LAND SURVEYING AND MAPPING
472.003 Persons not affected by ss. 472.001-472.037.
472.006 Department; powers and duties.
472.007 Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers.
472.0075 Contacting board through department.
472.008 Rules of the board.
472.009 Board headquarters.
472.0101 Foreign-trained professionals; special examination and license provisions.
472.013 Examinations, prerequisites.
472.0131 Examinations; development; administration.
472.0132 Penalty for theft or reproduction of an examination.
472.0135 Education; substituting demonstration of competency for clock-hour requirements; accreditation; consultation.
472.016 Members of Armed Forces in good standing with the board.
472.0165 Qualification of immigrants for examination to practice a licensed profession or occupation.
472.017 Renewal of license.
472.018 Continuing education.
472.019 Reactivation; continuing education.
472.0201 Public inspection of information required from applicants; exceptions; examination hearing.
472.02011 Disclosure of confidential information.
472.0202 Inactive and delinquent status.
472.0203 Renewal and cancellation notices.
472.0204 Address of record.
472.021 Certification of partnerships and corporations.
472.023 Surveyors and mappers and firms of other states; temporary certificates to practice in this state.
472.027 Standards of practice.
472.029 Authorization to enter lands of third parties; conditions.
472.031 Prohibitions; penalties.
472.033 Disciplinary proceedings.
472.0335 Classification of disciplinary actions.
472.0337 Power to administer oaths, take depositions, and issue subpoenas.
472.0345 Authority to issue citations.
472.0351 Grounds for discipline; penalties; enforcement.
472.0355 Disciplinary guidelines.
472.036 Unlicensed practice of professional surveying and mapping; cease and desist notice; civil penalty; enforcement; citations; allocation of moneys collected.
472.0365 Unlicensed activities; fees; disposition.
472.0366 Elevation certificates; requirements for surveyors and mappers.
472.037 Application of ss. 472.001-472.037.
472.001 Purpose.—The Legislature deems it necessary to regulate surveyors and mappers as provided in ss. 472.001-472.037.
History.—ss. 20, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 83, ch. 94-119; s. 6, ch. 2000-332; s. 3, ch. 2001-63.
472.003 Persons not affected by ss. 472.001-472.037.—Sections 472.001-472.037 do not apply to:
(1) Any surveyor and mapper working as a salaried employee of the United States Government when engaged in work solely for the United States Government.
(2) A registered professional engineer who takes or contracts for professional surveying and mapping services incidental to her or his practice of engineering and who delegates such surveying and mapping services to a registered professional surveyor and mapper qualified within her or his firm or contracts for such professional surveying and mapping services to be performed by others who are registered professional surveyors and mappers under the provisions of ss. 472.001-472.037.
(3) The following persons when performing construction layout from boundary, horizontal, and vertical controls that have been established by a registered professional surveyor and mapper:
(a) Contractors performing work on bridges, roads, streets, highways, or railroads, or utilities and services incidental thereto, or employees who are subordinates of such contractors provided that the employee does not hold herself or himself out for hire or engage in such contracting except as an employee;
(b) Certified or registered contractors licensed pursuant to part I of chapter 489 or employees who are subordinates of such contractors provided that the employee does not hold herself or himself out for hire or engage in contracting except as an employee; and
(c) Registered professional engineers licensed pursuant to chapter 471 and employees of a firm, corporation, or partnership who are the subordinates of the registered professional engineer in responsible charge.
(4) Persons employed by county property appraisers, as defined at s. 192.001(3), and persons employed by the Department of Revenue, to prepare maps for property appraisal purposes only, but only to the extent that they perform mapping services which do not include any surveying activities as described in s. 472.005(4)(a) and (b).
(5)(a) Persons who are employees of any state, county, municipal, or other governmental unit of this state and who are the subordinates of a person in responsible charge registered under this chapter, to the extent that the supervision meets standards adopted by rule of the board, if any.
(b) Persons who are employees of any employee leasing company licensed pursuant to part XI of chapter 468 and who work as subordinates of a person in responsible charge registered under this chapter.
(c) Persons who are employees of an individual registered or legal entity certified under this chapter and who are the subordinates of a person in responsible charge registered under this chapter, to the extent that the supervision meets standards adopted by rule of the board, if any.
(d) Persons who are under contract with an individual registered or legal entity certified under this chapter and who are under the supervision of and subordinate to a person in responsible charge registered under this chapter, to the extent that such supervision meets standards adopted by rule by the board.
History.—ss. 29, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 5, 6, 7, ch. 89-137; ss. 1, 2, ch. 90-118; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 84, ch. 94-119; s. 337, ch. 97-103; s. 4, ch. 2001-63; s. 1, ch. 2002-41; s. 2, ch. 2017-85.
472.005 Definitions.—As used in ss. 472.001-472.037:
(1) “Board” means the Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers.
(2) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(3) “Surveyor and mapper” includes the term “professional surveyor and mapper” and means a person who is registered to engage in the practice of surveying and mapping under ss. 472.001-472.037. For the purposes of this statute, a surveyor and mapper means a person who determines and displays the facts of size, shape, topography, tidal datum planes, legal or geodetic location or relation, and orientation of improved or unimproved real property through direct measurement or from certifiable measurement through accepted photogrammetric procedures.
(4)(a) “Practice of surveying and mapping” means, among other things, any professional service or work, the adequate performance of which involves the application of special knowledge of the principles of mathematics, the related physical and applied sciences, and the relevant requirements of law for adequate evidence of the act of measuring, locating, establishing, or reestablishing lines, angles, elevations, natural and manmade features in the air, on the surface and immediate subsurface of the earth, within underground workings, and on the beds or surface of bodies of water, for the purpose of determining, establishing, describing, displaying, or interpreting the facts of size, volume, shape, topography, tidal datum planes, and legal or geodetic location or relocation.
(b) The practice of surveying and mapping also includes, but is not limited to, photogrammetric control; orientation of improved or unimproved real property and appurtenances and personal property attached thereto, including acreage and condominiums; the monumentation and remonumentation of property boundaries and subdivisions; the measurement of and preparation of plans showing existing improvements after construction; the layout of proposed improvements; the preparation of descriptions for use in legal instruments of conveyance of real property and property rights; the preparation of subdivision planning maps and record plats, as provided for in chapter 177; the determination of, but not the design of, grades and elevations of roads and land in connection with subdivisions or divisions of land; and the creation and perpetuation of alignments related to maps, record plats, field note records, reports, property descriptions, and plans and drawings that represent them.
(5) The term “surveyor and mapper intern” includes the term “surveyor-mapper-in-training” and means a person who complies with the requirements provided by ss. 472.001-472.037 and who has passed an examination as provided by rules adopted by the board.
(6) The term “responsible charge” means direct control and personal supervision of surveying and mapping work, but does not include experience as a chainperson, rodperson, instrumentperson, ordinary draftsperson, digitizer, scriber, photo lab technician, ordinary stereo plotter operator, aerial photo pilot, photo interpreter, and other positions of routine work.
(7) The term “license” means a registration, certificate, or license issued by the department pursuant to this chapter.
(8) “Photogrammetrist” means any person who engages in the practice of surveying and mapping using aerial or terrestrial photography or other sources of images.
(9) “Employee” means a person who receives compensation from and is under the supervision and control of an employer who regularly deducts the F.I.C.A. and withholding tax and provides workers’ compensation, all as prescribed by law.
(10) “Subordinate” means a person who performs work under the direction, supervision, and responsible charge of a person who is registered under this chapter.
(11) “Monument” means an artificial or natural object that is permanent or semipermanent and used or presumed to occupy any real property corner, any point on a boundary line, or any reference point or other point to be used for horizontal or vertical control.
(12) “Legal entity” means a corporation, partnership, association, or person practicing under a fictitious name who is certified under s. 472.021.
(13) “Retired professional surveyor and mapper” means a person who has been licensed as a professional surveyor and mapper by the board and who chooses to relinquish or not to renew his or her license and applies to and is approved by the board to use the title “Professional Surveyor and Mapper, Retired.”
(14) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Agriculture.
(15) “Consumer member” means a person appointed to serve on the board who is not, and never has been, a professional surveyor or mapper in any jurisdiction or a member of any closely related profession regulated by the board.
(16) “Licensee” means any person or business entity that has been issued, pursuant to this chapter, a registration, certificate, or license by the department.
History.—ss. 21, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 48, ch. 83-329; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 85, ch. 94-119; s. 153, ch. 94-218; s. 5, ch. 2001-63; s. 2, ch. 2002-41; s. 4, ch. 2005-129; s. 3, ch. 2009-66; s. 3, ch. 2012-67; s. 3, ch. 2017-85.
472.006 Department; powers and duties.—The department shall:
(1) Adopt rules establishing a procedure for the biennial renewal of licenses. However, the department may issue up to a 4-year license to selected licensees notwithstanding any other law to the contrary. Fees for such renewal may not exceed the fee caps for individual professions on an annualized basis as authorized by law.
(2) Appoint the executive director of the board, subject to the approval of the board.
(3) Submit an annual budget to the Legislature at a time and in the manner provided by law.
(4) Develop a training program for persons newly appointed to membership on the board. The program shall familiarize such persons with the substantive and procedural laws and rules and fiscal information relating to the regulation of the profession and with the structure of the department.
(5) Adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this chapter. The department also is authorized to join with, or withhold approval of, rules proposed for adoption by the board.
(6) Establish uniform application and other forms, including certificates of licensure, necessary to administer the provisions of this chapter. This subsection does not authorize the department to vary any substantive requirements, duties, or eligibilities for licensure or certification as provided by law.
(7) Establish by rule procedures by which the department shall use the expert or technical advice of the board for the purposes of investigation, inspection, evaluation of applications, other duties of the department, or any other areas the department may deem appropriate.
(8) Require all proceedings of the board or panel thereof and all formal or informal proceedings conducted by the department, an administrative law judge, or a hearing officer with respect to licensing or discipline to be electronically recorded in a manner sufficient to ensure the accurate transcription of all matters so recorded.
(9) Select only those investigators, or consultants who undertake investigations, who meet criteria established with the advice of the board.
(10) Have authority to:
(a) Close and terminate deficient license application files 2 years after the board or the department notifies the applicant of the deficiency; and
(b) Approve applications for professional licenses that meet all statutory and rule requirements for licensure.
(11) Provide legal counsel for the board by contracting with the Department of Legal Affairs, by retaining private counsel pursuant to s. 287.059, or by providing department staff counsel. The board shall periodically review and evaluate the services provided by its board counsel. Fees and costs of such counsel shall be paid from the General Inspection Trust Fund, subject to ss. 215.37 and 472.011. All contracts for independent legal counsel must provide for periodic review and evaluation by the board and the department of services provided.
