Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 8.1
Land Surveyors

R.I. Gen. Laws 5-8.1-9



 5-8.1-9.  Board of registration for professional land surveyors — Application and qualification for registration.


(a) (1) Application for registration as a professional land surveyor or certification as a surveyor-in-training shall be made, in writing, on a form prescribed and furnished by the board of registration for professional land surveyors. The application shall:

(i) Contain statements made under oath;

(ii) Show the applicant's education;

(iii) Contain a detailed summary of the applicant's technical and professional experience; and

(iv) Designate references as described in this section.

(b) The fee established in  5-8.1-11 must accompany each application. Failure to include this fee will result in the application being returned to the applicant without consideration by the board.

(c) To be eligible for registration as a professional land surveyor, an applicant must be of good character and reputation. Additionally, the applicant must submit five (5) references with his or her application, three (3) of which are from registered professional land surveyors having personal knowledge of his or her land surveying experience. No person seeking his or her initial registration as a professional land surveyor shall be granted the certificate without first completing a surveyor-in-training program as prescribed and approved by the board and passing an examination in the fundamentals of land surveying. Upon passing that examination, the applicant is granted a surveyor-in-training certificate in this state.

(d) To be eligible for certification as a surveyor-in-training, an applicant must be of good character and reputation substantiated by an interview with a quorum of the board of registration for professional land surveyors and additionally must submit three (3) character references one of which must be from a professional land surveyor.

(e) One of the following shall be considered as minimum evidence to the board that the applicant is qualified for registration as a professional land surveyor or for certification as a land-surveyor-in training, respectively:

(i) Graduation from a four-year (4) survey degree program, experience, and examination.  A graduate of a four-year (4) survey degree program applicant will need a specific record of a minimum four (4) years of experience in land surveying. This verified experience shall be under the direct supervision of a registered professional land surveyor, satisfactory to the board, and shall be broken down as follows: At a minimum, twenty percent (20%) shall be field experience; twenty percent (20%) shall be research, deed evidence, reconciliation, etc.; and twenty percent (20%) shall be property line calculations and determination. Once the experience has been deemed satisfactory to the board, the applicant may be admitted to an examination in the principles and practice of land surveying, plus an additional Rhode Island legal portion. Upon passing that examination, the applicant is granted a certificate of registration to practice land surveying in this state, provided the applicant is qualified.

(ii) Graduation from a four-year (4) degree program, experience, and examination.  A graduate of a four-year (4) degree program applicant who has also fulfilled the core curriculum (see subsection (h) of this section) will need a specific record of a minimum five (5) years of experience in land surveying. This verified experience shall be under the direct supervision of a registered professional land surveyor, satisfactory to the board, and shall be broken down as follows: At a minimum, twenty percent (20%) shall be field experience; twenty percent (20%) shall be research, deed evidence, reconciliation, etc.; and twenty percent (20%) shall be property line calculations and determination. Once the experience has been deemed satisfactory to the board, the applicant may be admitted to an examination in the principles and practice of land surveying, plus an additional Rhode Island legal portion. Upon passing that examination, the applicant is granted a certificate of registration to practice land surveying in this state, provided the applicant is qualified.

(iii) Graduation from a two-year (2) survey degree program, experience, and examination.  A graduate of a two-year (2) survey degree program applicant will need a specific record of a minimum five (5) years of verified experience in land surveying. All five (5) years of experience shall be under the direct supervision of a registered professional land surveyor, satisfactory to the board, and shall be broken down as follows: At a minimum, twenty percent (20%) shall be field experience; twenty percent (20%) shall be research, deed evidence, reconciliation, etc.; and twenty percent (20%) shall be property line calculations and determination. Once the experience has been deemed satisfactory to the board, the applicant may be admitted to an examination in the principles and practice of land surveying, plus an additional Rhode Island legal portion. Upon passing that examination, the applicant is granted a certificate of registration to practice land surveying in this state, provided the applicant is qualified.

