certified as a contractor pursuant to chapter 489.
(8) A manufacturer of commercial food service equipment or the manufacturer’s representative, distributor, or dealer or an employee thereof, who prepares designs, specifications, or layouts for the sale or installation of such equipment is exempt from licensure as an architect, if:
(a) The designs, specifications, or layouts are not used for construction or installation that may affect structural, mechanical, plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, ventilating, electrical, or vertical transportation systems.
(b) The designs, specifications, or layouts do not materially affect lifesafety systems pertaining to firesafety protection, smoke evacuation and compartmentalization, and emergency ingress or egress systems.
(c) Each design, specification, or layout document prepared by a person or entity exempt under this subsection contains a statement on each page of the document that the designs, specifications, or layouts are not architectural or engineering designs, specifications, or layouts and not used for construction unless reviewed and approved by a licensed architect or engineer.
History.ss. 11, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 25, 26, ch. 81-302; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 26, 48, ch. 82-179; s. 3, ch. 83-265; ss. 19, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 2, ch. 89-115; s. 68, ch. 89-162; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 307, ch. 94-119; s. 20, ch. 94-292; s. 8, ch. 95-389; s. 420, ch. 97-103; s. 1026, ch. 2002-387; s. 5, ch. 2005-124; s. 24, ch. 2009-195; s. 53, ch. 2020-160.
481.231 Effect of part locally.
(1) This part does not repeal, amend, limit, or otherwise affect any specific provision of any local building code or zoning law or ordinance that has been duly adopted, now or hereafter enacted, which is more restrictive, with respect to the services of registered architects or registered interior designers, than this part; provided, however, that a licensed architect shall be deemed registered as an interior designer for purposes of offering or rendering interior design services to a county, municipality, or other local government or political subdivision.
(2) Counties or municipalities which issue building permits shall not issue permits if it is apparent from the application for the building permit that the provisions of this part have been violated; provided, however, that this subsection shall not authorize the withholding of building permits in cases involving the exceptions and exemptions set out in s. 481.229.
History.ss. 13, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 20, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 308, ch. 94-119; s. 9, ch. 95-389; s. 54, ch. 2020-160.
PART II
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
481.301 Purpose.
481.303 Definitions.
481.305 Board of Landscape Architecture.
481.306 Authority to make rules.
481.307 Fees.
481.309 Examinations.
481.310 Practical experience requirement.
481.311 Licensure.
481.313 Renewal of license.
481.315 Inactive status.
481.317 Temporary certificates.
481.319 Corporate and partnership practice of landscape architecture.
481.321 Seals; display of certificate number.
481.323 Prohibitions; penalties.
481.325 Disciplinary proceedings.
481.329 Exceptions; exemptions from licensure.
481.301 Purpose.The Legislature finds that the regulation of landscape architecture is necessary to assure competent landscape planning and design of public and private environments, prevention of contamination of water supplies, barrier-free public and private spaces, conservation of natural resources through proper land and water management practices, prevention of erosion, energy conservation, functional and aesthetically pleasing environmental contributions to humanity’s psychological and sociological well-being, and an enhancement of the quality of life in a safe and healthy environment and to assure the highest possible quality of the practice of landscape architecture in this state.
History.ss. 1, 18, ch. 79-407; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 421, ch. 97-103.
481.303 Definitions.As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “Board” means the Board of Landscape Architecture.
(2) “Certificate of registration” means a license issued by the department to a natural person to engage in the practice of landscape architecture.
(3) “Department” means the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
(4) “Landscape architecture” means professional services, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) Consultation, investigation, research, planning, design, preparation of drawings, specifications, contract documents and reports, responsible construction supervision, or landscape management in connection with the planning and development of land and incidental water areas, including the use of Florida-friendly landscaping as defined in s. 373.185, where, and to the extent that, the dominant purpose of such services or creative works is the preservation, conservation, enhancement, or determination of proper land uses, natural land features, ground cover and plantings, or naturalistic and aesthetic values;
(b) The determination of settings, grounds, and approaches for and the siting of buildings and structures, outdoor areas, or other improvements;
(c) The setting of grades, shaping and contouring of land and water forms, determination of drainage, and provision for storm drainage and irrigation systems where such systems are necessary to the purposes outlined herein; and
(d) The design of such tangible objects and features as are necessary to the purpose outlined herein.
