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Licensed Contractors Not Allowed to Perform Land Surveying and Civil Engineering Work

License required from Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists

SACRAMENTO - The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is reminding licensees that their CSLB-issued license does not allow them to perform land surveying and civil engineering work. Performing this type of work without a license issued by the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists (PELSG)could put your CSLB license at risk.

Land surveyor and civil engineer requirements are detailed in California Business and Professions (B&P) Code, Chapter 15, Articles 1-8, Sections 8700-8805.

Land Surveyors

Some of the duties performed by land surveyors in California are:

  • Retracing Property Lines
  • Performing Boundary Line Adjustments
  • Preparing Topographic Maps
  • Preparing Subdivision Maps
  • Performing Construction Surveys
Civil Engineers

In California, some of the duties performed by civil engineers are:

  • Design of any building or structure except a public school
  • Structural and geotechnical (soils) engineering if fully qualified
  • Analyze and design buildings to withstand the natural forces of gravity, earthquakes, or wind
  • Provide advice regarding structural design requirements to architects, contractors, and consumers
  • Prepare design and repair recommendations for drainage systems, septic systems, foundations, and retaining walls
  • Prepare grading plans and topographic maps of the elevations and contours of the land
  • Design swimming pools
Possible Disciplinary Action

CSLB stresses the importance of following all state and local laws and ordinances. When licensed contractors work outside of their specific classification or scope of work, they subject their license to possible criminal charges from PELS and disciplinary action from CSLB. Illegal acts of unlicensed engineering and land surveying by licensed CSLB contractors or unlicensed individuals are governed by B&P Code 8792(a), which is a misdemeanor. Civil penalties for these violations could run into the thousands of dollars and could be included in an action to revoke a license.

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