(a) The department may employ or use the legal services of outside counsel and the investigative services of outside personnel.
(b) Any person retained by the department under contract to review materials, make site visits, or provide expert testimony regarding any complaint or application filed with the department relating to the practice of surveying and mapping shall be considered an agent of the department in determining the state insurance coverage and sovereign immunity protection applicability of ss. 284.31 and 768.28.
(12) Work cooperatively with the Department of Revenue to implement an automated method for periodically disclosing information relating to current licensees to the Department of Revenue in order to further the public policy of reducing the state’s financial burden as a result of family desertion and nonsupport of dependent children as provided in s. 409.2551. The department shall, if directed by the court or the Department of Revenue, pursuant to s. 409.2598, suspend or deny the license of any licensee who is found to not be in compliance with a support order, subpoena, order to show cause, or written agreement entered into by the licensee with the Department of Revenue. The department shall issue or reinstate the license without additional charge to the licensee if notified by the court or the Department of Revenue that the licensee has complied with the terms of the support order. The department is not liable for any license denial or suspension resulting from the discharge of its duties under this subsection.
History.—s. 4, ch. 2009-66; s. 4, ch. 2012-67.
472.007 Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers.—There is created in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers.
(1) The board shall consist of nine members, seven of whom shall be registered surveyors and mappers primarily engaged in the practice of surveying and mapping and two of whom shall be laypersons who are not and have never been surveyors and mappers or members of any closely related profession or occupation.
(2) Members shall be appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture, subject to confirmation by the Senate.
(a) Members shall be appointed for 4-year terms, and such terms shall expire on October 31. However, a term of less than 4 years may be used to ensure that no more than 3 members’ terms expire during the same calendar year.
(b) A member whose term has expired shall continue to serve on the board until such time as a replacement is appointed. A vacancy on the board must be filled for the unexpired portion of the term in the same manner as the original appointment. A member may not serve for more than the remaining portion of a previous member’s unexpired term plus two consecutive 4-year terms of the member’s own appointment thereafter.
(3) The board shall annually elect from among its number a chairperson and vice chairperson.
(4) The board shall meet at least once annually and may meet as often as is necessary. The chairperson or a quorum of the board have the authority to call other meetings.
(a) A quorum is necessary for the conduct of official business by the board or any committee thereof. Unless otherwise provided by law, 51 percent or more of the appointed members of the board or any committee, when applicable, constitute a quorum.
(b) The membership of committees of the board, except as otherwise authorized under this chapter, shall be composed of currently appointed members of the board. The vote of a majority of the members of the quorum is necessary for any official action by the board or committee.
(c) Three consecutive unexcused absences or absences constituting 50 percent or more of the board’s meetings within any 12-month period shall cause the board membership of the member in question to become void, and the position shall be considered vacant. The board shall define unexcused absences by rule.
(5) Unless otherwise provided by law, a board member or former board member serving on a probable cause panel must be compensated $50 for each day in attendance at an official meeting of the board and for each day participating in any other business involving the board. The board shall adopt a rule defining the phrase “other business involving the board.” However, the phrase may not routinely be defined to include telephone conference calls. A board member is also entitled to reimbursement for expenses pursuant to s. 112.061. Travel out of state requires the prior approval of the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee.
(6) The department and the board may advise licensees periodically, through the publication of a newsletter, of information that the department or the board determines is of interest to the industry. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, the department and the board shall publish a summary of final orders resulting in fines, suspensions, or revocations, and any other information the department or the board determines is of interest to the public.
(7)(a) Each board member is accountable to the commissioner for the proper performance of his or her duties as a member of the board. The commissioner shall investigate any legally sufficient complaint or unfavorable written report received by the commissioner or by the department or the board concerning the actions of the board or its individual members. The commissioner may suspend from office any board member for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform the member’s official duties, or commission of a felony.
(b) Each board member and each former board member serving on a probable cause panel is exempt from civil liability for any act or omission committed while acting in the member’s official capacity. The department shall defend any member in any action against the board or a member of the board. In addition, the department may defend the member’s company or business in any action against the company or business if the department determines that the actions from which the suit arises are actions taken by the member in the member’s official capacity and were within the scope of the member’s statutory authority. In providing such defense, the department may employ or use the legal services of the Department of Legal Affairs or outside counsel retained pursuant to s. 287.059. Fees and costs of providing legal services under this subsection shall be paid from the General Inspection Trust Fund, subject to ss. 215.37 and 472.011.
History.—ss. 22, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 15, 44, ch. 82-179; s. 49, ch. 83-329; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 48, ch. 92-149; s. 86, ch. 94-119; s. 154, ch. 94-218; s. 5, ch. 2005-129; s. 5, ch. 2009-66; s. 1, ch. 2016-166.
472.0075 Contacting board through department.—The board may be contacted through the headquarters of the department in the City of Tallahassee.
History.—s. 6, ch. 2009-66.
472.008 Rules of the board.—
(1) The board has authority to adopt rules to implement this chapter conferring duties upon it. This specific grant of rulemaking authority to the board shall be exercised only through proceedings pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 and with the prior approval of the department.
(2) The board shall adopt rules authorizing the use of professional titles by retired surveyors and mappers. Such rules shall establish guidelines designed to avoid abuse by retirees and confusion on the part of the general public. The rules shall not require continuing education requirements in order to use a professional title by a retiree.
(3) The department has standing to challenge any rule or proposed rule of the board pursuant to s. 120.56. In addition to challenges for any invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority, the administrative law judge, upon such a challenge by the department, may declare all or part of a rule or proposed rule invalid if it:
(a) Does not protect the public from any significant and discernible harm or damages;
(b) Unreasonably restricts competition or the availability of professional services in the state or in a significant part of the state; or
(c) Unnecessarily increases the cost of professional services without a corresponding or equivalent public benefit.
A presumption is not created for the existence of any of the conditions cited in this subsection if the department challenges the rule or proposed rule.
(4) The department or the board is a substantially interested party for purposes of s. 120.54(7). The board may, as an adversely affected party, initiate and maintain an action pursuant to s. 120.68 challenging final agency action.
(5) Any proposed board rule that has not been modified to remove proposed committee objections of the Administrative Procedures Committee must receive approval from the department before filing the rule with the Department of State for final adoption. The department may repeal any rule enacted by the board which has taken effect without having met proposed committee objections of the Administrative Procedures Committee.
History.—ss. 4, 6, ch. 87-349; s. 23, ch. 88-392; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 87, ch. 94-119; s. 143, ch. 98-200; s. 3, ch. 2002-41; s. 7, ch. 2009-66.
472.009 Board headquarters.—The headquarters of the board shall be in Tallahassee.
History.—ss. 22, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
472.0101 Foreign-trained professionals; special examination and license provisions.— (1) When not otherwise provided by law, the department shall by rule provide procedures under which exiled professionals may be examined under this chapter. A person is eligible for the examination if the exiled professional:
(a) Immigrated to the United States after leaving the person’s home country because of political reasons, provided the country is located in the Western Hemisphere and does not have diplomatic relations with the United States;
(b) Applies to the department and submits a fee;
(c) Was a resident of this state immediately preceding the person’s application;
(d) Demonstrates to the department, through submission of documentation verified by the applicant’s respective professional association in exile, that the applicant was graduated with an appropriate professional or occupational degree from a college or university. However, the department may not require receipt of any documentation from the Republic of Cuba as a condition of eligibility under this section;
(e) Lawfully practiced the profession for at least 3 years;
(f) Prior to 1980, successfully completed an approved course of study pursuant to chapters 74-105 and 75-177, Laws of Florida; and
(g) Presents a certificate demonstrating the successful completion of a continuing education program which offers a course of study that will prepare the applicant for the examination offered under subsection (2). The department shall develop rules for the approval of such programs for the board.
(2) Upon request of a person who meets the requirements of subsection (1) and submits an examination fee, the department, for the board, shall conduct a written practical examination that tests the person’s current ability to practice the profession competently in accordance with the actual practice of the profession. Evidence of meeting the requirements of subsection (1) shall be treated by the department as evidence of the applicant’s preparation in the academic and preprofessional fundamentals necessary for successful professional practice, and the applicant may not be examined by the department on such fundamentals.
(3) The fees charged for the examinations offered under subsection (2) shall be established by the department, for the board, by rule and shall be sufficient to develop or to contract for the development of the examination and its administration, grading, and grade reviews.
(4) The department shall examine any applicant who meets the requirements of subsections (1) and (2). Upon passing the examination and the issuance of the license, a licensee is subject to the administrative requirements of this chapter. Each applicant so licensed is subject to all provisions of this chapter.
(5) Upon a request by an applicant otherwise qualified under this section, the examinations offered under subsection (2) may be given in the applicant’s native language if any translation costs are borne by the applicant.
(6) The department, for the board, may not issue an initial license to, or renew a license of, any applicant or licensee who is under investigation or prosecution in any jurisdiction for an action that would constitute a violation of this chapter until such time as the investigation or prosecution is complete, at which time the provisions of this chapter shall apply.
History.—s. 8, ch. 2009-66.
(1) The board, by rule, may establish fees to be paid for applications, examination, reexamination, licensing and renewal, inactive status application and reactivation of inactive licenses, recordmaking and recordkeeping, and applications for providers of continuing education. The board may also establish by rule a delinquency fee. The board shall establish fees that are adequate to ensure the continued operation of the board. Fees shall be based on department estimates of the revenue required to implement ss. 472.001-472.037 and the provisions of law with respect to the regulation of surveyors and mappers. If the department determines, based on estimates of available revenue collected pursuant to this section, that the General Inspection Trust Fund contains funds that exceed the amount required to cover the necessary functions of the board, the department shall, by rule, waive the license renewal fees for licensees under this chapter for a period not to exceed 2 years.
(2) The initial application and examination fee shall not exceed $125 plus the actual per applicant cost to the department to purchase the examination from the National Council of Engineering Examiners or a similar national organization. The examination fee shall be in an amount which covers the cost of obtaining and administering the examination and shall be refunded if the applicant is found ineligible to sit for the examination. The application fee shall be nonrefundable.
(3) The initial license fee shall not exceed $200.
(4) The fee for a certificate of authorization shall not exceed $125.
(5) The biennial renewal fee shall not exceed $500.
(6) The fee for a temporary registration or certificate to practice surveying and mapping may not exceed $100 for an individual or $200 for a business firm.
(7) The fee for licensure by endorsement shall not exceed $200.
(8) The fee for application for inactive status or for reactivation of an inactive license shall not exceed $150.
(9) The fee for applications from providers of continuing education may not exceed $500.