(5) “Landscape design” means consultation for and preparation of planting plans drawn for compensation, including specifications and installation details for plant materials, soil amendments, mulches, edging, gravel, and other similar materials. Such plans may include only recommendations for the conceptual placement of tangible objects for landscape design projects. Construction documents, details, and specifications for tangible objects and irrigation systems shall be designed or approved by licensed professionals as required by law.
(6) “Registered landscape architect” means a person who holds a license to practice landscape architecture in this state under the authority of this act.
History.ss. 2, 18, ch. 79-407; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 2, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 8, ch. 91-41; s. 8, ch. 91-68; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 173, ch. 94-218; s. 1, ch. 98-245; s. 27, ch. 2009-243; s. 55, ch. 2020-160.
481.305 Board of Landscape Architecture.There is created in the Department of Business and Professional Regulation the Board of Landscape Architecture. The board shall consist of seven members, five of whom shall be registered landscape architects and two of whom shall be laypersons who are not and have never been registered landscape architects or members of any closely related profession. Members shall be appointed for 4-year terms.
History.ss. 3, 18, ch. 79-407; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 3, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 174, ch. 94-218.
481.306 Authority to make rules.The board has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this chapter and chapter 455 conferring duties upon it.
History.s. 1, ch. 80-218; ss. 13, 15, 25, 30, 34, 62, 65, ch. 80-406; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 4, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 132, ch. 98-166; s. 153, ch. 98-200; s. 192, ch. 2000-160.
481.307 Fees.The board, by rule, may establish fees to be paid for applications, examination, reexamination, licensing and renewal, delinquency, reinstatement, and recordmaking and recordkeeping. The examination fee shall be in an amount that covers the costs of obtaining and administering the examination and shall be refunded if the applicant is found ineligible to sit for the examination. The application fee is nonrefundable. The combined fees for initial application and examination may not exceed $800 plus the actual per applicant cost to the department for purchase of portions of the examination from the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards or a similar national organization. The biennial renewal fee may not exceed $600. The delinquency fee may not exceed the biennial renewal fee established by the board for an active license. The board shall establish fees that are adequate to ensure the continued operation of the board and to fund the proportionate expenses incurred by the department which are allocated to the regulation of landscape architects. Fees shall be based on department estimates of the revenue required to implement this part and the provisions of law with respect to the regulation of landscape architects.
History.ss. 4, 18, ch. 79-407; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 80, ch. 83-329; s. 2, ch. 87-327; s. 26, ch. 88-205; ss. 5, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 56, ch. 89-162; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 237, ch. 94-119.
481.309 Examinations.
(1) A person desiring to be licensed as a registered landscape architect shall apply to the department to take the licensure examination. The department shall examine each applicant who the board certifies:
(a) Has completed the application form and remitted a nonrefundable application fee and an examination fee which is refundable if the applicant is found to be ineligible to take the examination; and
(b)1. Has completed a professional degree program in landscape architecture as approved by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board; or
2. Presents evidence of not less than 6 years of actual practical experience in landscape architectural work of a grade and character satisfactory to the board. Each year of education completed in a recognized school shall be considered to be equivalent to 1 year of experience, with a maximum credit of 4 years.
(2) The licensure examination shall include, but not be limited to an examination on the specialized aspects of the practice of landscape architecture in this state.
History.ss. 5, 18, ch. 79-407; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 81, ch. 83-329; ss. 6, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
481.310 Practical experience requirement.Beginning October 1, 1990, every applicant for licensure as a registered landscape architect shall demonstrate, prior to licensure, 1 year of practical experience in landscape architectural work. An applicant who holds a master of landscape architecture degree and a bachelor’s degree in a related field is not required to demonstrate 1 year of practical experience in landscape architectural work to obtain licensure. The board shall adopt rules providing standards for the required experience. An applicant who qualifies for examination pursuant to s. 481.309(1)(b)1. may obtain the practical experience after completing the required professional degree. Experience used to qualify for examination pursuant to s. 481.309(1)(b)2. may not be used to satisfy the practical experience requirement under this section.
