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Get the Facts on the Do’s and Don’ts of the Wisconsin Architectural Seal

Understanding the rules and regulations associated with use of the Wisconsin architectural seal is essential to insure the safety, health and welfare of the public. Architects design and create specifications builders follow to construct not only aesthetically pleasing but also sound buildings and structures. Affixing the Wisconsin architectural seal to documents states to all that the designs adhere to important national and state regulations.

Let’s start with the basics. The specified requirements for the Wisconsin architectural seal. Different states ask their registered architects to follow specific size, wording and even shape specifications when it comes to their architectural seal. Wisconsin is no different. The following are the expectations for the Wisconsin architectural seal:

  • Rubber stamp
  • Embossing seal
  • Size of stamp or seal must be between 1-5/8” to 2” diameter
  • Registered architect’s name
  • Registration or permit number
  • City and state in which the registered architect conducts business
  • Two letter United States Postal state abbreviation may be used for state
  • Prefix “A” used before registration or permit number

Today, many people move from one part of the country to another and one state to another. It is imperative that an architect who moves his or her business from one state to another know the specific state requirements prior to conducting business in his or her new state.

Documents Requiring the Wisconsin Architectural Seal

Once the architect has the proper Wisconsin architectural seal, he or she must understand when and where this seal should be used.

  • Each sheet of plans, drawings, documents, reports and specifications are required to be signed, sealed with the official Wisconsin architectural seal, and dated by the registered architect who planned him or herself, controlled the planning of or directed the planning of the documents
  • When the sheets of plans, drawings, documents, reports or specifications are bound together, the registered architect holding the Wisconsin architectural seal may seal and sign the index pages or title sheet so long as these pages identify the following pages clearly
  • Any changes to the plans, drawings, documents, reports or specifications that impact the health and welfare of the public must also be sealed and signed
  • Documents created and designed by an United States registered engineer under the direct supervision of the architect in possession of the Wisconsin architectural seal
  • In the above scenario, the registered engineer for whom the architect is affixing the Wisconsin architectural seal must attach to the documents signed and dated certifications describing the work performed by the engineer and certifying that the registered architect with the Wisconsin architectural seal bears responsibility for the designs and plans

When Does Wisconsin Require Original Documents to be Filed?

All documents filed with public agencies must be original, sealed and signed adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Signed in permanent ink contrasting the Wisconsin architect’s seal
  • By an electronic signature within the guidelines of Wisconsin’s 137.06 statutes as permitted by government agency the documents will be filed with

If you are familiar with other state’s guidelines for the use of architectural seals you may notice that Wisconsin’s architectural seal comes with additional criteria. This is to insure the standards set forth by the governing bodies and boards in Wisconsin are strictly adhered to for the safety and welfare of the public.

Too often the public overlooks the great responsibility that many professions, such as architects, engineers, land surveyors and more hold. Rules and regulations for medical professionals are widely accepted and understood, however, the importance of the regulations for architects and engineers are just as vital to public well-being. The Wisconsin architect’s seal is a recognizable sign that the plans and designs for buildings and structures in Wisconsin are followed.

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