(10) All funds collected under this section, and the amount paid for licenses, fines, and fees, shall be deposited into the General Inspection Trust Fund of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(11) If sufficient action is not taken by the board within 1 year after notification by the department that license fees are projected to be inadequate, the department shall set license fees on behalf of the board to cover anticipated costs and to maintain the required cash balance. Further, it is the legislative intent that this regulated profession not operate with a negative cash balance. The department may provide by rule for the advancement of sufficient funds if this profession is operating with a negative cash balance. Such advancement may be for a period not to exceed 2 consecutive years and shall require interest to be paid by the regulated profession. Interest shall be calculated at the current rate earned on General Inspection Trust Fund investments. Interest earned shall be allocated to the various funds in accordance with the allocation of investment earnings during the period of the advance.
(12) The board may, by rule, assess and collect a special assessment from each active, inactive, and delinquent licensee in an amount necessary to eliminate a cash deficit or, if there is not a cash deficit, in an amount sufficient to maintain the financial integrity of this profession as required in this subsection.
(13) The department may contract with public and private entities to receive and deposit revenue pursuant to this section. The Legislature shall appropriate funds from the General Inspection Trust Fund sufficient to carry out the provisions of this chapter. To the maximum extent possible, the department shall directly charge all expenses under this chapter to the account of the regulated profession. For the purpose of this subsection, direct charge expenses shall include, but not be limited to, costs for investigations, examinations, and legal services. The department shall maintain adequate records to support its allocation of department expenses. The department shall provide the board with reasonable access to these records upon request. The board shall be provided an annual report of revenue and direct and allocated expenses related to the operation of the profession. These reports shall be used by the board to determine the amount of license fees.
(14) A condensed management report of budgets, finances, performance statistics, and recommendations shall be provided to the board at least once a quarter. The department shall identify and include in such presentations any changes, or projected changes, made to the board’s budget since the last presentation.
(15) If a duplicate license is required or requested by a licensee, the board may charge a fee as determined by rule not to exceed $25 before issuing a duplicate license.
(16) The department or the board shall charge a fee not to exceed $25 for the certification of a public record. The fee shall be determined by rule of the department. The department or the appropriate board shall assess a fee for duplication of a public record as provided in s. 119.07(4).
History.—ss. 23, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 16, 44, ch. 82-179; s. 21, ch. 88-205; ss. 2, 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 88, ch. 94-119; s. 6, ch. 2001-63; s. 9, ch. 2009-66; s. 5, ch. 2012-67.
472.013 Examinations, prerequisites.—
(1) A person desiring to be licensed as a surveyor and mapper shall apply to the department for licensure.
(2) An applicant shall be entitled to take the licensure examination to practice in this state as a surveyor and mapper if the applicant is of good moral character and has satisfied one of the following requirements:
(a) The applicant has received a bachelor’s degree, its equivalent, or higher in surveying and mapping or a similarly titled program, including, but not limited to, geomatics, geomatics engineering, and land surveying, from a college or university recognized by the board and has a specific experience record of 4 or more years as a subordinate to a professional surveyor and mapper in the active practice of surveying and mapping, which experience is of a nature indicating that the applicant was in responsible charge of the accuracy and correctness of the surveying and mapping work performed. Work experience acquired as a part of the education requirement may not be construed as experience in responsible charge.
(b) The applicant has received a bachelor’s degree, its equivalent, or higher in a course of study, other than in surveying and mapping, at an accredited college or university and has a specific experience record of 6 or more years as a subordinate to a registered surveyor and mapper in the active practice of surveying and mapping, 5 years of which shall be of a nature indicating that the applicant was in responsible charge of the accuracy and correctness of the surveying and mapping work performed. The applicant must have completed a minimum of 25 semester hours from a college or university approved by the board in surveying and mapping subjects or in any combination of courses in civil engineering, surveying, mapping, mathematics, photogrammetry, forestry, or land law and the physical sciences. Any of the required 25 semester hours of study completed not as a part of the bachelor’s degree, its equivalent, or higher may be approved at the discretion of the board. Work experience acquired as a part of the education requirement may not be construed as experience in responsible charge.
(3) A person shall be entitled to take an examination for the purpose of determining whether he or she is qualified as a surveyor and mapper intern if:
(a) The person is in good standing in, or is a graduate of, a bachelor degree program, its equivalent or higher, at an accredited college or university and has obtained a minimum of 25 semester hours in surveying, mapping, mathematics, photogrammetry, forestry, civil engineering, or land law and the physical sciences, or any combination thereof; or
(b) The person has obtained, from an accredited college or university, a minimum of 15 semester hours in surveying, mapping, mathematics, photogrammetry, forestry, civil engineering, or land law and the physical sciences, or any combination thereof, and has a specific surveying and mapping experience record of 2 or more years as a subordinate to a registered surveyor and mapper.
This subsection may not be construed as a substitute for the degree requirement to take the exams for licensure as outlined in subsection (2).
(4) The board shall adopt rules providing for the review and approval of schools and colleges and the courses of study in surveying and mapping in such schools and colleges. The rules shall be based on the educational requirements for surveying and mapping as defined in s. 472.005. The board may adopt rules providing for the acceptance of the approval and accreditation of schools and courses of study by a nationally accepted accreditation organization.
(5)(a) Good moral character means a personal history of honesty, fairness, and respect for the rights of others and for the laws of this state and nation.
(b) The board may refuse to certify an applicant for failure to satisfy this requirement only if:
1. There is a substantial connection between the lack of good moral character of the applicant and the professional responsibilities of a registered surveyor and mapper; and
2. The finding by the board of lack of good moral character is supported by clear and convincing evidence.
(c) When an applicant is found to be unqualified for a license because of a lack of good moral character, the board shall furnish the applicant a statement containing the findings of the board, a complete record of the evidence upon which the determination was based, and a notice of the rights of the applicant to a rehearing and appeal.
History.—ss. 24, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 50, ch. 83-329; s. 73, ch. 85-81; s. 24, ch. 88-392; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 89, ch. 94-119; s. 338, ch. 97-103; s. 23, ch. 2000-157; s. 7, ch. 2000-332; s. 4, ch. 2002-41; s. 1, ch. 2005-129; s. 4, ch. 2017-85.
472.0131 Examinations; development; administration.— (1) The department shall provide, contract, or approve services for the development, preparation, administration, scoring, score reporting, and evaluation of all examinations. The department shall consult with the board in providing such services.
(a) The department shall ensure that examinations adequately and reliably measure an applicant’s ability to practice the profession of surveying and mapping. After an examination developed or approved by the department has been administered, the board or department may reject any question that does not reliably measure the general areas of competency specified in the rules of the board. The department shall use professional testing services for the development, preparation, and evaluation of examinations when such services are available and approved by the board.
(b) For each examination developed by the department or contracted vendor, to the extent not otherwise specified by statute, the board shall by rule specify the general areas of competency to be covered by the examination, the relative weight to be assigned in grading each area tested, the score necessary to achieve a passing grade, and the fees, where applicable, to cover the actual cost for any purchase, development, and administration of the required examination. However, statutory fee caps in this chapter shall apply. This subsection does not apply to national examinations approved and administered pursuant to paragraph (d).
(c) If a practical examination is deemed to be necessary, rules shall specify the criteria by which examiners are to be selected, the grading criteria to be used by the examiner, the relative weight to be assigned in grading each criterion, and the score necessary to achieve a passing grade. When a mandatory standardization exercise for a practical examination is required by law, the board may conduct such exercise. Board members may serve as examiners at a practical examination with the consent of the board.
(d) The board may approve by rule the use of any national examination which the department has certified as meeting requirements of national examinations and generally accepted testing standards under department rules. Providers of examinations, which may be profit or nonprofit entities, seeking certification by the department shall pay the actual costs incurred by the department in making a determination regarding the certification of the vendor. The department shall use any national examination that is available, certified by the department, and approved by the board. The name and number of a candidate may be provided to a national contractor for the limited purpose of preparing the grade tape and information to be returned to the board or department or, to the extent otherwise specified by rule, the candidate may apply directly to the vendor of the national examination. The department may delegate to the board the duty to provide and administer the examination. Any national examination approved by the board prior to October 1, 1997, is deemed certified under this paragraph. Any licensing or certification examination that is not developed or administered by the department in-house or provided as a national examination shall be competitively bid.
(e) The department shall adopt rules regarding the security and monitoring of examinations. In order to maintain the security of examinations, the department may employ the procedures set forth in s. 472.033 to seek fines and injunctive relief against an examinee who violates s. 472.0132 or the rules adopted under this paragraph. The department, or any agent thereof, may, for the purposes of investigation, confiscate any written, photographic, or recording material or device in the possession of the examinee at the examination site which the department deems necessary to enforce such provisions or rules.
(f) If the board concurs, the department may, for a fee, share with any other state’s licensing authority an examination developed by or for the department unless prohibited by a contract entered into by the department for development or purchase of the examination. The department, with the concurrence of the board, shall establish guidelines that ensure security of a shared exam and shall require that any other state’s licensing authority comply with those guidelines. Those guidelines shall be approved by the board. All fees paid by the user shall be applied to the department’s examination and development program under this chapter.
(2) For each examination developed by the department or a contracted vendor, the board shall make rules providing for reexamination of any applicant who failed an examination. If both a written and a practical examination are given, an applicant is required to retake only the portion of the examination for which he or she failed to achieve a passing grade, if the applicant successfully passes that portion within a reasonable time, as determined by rule of the board, of his or her passing the other portion.
(3) Except for national examinations approved and administered pursuant to paragraph (1)(d), the department shall provide procedures for applicants who have taken and failed an examination developed by the department or a contracted vendor to review their examination questions, answers, papers, grades, and grading key for the questions the candidate answered incorrectly on his or her last examination or, if not feasible, the parts of the examination failed. Applicants shall bear the actual cost for the department to provide examination review pursuant to this subsection. An applicant may waive in writing the confidentiality of his or her examination grades.
(4) For each examination developed or administered by the department or a contracted vendor, an accurate record of each applicant’s examination questions, answers, papers, grades, and grading key shall be kept for a period of not less than 2 years immediately following the examination, and such record shall thereafter be maintained or destroyed as provided in chapters 119 and 257. This subsection does not apply to national examinations approved and administered pursuant to paragraph (1)(d).
(5) Meetings and records of meetings of any member of the department or of the board held for the exclusive purpose of creating or reviewing licensure examination questions or proposed examination questions are confidential and exempt from ss. 119.07(1) and 286.011. However, this exemption does not affect the right of any person to review an examination as provided in subsection (3).