History.ss. 7, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 56, ch. 2020-160.
481.311 Licensure.
(1) The department shall license any applicant who the board certifies is qualified to practice landscape architecture and who has paid the initial licensure fee.
(2) The board shall certify for licensure any applicant who:
(a) Passes the examination required by s. 481.309; and
(b) Satisfies the experience requirement of s. 481.310.
(3) The board shall certify as qualified for a license by endorsement an applicant who:
(a) Qualifies to take the examination as set forth in s. 481.309; and has passed a national, regional, state, or territorial licensing examination which is substantially equivalent to the examination required by s. 481.309;
(b) Holds a valid license to practice landscape architecture issued by another state or territory of the United States, if the criteria for issuance of such license were substantially identical to the licensure criteria which existed in this state at the time the license was issued; or
(c) Has held a valid license to practice landscape architecture in another state or territory of the United States for at least 10 years before the date of application and has successfully completed a state, regional, national, or other examination that is equivalent to or more stringent than the examination required by the board, subject to subsection (5). An applicant who has met the requirements to be qualified for a license by endorsement, except for successful completion of an examination that is equivalent to or more stringent than the examination required by the board, may take the examination required by the board without completing additional education requirements. Such application must be submitted to the board while the applicant holds a valid license in another state or territory or within 2 years after the expiration of such license.
(4) The board may refuse to certify any applicant who is under investigation in any jurisdiction for any act which would constitute a violation of this act or of chapter 455, until the investigation is complete and disciplinary proceedings have been terminated.
(5) The board may refuse to certify any applicant who has violated any of the provisions of s. 481.325.
History.ss. 7, 18, ch. 79-407; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 8, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 242, ch. 94-119; s. 133, ch. 98-166; s. 193, ch. 2000-160; s. 57, ch. 2020-160.
481.313 Renewal of license.
(1) The department shall renew a license upon receipt of the renewal application and fee.
(2) The department shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for the biennial renewal of licenses.
(3) No license renewal shall be issued to a landscape architect by the department until the licensee submits proof, satisfactory to the department, that during the 2-year period prior to application for renewal, the licensee participated in such continuing education courses required by the board. The board shall approve only continuing education courses that relate to and increase the basic knowledge of landscape architecture. The board may make an exception from the requirements of continuing education in emergency or hardship cases.
(4) The board, by rule adopted pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, shall establish criteria for the approval of continuing education courses and providers, and shall by rule establish criteria for accepting alternative nonclassroom continuing education on an hour-for-hour basis. A landscape architect shall receive hour-for-hour credit for attending continuing education courses approved by the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System or another nationally recognized clearinghouse for continuing education that relate to and increase his or her basic knowledge of landscape architecture, as determined by the board, if the landscape architect submits proof satisfactory to the board that such course was approved by the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System or another nationally recognized clearinghouse for continuing education, along with the syllabus or outline for such course and proof of course attendance.
(5) The board shall require, by rule adopted pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, a specified number of hours in specialized or advanced courses, approved by the Florida Building Commission, on any portion of the Florida Building Code, adopted pursuant to part IV of chapter 553, relating to the licensee’s respective area of practice.
History.ss. 8, 18, ch. 79-407; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 238, ch. 94-119; s. 17, ch. 98-287; s. 123, ch. 2000-141; s. 35, ch. 2001-186; s. 4, ch. 2001-372; s. 128, ch. 2008-4; s. 23, ch. 2009-195; s. 58, ch. 2020-160.
481.315 Inactive status.
(1) A license that has become inactive or delinquent may be reactivated under this section upon application to the department and payment of any applicable biennial renewal or delinquency fee, or both, and a reactivation fee. The board may not require a licensee to complete more than one renewal cycle of continuing education requirements.
(2) The board shall adopt rules relating to application procedures for inactive status and for the reactivation of inactive licenses.
