Minnesota Architect License Exam

How to Get Your Minnesota Architect License

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On this page, you’ll find an exhaustive guide on the Minnesota Architect License Requirements and the Architect Registration process in Minnesota. It provides all the crucial information you need including state regulations, application fees, and filing instructions among other relevant details. If you need any assistance related to the licensing process, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to offer further details about our software and managed license services to support your needs.

How do I become an architect in Minnesota?

In order to qualify as an architect in Minnesota, you must fulfill the following:

  1. Education Requirement: Obtain a professional degree in Architecture (B.ARCH. or M.ARCH) from a program accredited by the NAAB.
  2. Experience Requirement: Participate in the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) to gain the necessary practical experience.
  3. Examination Requirement: Pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), a test that evaluates a candidate’s understanding, abilities, and skills needed to provide a range of services in architectural practice.

How Do I Take The Architect Registration Examination In Minnesota?

Company Licenses

Minnesota Architectural Firm Permit

  • Agency: Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design
  • Law: MN St. § 326.14
  • Eligible Entity Types:
  • Professional Corporations
  • Professional Limited Liability Companies
  • Professional Limited Liability Partnerships

While business corporations, limited liability companies, and other similar entities can undertake architectural or engineering projects, there is no mandatory requirement for these businesses to register as a specific architectural or engineering firm.

  • Ownership Requirements:
  • For Professional Corporations (PCs), Professional Limited Liability Companies (PLLCs), and Professional Limited Liability Partnerships (PLLPs): Ownership stakes can only be held by licensed design professionals, other entities permitted to offer at least one similar professional service, a voting trust with all voting trustees being licensed design professionals, or an employee stock ownership plan where all voting trustees are design professionals.
  • For Other Entity Types: The firm must appoint a licensed individual to oversee professional services provided by the firm. However, this individual isn’t required to be an officer or owner.
  • Is an exam required?: Not Set
  • Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?: Not Set
  • Do I Need To Have A Foreign Qualification?: Yes
  • Note: The registration being discussed is exclusive to professional entities, and it doesn’t apply to typical business organizations. It’s also important to note that Minnesota doesn’t allocate license numbers. Instead, firm registrations are identified by name alone. Verification can be obtained by contacting the board either via phone or email.

Automatic Exemption

  • Exemption Qualifying Organizations: Non-professional entities like business corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) are usually not subject to this particular registration requirement.
  • Agency Fee: $0

First-Time Applicants

The following information pertains to architectural firms seeking an initial license in Minnesota. If you currently possess a license and wish to renew it, please refer to the renewal section.

  1. Fill out a Firm Registration Application. This application must bear the signature of an individual who is a current license/certificate holder from the Board and is either an owner or an employee of the professional firm.
  2. The application should also include a list of all owners or those wielding governance authority. “Governance authority” is defined as the power and responsibility to establish key policies for a professional firm, oversee its overall operations, and maintain active, general management of and ultimate control over matters requiring professional judgment, as per MN Statute 319B.02.9.
  3. Include a copy of your Articles of Incorporation if you are a Minnesota-based firm, or a Certificate of Authority for non-Minnesota entities, commonly referred to as “foreign” firms, obtained from the Minnesota Secretary of State website or via phone at 651-296-2803. Ensure to include not just the page signed by the Secretary of State but also the page indicating your “Professional Status”/319B election.
  4. A filing fee of $100.00 is required. Make the check payable to the “MN Board of AELSLAGID”.
  • Turnaround: Upon successful filing and payment, the processing time typically ranges from 7 to 10 business days.

Before Applying, Take In Consideration:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. Designate a full-time employee, who holds a Minnesota design professional license, to oversee the firm’s professional design activities within the state.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Assign a full-time worker, licensed as a design professional in Minnesota, to supervise the firm’s professional design activities in the state.

How to apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. Submit your entity formation documents to the Minnesota Secretary of State.
  2. Procure a copy of your approved entity formation documents to accompany your firm registration application.
  3. Complete and submit a Professional Firm Registration Application to the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience, and Interior Design.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Submit foreign qualification documents to the Minnesota Secretary of State.
  2. Secure a copy of your approved foreign qualification documents to be submitted along with the firm registration application.
  3. Submit a Professional Firm Registration Application to the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience, and Interior Design.

Must-have Attachments

  • A copy of your Articles of Incorporation or your Certificate of Authority (post-foreign qualification).
  • A comprehensive list of owners and individuals possessing “governance authority”. This refers to individuals who:
    1. Set crucial policies for the firm.
    2. Supervise the firm’s entire operations.
    3. Maintain active general management and hold the final say over matters requiring professional judgment.

Registration Renewal

This section pertains to architectural firms that are currently licensed in Minnesota and are in the process of renewing their license.

Must-have Attachments

  • A detailed list of the firm’s directors, officers, managers, or members, including their addresses. This is only required if there have been changes.
  • An updated version of the articles of incorporation or certificate of authority, but only if changes have transpired.

Amendment

  • Agency Fee: $0
  • Due: Notify the board of changes via phone or email.

Reinstatement

  • Fill out the Professional Firm Renewal Form. Consider that the filing method is via Mail. 
  • Agency Fee: $25 for each year expired.
  • Note: Licenses that have lapsed for over four years are ineligible for reinstatement. Instead, the license holder should pursue acquiring a new license.

