Clarification of New Board Rule: Use of Firm Registration Number

Many of you have asked for clarification regarding rule 661.57(1), “a firm shall not offer land surveying services to the public unless the offer of services contains the Firm Registration Certificate number.”  Let’s look at the definition “offer of surveying services”, rule 661.31(8), which reads, “any form of advertisement for land surveying services, including but not limited to verbal offer, hard copy, electronic web site, telephone listing, written proposal or other marketing materials.”

The places the Board expects to find your Firm Registration Certification number includes:

1)      Your web site

2)      The telephone listing (or yellow page advertisement)

3)      Your letterhead

What about your vehicles?  The intent was not to have you put your registration number on your vehicle, though the rule does state “any form of advertisement for land surveying services” and if you are using the side of your truck as a billboard, then it follows that your registration number should appear there as well.

What about gimme caps, shirts or pens? Here again, the intent is that you would not have to list your firm registration number on these items. While they might be considered marketing tools, the Board also wants to be reasonable.

Aside from rules 661.31(8) and 661.57, 663.19(d) also requires that your firm registration number appear on the survey drawing, though this is not from an advertising stand-point.

Remember, if you wonder an item needs your firm registration number, consider if it is seen by the public as an offer of surveying services.  If so, then it should have your firm registration number on it.

If you recently purchased letterhead or business cards, the Board does not expect for you to replace those items.  You can add  your firm registration number to these items by penning

So what is the point of having your number on advertisement anyway?  The Board’s role, in addition to examining, licensing and disciplining licensees, is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.  By displaying your number on those things that impart an offer of surveying services to the public, it implies that you have the State’s approval to conduct business as a professional land surveyor.

Statewide Goal

The priority goal will be to ensure that Texas consumers are effectively and efficiently served by high quality professionals and businesses by setting clear standards, maintaining compliance and seeking market-based solutions.

The Mission

The mission of the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying is to protect the residents of Texas by regulating, licensing and renewing the licenses of only competent surveyors; surveyors able to provide accurate surveys which will result in the orderly use of our physical environment.

The Philosophy

The Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying will license only competent surveyors and will regulate the practice of surveying. We will manage our resources as efficiently and effectively as possible with a commitment to excellence.