History.ss. 9, 18, ch. 79-407; s. 358, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 113, ch. 83-329; ss. 9, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 239, ch. 94-119; s. 30, ch. 2012-61.
481.317 Temporary certificates.
(1) Upon the approval by the board and payment of the fee set in s. 481.307, the department shall grant a temporary certificate of registration for work on a specified project in this state for a period not to exceed 1 year to an applicant who is licensed in another state or territory to practice landscape architecture.
(2) The application for a temporary certificate shall constitute appointment of the Department of State as an agent of the applicant for service of process in any action or proceeding against the applicant arising out of any transaction or operation connected with or incidental to the practice of landscape architecture for which the temporary license was issued.
History.ss. 10, 18, ch. 79-407; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 10, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 59, ch. 2020-160.
481.319 Corporate and partnership practice of landscape architecture.
(1) The practice of or offer to practice landscape architecture by registered landscape architects registered under this part through a corporation or partnership offering landscape architectural services to the public, or through a corporation or partnership offering landscape architectural services to the public through individual registered landscape architects as agents, employees, officers, or partners, is permitted, subject to the provisions of this section, if:
(a) One or more of the principal officers of the corporation, or partners of the partnership, and all personnel of the corporation or partnership who act in its behalf as landscape architects in this state are registered landscape architects; and
(b) One or more of the officers, one or more of the directors, one or more of the owners of the corporation, or one or more of the partners of the partnership is a registered landscape architect.
(2) All documents involving the practice of landscape architecture which are prepared for the use of the corporation or partnership shall bear the signature and seal of a registered landscape architect.
(3) A landscape architect applying to practice in the name of a corporation must file with the department the names and addresses of all officers and board members of the corporation, including the principal officer or officers, duly registered to practice landscape architecture in this state and, also, of all individuals duly registered to practice landscape architecture in this state who shall be in responsible charge of the practice of landscape architecture by the corporation in this state. A landscape architect applying to practice in the name of a partnership must file with the department the names and addresses of all partners of the partnership, including the partner or partners duly registered to practice landscape architecture in this state and, also, of an individual or individuals duly registered to practice landscape architecture in this state who shall be in responsible charge of the practice of landscape architecture by said partnership in this state.
(4) Each landscape architect qualifying a partnership or corporation under this part must notify the department within 1 month after any change in the information contained in the application upon which the license is based. Any landscape architect who terminates her or his employment with a partnership or corporation licensed under this part shall notify the department of the termination within 1 month after such termination.
(5) Except as provided in s. 558.0035, the fact that a registered landscape architect practices landscape architecture through a corporation or partnership as provided in this section does not relieve the landscape architect from personal liability for her or his professional acts.
History.ss. 6, 18, ch. 79-407; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 11, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 422, ch. 97-103; s. 6, ch. 2013-28; s. 60, ch. 2020-160.
481.321 Seals; display of certificate number.
(1) The board shall prescribe, by rule, one or more forms of seals for use by a registered landscape architect who holds a valid certificate of registration. Each registered landscape architect shall obtain one seal in a form approved by rule of the board and may, in addition, register her or his seal electronically in accordance with ss. 668.001-668.006. All final plans, specifications, or reports prepared or issued by the registered landscape architect and filed for public record shall be signed by the registered landscape architect, dated, and stamped or sealed electronically with her or his seal. The signature, date, and seal constitute evidence of the authenticity of that to which they are affixed. Final plans, specifications, or reports prepared or issued by a registered landscape architect may be transmitted electronically and may be signed by the registered landscape architect, dated, and sealed electronically with the seal in accordance with ss. 668.001-668.006.
(2) It is unlawful for any person to sign and seal by any means any final plan, specification, or report after her or his certificate of registration is expired, suspended, or revoked. A registered landscape architect whose certificate of registration is suspended or revoked shall, within 30 days after the effective date of the suspension or revocation, surrender her or his seal to the executive director of the board and confirm in writing to the executive director the cancellation of the landscape architect’s electronic signature in accordance with ss. 668.001-668.006. When a landscape architect’s certificate of registration is suspended for a period of time, her or his seal shall be returned upon expiration of the period of suspension.