(6) For examinations developed by the department, a contracted vendor or the board may provide licensure examinations in an applicant’s native language. Applicants for examination or reexamination pursuant to this subsection bear the full cost for the department’s development, preparation, administration, grading, and evaluation of any examination in a language other than English or Spanish. Requests for translated examinations, except for those in Spanish, must be on file in the board office at least 6 months before the scheduled examination. When determining whether it is in the public interest to allow the examination to be translated into a language other than English or Spanish, the board shall consider the percentage of the population who speak the applicant’s native language.
(7) In addition to meeting any other requirements for licensure by examination or by endorsement, an applicant may be required by the board to pass an examination pertaining to state laws and rules applicable to the practice of surveying and mapping.
(8) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the department may use a professional testing service to prepare, administer, grade, and evaluate any computerized examination, when that service is available and approved by the board.
History.—s. 10, ch. 2009-66; s. 6, ch. 2012-67.
472.0132 Penalty for theft or reproduction of an examination.—In addition to, or in lieu of, any other discipline imposed pursuant to s. 472.033, a person who wrongfully takes an examination in whole or in part or reproduces or copies an examination administered by the department, whether such examination is reproduced or copied in part or in whole and by any means, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.—s. 11, ch. 2009-66.
472.0135 Education; substituting demonstration of competency for clock-hour requirements; accreditation; consultation.—
(1) If the board requires a student to complete a specific number of clock hours of classroom instruction for initial licensure purposes, the board shall establish the minimal competencies that such student must demonstrate in order to be licensed. The demonstration of such competencies may be substituted for specific classroom clock-hour requirements established in statute or rule which are related to instructional programs for licensure purposes. Student demonstration of the established minimum competencies shall be certified by the educational institution.
(2) Notwithstanding any other law, educational programs and institutions which are required by statute to be accredited, but which were accredited by an agency that has since ceased to perform an accrediting function, shall be recognized until such programs and institutions are accredited by a qualified successor to the original accrediting agency, an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, or an accrediting agency recognized by the board.
(3) The board shall consult with the Commission for Independent Education, the Board of Governors of the State University System, and the State Board of Education prior to adopting any changes to training requirements relating to entry into the profession. This consultation must allow the educational board to provide advice regarding the impact of the proposed changes in terms of the length of time necessary to complete the training program and the fiscal impact of the changes. The educational board must be consulted only when an institution offering the training program falls under its jurisdiction.
History.—s. 12, ch. 2009-66.
(1) Notwithstanding any other law, the department is the sole authority for determining the contents of any documents to be submitted for initial licensure and licensure renewal. The documents may contain information including, as appropriate: demographics, social security number, education, work history, personal background, criminal history, finances, business information, complaints, inspections, investigations, discipline, bonding, signature notarization, photographs, performance periods, reciprocity, local government approvals, supporting documentation, periodic reporting requirements, continuing education requirements, and ongoing education monitoring. The applicant shall supplement his or her application as needed to reflect any material change in any circumstance or condition stated in the application which takes place between the initial filing of the application and the final grant or denial of the license and which might affect the decision of the department. An application is received for the purposes of s. 120.60 upon receipt by the department of the application, submitted in the format prescribed by the department, the application fee set by the board, and any other documentation or fee required by law or rule to be submitted with the application in order for the application to be complete.
(2) The department shall license any applicant who the board certifies is qualified to practice surveying and mapping.
(3)(a) Before the issuance of any license, the department may charge an initial license fee as determined by rule of the board. Upon receipt of the appropriate license fee, except as provided in subsection (6), the department shall issue a license to any person certified by the board, or its designee, as having met the applicable requirements imposed by law or rule. However, an applicant who is not otherwise qualified for licensure is not entitled to licensure solely based on a passing score on a required examination.
(b) The department shall waive the initial license fee for an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces, the spouse of such a veteran, or a business entity that has a majority ownership held by such a veteran or spouse if the department receives an application, in a format prescribed by the department, within 60 months after the date of the veteran’s discharge from any branch of the United States Armed Forces. To qualify for the waiver, a veteran must provide to the department a copy of his or her DD Form 214, as issued by the United States Department of Defense, or another acceptable form of identification as specified by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs; the spouse of a veteran must provide to the department a copy of the veteran’s DD Form 214, as issued by the United States Department of Defense, or another acceptable form of identification as specified by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and a copy of a valid marriage license or certificate verifying that he or she was lawfully married to the veteran at the time of discharge; or a business entity must provide to the department proof that a veteran or the spouse of a veteran holds a majority ownership in the business, a copy of the veteran’s DD Form 214, as issued by the United States Department of Defense, or another acceptable form of identification as specified by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and, if applicable, a copy of a valid marriage license or certificate verifying that the spouse of the veteran was lawfully married to the veteran at the time of discharge.
(4) The board shall certify for licensure any applicant who satisfies the requirements of s. 472.013 and who has passed the licensing examination. The board may refuse to certify any applicant who has violated any of the provisions of s. 472.031.
(5)(a) The board shall certify as qualified for a license by endorsement an applicant who, at the time of application:
1. Holds a valid license to practice surveying and mapping issued before July 1, 1999, by another state or territory of the United States; has passed a national, regional, state, or territorial licensing examination that is substantially equivalent to the examination required by s. 472.013; and has a specific experience record of at least 8 years as a subordinate to a registered surveyor and mapper in the active practice of surveying and mapping, 6 years of which must be of a nature indicating that the applicant was in responsible charge of the accuracy and correctness of the surveying and mapping work performed; or
2. Holds a valid license to practice surveying and mapping issued by another state or territory of the United States if the criteria for issuance of the license were substantially the same as the licensure criteria that existed in Florida at the time the license was issued.
(b) All applicants for licensure by endorsement must pass the Florida law and rules portion of the examination prior to licensure.
(6)(a) The board may refuse to issue an initial license to any applicant who is under investigation or prosecution in any jurisdiction for an action that would constitute a violation of this chapter until such time as the investigation or prosecution is complete.
(b) The department may not issue a license by endorsement to any applicant who is under investigation in this state or any other state or any other jurisdiction for any act that would constitute a violation of this chapter until the investigation is complete and disciplinary proceedings have been terminated.
(7) When any administrative law judge conducts a hearing pursuant to chapter 120 with respect to the issuance of a license by the department, the administrative law judge shall submit his or her recommended order to the board, which shall thereupon issue a final order. The applicant for a license may appeal the final order of the board in accordance with the provisions of chapter 120.
(8) A privilege against civil liability is hereby granted to any witness for any information furnished by the witness in any proceeding pursuant to this section, unless the witness acted in bad faith or with malice in providing such information.
(9) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, any elected official who is licensed under this chapter may hold employment for compensation with any public agency concurrent with such public service. Such dual service must be disclosed according to any disclosure required by applicable law.
(10) In any instance in which a licensee or applicant to the department is required to be in compliance with a particular provision by, on, or before a certain date, and if that date occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the licensee or applicant is deemed to be in compliance with the specific date requirement if the required action occurs on the first succeeding day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
(11) Any submission required to be in writing may otherwise be required by the department to be made by electronic means.
(12) A licensee or business entity that meets the requirements of this section or s. 472.021 must carry professional liability insurance or provide notice to any person or entity to which surveying and mapping services are offered that the licensee or business entity does not carry professional liability insurance. The notice must consist of a sign prominently displayed in the reception area and written statements provided in a form and frequency as required by rule of the Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers.
(13) The department may revoke the license of a licensee or business entity that fails to pay a final judgment in connection with the provision of, or failure to provide, services under this chapter.
(14) A person may not be disqualified from practicing surveying or mapping as regulated by the state solely because he or she is not a United States citizen.
(15) Pursuant to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each person applying for initial licensure or license renewal shall provide his or her social security number. Use of social security numbers obtained through this requirement is limited to the purpose of administering the Title IV-D program for child support enforcement, use by the department, and use as otherwise provided by law.
History.—ss. 25, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 90, ch. 94-119; s. 113, ch. 98-166; s. 174, ch. 2000-160; s. 7, ch. 2001-63; s. 5, ch. 2002-41; s. 2, ch. 2005-129; s. 13, ch. 2009-66; s. 7, ch. 2012-67; s. 2, ch. 2016-166; s. 5, ch. 2017-85.
472.016 Members of Armed Forces in good standing with the board.—
(1) Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is now or in the future on active duty and who, at the time of becoming such a member of the Armed Forces, was in good standing with the board and entitled to practice or engage in surveying and mapping in the state shall be kept in good standing by the board, without registering, paying dues or fees, or performing any other act on his or her part to be performed, as long as he or she is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty and for a period of 6 months after discharge from active duty, provided that he or she is not engaged in the practice of surveying or mapping in the private sector for profit.
(2) The board shall adopt rules exempting the spouses of members of the Armed Forces of the United States from licensure renewal provisions, but only in cases of absence from the state because of their spouses’ duties with the Armed Forces.
History.—s. 14, ch. 2009-66; s. 105, ch. 2010-5.
472.0165 Qualification of immigrants for examination to practice a licensed profession or occupation.—
(1) It is the declared purpose of this section to encourage the use of foreign-speaking residents of this state duly qualified to become licensed surveyors and mappers so that all Florida citizens may receive better services.
(2) Any person who has successfully completed, or is currently enrolled in, an approved course of study created pursuant to chapters 74-105 and 75-177, Laws of Florida, shall be deemed qualified for an examination or reexamination for a license which shall be administered in the English language unless 15 or more such applicants request that the reexamination be administered in their native language. If a reexamination is administered in a foreign language, the full cost to the board of preparing and administering the examination must be borne by the applicants.
(3) The board shall adopt and implement programs designed to qualify for examination all persons who were resident nationals of the Republic of Cuba and who, on July 1, 1977, were residents of this state.
History.—s. 15, ch. 2009-66.
472.017 Renewal of license.—The department shall renew a license upon receipt of the renewal application and fee, upon proof of compliance with the continuing education requirement of s. 472.018, and, if a demonstration of competency is required by law or rule, upon certification by the board that the licensee has satisfactorily demonstrated his or her competence in surveying and mapping.
History.—ss. 26, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 7, ch. 87-349; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 218, ch. 94-119; s. 339, ch. 97-103; s. 73, ch. 2013-18.
472.018 Continuing education.—The department may not renew a license until the licensee submits proof satisfactory to the board that during the 2 years before her or his application for renewal the licensee has completed at least 24 hours of continuing education. The board may provide by rule for continuing education hours carryover for each renewal cycle not to exceed 12 hours.
