Professional Licensure Sealing and Signing

On July 1, 2009, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will begin using PKI based digital signatures in order to be in compliance with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) requirements for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Certified Landscape Architects to sign and seal their work. VDOT implemented an electronic plan submittal process in 2002 and will continue to enhance this process in 2009 with the use of digital signatures. All plans submitted to VDOT for projects on the December 2009 advertisement schedule will be required to be in PDF format and include a PKI based digital signature. The digital certificates can be purchased from IdenTrust Services, LLC using the links below. Both VDOT staff and consultants can purchase the digital certificates from IdenTrust. The cost of the certificate for VDOT staff will be covered by the department. Consultants will be responsible for purchasing their own certificates. The department will be utilizing Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard Version as the signing solution to place the seal and digital signature in the PDF file and recommend consultants use the same for consistency.

The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act Title 59.1, Chapter 42.1 does support Professional Engineers, Certified Landscape Architects and Land Surveyors to sign and seal their work electronically. The Purpose of UETA is to enable electronic commerce by providing that contracts and records are not invalid simply because they are in an electronic format rather than on paper. Also, Title 54.1, Chapter 4 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, regarding Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Landscape Architects does not prohibit these individuals to sign and seal their work electronically.

VDOT recognizes the need for entities, citizens, and public employees to interoperate with the department's applications for the purpose of conducting business electronically. The agency will be using IdenTrust Services to provide such persons and entities with X.509 v.3 digital certificates. The digital certificates will be managed and controlled by IdenTrust Services as part of the Access Certificates for Electronic Services (ACES) program. IdenTrust Services, LLC will supply Certification Authority (CA) service to entities and citizens located within or desiring to interface with the department in a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

ACES Digital Certificate:

Access Certificates for Electronic Services (ACES)
Business Representative Employee authorized to act on behalf of a company Identity Authentication Digital Signature/Signing
Usage: authenticate yourself as an employee (affiliated) of a valid business when signing emails and documents, and identifying yourself to gain access to restricted web sites.
two years
Delivery Time 5-7 Business Days

How to Trust IdenTrust ACES Root Certificate in Adobe Reader:

Adobe Reader requires one-time trusting of the IdenTrust ACES Root certificate. This can be accomplished by installing the attached .fdf on the computer that is being used. In order to "trust" the IdenTrust ACES Root Certificate, you will need to follow these instructions:

  1. Double click on the IdenTrust-ACES-CA.fdf file
  2. Click "Set Contact Trust" to add the Certificate to the List of Trusted Identities
  3. Check the box next to:
    1. In Adobe 6 - "Trust Signatures created with this Certificate"
    2. In Adobe 7, 8 - "Trust this Certificate for: Signatures and as a Trusted Root"
    3. In Adobe 9 - Choose the "Use this certificate as a trusted root" checkbox
  4. Click "OK" or "Import", click "OK" again, then click "Close"

If you have any questions about the implementation of digital signatures at VDOT, please call VDOT's Location & Design Helpdesk at 888-683-0345