(3) No registered landscape architect shall affix or permit to be affixed her or his seal or name to any plan, specification, drawing, or other document which was not prepared by her or him or under her or his responsible supervising control or which was not reviewed, approved, or modified, and adopted by her or him as her or his own work with full responsibility as a landscape architect for such documents.
(4) Nothing in this part shall prohibit a registered landscape architect from filing plans of work defined under this part.
(5) Each registered landscape architect must include her or his certificate number in any newspaper, telephone directory, or other advertising medium used by the registered landscape architect, corporation, or partnership. A corporation or partnership must display the certificate number of at least one officer, director, owner, or partner who is a registered landscape architect employed by or practicing with the corporation or partnership.
History.ss. 13, 18, ch. 79-407; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 12, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 423, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 2005-30; s. 6, ch. 2005-124; s. 61, ch. 2020-160.
481.323 Prohibitions; penalties.
(1) A person may not knowingly:
(a) Practice landscape architecture unless the person is a holder of a valid license issued under this part;
(b) Use the name or title “landscape architect,” “landscape architecture,” “landscape architectural,” “landscape engineering,” “L.A.,” or words to that effect, or advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that he or she is a landscape architect when he or she is not then the holder of a valid license issued pursuant to this part;
(c) Present as his or her own the license of another;
(d) Give false or forged evidence to the board or a member thereof;
(e) Use or attempt to use a landscape architect license that has been suspended, revoked, or placed on inactive or delinquent status;
(f) Employ unlicensed persons to practice landscape architecture;
(g) Aid and abet an unauthorized person in the practice of landscape architecture; or
(h) Conceal information relative to violations of this part.
(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.ss. 14, 18, ch. 79-407; s. 2, ch. 80-218; ss. 13, 15, 25, 30, 34, 62, 66, ch. 80-406; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 13, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 112, ch. 91-224; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 240, ch. 94-119; s. 424, ch. 97-103.
481.325 Disciplinary proceedings.
(1) The following acts constitute grounds for which the disciplinary actions in subsection (3) may be taken:
(a) Violation of any provision of s. 455.227(1), s. 481.321, or s. 481.323.
(b) Attempting to procure a license to practice landscape architecture by bribery or fraudulent misrepresentations.
(c) Having a license to practice landscape architecture revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of licensure, by the licensing authority of another state, territory, or country.
(d) Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of landscape architecture or the ability to practice landscape architecture.
(e) Making or filing a report or record that the licensee knows to be false, willfully failing to file a report or record required by state or federal law, willfully impeding or obstructing such filing, or inducing another person to impede or obstruct such filing. Such reports or records include only those that are signed in the capacity of a registered landscape architect.
(f) Advertising goods or services in a manner that is fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading in form or content.
(g) Committing an act of fraud or deceit, or of negligence, incompetency, or misconduct, in the practice of landscape architecture.
(h) Violation of any rule adopted pursuant to this part or chapter 455.
(i) Practicing on a revoked, suspended, inactive, or delinquent license.
(j) Aiding, assisting, procuring, or advising any unlicensed person to practice landscape architecture contrary to this part or to any rule of the department or of the board.
(k) Failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation placed upon a licensed landscape architect.
(l) Affixing or permitting to be affixed her or his seal or name to any plan, specification, drawing, or other document which was not prepared by her or him or under her or his responsible supervising control or which was not reviewed, approved, or modified, and adopted by her or him as her or his own work.
(2) The board shall specify, by rule, what acts or omissions constitute a violation of subsection (1).
(3) When the board finds any registered landscape architect guilty of any of the grounds set forth in subsection (1), it may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties:
(a) Denial of an application for licensure.
(b) Revocation or suspension of a license.
(c) Imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed $1,000 for each count or separate offense and a fine of up to $5,000 for matters pertaining to a material violation of the Florida Building Code as reported by a local jurisdiction.
(d) Issuance of a reprimand.
(e) Placement of the registered landscape architect on probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as the board may specify, including requiring the registered landscape architect to attend continuing education courses or to work under the supervision of another registered landscape architect.
