In This Issue:
- Message from the Secretary
- Message from the Board Chair
- Message from the Executive Director
- Recent Department Initiatives
- License Application Center
- Improved Online Applications
- Renew Your License Online
- DBPR Smart Phone App
To our licensees and partners:
The start of a new year is the perfect time to reflect, assess and create yearly goals, both personally and professionally. Since the first of the year, I have done just that and I have asked my Senior Management team to as well. They have been working diligently on their goals for 2012, and I am excited to see how our goals will come to fruition for the citizens of Florida this year.
We are committed to making our licensing processes more efficient for our customers, and are devoted to keeping citizens of Florida and visitors to the state safe by regulating businesses and professionals to ensure that health and safety standards are met.
As always, we strive to be the best and if there is something we can improve, we want to know. Thank you for allowing us to continue serving you in 2012.
Secretary, Department of Business and Professional Regulation
The Board of Architecture and Interior Design (BOAID) closed out the 2011 year with many changes:
Governor Scott recently reappointed one member and appointed four new members to the Board. In June, Warren Emo, an architect from Tallahassee, was reappointed to serve a term that will expire on October 31, 2013. In October, Kenan Ann Fishburne, an interior designer from Quincy, succeeded Joyce Shore and will serve until October 31, 2014. In November, Francisco “Frank” Costoya, Jr, an architect from Plantation, was added to the Board and will serve until October 31, 2014 as well. In December, Miguel Rodriguez, an architect from Coral Gables, succeeded E. Wendell Hall and will serve until October 31, 2015. Finally, John Toppe, an architect from St. Petersburg succeeded Johnstone Reid and will serve until October 31, 2013. We would like to thank Joyce, Wendell and Johnstone for their dedicated service to the Board. We look forward to working with Warren, Kenan, Frank, Miguel and John in the years to come.
You are probably aware that since 2009 the Board has been involved in a legal challenge to the constitutionality of several parts of its practice act, specifically interior design. In 2009, the National Federation of Independent Business, along with three individuals, filed suit in United States District Court. Federal District Judge Robert L. Hinkle entered an order in the case of Locke v. Shore in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Under this ruling a person must be a registered interior designer to provide commercial interior design services in the State of Florida. However, any person may use the title “interior designer” regardless of whether or not they hold a Florida license. A person may provide residential interior design services and may advertise herself/himself as an “interior designer” without a license. This ruling does not change the statutes in Chapter 481 but does impact how the Board enforces the statutes. Judge Hinkle’s ruling was subsequently appealed by the plaintiff. The appeal was heard in November of 2011 at the Court of Appeals in Birmingham, Alabama and the three judge tribunal upheld the original opinion. The plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and it was denied.
Due to the current economic situation, a number of individuals have become unemployed, changed employment situations or decided to start their own firms. As a reminder, it is a requirement for each licensed architect and interior designer to keep the Board informed of your address. Please notify the Board of any changes in your contact information.
It has been my pleasure serving as Chair for this past year and I look forward to continuing my service on the Board in the future. I want to wish you all a successful 2012!
John P. Ehrig, FAIA, LEED BD+C
Chair, Board of Architecture and Interior Design
Audit of Completion of Continuing Education
The Board of Architecture and Interior Design conducted an audit in August of this year to review compliance of continuing education. Please remember that as a licensed architect or interior designer, you are required to maintain proof of your continuing education course completion certificates. Verification of compliance is performed shortly after the renewal cycle. You may obtain an updated copy of the Architecture and Interior Design Continuing Education Handbook for licensees at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/arch/index.html. Failure to respond to the audit or comply with continuing education requirements could result in disciplinary action against your license.
Reminder about Reporting Requirement for Criminal Convictions
Section 455.227(1)(t), F.S. requires all professional licensees to report to the Department within 30 days of being convicted or found guilty of, or having plead nolo contendere or guilty to a crime in any jurisdiction. A licensee who fails to report that information may be subject to disciplinary action, including fines, suspension or license revocation. To report this information, complete the criminal self-reporting document. Upon completion of the form, please mail it to Smith, Thompson, Shaw, Minacci, and Colon, P.A., located at 3520 Thomasville Road 4th Floor, Tallahassee, Florida 32309, attention Mr. David Minacci, Esquire.
