In the state of Hawaii, all professional engineers are required to use a Hawaii professional engineer embosser seal or stamp. It must be acquired at the engineer’s own expense, and must meet certain stringent requirements.
The seal or stamp must measure 1-½" in diameter, and consist of a second circle inside the perimeter measuring 1-1/8" in diameter. The licensee’s name and the phrase “Hawaii, U.S.A.” must appear in the outer space, and the words “Licensed Professional Engineer” along with the licensee’s number in the inner space. The inner space must also include an abbreviation designating the engineer’s area of practice, as follows:
- Ag – indicating agricultural
- Ch – indicating chemical
- C – indicating civil
- E – indicating electrical
- I – indicating industrial
- M – indicating mechanical
- S – indicating structural
If you are licensed in more than one area, then you will require a Hawaii professional embosser seal or stamp for each discipline.
Using the Seal or Stamp
Whenever you submit a report, survey, map, specifications or descriptions to public officials, they have to be stamped or sealed and authenticated with your signature. Every sheet in your design drawings must be stamped and sealed, and below your signature you must include the phrase “This work was prepared by me under my supervision.” You also have to include the expiry date of your license.
If you are applying for a construction or building permit that involves public health or safety, all specifications and plans must bear your authorized Hawaii professional embosser seal or stamp. Below the stamp, the authentication must state, “Construction of this project will be under my observation.”
If you are not actually performing the work, but you are responsible for it, then the authentication should read, “This work was prepared by me or under my supervision and construction of this project will be under my observation.”
If for any reason you stop work on the project, or you have been removed, or you are for any reason no longer able to discharge your duties as a licensee, then you must notify the appropriate public official within no more than fifteen days, in writing. This notification should include the name of the professional engineer who will be continuing with the project.
In none of the above cases can you use a rubber stamp, a CAD generated seal, or a facsimile of your signature or seal. The embosser seal is the only tool that can be used in the instance of a work stoppage for any reason.
It is important that you keep your Hawaii professional engineer embosser seal or stamp in a safe place at all times. Although it doesn’t happen often, it hasn’t been unheard of for unscrupulous people to appropriate legitimate seals and use them for their own purposes, and you are responsible for anything that is filed under your seal. If you have lost your seal, or you suspect that it has been stolen or otherwise misappropriated, it is vital that you get in touch with the board immediately. You could be held liable for anything that goes wrong with work done under your seal, even if you weren’t aware that your seal had been improperly used.