(f) Restriction of the authorized scope of practice by the registered landscape architect.
(4) The department shall reissue the license of a disciplined registered landscape architect upon certification by the board that she or he has complied with all of the terms and conditions set forth in the final order.
History.ss. 15, 18, ch. 79-407; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 14, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 241, ch. 94-119; s. 425, ch. 97-103; s. 134, ch. 98-166; s. 18, ch. 98-287; s. 124, ch. 2000-141; s. 194, ch. 2000-160; s. 35, ch. 2001-186; s. 4, ch. 2001-372; s. 4, ch. 2005-30; s. 7, ch. 2005-124; s. 61, ch. 2009-195; s. 52, ch. 2010-106.
481.329 Exceptions; exemptions from licensure.
(1) None of the provisions of this part shall prevent employees of those lawfully practicing as landscape architects from acting under the instructions, control, or supervision of their employers.
(2) None of the provisions of this part shall apply to supervision by builders or superintendents employed by such builders in the installation of landscape projects by landscape contractors.
(3) None of the provisions of this part shall apply to any general contractor certified or registered pursuant to the provisions of chapter 489 when negotiating or performing services under a design-build contract, as long as the landscape architectural services offered or rendered in connection with the contract are offered and rendered by a landscape architect licensed in accordance with this part, or by an architect licensed in accordance with part I or by an engineer licensed in accordance with chapter 471.
(4) This part shall not be deemed to prohibit any person from making any plans, drawings, or specifications for any real or personal property owned by her or him so long as she or he does not use the title, term, or designation “landscape architect,” “landscape architectural,” “landscape architecture,” “L.A.,” “landscape engineering,” or any description tending to convey the impression that she or he is a landscape architect, unless she or he is registered as provided in this part or is exempt from registration under the provisions of this part.
(5) This part does not prohibit any person from engaging in the practice of landscape design, as defined in s. 481.303, or from submitting for approval to a governmental agency planting plans that are independent of, or a component of, construction documents that are prepared by a Florida-registered professional. Persons providing landscape design services shall not use the title, term, or designation “landscape architect,” “landscape architectural,” “landscape architecture,” “L.A.,” “landscape engineering,” or any description tending to convey the impression that she or he is a landscape architect unless she or he is registered as provided in this part.
(6) This part shall not be construed to affect part I of this chapter, chapter 471, or chapter 472, respectively, except that no such person shall use the designation or term “landscape architect,” “landscape architectural,” “landscape architecture,” “L.A.,” “landscape engineering,” or any description tending to convey the impression that she or he is a landscape architect, unless she or he is registered as provided in this part.
(7) Persons who perform landscape architectural services not for compensation, or in their capacity as employees of municipal or county governments, shall not be required to be licensed pursuant to this part. However, persons who are hired under the title “landscape architect” by any state, county, municipality, or other governmental unit of this state after June 30, 1988, shall be required to be licensed pursuant to this part. Nothing herein shall preclude a county or municipal employee from performing the functions of this part for her or his governmental employer under a different title.
(8) Nothing herein contained under this part shall preclude, pursuant to law, the preparation of comprehensive plans or the practice of comprehensive urban or rural planning at the local, regional, or state level by persons, corporations, partnerships, or associations who are not licensed or registered as landscape architects.
(9)(a) Nothing in this part prohibits a person from engaging in the practice of, or offering to practice as, a golf course architect.
(b) As used in this subsection, the term “golf course architect” means a person who performs professional services such as consultation, investigation, reconnaissance, research, design, preparation of drawings and specifications, and responsible supervision, where the predominant purpose of such service is the design of a golf course.
History.ss. 11, 18, ch. 79-407; s. 3, ch. 80-218; ss. 13, 15, 25, 30, 34, 62, 67, ch. 80-406; s. 359, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 15, 18, 19, ch. 88-347; s. 4, ch. 89-115; s. 70, ch. 89-162; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 157, ch. 94-119; s. 426, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 98-245; s. 26, ch. 99-7; s. 12, ch. 2011-222; s. 7, ch. 2012-13; s. 62, ch. 2020-160.