Architects have stamps or seals that are their responsibility to maintain. Learn the requirements for your stamp and seal, using it, and signing documents.
How to get your stamp or seal
Every architect licensed in the state of Washington must have a seal of design authorized by the board. You may only practice architecture and prepare and seal documents if you are licensed to practice architecture in the State of Washington. After you are licensed, it is your responsibility to get a stamp or seal.
Your stamp may be rubber, embossed, or digitally produced. You should be able to get one from any stamp manufacturer. When ordering, make sure your stamp or seal contains all of the following:
- Your name
- Your license number
- The legend "Registered Architect, State of Washington"
Your name will appear on your stamp or seal exactly as you entered it on your application form.
The approved design is shown above. Deviations from this design aren't allowed.
- Your name should appear where it says NAME
- Your license number should replace the row of zeroes
How to use your stamp or seal
There are specific seal requirements when it comes to using your stamp or seal, including:
- You must sign and seal all technical submissions required for building permits or regulatory approvals.
- The drawings you prepare must be signed and sealed on each sheet.
- Specifications and other technical submissions only need to be sealed on the cover, title page, and all pages of the table of contents.
- You may sign and seal drawings only if you prepared them or if they were prepared by your regularly employed subordinates and reviewed by you, by an individual or firm under direct subcontract with you, or in collaboration with an architect licensed in a jurisdiction we recognize (as long as you and the architect had a contractual agreement).
- By signing and sealing drawings or specifications, you become the architect of record and are responsible to the same extent as if you prepared the drawings or specifications yourself.
The term "signature" or "signed" refers to a handwritten or digital identification that represents the act of putting your name on a document to attest to its validity. Your signature must be:
- Original and written by hand, or a scanned image of the original handwritten identification
- Permanently affixed to the documents being certified
- Applied to the document by you
- Placed across your seal/stamp
- An electronic authentication process must be attached to or associated with an electronic document, which may include a scanned or digitized signature. This type of digital identity must be unique to you, verifiable, and under your exclusive control.
For more information, please review the guidelines for building officials and design professionals.