California Architects Board
The California Architects Board (Board) was created in 1901 by the California Legislature to fulfill the mission of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public through the regulation of the practice of architecture in California. It is one of numerous entities within the Department of Consumer Affairs responsible for consumer protection and the regulation of licensed professionals. The Board establishes regulations for examination and licensing of the profession of architecture in California, which today numbers over 21,000 licensed architects and approximately 10,000 candidates who are in the process of meeting examination and licensure requirements.
Go paperless, start your application online! Continue to DCA Connect to apply.
Retirement of ARE Rolling Clock Policy
Effective May 1st, NCARB is retiring the rolling clock policy for exam score validity. The new policy provides that passed ARE divisions from both the current and prior versions of the exam will be valid. This national policy change will reinstate the validity of all passed ARE 4.0 divisions, taken between 2008 and 2018. Please visit the NCARB website to find more information on this policy change.
However, to implement this change in California, the California Architects Board (CAB) must amend its existing regulations, which impose a five-year limitation on exam scores, like the rolling clock policy. We recommend visiting the CAB website and joining our subscriber list for updates on proposed regulatory changes.
New Fees Go Into Effect On July 1, 2023
The Board will increase original license and renewal fees for the first time in 12 years due to increased operational costs. New fees will go into effect at the beginning of the new fiscal year (July 1, 2023).
If your license expires July 1, 2023, or after, you are subject to the new renewal fee of $400.
New licenses with an issue date of July 1, 2023, or after will be subject to the new fee:
- Original license fee - $400
- Original license fee for a license that is issued less than one year before the date on which it will expire - $200
The Board is self-funded by licensing fees and has been diligent to decrease operational and staffing expenses; however, costs imposed that are outside of our control have made it impossible to keep the budget in balance.
Retired Architect Licenses Are Now Being Issued
The Board is now able to issue retired architect licenses. The application fee for a retired license is $40. Architects interested in retiring their eligible (a license capable of being renewed) license should submit the Application for Retired License and the application fee to the Board’s mailing address. Nonrenewal licenses (licenses that have been expired for more than five years) are not eligible for retirement.
Frequently Asked Questions on Zero Net Carbon Design Continuing Education Requirements
Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1010 into law on September 16, 2021. It requires California architects to complete five (5) hours of continuing education (CE) coursework regarding zero net carbon design (ZNCD) for all license renewals on or after January 1, 2023. The Board has created frequently asked questions regarding this new requirement.
The new Licensing 101 video is available.
If you are a candidate or know someone who would like to become a licensed architect in California, please watch our Licensing 101 video in English or Spanish at https://youtu.be/IBSIN-_cg-Q
Board Transitioning to New Licensing and Enforcement Platform
The California Architects Board is in the process of transitioning to a new licensing and enforcement platform. Working under the guidance of DCA, the Board expects a new system to come online in early 2023. It is anticipated that while a new system will bring benefits for consumers and licensees, there will be a potential impact on workload as the Board transitions throughout the project.