Until next time,
Anthony B. Spivey, DBA
Board of Architecture and Interior Design
As part of our ongoing effort to improve communication with licensees and the inspection process, we launched the “Bill of Rights” initiative last year. Inspectors now hand out “Bill of Rights” cards at the beginning of every inspection. The card explains the high standards and professional treatment licensees have a right to expect from department staff and provides a way for licensees to submit feedback on their inspection process directly to the inspectors’ supervisors.
Additionally, we are committed to streamlining processes and eliminating burdensome and unnecessary regulation. As a result of licensee feedback, we have upgraded many of our license application processes and many more upgrades are expected.
In our continuing effort to provide better customer service, we have improved our website home page and created a user-friendly application center. Application features include a full list of license types, a list of detailed license requirements before each application, separate entry points for applications and renewals, and a page called "Services Requiring a DBPR License," which is designed to help consumers determine what services require a license from the Department.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation has improved online applications for new licensees.
The most significant change is that the upgraded system requires all users – even those who have had online accounts with our Department for years – to create a one-time registration profile before accessing the system. Once the new profile has been created and you have supplied your license number, the system automatically transfers all data associated with your old account. Additionally, if you had to manage multiple accounts under the old system to manage all of your licenses, you will be able to link them all into the new single profile.
Applicants now have the ability to upload required documents, allowing them to fully complete and submit applications online. This enhancement ensures that applications and supporting documentation submitted online will remain together. The online system allows for faster processing times, thus getting our licensees to work more quickly. The upgraded system also provides licensees many new online services, including the ability to:
- Register with an email address and secure password;
- Receive registration confirmation via email confirmation;
- Link an existing license(s) to online profile;
- Retrieve a forgotten password;
- Answer eligibility questions to ensure you are using the correct application;
- Attach necessary documents for licensure;
- Receive an application summary and payment summary via email;
- Check your application status;
- Log in and finish an incomplete application before submission, if you were not able to complete the application when initially applying;
- Make payments;
- View Continuing Education history, if applicable; and
- Maintain license relationships
To complete your renewal online, follow these instructions:
> Go to www.MyFloridaLicense.com.
> Click on “Renew Your License.”
>Read through the instructions and click “Continue.”
> Click on your profession type.
>Read through the instructions, take the tutorials or click “Continue to Online Services.”
> New users will need to “Create a New Online Profile.” Returning users will need to login.
> Complete all the required information and click “Next.”
> The user will receive an email with a temporary password and a link back to the system; the user will then be asked to supply a new password and enter it twice for confirmation; enter your email address and password and click “Log on.”
> The user will now need to link their license to their online account by selecting "Link an Existing License to My Account" on the left hand side of the screen; the user will need their license number and social security number.
> Select the correct license type to link from the drop down list, enter the license number, and click “Next.”
> Enter the user’s social security number, security measure, and click “Next.”
> Click “Add.”
> Click “Next” to continue linking the license.
> Select the license you intend to renew.
> The user can now select “Renew”; this is an introduction to the renewal requirements; click “Next” to continue.
> Renew – Name and Personal Details Screen – this is a view only screen; press "Next" to continue.
> Renew – Address Detail Summary – the user can update/add addresses; click "Next" to continue.
> Renew – Application Summary – allows a user to verify all details prior to submitting renewal; if anything needs to be revised, the user can click “Previous” to update; if everything is correct, click “Next” to continue.
> Renew – Attestation – the user will now attest that everything they have said is true by clicking on “Yes” and then on “Submit”; if the user clicks “No,” then they will not be able to proceed. > The user will now receive an email with an attached renewal summary pdf.
> Confirmation Screen – the user can now pay for their renewal by clicking “Pay Now.”
>After payment is made, the user will receive an Online Payment Summary pdf.
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Visit us on the Web at www.MyFloridaLicense.com
John P. Ehrig, Chair
Francisco Costoya, Jr.
St. Petersburg, FL
Coral Gables, FL
Aida G. Bao-Garciga
J. Emory Johnson, Vice Chair
Kenan A. Fishburne
Ft. Pierce, FL
Anthony B. Spivey, DBA
Mary Ellen Clark
Assistant Attorney General
David K. Minacci
Smith, Thompson, Shaw, Minacci, and Colon, P.A.