(1) The board shall adopt rules to establish the criteria for continuing education providers. The rules may provide that up to a maximum of 25 percent of the required continuing education hours may be fulfilled by the performance of pro bono services to the indigent or to underserved populations or in areas of critical need within the state where the licensee practices. The board must require that any pro bono services be approved in advance in order to receive credit for continuing education under this section. The board shall use the standard recognized by the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines produced by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in determining indigency. The board may adopt rules that may provide that a part of the continuing education hours may be fulfilled by performing research in critical need areas or for training leading to advanced professional certification. The board may adopt rules to define underserved and critical need areas. The department shall adopt rules for the administration of continuing education requirements adopted by the board.
(2) The board may provide by rule the method of delivery and criteria that may be used to satisfy continuing education requirements.
(3) The board may prorate the required continuing education hours in the following circumstances: (a) For new licensees:
1. By requiring half of the required continuing education hours for any applicant who becomes licensed with more than half the renewal period remaining and no continuing education for any applicant who becomes licensed with half or less than half of the renewal period remaining; or
2. Requiring no continuing education hours until the first full renewal cycle of the licensee.
(b) When the number of hours required is increased by law or the board.
(4) Upon the request of a licensee, the provider must also furnish to the department information regarding courses completed by the licensee, in an electronic format required by rule of the department.
(5) Each continuing education provider shall retain all records relating to a licensee’s completion of continuing education courses for at least 4 years after completion of a course.
(6) A continuing education provider may not be approved, and the approval may not be renewed, unless the provider agrees in writing to provide such cooperation under this section as required by the department.
(7) For the purpose of determining which persons or entities must meet the reporting, recordkeeping, and access provisions of this section, the board by rule shall adopt a definition of the term “continuing education provider” applicable to the profession’s continuing education requirements. The intent of the rule is to ensure that all records and information necessary to carry out the requirements of this section are maintained and transmitted accordingly and to minimize disputes as to what person or entity is responsible for maintaining and reporting such records and information.
(8) The board shall approve the providers of continuing education. The approval of continuing education providers must be for a specified period of time, not to exceed 4 years. An approval that does not include such a time limitation may remain in effect under this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter.
(9) The department may fine, suspend, or revoke approval of any continuing education provider that fails to comply with its duties under this section. The fine may not exceed $500 per violation. Investigations and prosecutions of a provider’s failure to comply with its duties under this section shall be conducted pursuant to s. 472.033.
(10) The board shall issue an order requiring a person or entity to cease and desist from offering any continuing education programs for licensees, and fining, suspending, or revoking any approval of the provider previously granted by the board if the board determines that the person or entity failed to provide appropriate continuing education services. The fine may not exceed $500 per violation. Investigations and prosecutions of a provider’s failure to comply with its duties under this section shall be conducted under s. 472.033.
(11) The board may establish, by rule, a fee not to exceed $250 for anyone seeking approval to provide continuing education courses and may establish, by rule, a biennial fee not to exceed $250 for the renewal of providership of such courses. Such postlicensure education courses are subject to the reporting, monitoring, and compliance provisions of this section.
(12) The department and the board may adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section.
(13) Each continuing education provider shall provide to the department, in an electronic format determined by the department, information regarding the continuing education status of licensees which the department determines is necessary to carry out its duties under this chapter. After a licensee completes a course, the information must be submitted electronically by the continuing education provider to the department within 30 calendar days after completion. However, beginning on the 30th day before the renewal deadline or before the renewal date, whichever occurs sooner, the continuing education provider shall electronically report such information to the department within 10 business days after completion.
(14) The department shall establish a system to monitor licensee compliance with continuing education requirements and to determine the continuing education status of each licensee. As used in this subsection, the term “monitor” means the act of determining, for each licensee, whether the licensee is in full compliance with applicable continuing education requirements as of the date of the licensee’s application for license renewal.
(15) The department may refuse to renew a license until the licensee has satisfied all applicable continuing education requirements. This subsection does not preclude the department or board from imposing additional penalties pursuant to this chapter or rules adopted pursuant this chapter.
History.—ss. 6, 8, ch. 87-349; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 340, ch. 97-103; s. 16, ch. 2009-66; s. 8, ch. 2012-67; s. 6, ch. 2017-85.
472.019 Reactivation; continuing education.—
(1) The continuing education requirements for reactivating a license may not exceed 12 classroom hours for each year the license was inactive.
(2) The board shall promulgate rules relating to licenses which have become inactive and for the renewal of inactive licenses. The board shall prescribe by rule a fee not to exceed $50 for the reactivation of an inactive license and a fee not to exceed $50 for the renewal of an inactive license.
History.—ss. 27, 42, ch. 79-243; s. 342, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 105, ch. 83-329; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 219, ch. 94-119.
472.0201 Public inspection of information required from applicants; exceptions; examination hearing.—
(1) All information required by the department of any applicant shall be a public record and shall be open to public inspection pursuant to s. 119.07, except financial information, medical information, school transcripts, examination questions, answers, papers, grades, and grading keys, which are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and shall not be discussed with or made accessible to anyone except members of the board, the department, and staff thereof, who have a bona fide need to know such information. Any information supplied to the department by any other agency which is exempt from the provisions of chapter 119 or is confidential shall remain exempt or confidential pursuant to applicable law while in the custody of the department.
(2) The department shall establish by rule the procedure by which an applicant, and the applicant’s attorney, may review examination questions and answers. Examination questions and answers are not subject to discovery but may be introduced into evidence and considered only in camera in any administrative proceeding under chapter 120. If an administrative hearing is held, the department shall provide challenged examination questions and answers to the administrative law judge. The examination questions and answers provided at the hearing are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), unless invalidated by the administrative law judge.
(3) Unless an applicant notifies the department at least 5 days before an examination hearing of the applicant’s inability to attend, or unless an applicant can demonstrate an extreme emergency for failing to attend, the department may require an applicant who fails to attend to pay reasonable attorney’s fees, costs, and court costs of the department for the examination hearing.
History.—s. 17, ch. 2009-66.
472.02011 Disclosure of confidential information.—
(1) An officer, employee, or person under contract with the department or the board, or any subject of an investigation may not convey knowledge or information to any person who is not lawfully entitled to such knowledge or information about any public meeting or public record, which at the time such knowledge or information is conveyed is exempt from the provisions of s. 119.01, s. 119.07(1), or s. 286.011.
(2) Any person who willfully violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and may be subject to discipline pursuant to s. 472.033, and, if applicable, shall be removed from office, employment, or the contractual relationship.
History.—s. 18, ch. 2009-66.
472.0202 Inactive and delinquent status.—
(1) A licensee may practice a profession only if the licensee has an active status license. A licensee who practices a profession without an active status license is in violation of this section and s. 472.0351, and the board may impose discipline on the licensee.
(2) The board shall permit a licensee to choose, at the time of licensure renewal, an active or inactive status. However, a licensee who changes from inactive to active status is not eligible to return to inactive status until the licensee thereafter completes a licensure cycle on active status.
(3) The board, by rule, shall impose a fee for an inactive status license which is no greater than the fee for an active status license.
(4) An inactive status licensee may change to active status at any time, provided the licensee meets all requirements for active status, pays any additional licensure fees necessary to equal those imposed on an active status licensee, pays any applicable reactivation fees as set by the board, and meets all continuing education requirements as specified in this section.
(5) A licensee shall apply with a complete application, as defined by rule of the board, to renew an active or inactive status license before the license expires. Failure of a licensee to renew before the license expires shall cause the license to become delinquent in the license cycle following expiration.
(6)(a) A delinquent status licensee must affirmatively apply with a complete application, as defined by rule of the board, for active or inactive status during the licensure cycle in which a licensee becomes delinquent. Failure by a delinquent status licensee to become active or inactive before the expiration of the current licensure cycle shall render the license void without any further action by the board or the department.
(b) Notwithstanding this chapter, the board may, at its discretion, reinstate the license of an individual whose license has become void if the board determines that the individual has made a good faith effort to comply with this section but has failed to comply because of illness or unusual hardship. The individual must apply to the board for reinstatement in a manner prescribed by rules of the board and shall pay an applicable fee in an amount determined by rule. The board shall require that such individual meet all continuing education requirements prescribed by law, pay appropriate licensing fees, and otherwise be eligible for renewal of licensure under this chapter.
(7) The board, by rule, shall impose an additional delinquency fee, not to exceed the biennial renewal fee for an active status license, on a delinquent status licensee when such licensee applies for active or inactive status.
(8) The board, by rule, shall impose an additional fee, not to exceed the biennial renewal fee for an active status license, for processing a licensee’s request to change licensure status at any time other than at the beginning of a licensure cycle.
(9) The board, by rule, may impose reasonable conditions, excluding full reexamination but including part of a national examination or a special purpose examination to assess current competency, necessary to ensure that a licensee who has been on inactive status for more than two consecutive biennial licensure cycles and who applies for active status can practice with the care and skill sufficient to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Reactivation requirements may differ depending on the length of time licensees are inactive. The costs to meet reactivation requirements shall be borne by licensees requesting reactivation.
(10) Before reactivation, an inactive or delinquent licensee shall meet the same continuing education requirements, if any, imposed on an active status licensee for all biennial licensure periods in which the licensee was inactive or delinquent.
(11) The status or a change in status of a licensee does not alter the board’s right to impose discipline or to enforce discipline previously imposed on a licensee for acts or omissions committed by the licensee while holding a license, whether active, inactive, or delinquent.
History.—s. 19, ch. 2009-66; s. 9, ch. 2012-67.
472.0203 Renewal and cancellation notices.— (1) At least 90 days before the end of a licensure cycle, the department shall:
(a) Forward a licensure renewal notification to an active or inactive licensee at the licensee’s last known address of record with the department.
(b) Forward a notice of pending cancellation of licensure to a delinquent status licensee at the licensee’s last known address of record with the department.
(2) Each licensure renewal notification and each notice of pending cancellation of licensure must state conspicuously that a licensee who remains on inactive status for more than two consecutive biennial licensure cycles and who wishes to reactivate the license may be required to demonstrate the competency to resume active practice by sitting for a special purpose examination or by completing other reactivation requirements, as defined by rule of the board.
(3) Notwithstanding any other law, a licensure renewal notification required to be sent to the last known address of record may be sent by the department to the licensee by electronic means if the licensee has provided an e-mail address to the department.
History.—s. 20, ch. 2009-66; s. 10, ch. 2012-67.
472.0204 Address of record.—
(1) Each licensee of the department is solely responsible for notifying the department in writing of the licensee’s current mailing address and place of practice, as defined by rule of the board. A licensee’s failure to notify the department of a change of address constitutes a violation of this section, and the licensee may be disciplined by the board.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, service by regular mail to a licensee’s last known address of record with the department constitutes adequate and sufficient notice to the licensee for any official communication to the licensee by the board or the department except when other service is required pursuant to s. 472.033.
