How can I become registered in the state of Alabama?

There are two different ways you can become registered in Alabama. They are as follows:

Reciprocity: An individual who is a registered architect in another state and holds an NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards) certificate may be registered in the state of Alabama. This process can be accomplished through the MY NCARB RECORD portal on NCARB’s home page

Examination: An individual who holds a first professional degree in architecture from a NAAB-accredited university, completes the NCARB Architectural Experience Program (AXP) and passes all divisions of the Architect Registration Exam® becomes a registered architect in Alabama. For eligibility and examination information, visit this link: Registration by Examination

Candidates who wish to become registered by examination must meet the following requirements:

• Completion of a professional degree in architecture from a college or university program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB);
• Completion of the Architectural Experience Program (AXP); and
• Pass all parts of the Architect Registration Examination® (A.R.E).®

Applicants must choose one of the following options for pursuing registration by examination:

1. ARE Application
2. Reasonable Testing Accommodations: The Board and NCARB have a procedure for granting reasonable testing accommodations to candidates with qualifying disabilities as outlined under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

After Alabama receives my application for reciprocity from NCARB, how long does it take for me to become registered in Alabama?

Once the application and council record are received from NCARB, it usually takes at least two weeks for the Board to process your application, provided there are no problems with your application.

I have allowed my registration to lapse in your state. What do I need to do to become registered again?

Click here for more information.

How many hours of continuing education does the state of Alabama require and how many of these hours should be health, safety, and welfare?

Alabama requires a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education per Calender year, all of which must be health, safety, and welfare related. (For detailed information, see Continuing Education Information.)

I only plan to do one architectural project in the state of Alabama. Does Alabama offer a temporary architect registration?

No. Alabama does not offer a temporary architect registration.

I have not received my Authorization to Test and I have met all the ARE requirements with the Board. What do I do now?

Call Prometric (test vendor) at 1-800-896-2272, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. eastern time.

How long does it take to receive my scores after I sit for the exam?

Scores should be received in two to four weeks.

Who do I contact to change my address?

Complete the change of address form.

I’m trying to “overnight” some information to your office, but my carrier will not accept the Board’s zip code.

Please use the zip code for our street address–36104.

When is a registered architect required?
  1. All buildings 2,500 square feet or larger that are erected, enlarged, or altered require the services of a registered architect, unless the building is a single-family residence, farm building, or utility building.
  2. All buildings erected, enlarged, or altered that are intended for the assembly occupancy of people regardless of size require the services of a registered architect.
  3. All buildings erected, enlarged, or altered that are intended for use as an education facility regardless of size require the services of a registered architect.
May I submit a proposal for architectural jobs in the state of Alabama without being registered?


Which building code does the state of Alabama use?

Contact the local building department in the municipality where the project is located concerning the edition which has been adopted in that jurisdiction. If there is no local building department, the State Fire Marshal becomes the Authority having jurisdiction.

Is an Architect needed for a renovation project?

Yes, if the renovation results in a change to a more restrictive occupancy type.

Is an Architect required on a roofing replacement project?

Maybe. If the project calls for an exact replacement for maintenance of the building, an architect is not required. If the roof pitch is altered or if new roofing materials will be used, either an architect or engineer should be employed to evaluate whether the buildings structure will support the new roof.

If plans for a metal building plan have the seal of a professional engineer on them, is there any need for an architect’s seal?

Once occupancy type is established, an architect is required for design of the interior spaces,  unless otherwise exempted.

Does an Architect have to sign, date, and seal every architectural sheet in a set of drawings?

Every architectural sheet must be sealed. There is no requirement concerning a date or signature.

Can an architect place his or her seal on engineering plans?

Generally speaking, no. An architect can seal engineering drawings if:

  1. The architect designs a minor engineering item, but not a complete engineering system;
  2. The architect’s design includes an addition to the main engineering system and does not affect the primary engineering system; or
  3. The engineering item is a small, incidental part of the project.
Can an architect bid for a project?

Architects are encouraged not to provide a price for services until the client has selected a firm or architect based on professional qualifications.

Can an architect have more than one office?

Only if there is an architect resident and regularly employed in each office. An architect may not supervise more than one location.

How do I obtain a Certification of Authorization as mentioned in the Alabama Registration Act?

Click here for more information.