Since the staff at FBPE is gearing up for the biennial renewal, which begins in November, I thought now would be a good time to alert licensees to some changes.

First, when you renew online this year, Professional Engineer licensees will be given the option of paying a reduced fee if you renew your license early. The usual fee for renewal is $98.75, which includes a mandatory unlicensed activity fee to combat unlicensed activity. However, from Nov. 5, 2018, through Jan. 15, 2019, the fee will be reduced by $10, to $88.75. This reduction is being made to encourage Professional Engineers to renew earlier rather than later. This way licensees can get their new licenses before the old ones expire.

Speaking of receiving new licenses: One of the other changes will be the way licenses are distributed. Starting with this renewal, we will be sending the new licenses out electronically. You will no longer have to wait six to eight weeks to get your new license. Once you complete the renewal process, you will be able to download your printable license from a secure webpage.

We know that licensees often need a new license in hand sooner because they are needed for bids or proposals. This will alleviate the delay usually caused by renewing at the last minute and then having to wait to receive the new license in the mail.

While you are waiting for renewal to begin in November, you should be sure to complete all your continuing education requirements, which includes one hour of Florida laws and rules, one hour of professional engineering ethics, four hours of technical area of practice and 12 hours in any topic that pertains to the practice of engineering. It is important to complete all these hours prior to Feb. 28, 2019. Otherwise, you may be subject to disciplinary action by the Board (see a related article on this).

If you received your license by examination during the April 2017, October 2017, or April 2018 exam administrations, you are not required to complete continuing education during this renewal. However, you must pay the renewal fee. Also, if your license is inactive, you are not required to take continuing education but you must pay the fee. If your license is not currently inactive and you wish to change the status, you must do so prior to renewing your license.

On a final note, you should receive a postcard reminder shortly before renewal opens. You will also receive several email reminders, and renewal information will be posted on the FBPE website. It is your responsibility to update your contact information if you want to rely on notices to remind you of renewal. All licenses expire on Feb. 28, 2019, and must be renewed on or prior to that date.

If you have any questions about renewing, please be sure to visit our website or call us at (850) 521-0500. We are looking forward to a smooth and uneventful renewal period.