With the most recent information regarding COVID-19, the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum and State Archives are closed to the public until further notice. Interpretive centers/buildings at state historic sites will open on May 23 with the exception of the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site opening on June 15. Learn more

SHSND Home Archives State Agencies Architecture Board

OCLC WorldCat Logo

Digital Horizons

2019-2021 Blue Book Cover

Federal Depository Library Program

Chronicling America

Archives - State Agencies - Architecture Board

[Authorized:  NDCC 43-03]

Legislation created the State Board of Architecture in 1917 and required the Governor to appoint three members for staggered six-year terms. The Governor could remove a Board member for inefficiency and neglect of duty. The architect who would be selected as a member to the Board had to be in active practice as a leader for not less than three years prior to appointment.  Initially one member was appointed for a term of two years, the second for four years, and the third member for six years. The Board membership elected a President and Secretary and adopted a seal to be affixed to each certificate of registration issued by the Board.  

It was a requirement that the first Board meeting be held within thirty days after the appointment of members. Thereafter meetings were held the first Monday of April and October and special meetings could be held between regularly scheduled meetings. The Board adopted rules and regulations, set up the examination processes for potential candidates, and registered and regulated practices. The Board could amend, modify, or repeal actions and examine, register names of those who passed the exam, and issue certificates to those who met the requirements.  When violations occurred the Board revoked the license under the architecture act.

Monies and fees collected quarterly by the Board were deposited and kept in a separate fund that was set up by the State Treasurer to be used as payment for expenses incurred by the Board or the Secretary of the Board who received a salary as fixed by the Board (S.L. 1917, Ch. 58).  In 1923 the Legislature decided that structures for personal use or for small schools costing less than $5000.00 were exempted from using an architect.  Also that the Superintendent for the Department of Public Instruction was to receive plans and specifications for construction or alteration of a public school building (S.L. 1923, Ch. 130).

In 1941 legislation was introduced concerning qualifications for an architect living out of state or in another country who wanted to register in North Dakota as an architect. The Board took under advisement the applicant qualifications and if Board standards were met an architect could register and practice within the state (S.L. 1941, Ch. 182). The Secretary of the Board recorded every examination and provided evidence of qualifications and the Board then issued the license. A copy of the record was filed by the architect with the Secretary of State within thirty days as required by the legislature (S.L. 1967, Ch. 98). Additional information concerning qualifications for licensure were added in 1973 by the legislature (S.L. 1973, Ch. 345) and laws amended in 1975 required the Secretary for the State Board of Architecture not only to record registrations but maintain a list of certified architects (S.L. 1975, Ch. 395). Relating to a loss not caused by architect “acts, errors, or omissions” legislation provided immunity from liability when an architect had performed the service voluntarily (S.L. 1993, Ch. 338).  In 2003 the legal age for certification was changed to eighteen and several sections of the Century Code were amended and reenacted concerning applicant certification including the recognition of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Legislative changes included an increased registration fee, additional requirements relating to license renewal, and legislation that concerned violations. Legislation included the recognition of practical experience for registering applicants, the definition of an architect and the recognition, definition, and registration of landscape architects by the State Board of Architecture. The Board was allowed to accept exams administered by other nationally recognized entities and adopt rules to govern Board proceedings, provide rules for registration when a candidate wished to take an examination, regulate the practices of architects, and establish educational requirements for registered applicants.

Landscape architects were added to those regulated by the State Board of Architecture and a voluntary Landscape Architect and Architect Advisory Committee was formed to assist with the implementation, coordination, and regulation of landscape architects. The Committee consisted of three landscape architects and three architects (S.L. 2003, Ch. 356). Along with a name change in 2009 from the State Board of Architecture to the State Board of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the Board added a practical experience requirement replacing the continuing education component. Also the voluntary Architect and Landscape Architect Advisory Committee was eliminated. Changes to the Board included selecting Board members from either the field of architecture or landscape architecture. They had to be a state resident and in active practice as a leader for five years prior to the appointment. Legislation expanded the role of the Board and gave them the authority to appoint or contract an executive director. The Board set up meetings to be held at least once a year at a specified location (S.L. 2009, Ch. 358). As of 2016 the website for the North Dakota State Board of Architecture states that “the ultimate responsibility of the Board is to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of North Dakota by ensuring that those individuals licensed to provide architectural and landscape architectural services in the state are duly qualified.” The Board is also a member of the national credentialing organization called the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. 


1917       The State Board of Architecture was created in order to regulate the practice of architecture as a profession by registering licensed architects. The Board consisted of three members who were appointed by the Governor (S.L. 1917, Ch. 58).

1923       Buildings used for personal use or small schools costing less $5000.00 were exempted from using an architect. The Superintendent for the Department of Public Instruction was required to receive plans and specifications for construction or alteration of a public school building (S.L. 1923, Ch. 130).

1941       The State Board for Architecture accepted registrations or certificates from an architect residing in another state or country if qualifications met with Board criteria (S.L. 1941, Ch. 182).

1967       Legislation required that the results of every registration examination for an architect be recorded by the Board Secretary prior to receiving a certificate.  Copies of the registrations were filed by the certified architect within thirty days with the Secretary of State (S.L. 1967, Ch. 98).

1971       Legislation amended the Century Code [NDCC 10-31-04] relating to the professional incorporation of architects and engineers (S.L. 1971, Ch. 116).

1973       A new section was created and added to the Century Code. It concerned the regulation of the practice of architecture, membership, the powers and duties of the Board, and qualifications to make application for examination. The Board recognized architects who held a certificate from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (S.L. 1973, Ch. 345).

1975       Amendments related to architect certificates of registration, the duties of the Secretary of the Board, and maintenance of the list of North Dakota certified architects (S.L. 1975, Ch. 395).

1979       A new section to the Century Code [NDCC 43-03] released the liability of an architect while working with contractors (S.L. 1979, Ch. 458).

1983       Legislation authorized the Board to increase examination and renewal fees (S.L. 1983, Ch. 470).

1993       Architects or professional engineers who provided a voluntary service were given immunity for liability from losses caused by acts, error, or omissions (S.L. 1993, Ch. 338).

2003       Legislation included definitions for both an architect and a landscape architect. It also allowed landscape architects to be governed by the rules and regulations of the State Board of Architecture.  A voluntary advisory committee was formed and included three landscape architects and three architects (S.L. 2003, Ch. 356).

2009       The Board was renamed the State Board of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and consisted of three members who were appointed by the Governor for terms of six years. Clarifications and changes were made to definitions concerning the requirements involved the practice of architecture and landscape architecture (S.L. 2009, Ch. 358).

2011       Legislation amended sections of the Century Code [NDCC 43-03-02] concerning exemptions from Board regulations. Changes in wording also were made to the Code (S.L. 2011, Ch. 305).


Gray, David P.  Guide to the North Dakota State Archives, 1985.
North Dakota Century Code.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book. 
North Dakota State Board of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Website.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.


30448    Secretary of State. Board of Architecture Regulations. Files.
32287    Architecture and Landscape Architecture Board. Records.

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
We are open 8 a.m.-noon on Christmas Eve.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666
email: history@nd.gov

Social Media:
See all social media accounts