(iv) Graduation from a two-year (2) degree program, experience, and examination.  A graduate of a two-year (2) degree program applicant who has also fulfilled the core curriculum (see subsection (h) of this section) will need a specific record of a minimum five (5) years of verified experience in land surveying. All five (5) years of experience shall be under the direct supervision of a registered professional land surveyor, satisfactory to the board, and shall be broken down as follows: At a minimum, twenty percent (20%) shall be field experience; twenty percent (20%) shall be research, deed evidence, reconciliation, etc.; and twenty percent (20%) shall be property line calculations and determination. Once the experience has been deemed satisfactory to the board, the applicant may be admitted to an examination in the principles and practice of land surveying, plus an additional Rhode Island legal portion. Upon passing that examination, the applicant is granted a certificate of registration to practice land surveying in this state, provided the applicant is qualified.

(v) Experience and examination.  An applicant who has recorded a minimum of seven (7) years verified experience and who has also fulfilled the core curriculum (see subsection (h)) will need a specific record of a minimum of seven (7) years of verified experience in land surveying. All seven (7) years of experience shall be under the direct supervision of a registered professional land surveyor, satisfactory to the board, and shall be broken down as follows: At a minimum, twenty percent (20%) shall be field experience; twenty percent (20%) shall be research, deed evidence, reconciliation, etc.; and twenty percent (20%) shall be property line calculations and determination. Once the experience has been deemed satisfactory to the board, the applicant may be admitted to an examination in the principles and practice of land surveying, plus an additional Rhode Island legal portion. Upon passing that examination, the applicant is granted a certificate of registration to practice land surveying in this state, provided the applicant is qualified.

(vi) Surveying teaching.  Teaching of advanced land surveying subjects in a college or university offering an approved land surveying curriculum may be considered as land surveying experience satisfactory to the board.

(vii) Registration by comity or endorsement.  A person holding a current certificate of registration to engage in the practice of land surveying issued to him or her by a proper authority of a state, territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia must have, at the time he or she was licensed, met the existing Rhode Island requirements for licensure. All applicants applying under this section must have passed the written examinations in the fundamentals of land surveying and the principles and practice of land surveying. If, based upon verified evidence and the opinion of the board, the applicant meets all appropriate requirements of this section, the applicant will be allowed to take the Rhode Island legal portion. Upon passing this examination, the applicant shall be granted a certificate of registration to practice land surveying in this state, provided the applicant is qualified.

(f) The passing grade on all examinations offered by the land surveyors is not less than seventy percent (70%). An applicant failing any examination may apply for reexamination upon payment of the appropriate fees. An applicant who scores less than fifty percent (50%) on any examination may not apply for reexamination for at least one year.

(g) An applicant who fails any of the exams three (3) times shall be interviewed by the board, before any further application can be acted upon. It is the applicant's responsibility to show the board that he or she will be successful if allowed to take the exam again. If, in the board's opinion, the applicant cannot satisfactorily demonstrate that he or she is qualified to re-take the exam, the board may require that the applicant acquire additional knowledge, education, and/or experience, satisfactory to the board before the applicant may sit for another exam.

(h) Core curriculum.  An applicant with a four-year (4) degree as described in subsection (e)(ii) of this section, a two-year (2) degree as described in subsection (e)(iv), or experience as described in subsection (e)(v) of this section may need to take additional courses to fulfill, at a minimum, the following core curriculum. For the following list of classes, any equivalent class may be taken and any survey-related course may be substituted upon approval of the board:

(1) Surveying (six (6) credit hours).  Surveying I or equivalent, Surveying II or equivalent. Courses must cover topics of GPS & geodetic control and boundary adjustment computations.

(2) Mathematics (nine (9) credit hours).  Qualifying courses: Algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus, or higher.

(3) Business and law (six (6) credit hours).  Qualifying courses: boundary law, contract law, property law, trusts and estates, professional ethics, quantitative business analysis I, business administration, small business management, micro economics, accounting principles, or related courses.

(4) Science (nine (9) credit hours).  Qualifying courses: physics, geology, astronomy, soils, dendrology, chemistry, biology, or ecology.

(5) Computer usage (three (3) credit hours).  Qualifying courses: introduction to computer, computer science, computer programing, AutoCad basics, AutoCAD advantage, geographic/land information systems, introduction to spreadsheets, or word processing.

(6) English composition,  English composition II, technical writing, creative writing, or speech (six (6) credit hours).

History of Section.
P.L. 1990, ch. 330, 2; P.L. 1991, ch. 304, 4; P.L. 1992, ch. 337, 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 86, 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 90, 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 98, 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 157, 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 165, 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 298, 3; P.L. 2013, ch. 378, 3; P.L. 2018, ch. 11, 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 23, 1.