Individual Licenses

Minnesota Architect License

  • Agency: Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design
  • Do I Need To Have A Foreign Qualification?: Not Set
  • Is an exam required?: Yes
  • Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?: Not Set

First-Time Applicants

  • Submission method: online. 
  • Agency Fee: $120 original license fee + $75 exam fee 
  • Note: 
    • Candidates should have a degree from an architectural program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
    • For those with non-NAAB-accredited degrees or degrees from international institutions, an evaluation by Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA) – a paid service offered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) – is necessary to ascertain if the education meets licensure requirements.
    • Prospective architects must pass all six segments of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
    • To be eligible for a license, candidates need to successfully finish the experience specified in NCARB’s Architectural Experience Program (AXP), which involves logging 3,740 hours across six areas of experience in the candidate’s NCARB Record.
    • If candidates previously applied through the Board (not directly via NCARB) for the exam and completed their AXP within six months of passing their final ARE division, there’s no need to complete the online license application as the earlier exam application doubles as their initial license application. If it took more than six months, an online license application is necessary because the previous application will have been marked as “incomplete.”
      1. Those who directly applied to NCARB to take the ARE exam should use the online architecture license application to get their license.
      2. For those who didn’t initially designate Minnesota as their jurisdiction when establishing their NCARB Record, it’s crucial to do so before applying to the Board for licensure. The NCARB Record, which includes official transcripts (or education evaluation, if applicable), examination, and experience details, is a mandatory part of the application process.

Reciprocal Registration

  • Fill out the Architect Comity Application. Consider that the filing method is via Mail.
  • Agency Fee: $120 license fee + $100 application fee
  • Due: June 30th of every even-numbered year.
  • Note: Comity applicants must meet the Minnesota Statutes and Rules applicable at the time of their original licensure in their base state.

How To Apply

  • If you were initially licensed on or after January 1, 1991: Ensure you have an NAAB-accredited or equivalent degree.
  • If you were initially licensed on or after March 1, 1997: Provide evidence of completion of NCARB IDP/AXP.
  • If you were initially licensed before January 1, 1991: Meet the Minnesota requirements for education, examination, and experience in effect at the time of your initial licensure. Refer to the relevant year’s archived rules on the Minnesota Revisor of Statutes website (www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/?view=archive), specifically “Chapters 1800 to 1805.”
  • If you have an NCARB Record:
    • Complete pages 1, 3, and 4 of the application, skipping page 2 (Parts B-D).
    • Request that your NCARB Record be sent to Minnesota. Log into My NCARB (my.ncarb.org/Login), access “NCARB Record,” select “Request Transmittal of NCARB Record,” and follow the provided instructions. Do not fill out the Experience Reference or Licensure Verification forms, as your NCARB Record contains the necessary information.
  • If you do not have an NCARB Record:
    • Complete all parts of pages 1-4 of the application.
    • Request your educational institution(s) to send an official transcript directly to the Board office. The transcript should show the degree awarded and the graduation date. The institution should email the official transcript in its original, sealed envelope to aelslagid@state.mn.us.
    • Fill out the “Applicant” section of the Verification of Exams and Current Licensure Form for each state where you hold a valid license, as well as the state that holds your ARE Exam results. Send both pages of the form, along with any required fees and a stamped envelope addressed to the Minnesota Board (refer to the provided address). Note that some states may charge a fee for record verification, so it is advisable to contact the respective state to inquire about fees or additional instructions to avoid processing delays.
    • Complete the “Applicant” section of the Experience Reference Form and provide it to your supervisor(s) for completion. Refer to the form for specific instructions.

Must-have Attachments

  1. Submit an official, final transcript from each educational institution attended. The transcripts should be in sealed envelopes from the respective institutions. Alternatively, the institution can email the transcripts directly to aelslagid@state.mn.us.
  2. Provide separate copies of the Experience Reference Form to each supervisor listed on Part E of the Architect by Comity Application Form. Include only the relevant information and hours applicable to each supervisor. Ensure that all pages of the form, including the instruction page, are provided to the supervisor(s).

Registration Renewal

  • Submission method: online.
  • Agency Fee: $120 renewal fee + $2.50 credit card/bank fee
  • Due: By June 30 of even-numbered years.

Minnesota Interior Designer Certification

  • Agency: Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design
  • Do I Need To Have A Foreign Qualification?: Not Set
  • Is an exam required?: Not Set
  • Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?: Not Set

First-Time Applicants

Registration Renewal

  • Submission method: online.
  • Agency Fee: $120
  • Due: By June 30 of even-numbered years.

Minnesota Landscape Architect License

  • Agency: Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design
  • Do I Need To Have A Foreign Qualification?: Not Set
  • Is an exam required?: Not Set
  • Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?: Not Set

First-Time Applicants

Registration Renewal

  • Submission method: online
  • Agency Fee: $120
  • Due: By June 30 of even-numbered years.

Register for the Architect Registration Examination

Securing an architect’s license in Minnesota opens up a world of opportunities to practice architecture in the state. The journey commences with the pursuit of a professional degree in architecture, a fundamental requirement in your quest to become a licensed architect. This degree is not just a piece of paper, but a testament to your knowledge and comprehension of architectural principles, a rite of passage that equips you with the tools to craft and shape the built environment.

Remember, it’s important that your architecture degree is obtained from a program accredited by a recognized body such as the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). This accreditation assures that the program meets the industry’s standards and provides the necessary skills and training.

Architect registration in Minnesota is a crucial step that formalizes your standing in the industry. This process includes satisfying the state’s requirements and passing the relevant examinations. With this license, you will have the legal authority to practice architecture, offering your expertise to develop the Minnesota landscape. Now that you are armed with this information, you’re one step closer to realizing your architectural aspirations.

Disclaimer: These requirements are subject to change based on approval board discretion. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Minnesota Board of AELSLAGID Website.

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