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New Jersey seals on engineering reports

New Jersey seals on engineering reports

New Jersey seals on engineering reports

For any of you who write engineering reports in NJ, how do you handle electronic transmittal's of your reports to your clients? NJ is still hung up on embossed seals and says you cant allow photocopy/scans of it, but almost all clients want electronic submittals. This means if you email a client a report, NJ says it shouldn't have a seal on it. But can this be construed that the client never received the work product? Do you follow up with a hard copy to the client in every instance?

RE: New Jersey seals on engineering reports

Well, I'm not licensed in NJ and don't know the actual laws so take this with that in mind...but your idea of sending them a pdf of the sealed document with a statement on it to the effect:


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RE: New Jersey seals on engineering reports

I suppose that is one way around it. But still not a fan of having to print and emboss if its not really needed.

RE: New Jersey seals on engineering reports

Maybe my question should be if anyone has dabbled with electronic signatures. I think that is one way of doing it.

RE: New Jersey seals on engineering reports

We use electronic signatures - there are all sorts of products out there.
It ultimately depends on whether the NJ board allows them or not.

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RE: New Jersey seals on engineering reports

I was ranting to my lawyer friends about how no lawyers seem to have even a basic understanding of stats and probability; it seems like the same is true for engineers with the law. What difference does it make whether or not a signature and stamp is scanned on the document? And on the flipside, if something isn't stamped but it can be interpreted that you issued for construction, you will likely be found just as liable in court if you were negligent in some manner.

RE: New Jersey seals on engineering reports

In the forensic world, there's often friction between opposing experts or owners, and I can certainly see someone turning you into the board for something piddly like this. This is particularly true when they don't have a leg to stand on.

RE: New Jersey seals on engineering reports

We do something similar to JAE's.....

Here is the statement that follows the signature block of all of our electronic submittals....

"This report has been transmitted electronically for expedience. A signed/sealed original will be transmitted by mail."

This is for everything OTHER than a true electronic signature, which we also do, but those don't get the statement.

RE: New Jersey seals on engineering reports

Do you actually mail it then? or just prepare to mail in it in the event its really required?

RE: New Jersey seals on engineering reports

I am registered in NJ and I just print my name and NJ License # at the end of my report. PERIOD Jim

RE: New Jersey seals on engineering reports

Is this a state-owned project in NJ? If so, you submit to NJDCA (NJ Department of Consumer Affairs) with the ePlans web portal which requires the Design Professional to send a hardcopy letter bearing their signature & seal, attesting that the electronic documents (PDFs) were prepared under their supervision. This letter is also scanned and uploaded to the ePlans submission portal. No hardcopy permit sets are sent to NJDCA - the files on the ePlans portal are sufficient.

If this is not a state-owned building/facility in NJ refer to NJAC 13:40-8.1 which explains the requirements regarding the Signing and Sealing of documents.

An ELECTRONIC Signature is defined as a facsimile (e.g.. scanned image) of an autograph (and the engineer's seal), either on an electronic document (CAD or a PDF) and has no encryption technology with it or any device to ensure its authenticity.
A DIGITAL Signature (or Digital ID or Digital Certificate) may include an accompanying image of the engineer's signature and seal but the critical idea is that a Digital Signature is actually an encrypted private-public digital key pair which can be validated by a trusted, 3rd party Certifying Authority (e.g. DocuSign, GlobalSign, etc.) which issues the certificate (for a fee) and can verify its legitimacy when the recipient of the Digitally Signed document requests to Verify or Validate that Digital Signature (or Digital ID).

NJ is quite explicit in allowing encrypted technology Digital Signatures OR hardcopy wet signature w/ embossed professional's seal on submitted reports, plans, design sepcifications, etc. - and NJAC 13:40-8.1A describes this and makes them legal through the entire State. Facsimiles of the rubber-stamp seal are not permitted as of June 2018.

RE: New Jersey seals on engineering reports

Yea, I've never seen any NJ engineers use an encrypted key. Have you? and can comment on cost and implementation?

I think all i've seen is similar to what Lansford does. And back to my original post, would this be construed as not providing a professional report?

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