Immediate Implementation of 2-Year Certificates of Authorization (COAs) Renewal on the Calendar Year
The WV PE Board is pleased to announce its success during the 2015 Legislative Session in having 2-year renewals authorized and changing the licensure year to the calendar year, both of which our stakeholders clearly preferred and have been requesting for years. Due to other sections of WV law, we must adjust our receipt of revenue in comparison to budgeted expense and, for that reason, will be required to stagger the biennial renewals for COAs and PEs. Therefore, there will be a 2-year cycle for COAs beginning on January 1, 2016 and for PEs beginning January 1, 2017. Obviously, there are some issues that arise in the transition to this 2-year renewal period that, by Board action, are being resolved as follows:
The transition to a 2-year COA will occur by extending your 2014-15 COA, which would otherwise expire on June 30, 2015, to December 31, 2015. The Board has extended your COA at no additional cost to your company, and your extended COA is enclosed. You will receive electronic notice of the next COA renewal in late November 2015, and your next COA will be valid from January 1, 2016 until January 1, 2018.
In other words, all active COA holders are receiving an extension of their current COA free of charge through December 31, 2015. Prior to the expiration of this new COA, you will receive notification to renew this certificate through December 31, 2017. Essentially the Board is waiving 6 months of the regular annual renewal fee (a possible $25 - $150 savings depending on the size of your firm) in an effort to aid in a quick and efficient transition that will also be amenable to our registrants. The new 2-year COA renewal fee for December 2015 is set forth in the emergency rules and will be codified during the 2016 legislative process.
Another change that is being implemented during the upcoming renewal season is the reduction in the grace period following the renewal deadline. The Board grace period where a COA can still be renewed by submitting late fees is changing from ninety (90) days to one month. This means all WV COAs not renewed by January 31, 2016 will lapse and then require submission of a reinstatement application in order to return to active status. More details regarding this transition will be included in your COA renewal notification in late November 2015.
One additional, yet important, change in W.Va. Code 30-13-18 drops the requirement that the WV PE Board mail a notice of renewal requirements to each licensee or firm holding an active COA at their last known address. It is contemplated that future renewal notices will be emailed to current licensees, as well as continue to be displayed prominently on the Board’s website at www.wvpebd.org. For this reason, please remember to keep your email address(es) current with the Board.
Similar information was disseminated to all WV PEs currently holding an active PE license regarding the schedule for the transition to 2-year PE renewals. The WV PE Board has filed emergency rules outlining the interim, transitional process and those can be viewed on our website. The new legislative rules filed in May 2015 will also change the fee schedule.
We hope the new process will reduce the amount of time and cost needed by both you and our staff to ensure professional engineers and engineering firms serving West Virginia are properly credentialed. We will strive to continue to find ways to best fulfill the Board’s mission to protect public health, safety and welfare.