Effective June 15, 2018, the Professional and Occupational Affairs Bureau at the Pennsylvania Department of State will no longer be accepting paper initial applications for an architects’ license.
Additionally, they have removed questions related to criminal history and will instead be using the Pennsylvania State Police’s Access to Criminal History (PATCH) system. However, there is a fee of $27 associated with the check (as of December 1, 2017) that will be added to new license application fees. This background check fee will be waived for renewals. The new fee will only apply to new applications, not license renewals. Additional details are as follows:
Please note that applicants will be asked to provide a recent criminal history records check (CHRC) from the state police or other state agency for every state in which they have lived, worked, or completed professional training/studies for the past five (5) years. The report(s) must be dated within 90 days of the date the application is submitted. For individuals living, working, or completing training/studies outside of Pennsylvania during the past five (5) years, in lieu of obtaining individual state background checks, applicants may elect to provide both a state CHRC from the state in which they currently reside, and a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Identity History Summary Check.
Once again, this requirement will only apply to new applicants and they will not be required to repeat such background checks when renewing their Pennsylvania licenses. These new processes to automate the Pennsylvania CHRCs will go into effect on June 2, 2018.