The Architect Stamp: Uses, Types, and Interesting Facts

Architect Stamp

It takes 12.7 years for architects to be able to stamp their designs.

Many people do not realize how much time and hard work you have put into acquiring your certificate to practice architecture.

But Pro Stamps does. It is why we offer a range of superior quality stamps for you to use in your practice.

Whether you’re a newly licensed architect looking to buy your first self-inking stamp or a seasoned practitioner looking for a digital seal, here is what you need to know. 

What Does an Architect Stamp Mean?

architect stamps
Source: Pixabay

An architect stamp says that the architect vouches for the accuracy and appropriateness of their designs or plans.

As a professional, the highlight of your career is probably the day you get the state board’s approval to practice. For an architect, it’s also the day you can stamp your designs. But, you should know that this newfound ability comes with liability.

According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Model Rules of Conduct, stamping documents means that you:

  • Are licensed to practice by the state
  • Prepared the design or directly supervised the person who did
  • Have exercised professional judgment about all matters contained
  • Accept responsibility for the design documents.

Stamping documents may be a run-of-the-mill administrative duty in some professions, but it has severe implications for architects. 

When Is an Architect Stamp Used?

State laws require locally licensed architects to stamp plans for building projects. Plans for commercial buildings and those that are of public safety concerns require an architect’s seal.

In most states, family homes and small structures under specific square footage are exempt from requiring an architect stamp.

However, if a local building department allows an architect or engineer stamp, either professional can help meet a building permit’s requirements. 

Where Can I Buy an Architect Stamp?

Pro Stamps offers state board-compliant custom seals and stamps for architects. You can order online and receive your seal within one business day. There are three types of stamps to choose from:

Digital Stamps

architect seal stamps in digital format
Alabama Architect Stamp and Seal

A digital stamp is similar to a conventional stamp, except it’s stored on a computer. It isn’t always feasible to wet stamp hundreds of pages, especially for larger projects. Most states allow digital seals on documents submitted for building permits.

Pro Stamps offers digital stamps in PDF, TIF, JPG, and AutoCAD formats for architects. You can buy a digital stamp or get one free with a self-inking or rubber stamp purchase.  

Self-inking Stamps

professional stamp, self-inking
Iowa Architect Stamp and Seal

A self-inking mount re-inks the die onto the pad before each impression. It’s ideal for quick, repetitive stamping. The ink pad can be pre-inked or replaced for continual use. 

Wood Rubber Stamps

architect seals, wooden-mount
Iowa Architect Stamp and Seal

Wood mounted stamps may be traditional, but they add a professional appeal to your office. Pro Stamps uses quality stamp products, including natural wood bases and stained handles, to make architect stamps.  You must purchase a separate ink pad for use with this stamp.  

3 Interesting Facts About the Architect Stamp

Each State Has a Unique Stamp

Depending on individual state regulations, your seal should have a specific design. Most states have circular-shaped stamps with room for a name and license number. A few states, like Idaho and Washington, have box-like imprints.

architect stamps, Washington state
Washington Architect Stamp and Seal

The difference in designs does not mean you can only do stamp work in the state you live in. You can get a license to work in more than one jurisdiction. The practice, known as reciprocity, is facilitated by the NCARB.

When you get reciprocity in a new state, you have to purchase a stamp that meets state regulations. You can own stamps for multiple states, provided you have completed the individual licensing requirements. 

You Can Design Your Own Architect Stamp

Some states allow architects to design their own stamps, provided they adhere to certain restrictions. All states dictate the size and organization of writings on the seals. Architects are allowed to change lines, fonts and include limited decorations. 

It’s Illegal to Stamp Someone Else’s Drawings

An architect cannot stamp someone else’s drawings. According to the NCARB Model Rules of Conduct, it’s illegal for a practitioner to sign and seal documents they were not involved in making.

However, the organization makes one exception:

“An architect of record may sign and seal prototypical building documents prepared by an architect licensed in any U.S. jurisdiction, but only if the architect of record determines that such documents are in compliance with the requirements of the project’s jurisdiction and incorporates them into the architect of record’s own technical submissions.”

The legal implications of having someone else stamp your drawings are severe. They underscore the need for you to purchase your stamp immediately after you acquire a license number.

Owning a stamp allows you to take charge of projects rather than relying on your peers to review your drawings and stamp them for you. The latter may also mean you don’t have sole ownership of projects. 

Premium Architect Stamps

Are you a newly licensed architect looking for an old-fashioned rubber stamp? Perhaps you just got reciprocity in a new state, and you need a digital seal ASAP. If you recently changed your name, you will soon need a replacement stamp to comply with state regulations.

At Pro Stamps, you will find architect superior quality stamps for every need. We send digital files within 24 hours to confirm your name and confirmation license. Orders for self-inking and wood-mount stamps placed before 3 PM EST ship the same day.

All our products are designed and produced locally in America. We offer free shipping, using USPS first class package that matches the speed of Priority Mail.  Furthermore, we have a lifetime warranty that is proof of our commitment to your satisfaction.

Check out our architect stamp collection by state. We also have premium engineer and land surveyor stamps and seals

Featured Image: Pixabay by ds_30