Section 2: Engineer’s Seal and TxDOT Copyright Requirements

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This section deals with the following topics relating to the Engineer’s Seal and TxDOT copyright requirements.

The Texas Engineering Practice Act and Rules is the authority for licensed professional engineers employed at TxDOT. Chapter 137, Subchapter B: Sealing Requirements, §137.31 through 137.37 outlines the requirements for signing, sealing, and dating of engineering documents.

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Sealing and Dating Construction Documents

Licensed professional engineers shall affix their seal and original signature or electronic seal and signature with the date on the final version of their engineering work before such work is released from their control.


Electronic Seals and Sealing Requirements

Engineering work transmitted in an electronic format that contains a computer generated seal shall be accompanied by the following text or similar wording: "The seal appearing on this document was authorized by (Example: Leslie H. Doe, P.E. 0112) on (date)." unless accompanied by an electronic signature as described in this section. A license holder may use a computer-generated representation of his or her seal on electronically conveyed work, an electronic signature of the license holder and date.


Electronic Signature Requirements

An electronic signature is a digital authentication process attached to or logically associated with an electronic document and shall carry the same weight, authority, and effects as an original signature. The electronic signature, which can be generated by using either public key infrastructure or signature dynamics technology, must be as follows:

TxDOT procedures for creating and individualized and secure electronic signature are available at:

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Standard Drawing Reliability

Plan sheets of TxDOT standard drawings are considered a product of the company which have evolved and been developed by many people over a considerable number of years and, in the case of existing standards, the details shown on the drawings have proven to be reliable through their years of use. These drawings are not required to be signed and sealed by the responsible professional unless modified during the PS&E preparation for a specific project application.

The responsible engineer will identify, in the Index of Sheets located on the Title Sheet, those standard drawings that he/she issues with the plans and is to add the following note or similar note with signature, seal, and date in the proximity of the Index of Sheets on the Title Sheet:

“The standard sheets specifically identified above, plus sheets ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, have been issued by me and are applicable to this project.”

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Standard Drawing Modification

When “Standard” drawings are modified, the engineer is to identify the components on the drawing that are modified, sign, seal and date the drawing. The engineer is also responsible for the changes, plus the effect of any design relationship between the revised and the original components on all other plan sheets.

When a standard is modified, MOD should be placed in the title block, as well as a note listing the modified standard should be included in the general notes.

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Plan Sheet Revisions

After PS&E submittal to the Design Division, revisions to plan sheets will be coordinated in writing with the responsible engineer or his/her designated representative in the district. It will be the district’s responsibility to secure/affirm any approval in writing from the responsible engineer for inclusion of mutually agreeable changes or modifications under the current signature, seal, and date on the plan sheets.

NOTE: Plans with an electronic signature must be returned to the original engineer because changes to the plans by anyone else will render the electronic signature invalid.

Consultant Prepared PS&E. For consultant prepared PS&E, upon receipt of the PS&E from the consultant, the district will send the firm written notification that the department, as the owner, may find it necessary to make modifications to the sealed work. This written notification would only be needed one time and would satisfy the Texas Board of Professional Engineers rules for modifications made prior to letting and during the course of construction. It will be the district’s responsibility to secure/affirm any approval in writing from the responsible engineer for inclusion of mutually agreeable changes or modifications under the current signature, seal, and date on the plan sheets during the District review or the Division final PS&E processing. Any other changes made to the plan sheets by district engineers is signed, sealed, and dated. The district engineer will be responsible for any design relationship between the revised and original components on all other plan sheets. It is considered good engineering practice and a professional courtesy in these cases to notify the original engineer of any proposed changes.

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The proposal is a bidding document that is composed of Special Provisions, Special Specifications, General Notes, and other miscellaneous forms for bid submission. Each PS&E submission to the Austin divisions are supported with an electronic supplemental proposal sheet with the following statement, signed, sealed, and dated by the responsible engineer:

“The enclosed Special Specifications, Special Provisions, and General Notes in this document have been issued by me or under my responsible supervision.”

An example of the Supplemental Proposal Seal and Signature Sheet ( sealsig1) shows how this note would appear.

Proposal copies. The Design Division will transmit to the Construction Division the original signed, sealed, and dated supplemental sheet for inclusion in the department’s and contractor’s copies of the contract. The department’s copy of the contract, with the original signed, sealed, and dated sheet, will become the official original repository reflecting Special Specifications, Special Provisions, and General Notes which have been selected by the responsible engineer and applicable to the contract. Security-controlled, computer-generated CADD Seals will be used to generate proposal copies for bidder distribution.

Changes after submittal. Changes to the bid proposal information after submittal to the Design Division will be handled in the same manner as described above for plan sheet changes.

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As-built Plans

Construction engineering in accordance with the practices, methods and design requirements, as identified in the plans and contracts, is the responsibility of the registered professional engineer under whose supervision the construction work is performed. For the final as-built plan, the Title Sheet should be signed, sealed, and dated by the responsible engineer to reflect that the construction work was performed in accordance with the plans and contract.

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Copyright Requirement Guidelines

Minute Order 107306 adopted administrative rules allowing the department to protect copyrights for intellectual property. Engineering designs contained in construction and routine maintenance plans are included in the definition of intellectual property. The TxDOT’s Office of General Counsel has advised that the following notation be placed on the Title Sheet of all plans produced by or for TxDOT:

©XXXX by Texas Department of Transportation; all rights reserved. Where XXXX denotes the current year.

For all other plan sheets, the copyright symbol with current year and TxDOT logo is used. If space does not permit this notation, an abbreviated notation of ©XXXX TxDOT may be used. The year shown in the notation will depend on when the plans are produced.

The copyright notation shown above for Title Sheets must also be placed on schematic layouts. For plans not produced under contract to or by TxDOT, these copyright notations will not be required.

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