Every engineer in the state of Indiana is required by law to obtain and use an Indiana professional engineer embossing seal or stamp. It must conform to the rules and regulations that are mandated by the state, and adhere to certain dimensions.
In Indiana, you can use either an embossing seal or a rubber stamp. Whichever you choose, it must have a diameter of not less than 1-5/8". It can be a seal with a milled edge, with two concentric circles, the outer and inner of which correspond with the edges of the milling. Your name and registration number must correspond with the name and certificate number on your registration certificate, but you do not have to include the letters “PE.” You can also apply the seal electronically.
Using the Seal
In Indiana, you must apply your seal to any documents or instruments that you file. If your registration has been suspended or revoked, you may not use the seal until you are reinstated. Further, your Indiana professional engineer embossing seal or stamp can only be used on documents that you have actually prepared yourself, or that have been prepared under your direct supervision.
Any time that you use your seal or rubber stamp, it must be accompanied by your signature and the date, adjacent to but not across the seal. Your signature must be legible. This doesn’t mean that you have to write out your name – that’s not a signature. It simply means that all elements of your signature must be visible.
Any drawings, plans or specifications that are being submitted to the building commissioner for the State of Indiana, or to any other government agency, must bear your Indiana professional embossing seal or stamp. This applies whether you are directly responsible for the work being submitted, or whether it is being done under your supervision. If you are only responsible for part of the work, you still have to affix your seal along with your signature and the date on any pages where your work appears.
This means that you are accepting full responsibility for the work represented on those pages.
If you are including pre-designed products or equipment that are deemed to be generally acceptable for the intended use, and that meet the accepted standards, or are guaranteed by reputable manufacturers, or in no way affect the project’s structural safety, those pages do not have to be signed, sealed and dated.
Guard Your Seal
Obviously, your seal is your guarantee that you have done your due diligence, and that all your drawings, plans, reports and other documents represent the manner in which you plan to carry out the project. For that reason, we urge you to safeguard your Indiana professional engineer embossing seal or stamp. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, when something just has to be submitted on time, well-meaning employees may use your seal, thinking that it’s what you’d want them to do. The problem with that is that if anything goes wrong, the responsibility is yours.
Additionally, although not often, unscrupulous people may even steal your seal, and affix it to substandard work. Again, you will be liable.
If your seal ever goes missing, report it to the Board immediately. You can’t be held responsible for anything that happens after you report the misappropriation.