History.—s. 21, ch. 2009-66.
472.021 Certification of partnerships and corporations.—
(1) The practice of or the offer to practice surveying and mapping by registrants through a corporation or partnership offering surveying and mapping services to the public, or by a corporation or partnership offering said services to the public through registrants under ss. 472.001-472.037 as agents, employees, officers, or partners, is permitted subject to the provisions of ss. 472.001-472.037, provided that one or more of the principal officers of the corporation or one or more partners of the partnership and all personnel of the corporation or partnership who act in its behalf as surveyors and mappers in this state are registered as provided by ss. 472.001-472.037, and, further, provided that the corporation or partnership has been issued a certificate of authorization by the board as provided in this section. All final drawings, specifications, plans, reports, or other papers or documents involving the practice of surveying and mapping which are prepared or approved for the use of the corporation or partnership or for delivery to any person or for public record within the state must be dated and must bear the signature and seal of the registrant who prepared or approved them. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow a corporation to hold a certificate of registration to practice surveying and mapping. No corporation or partnership shall be relieved of responsibility for the conduct or acts of its agents, employees, or officers by reason of its compliance with this section, nor shall any individual practicing surveying and mapping be relieved of responsibility for professional services performed by reason of his or her employment or relationship with a corporation or partnership.
(2) For the purposes of this section, a certificate of authorization shall be required for a corporation, partnership, association, or person practicing under a fictitious name, offering surveying and mapping services to the public; however, when an individual is practicing surveying and mapping in his or her own given name, he or she shall not be required to register under this section.
(3) Except as provided in s. 558.0035, the fact that any registered surveyor and mapper practices through a corporation or partnership does not relieve the registrant from personal liability for negligence, misconduct, or wrongful acts committed by him or her. Partnerships and all partners shall be jointly and severally liable for the negligence, misconduct, or wrongful acts committed by their agents, employees, or partners while acting in a professional capacity. An officer, agent, or employee of a business organization other than a partnership shall be personally liable and accountable only for negligent acts, wrongful acts, or misconduct committed by him or her or committed by a person under his or her direct supervision and control while rendering professional services on behalf of the business organization. The personal liability of a shareholder or owner of a business organization, in his or her capacity as shareholder or owner, shall be no greater than that of a shareholder-employee of a corporation incorporated under chapter 607. The business organization shall be liable up to the full value of its property for any negligent acts, wrongful acts, or misconduct committed by any of its officers, agents, or employees while they are engaged on its behalf in the rendering of professional services.
(4) Each certification of authorization shall be renewed every 2 years. Each partnership and corporation certified under this section shall notify the board within 1 month of any change in the information contained in the application upon which the certification is based.
(5) Disciplinary action against a corporation or partnership shall be administered in the same manner and on the same grounds as disciplinary action against a registered surveyor and mapper.
History.—ss. 28, 42, ch. 79-243; s. 343, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 3, 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 91, ch. 94-119; s. 341, ch. 97-103; s. 8, ch. 2001-63; s. 3, ch. 2005-129; s. 4, ch. 2013-28.
472.023 Surveyors and mappers and firms of other states; temporary certificates to practice in this state.—
(1) Upon approval by the board and payment of a fee not to exceed $25, the department shall grant a temporary certificate for work on one specified project in this state and for a period not to exceed 1 year to a surveyor and mapper holding a certificate to practice in another state, provided that Florida registrants are similarly permitted to engage in work in such state.
(2) Upon approval by the board and payment of a fee not to exceed $50, the department shall grant a temporary certificate of authorization for work on one specified project in this state for a period not to exceed 1 year to an out-of-state corporation, partnership, or firm, provided one of the principal officers of the corporation, one of the partners of the partnership, or one of the principals in the fictitiously named firm has obtained a temporary certificate of registration in accordance with subsection (1).
(3) The application for a temporary license shall constitute appointment of the Department of State as an agent of the applicant for service of process in any action or proceeding against the applicant arising out of any transaction or operation connected with or incidental to the practice of surveying and mapping for which the temporary license was issued.
History.—ss. 30, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 92, ch. 94-119.
(1) The board shall adopt, by rule, a form of seal to be used by all registrants holding valid certificates of registration, whether the registrants are corporations, partnerships, or individuals. Each registrant shall obtain a seal in that form; and all final drawings, plans, specifications, plats, or reports prepared or issued by the registrant in accordance with the standards of practice established by the board shall be signed by the registrant, dated, and stamped with his or her seal. This signature, date, and seal shall be evidence of the authenticity of that to which they are affixed. Each registrant may in addition register his or her seal electronically in accordance with ss. 668.001-668.006. Drawings, plans, specifications, reports, or documents prepared or issued by a registrant may be transmitted electronically and may be signed by the registrant, dated, and stamped electronically with such seal in accordance with ss. 668.001-668.006.
(2) It is unlawful for a person to stamp, seal, or digitally sign a document with a seal or digital signature after his or her certificate of registration has expired or been revoked or suspended, unless such certificate of registration has been reinstated or reissued. When a certificate of registration has been revoked or suspended by the board, the registrant shall, within 30 days after the revocation or suspension has become effective, surrender his or her seal to the executive director of the board and confirm to the executive director the cancellation of the registrant’s digital signature in accordance with ss. 668.001-668.006. If the registrant’s certificate has been suspended for a period of time, his or her seal shall be returned to him or her upon expiration of the suspension period.
(3) No registrant shall affix or permit to be affixed his or her seal, name, or digital signature to any plan, specification, drawing, or other document which depicts work which he or she is not licensed to perform or which is beyond his or her profession or specialty therein.
History.—ss. 31, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 17, 44, ch. 82-179; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 342, ch. 97-103; s. 6, ch. 97-241; s. 9, ch. 2001-63; s. 11, ch. 2012-67; s. 21, ch. 2014-147; s. 7, ch. 2017-85.
472.027 Standards of practice.—The board shall adopt rules establishing standards of practice for the profession of surveying and mapping to:
(1) Assure competence in the practice of the profession;
(2) Assure accuracy, completeness, and quality in the products provided;
(3) Assure adequate and defensible real property boundary locations; and
(4) Govern the following professional matters:
(a) Conflicts of interest.
(b) Client confidentiality.
(c) Misuse, reuse, unauthorized use, or alteration of another professional’s product.
(d) Fair dealing in all professional relationships and private and public sector contracts.
(e) Retention of work products in hard copy or electronic or digital formats.
(f) Transfer and storage of files and file materials upon discontinuance of the practice of surveying and mapping.
History.—ss. 36, 42, ch. 79-243; s. 344, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 93, ch. 94-119; s. 10, ch. 2001-63; s. 1, ch. 2014-147.
472.029 Authorization to enter lands of third parties; conditions.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Surveyors and mappers or their subordinates may go on, over, and upon the lands of others when necessary to make surveys and maps or locate or set monuments, and, in so doing, may carry with them their agents and employees necessary for that purpose. Entry under the right granted by this subsection does not constitute trespass, and surveyors and mappers and their duly authorized agents or employees so entering are not liable to arrest or to a civil action by reason of such entry; however, this subsection does not give authority to registrants, subordinates, agents, or employees to destroy, injure, damage, or move any physical improvements on lands of another without the written permission of the landowner.
(2) LIABILITY AND DUTY OF CARE ON AGRICULTURAL LAND.—
(a) Any person regulated by this chapter who enters agricultural land shall do so in compliance with all federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to premises security, agricultural protections, and other health and safety requirements in place on such land.
(b) A landowner is not liable to any third party for civil or criminal acts or damages that result from the negligent or intentional conduct of any person regulated by this chapter on agricultural land.
(c) If written notice is not delivered to the landowner or landowner’s registered agent at least 3 business days prior to entry on an agricultural parcel containing more than 160 acres, the duty of care owed by the landowner to those regulated by this chapter is that due an undiscovered trespasser.
(d) This subsection applies only to land classified as agricultural pursuant to s. 193.461.
History.—ss. 37, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 94, ch. 94-119; s. 6, ch. 2002-41.
472.031 Prohibitions; penalties.— (1) No person shall:
(a) Practice or offer to practice surveying and mapping unless such person is registered pursuant to ss. 472.001-472.037;
(b) Use the name or title “registered surveyor and mapper,” “surveyor and mapper,” “professional surveyor and mapper,” “land surveyor,” “surveyor,” or any combination thereof when such person has not registered pursuant to ss. 472.001-472.037;
(c) Present as his or her own the registration of another;
(d) Knowingly give false or forged evidence to the board or a member thereof; or
(e) Use or attempt to use a registration that has been suspended or revoked.
(2) Any person who is found to be in violation of any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.—ss. 33, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 103, ch. 91-224; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 95, ch. 94-119; s. 343, ch. 97-103; s. 11, ch. 2001-63; s. 7, ch. 2002-41.
472.033 Disciplinary proceedings.—Disciplinary proceedings for the board shall be within the jurisdiction of the department.
(1)(a) The department shall investigate any complaint that is filed before it if the complaint is in writing, signed by the complainant, and legally sufficient. A complaint is legally sufficient if it contains ultimate facts that show that a violation of this chapter or of any rule adopted by the department or the board has occurred. In order to determine legal sufficiency, the department may require supporting information or documentation. The department may investigate, and the department or the board may take appropriate final action on, a complaint even though the original complainant withdraws it or otherwise indicates a desire not to cause the complaint to be investigated or prosecuted to completion. The department may investigate an anonymous complaint if the complaint is in writing and is legally sufficient, if the alleged violation of law or rules is substantial, and if the department has reason to believe, after preliminary inquiry, that the violations alleged in the complaint are true. The department may investigate a complaint made by a confidential informant if the complaint is legally sufficient, if the alleged violation of law or rule is substantial, and if the department has reason to believe, after preliminary inquiry, that the allegations of the complainant are true. The department may initiate an investigation if it has reasonable cause to believe that a licensee or a group of licensees has violated a Florida statute, a rule of the department, or a rule of the board.
(b) If an investigation of any subject is undertaken, the department shall promptly furnish to the subject or the subject’s attorney a copy of the complaint or document that resulted in the initiation of the investigation. The subject may submit a written response to the information contained in such complaint or document within 20 days after service to the subject of the complaint or document. The subject’s written response shall be considered by the probable cause panel. The right to respond does not prohibit the issuance of a summary emergency order if necessary to protect the public. However, if the commissioner, or the commissioner’s designee, and the chair of the respective board or the chair of its probable cause panel agree in writing that such notification would be detrimental to the investigation, the department may withhold notification. The department may conduct an investigation without notification to any subject if the act under investigation is a criminal offense.
