Advisory, Relevance|

Architects must register with the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) in order to compete to provide services on a public works project.  The cost of registration is $400 per year.

The revenue from the registration is used by DIR for its oversight and enforcement of various labor laws on public works projects, including the payment of a prevailing wage when required.

Many architects are unaware of this requirement, and for good reason.  A common sense read of the requirement on the DIR website gives a strong impression that registration only is required of contractors and subcontractors who pay a prevailing wage.

Prior to June 27, 2017 that was, for the most part, the requirement.  However, on 6/27/17 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 96, a 2017-18 State Budget Trailer Bill.  SB 96 changed the law and now most service providers, including architects, must register regardless of whether their contract includes any service requiring the payment of a prevailing wage.   AIA California has confirmed this with staff and attorneys at DIR.

It is important for architects to register.  Competing for or signing a public works contract without being registered can result in a $2,000 fine and affect an architect’s ability to compete for future public works contracts.

Information about registration, a link to register, and FAQs can be found on the DIR website at

AIA California
AIA California
Celebrating over 75 years of service, the AIA California actively promotes the value of design and advocates for the architectural profession. AIA CA is an association of 11,000 dedicated and passionate members who share a commitment to design excellence and livability in California’s natural and built environments.

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