Enforcement: Frequently Asked Questions

Use of the Seal

When must I seal a professional document?

Subchapter F of the rules (architectlandscape architectregistered interior designer) addresses the use of your professional seal. You must always seal, sign, and date construction documents when they are issued for permitting, regulatory approval, or construction purposes. If you release construction documents for other purposes, you must include the following information on the documents: your name, the date the document is issued, and a statement placed in a conspicuous location on the document that says: “Not for regulatory approval, permitting, or construction.”

May I apply the seal, date and signature electronically?


I have been asked to modify and complete a construction document bearing another Architect/Landscape Architect/Registered Interior Designer’s seal. May I do so?

Yes, you may modify a construction document bearing another registrant’s seal after you have taken reasonable steps to notify the sealing registrant of the intent to modify the document. Then you must clearly indicate on the document the extent of the modifications made.

Where can I buy the seal?

It’s easy and inexpensive to find a local or online stationery store or stamp-maker that sells rubber stamps or electronic seal files in a format of your choice.

Practice Requirements

How can I determine if a registered architect is required on a project?

This chart, When to Engage a Registered Architect, (PDF) may help you decide if your project requires the services of a registered architect.  Online version of flowchart above.  

Am I required to display my registration number on my business cards and in all directory listings?

No, this rule was repealed in 2012.

I have been asked to provide fee schedules in response to a Request for Qualifications from a governmental entity.   May I do so?

No.  Architects may not submit information related to the monetary cost of a professional service, including information found in a fee schedule, until the governmental entity has selected the architect on the basis of a demonstrated competence and qualifications as discussed in the Professional Services Procurement Act.

I am a new registrant. When will I receive my wall certificate?

TBAE Board Members sign the new wall certificates when they meet – usually in January, May, August, and October. (Click here for a list of board meeting dates.) The signed certificates are mailed approximately six weeks later. The cut-off date for printing new certificates to be signed is six weeks prior to the upcoming board meeting.

My registration certificate was lost or stolen. How can I get a replacement certificate?

You can order a replacement certificate from your online account. See the TBAE Fee Schedule for the current Replacement or Duplicate Wall Certificate fee.

What is the statement of jurisdiction?

Architects, registered interior designers, and landscape architects are required to provide a written Statement of Jurisdiction to each and every client for whom they render professional services. Unregistered interior designers, who are not regulated by TBAE or any other governmental agency, need not provide any Statement of Jurisdiction to their clients, and TBAE has no enforcement authority over their practice or professional conduct. Clients have no recourse through TBAE in the event that an unregistered interior designer’s practice is unsatisfactory to the client, nor do unregistered interior designers need to adhere to TBAE rules regarding Professional Conduct.

The rule is found in Subchapter F, Other Professional Responsibilities. For architects: 1.106; for interior designers: 5.115 ; for landscape architects: 3.106.

Filing a Complaint

Do I need to use a complaint form if I want to file a complaint?

For general information about complaints and TBAE’s jurisdiction please see the complaints main page.

You can download and print a complaint form which contains all of the information needed by TBAE in order to process a complaint including your original signature. Providing your written testimony with a complaint form ensures that that you formally certify and attest to your statements. In some cases, the Board may initiate an investigation without a formal complaint if there is sufficient evidentiary information provided to establish probable cause that a violation of the law has occurred.

What documents must I submit when I file a complaint?

It is very important that originals or legible copies of all relevant documents be submitted when you file a complaint. If there is insufficient information to support the allegations, the processing of the case file may be delayed or the matter may be dismissed without further action.

If I file a complaint, will my name be disclosed to the person I am complaining about?

Complaints filed with the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners are subject to the Texas Public Information Act. In most cases, the Board must disclose the information you provide on the complaint form to any person who requests it, including the person against whom you are filing this complaint. A copy of the complaint could be provided to the individual(s) involved in your complaint. Also, you could be called to testify as part of a formal or informal proceeding, such as a hearing or a deposition. If you have any concerns about the disclosure of your personal information (name, address, etc.), please contact the Board before you file the complaint form and we can discuss it with you.

Are anonymous complaints considered?

Yes. When submitting an anonymous complaint it is just as important to use the complaint form, to be as detailed as possible, and to attach supporting documentation to ensure that TBAE is able to determine the nature of the complaint, the date of the violation, and to locate the individual you are complaining about.

What if I am not sure that I want to file a complaint, but I want to discuss the issue with TBAE?

TBAE welcomes dialogue on topics that are of concern to the public or registrants. To talk to someone in the Investigations division, call (512) 305-8530 and ask to speak to an investigator.

How long does it take for a complaint to be completely resolved?

Upon receipt of a complaint, the Board will conduct a preliminary evaluation of the matter within thirty (30) days to determine whether allegations described in your complaint are within the Board’s jurisdiction.   It can be difficult to estimate when a case will be completely resolved due to the complexities involved in each particular case and because due process allows each party certain participation throughout the lifecycle of the complaint.

If I file a complaint, how will I know what happens when the case is closed?

The Board will send a letter to the complainant and the respondent as to the final disposition of the case. If there has been formal disciplinary action taken, the complainant will be able to obtain a copy of the document by writing to the Board pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act.

Does TBAE hold public hearings on complaints?

The process for resolving complaints through hearings is set forth in Subchapter I of the Rules as follows:  architects | landscape architects | registered interior designers.