(2) The department shall allocate sufficient and adequately trained staff to expeditiously and thoroughly determine legal sufficiency and investigate all legally sufficient complaints. When its investigation is complete and legally sufficient, the department shall prepare and submit to the probable cause panel of the board the investigative report of the department. The report shall contain the investigative findings and the recommendations of the department concerning the existence of probable cause. At any time after legal sufficiency is found, the department may dismiss any case, or any part thereof, if the department determines that there is insufficient evidence to support the prosecution of allegations contained therein. The department shall provide a detailed report to the appropriate probable cause panel before dismissing any case or part thereof, and to the subject of the complaint after dismissal of any case or part thereof, under this section. For cases dismissed before a finding of probable cause, such report is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1). The probable cause panel shall have access, upon request, to the investigative files pertaining to a case before dismissing the case.
(3)(a) As an alternative to subsections (1) and (2), if a complaint is received, the department may provide a licensee with a notice of noncompliance for an initial offense of a minor violation. A violation is a minor violation if it does not demonstrate a serious inability to practice the profession, result in economic or physical harm to a person, or adversely affect the public health, safety, or welfare or create a significant threat of such harm. The board shall establish by rule those violations which are minor violations under this provision. Failure of a licensee to take action in correcting the violation within 15 days after notice may result in the institution of regular disciplinary proceedings.
(b) The department may issue a notice of noncompliance for an initial offense of a minor violation, notwithstanding the board’s failure to designate a particular minor violation by rule as provided in paragraph (a).
(4) The determination as to whether probable cause exists shall be made by majority vote of a probable cause panel of the board, or by the department, as appropriate. The board shall provide by rule that the determination of probable cause shall be made by a panel of its members or by the department. The board may provide by rule for multiple probable cause panels composed of at least two members. The board may provide by rule that one or more members of the panel or panels may be a former board member. The length of term or repetition of service of any such former board member on a probable cause panel may vary according to the direction of the board when authorized by board rule. Any probable cause panel must include one of the board’s former or present consumer members, if one is available, willing to serve, and is authorized to do so by the board chair. Any probable cause panel must include a present board member. Any probable cause panel must include a former or present professional board member. However, any former professional board member serving on the probable cause panel must hold an active valid license for that profession. All proceedings of the panel are exempt from s. 286.011 until 10 days after probable cause has been found to exist by the panel or until the subject of the investigation waives his or her privilege of confidentiality. The probable cause panel may make a reasonable request, and upon such request the department shall provide such additional investigative information as is necessary to the determination of probable cause. A request for additional investigative information shall be made within 15 days from the date of receipt by the probable cause panel of the investigative report of the department. The probable cause panel or the department, as may be appropriate, shall make its determination of probable cause within 30 days after receipt by it of the final investigative report of the department. The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee may grant extensions of the 15-day and the 30-day time limits. In lieu of a finding of probable cause, the probable cause panel may issue a letter of guidance to the subject. If, within the 30-day time limit, as may be extended, the probable cause panel does not make a determination regarding the existence of probable cause or does not issue a letter of guidance in lieu of a finding of probable cause, the department, for disciplinary cases under its jurisdiction, must make a determination regarding the existence of probable cause within 10 days after the expiration of the time limit. If the probable cause panel finds that probable cause exists, it shall direct the department to file a formal complaint against the licensee. The department shall follow the directions of the probable cause panel regarding the filing of a formal complaint. If directed to do so, the department shall file a formal complaint against the subject of the investigation and prosecute that complaint pursuant to chapter 120. However, the department may decide not to prosecute the complaint if it finds that probable cause had been improvidently found by the panel. In such cases, the department shall refer the matter to the board. The board may then file a formal complaint and prosecute the complaint pursuant to chapter 120. The department shall also refer to the board any investigation or disciplinary proceeding not before the Division of Administrative Hearings pursuant to chapter 120 or otherwise completed by the department within 1 year after the filing of a complaint. The department, for disciplinary cases under its jurisdiction, must establish a uniform reporting system to quarterly refer to the board the status of any investigation or disciplinary proceeding that is not before the Division of Administrative Hearings or otherwise completed by the department within 1 year after the filing of the complaint. All proceedings of the probable cause panel are exempt from s. 120.525.
(5) A formal hearing before an administrative law judge from the Division of Administrative Hearings shall be held pursuant to chapter 120 if there are any disputed issues of material fact. The administrative law judge shall issue a recommended order pursuant to chapter 120. If any party raises an issue of disputed fact during an informal hearing, the hearing shall be terminated and a formal hearing pursuant to chapter 120 shall be held.
(6) The board, with those members of the panel, if any, who reviewed the investigation pursuant to subsection (4) being excused, shall determine and issue the final order in each disciplinary case. Such order shall constitute final agency action. Any consent order or agreed settlement shall be subject to the approval of the department.
(7) The department has standing to seek judicial review of any final order of the board, pursuant to s. 120.68.
(8) Any proceeding for the purpose of summary suspension of a license, or for the restriction of the license, of a licensee pursuant to s. 120.60(6) shall be conducted by the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee, who shall issue the final summary order.
(9) The department shall periodically notify the person who filed the complaint of the status of the investigation, whether probable cause has been found, and the status of any civil action or administrative proceeding or appeal.
(10) The complaint and all information obtained pursuant to the investigation by the department are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) until 10 days after probable cause has been found to exist by the probable cause panel or by the department, or until the regulated professional or subject of the investigation waives his or her privilege of confidentiality, whichever occurs first. However, this exemption does not apply to actions against unlicensed persons pursuant to s. 472.036. Upon completion of the investigation and pursuant to a written request by the subject, the department shall provide the subject an opportunity to inspect the investigative file or, at the subject’s expense, forward to the subject a copy of the investigative file. The subject may file a written response to the information contained in the investigative file. Such response must be filed within 20 days, unless an extension of time has been granted by the department. This subsection does not prohibit the department from providing such information to any law enforcement agency or to any other regulatory agency.
(11) A privilege against civil liability is granted to any complainant or any witness with regard to information furnished with respect to any investigation or proceeding pursuant to this section, unless the complainant or witness acted in bad faith or with malice in providing such information.
History.—ss. 34, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 51, ch. 83-329; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 96, ch. 94-119; s. 344, ch. 97-103; s. 8, ch. 2002-41; s. 22, ch. 2009-66; s. 54, ch. 2009-195.
472.0335 Classification of disciplinary actions.—
(1) A licensee may petition the department to review a disciplinary incident to determine whether the specific violation meets the standard of a minor violation as set forth in s. 472.033(3). If the circumstances of the violation meet that standard and 2 years have passed since the issuance of a final order imposing discipline, the department shall reclassify that violation as inactive if the licensee has not been disciplined for any subsequent minor violation of the same nature. After the department has reclassified the violation as inactive, it is no longer considered to be part of the licensee’s disciplinary record, and the licensee may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the incident as a disciplinary action.
(2) The department may establish a schedule classifying violations according to the severity of the violation. After the expiration of set periods of time, the department may provide for such disciplinary records to become inactive, according to their classification. After the disciplinary record has become inactive, the department may clear the violation from the disciplinary record and the subject person or business may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge such disciplinary actions. The department may adopt rules to administer this subsection.
History.—s. 23, ch. 2009-66.
472.0337 Power to administer oaths, take depositions, and issue subpoenas.—For the purpose of an investigation or proceeding conducted by the department, the department shall administer oaths, take depositions, make inspections, issue subpoenas which must be supported by affidavit, serve subpoenas and other process, and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, documents, and other evidence. Challenges to, and enforcement of, the subpoenas and orders shall be conducted as provided in s. 120.569.
History.—s. 12, ch. 2012-67.
(1) Notwithstanding s. 472.033, the board shall adopt rules to designate which violations of this chapter are appropriate for mediation. The board may designate as mediation offenses those complaints where harm caused by the licensee is economic in nature or can be remedied by the licensee.
(2) After the department determines a complaint is legally sufficient and the alleged violations are defined as mediation offenses, the department or any agent of the department may conduct informal mediation to resolve the complaint. If the complainant and the subject of the complaint agree to a resolution of a complaint within 14 days after contact by the mediator, the mediator shall notify the department of the terms of the resolution. The department or board shall take no further action unless the complainant and the subject each fail to record with the department an acknowledgment of satisfaction of the terms of mediation within 60 days of the mediator’s notification to the department. In the event the complainant and subject fail to reach settlement terms or to record the required acknowledgment, the department shall process the complaint according to the provisions of s. 472.033.
(3) Conduct or statements made during mediation are inadmissible in any proceeding pursuant to s. 472.033. Further, any information relating to the mediation of a case shall be subject to the confidentiality provisions of s. 472.033.
(4) A licensee may not go through the mediation process more than three times without approval of the department. The department may consider the subject and dates of the earlier complaints in rendering its decision. The decision is not final agency action for purposes of chapter 120.
(5) The board has the continuing authority to amend its rules adopted pursuant to this section.
History.—s. 24, ch. 2009-66.
472.0345 Authority to issue citations.—
(1) Notwithstanding s. 472.033, the board or the department shall adopt rules to permit the issuance of citations. The citation shall be issued to the subject and shall contain the subject’s name and address, the subject’s license number if applicable, a brief factual statement, the sections of the law allegedly violated, and the penalty imposed. The citation must clearly state that the subject may choose, in lieu of accepting the citation, to follow the procedure under s. 472.033. If the subject disputes the matter in the citation, the procedures set forth in s. 472.033 must be followed. However, if the subject does not dispute the matter in the citation with the department within 30 days after the citation is served, the citation becomes a final order and constitutes discipline. The penalty shall be a fine or other conditions as established by rule.
(2) The board shall adopt rules designating violations for which a citation may be issued. Such rules shall designate as citation violations those violations for which there is no substantial threat to the public health, safety, and welfare.
(3) The department shall be entitled to recover the costs of investigation, in addition to any penalty provided according to board or department rule, as part of the penalty levied pursuant to the citation.
(4) A citation must be issued within 6 months after the filing of the complaint that is the basis for the citation.
(5) Service of a citation may be made by personal service or certified mail, restricted delivery, to the subject at the subject’s last known address.
(6) The board has continuous authority to amend its rules adopted pursuant to this section.
History.—s. 25, ch. 2009-66.