Upcoming Board Meetings
May 3 – 4, 2012
July 17 – 18, 2012
Palm Beach, Florida
All meeting dates and locations are subject to change. Please verify meeting infomation on the department's
Board Meeting Calendar.
For a list of available positions and information regarding requirements for board membership, please visit the department's board opportunities page.
Please refer to the Smith, Thompson, Shaw, Minacci, and Colon, P.A. web site for the most up-to-date information regarding disciplinary actions. This action may be found at http://www.stslaw.com/disciplinary.asp
Although we make every effort to ensure information is correct, before making any specific decision based on this information, you may choose to request a copy of the administrative complaint and final order to ensure accuracy.
Contact the Department’s Office of Open Government at firstname.lastname@example.org for this information
Report Unlicensed Activity
State licenses are important because they offer consumers and the general public reassurance that the person holding that license has been trained and meets the standard requirements for working in a specific field. Florida law sets specific rules and guidelines for obtaining professional licensure, and the people who have met these requirements are held to professional standards. Professional licenses can be verified online at www.myfloridalicense.com.
Unfortunately, unlicensed activity happens throughout the state, and as Florida continues to face economic challenges, the number of times unlicensed activity takes place may increase. This unregulated and illegal activity can threaten the livelihood of licensed professionals and can also pose serious personal or financial harm to consumers. Every time unlicensed activity occurs, a licensed professional loses work that he or she might otherwise have been asked to perform.
Floridians and licensed professionals can help by notifying the Department of Business and Professional Regulation of any suspected unlicensed activity.
To report unlicensed activity, please call the Department’s Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1.866.532.1440, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) or e-mail the information to ULA@dbpr.state.fl.us.
Subscribe to DBPR Newsletters
You can now subscribe online at www.MyFloridaLicense.com to receive your profession’s newsletter as well as other Department publications via e-mail. Subscribing is very quick and easy.
- Go to www.MyFloridaLicense.com Publications
- Select “Subscribe to Department Newsletters.”
- Type in your name and email
- Choose which newsletters or publications you would like to receive via email.
- Select “Subscribe.”
When the newsletters you have subscribed to are available, you will receive an email from the Department with a link to your newsletter.
Contact Information Updates
Please help us by notifying the Department when your address, telephone number, and/or email changes. If you fail to notify the Department in writing of your correct mailing address of record, you could be charged with violating the law.
Official communications by the Board or the Department (such as renewal notices or legal action notices) will only be sent to your last known mailing address of record. Failure to update your mailing address of record is not only a violation of law, but it could affect the timely renewal of your license or result in the waiver of your legal rights in resolving any case brought against you by the Department. Therefore, it is extremely important that your contact information is correct.
The Department cannot change your mailing address of record without your written request. To update your mailing address of record, you can choose one of the following options:
1. You can change your individual mailing address through your online account.
2. Send a fax to(850) 488-8040 requesting that your mailing address of record be changed and provide the correct address;
3. Speak with a DBPR Call Agent at (850) 487-1395, requesting that your mailing address of record be changed and provide the correct address; the Call Agent will require additional information from you during the call to verify your identity; or,
4. Send a written request to: Department of Business and Professional Regulation, 1940 N. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783.
When corresponding with the Department, please include your full name and all department license numbers that you hold so we can apply the address of record change to all of your licenses.
If you have any questions regarding this requirement, or need assistance using the online services menu, please telephone the Customer Contact Center at 850.487.1395 or use our convenient contact form to submit any comments and/or questions you may have. In order to better serve you, please include as much information as possible about the nature of your request.
The Correct Zip Code Makes a Difference!
The Department's Bureau of Central Intake and Licensure, located within the Division of Service Operations, receives and processes your license applications. To ensure your application and required documentation is sent directly to the Bureau of Central Intake and Licensure section for processing, always use the correct zip code, "plus-4" on all correspondence you send to us. The "plus-4" refers to the unique four-digit code that identifies the divisions and offices within the Department.
The proper zip code, plus-4 for the Bureau of Central Intake and Licensure is 32399-0783.
Thanks for helping us serve you better!