472.0351 Grounds for discipline; penalties; enforcement.— (1) The following acts constitute grounds for which the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) may be taken:
(a) Violation of any provision of s. 472.031;
(b) Attempting to procure a license to practice surveying and mapping by bribery or fraudulent misrepresentations;
(c) Having a license to practice surveying and mapping revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of licensure, by the licensing authority of another state, territory, or country, for a violation that constitutes a violation under the laws of this state. The acceptance of a relinquishment of licensure, stipulation, consent order, or other settlement offered in response to or in anticipation of the filing of charges against the license by a licensing authority is an action against the license;
(d) Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty, no contest, or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of surveying and mapping or the ability to practice surveying and mapping;
(e) Making or filing a report or record that the licensee knows to be false, willfully failing to file a report or record required by state or federal law, willfully impeding or obstructing such filing, or inducing another person to impede or obstruct such filing. Such reports or records include only those that are signed in the capacity of a registered surveyor and mapper;
(f) Advertising goods or services in a manner that is fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading in form or content;
(g) Upon proof that the licensee is guilty of fraud or deceit, or of negligence, incompetency, or misconduct, in the practice of surveying and mapping;
(h) Failing to perform a statutory or legal obligation placed upon a licensed surveyor and mapper; violating a provision of this chapter, a rule of the board or department, or a lawful order of the board or department; or failing to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena of the department;
(i) Practicing on a revoked, suspended, inactive, or delinquent license;
(j) Having been found liable in a civil proceeding for knowingly filing a false report or complaint with the department against another licensee;
(k) Failing to report to the department any person who the licensee knows is in violation of this chapter or the rules of the department or the board;
(l) Aiding, assisting, procuring, employing, or advising any unlicensed person or entity to practice surveying and mapping contrary to this chapter or the rules of the department or the board;
(m) Making deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in or related to the practice of professional surveying or mapping or employing a trick or scheme in or related to the practice of professional surveying or mapping;
(n) Exercising influence on the client for the purpose of financial gain of the licensee or a third party;
(o) Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope permitted by law or accepting and performing professional responsibilities the licensee knows, or has reason to know, the licensee is not competent to perform;
(p) Delegating or contracting for the performance of professional responsibilities by a person when the licensee delegating or contracting for performance of such responsibilities knows, or has reason to know, such person is not qualified by training, experience, and authorization when required to perform them; or
(q) Improperly interfering with an investigation or inspection authorized by statute, or with any disciplinary proceeding.
(2) If the board finds a surveyor or mapper guilty of any of the grounds set forth in subsection (1) or a violation of this chapter which occurred before obtaining a license, the board may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties:
(a) Denial of an application for licensure, or approval of an application for licensure with restrictions.
(b) Revocation or suspension of a license.
(c) Imposition of an administrative fine in the Class I category pursuant to s. 570.971 for each count or separate offense.
(d) Issuance of a reprimand.
(e) Placement of the surveyor or mapper on probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as the board may specify. Those conditions may include, but are not limited to, requiring the licensee to undergo treatment, attend continuing education courses, submit to be reexamined, work under the supervision of another licensee, or satisfy any terms which are reasonably tailored to the violations found.
(f) Restriction of the authorized scope of practice by the surveyor or mapper.
(g) Corrective action.
(3) The department shall reissue the license of a disciplined surveyor or mapper upon certification by the board that he or she has complied with all of the terms and conditions set forth in the final order.
(4)(a) In addition to any other discipline imposed pursuant to this section, the board may assess costs and attorney fees related to the investigation and prosecution of the case.
(b) In any case where the board or the department imposes a fine or assessment and the fine or assessment is not paid within a reasonable time, which may be prescribed in the rules of the board or in the order assessing such fines or costs, the department or the Department of Legal Affairs may contract for the collection of, or bring a civil action to recover, the fine or assessment.
(c) The department may not issue to or renew the license of any person or business entity against which the board has assessed a fine, interest, costs, or attorney fees associated with an investigation and prosecution until the person or business entity has paid the full amount due or complies with or satisfies all terms and conditions of the final order.
(5) If the board determines that revocation of a license is the appropriate penalty, the revocation shall be permanent. However, the board may establish, by rule, requirements for reapplication by applicants whose licenses have been permanently revoked. Such requirements may include, but are not limited to, satisfying current requirements for an initial license.
History.—s. 26, ch. 2009-66; s. 13, ch. 2012-67; s. 13, ch. 2014-150.
472.0355 Disciplinary guidelines.—
(1) The board by rule shall adopt and periodically review the disciplinary guidelines applicable to each ground for disciplinary action which may be imposed by the board pursuant to this chapter and any rule of the board or department.
(2) The disciplinary guidelines shall specify a meaningful range of designated penalties based upon the severity and repetition of specific offenses, it being the legislative intent that minor violations be distinguished from those which endanger the public health, safety, or welfare; that such guidelines provide reasonable and meaningful notice to the public of likely penalties which may be imposed for proscribed conduct; and that such penalties be consistently applied by the board.
(3) A specific finding of mitigating or aggravating circumstances shall allow the board to impose a penalty other than that provided for in such guidelines. If applicable, the board shall adopt by rule disciplinary guidelines to designate possible mitigating and aggravating circumstances and the variation and range of penalties permitted for such circumstances.
(4) The department must review such disciplinary guidelines for compliance with the legislative intent as set forth herein to determine whether the guidelines establish a meaningful range of penalties and may also challenge such rules pursuant to s. 120.56.
(5) The administrative law judge, in recommending penalties in any recommended order, must follow the penalty guidelines established by the board or department and must state in writing the mitigating or aggravating circumstances upon which the recommended penalty is based.
History.—s. 27, ch. 2009-66.
472.036 Unlicensed practice of professional surveying and mapping; cease and desist notice; civil penalty; enforcement; citations; allocation of moneys collected.—
(1) When the department has probable cause to believe that a person not licensed by the department or the board has violated this chapter or any rule adopted pursuant to this chapter, the department may issue and deliver to such person a notice to cease and desist from such violation. In addition, the department may issue and deliver a notice to cease and desist to a person who aids and abets the unlicensed practice of surveying and mapping by employing such unlicensed person. The issuance of a notice to cease and desist does not constitute agency action for which a hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57 may be sought. For the purpose of enforcing a cease and desist order, the department may file a proceeding in the name of the state seeking issuance of an injunction or a writ of mandamus against a person who violates such order. In addition to the foregoing remedies, the department may impose an administrative fine in the Class II category pursuant to s. 570.971 for each incident pursuant to chapter 120 or may issue a citation pursuant to subsection (3). If the department is required to seek enforcement of the order for a penalty pursuant to s. 120.569, it shall be entitled to collect its attorney fees and costs, together with any cost of collection.
(2) In addition to or in lieu of any remedy provided in subsection (1), the department may seek the imposition of a civil penalty through the circuit court for any violation for which the department may issue a notice to cease and desist under subsection (1). The civil penalty shall be a fine in the Class II category pursuant to s. 570.971 for each offense. The court may also award to the prevailing party court costs and reasonable attorney fees and, in the event the department prevails, may also award reasonable costs of investigation.
(3)(a) Notwithstanding s. 472.033, the department shall adopt rules for the issuance of citations for unlicensed practice of a profession. The citation shall be issued to the subject and shall contain the subject’s name and any other information the department determines to be necessary to identify the subject, a brief factual statement, the sections of the law allegedly violated, and the penalty imposed. The citation must clearly state that the subject may choose, in lieu of accepting the citation, to follow the procedure under s. 472.033. If the subject disputes the matter in the citation, the procedures set forth in s. 472.033 must be followed. However, if the subject does not dispute the matter in the citation with the department within 30 days after the citation is served, the citation shall become a final order of the department upon filing with the agency clerk. The penalty shall be a fine in the Class II category pursuant to s. 570.971 or other conditions as established by rule.
(b) Each day that the unlicensed practice continues after issuance of a citation constitutes a separate violation.
(c) The department shall be entitled to recover the costs of investigation, in addition to any penalty provided according to department rule as part of the penalty levied pursuant to the citation.
(d) Service of a citation may be made by personal service or certified mail, restricted delivery, to the subject at the subject’s last known address.
(4) All fines, fees, and costs collected through the procedures set forth in this section shall be deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund.
(5) The provisions of this section apply only to the provisions of this chapter.
History.—s. 28, ch. 2009-66; s. 106, ch. 2010-5; s. 14, ch. 2014-150.
472.0365 Unlicensed activities; fees; disposition.—In order to protect the public and to ensure a consumer-oriented department, it is the intent of the Legislature that vigorous enforcement of regulation for professional surveying and mapping activities is a state priority. All enforcement costs under this chapter should be covered by the profession. Therefore, the department shall impose, upon initial licensure and each renewal thereof, a special fee of $5 per licensee. Such fee shall be in addition to all other fees collected from each licensee and shall fund efforts to combat unlicensed activity. The board with concurrence of the department may earmark $5 of the current licensure fee for this purpose, if the board is not in a deficit and has a reasonable cash balance. The board with the concurrence of the department may authorize the transfer of funds from the operating fund account to the unlicensed activity account if the operating fund account is not in a deficit and has a reasonable cash balance. The department shall include all financial and statistical data resulting from unlicensed activity enforcement as a separate category in the quarterly management report provided for in s. 472.011. For the unlicensed activity account, a balance which remains at the end of a renewal cycle may, with concurrence of the board and the department, be transferred to the operating fund account of the profession.
History.—s. 29, ch. 2009-66.
472.0366 Elevation certificates; requirements for surveyors and mappers.— (1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Division” means the Division of Emergency Management established within the Executive Office of the Governor under s. 14.2016.
(b) “Elevation certificate” means the certificate used to demonstrate the elevation of property which has been developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency pursuant to federal floodplain management regulation and which is completed by a surveyor and mapper.
(2) Beginning January 1, 2017, a surveyor and mapper shall, within 30 days after completion, submit to the division a copy of each elevation certificate that he or she completes. The copy must be unaltered, except that the surveyor and mapper may redact the name of the property owner. The copy need not be signed and sealed when submitted to the division; however, an original signed and sealed copy must be retained in the surveyor and mapper’s records as prescribed by rule of the board.
History.—s. 2, ch. 2015-69; s. 8, ch. 2017-85.
472.037 Application of ss. 472.001-472.037.—
(1) Nothing contained in ss. 472.001-472.037 shall be construed to repeal, amend, limit, or otherwise affect any local building code or zoning law or ordinance, now or hereafter enacted, which is more restrictive with respect to the services of registered surveyors and mappers than the provisions of ss. 472.001-472.037.
(2) In counties or municipalities that issue building permits, such permits shall not be issued in any case where it is apparent from the application for such building permit that the provisions of ss. 472.001-472.037 have been violated. However, this shall not authorize the withholding of building permits in any cases within the exempt classes set forth in ss. 472.001-472.037.
History.—ss. 32, 42, ch. 79-243; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 7, ch. 89-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 97, ch. 94-119; s. 12, ch. 2001-63.