How to Reactivate an Expired, Non-Renewed, or Inactive Illinois Professional Engineer License

Written by Kacie Goff

If your professional engine (PE) license is expired or inactive with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), it leaves you in a tricky situation. You put a lot of work into getting that license in the first place, and you probably don’t want to leave it in a state where you can’t use it. 

That, of course, means fixing the situation at hand. That might mean restoring your license if it’s expired from non-renewal or activating it if it’s currently inactive. The process is a little bit different depending on how long your license has been lapsed, though, and it’s not necessarily easy to navigate the IDFPR site to find the information you need.  

Fortunately, we can help. Here are the steps to activate or restore an inactive or expired Illinois professional engineer license, no matter how long it’s sat unused. 

In either case: meet Section 1380.270 requirements

Whether you intentionally put your license on inactive status or you accidentally let it expire from non-renewal, you’ve got some work to do. First, you need to make sure you’re in line with the state Administrative Code. Section 1380.270 specifically addresses restoring your license. 

This says you need to:

  • Pay the required restoration fee
  • Get your professional development hours (PDHs) completed

As far as the fee goes, you’ll need to cough up any lapsed renewal fees you’ve missed ($30 per year). If you put your license on inactive status, you’ve saved yourself some money. You just need to make up your missed renewal fee. But if you’re restoring a license that expired from non-renewal, there’s an additional $50 fee.

The PDH requirement is the same as it is for a normal renewal: you need 30 hours (such as the training offered here). Even if your license has been lapsed for a while, you need to have completed those PDHs in the last two years. Fortunately, if you still need to knock out this to-do, the IDFPR has approved PDHs that you can take online at your own pace. Once you finish your hours, hang onto the certificate of completion you get. You’ll need it to restore or reactivate your license. 

There’s one last requirement in this section of the Administrative Code, though, tucked at the very end. Specifically, if the State Board of Professional Engineers needs clarification or thinks information is missing from your request to reactivate or restore your license, they can call you in for an interview. Per this portion of the Administrative Code, you’re required to go. 

Restoring an expired, non-renewed license or activating an inactive one

Assuming you have your PDHs done and you’re ready to pay the appropriate fee, it comes down to timing. If your license has been expired or inactive for fewer than five years, restoring or reactivating it just means submitting a written request to the Department. If it’s been more than five years, skip to the next section. 

For those of you still in the five-year window, the letter you send should include:

  • Your name
  • Your license number
  • Your current mailing address
  • Your email address (make sure it’s valid; the IDFPR sends renewal notices and other important information via email)
  • A check for any lapsed fees you owe ($30 for every year your license has been lapsed, plus the $50 restoration fee if your license is expired) made out to the IDFPR
  • Copies of your PDH certificates of completion
  • A child support statement

That last piece should basically be something that says either:

  • “Child support does not apply to me.”
  • “I am current with child support.”
  • “I am not current with child support.” 

Put your signature next to your child support statement. 

Send your written statement, along with your check and certificates of completion copies, to 

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

Division of Professional Regulation 

3rd Floor/Licensure Administration Unit 

320 West Washington St. 

Springfield, IL 62786 

Restoring/reactivating a PE license after more than five years

If it’s been half a decade or longer, you’re going to have to go through some added steps. First, you need to reach out to the Board. Write them at the address we just listed above and request the forms to restore or reactivate your license after more than five years. 

While you’re waiting, you can take your 30 PDHs — you’ll still need to have them.

In addition to the forms the Board sends you, you also need to essentially show them what you’ve been up to in the last 5+ years. They will ask you to submit one of the following:

  • Sworn evidence that you practiced as a professional engineer for at least two years in another jurisdiction (basically, you’ll need something from the appropriate licensing authority in that jurisdiction)
  • An affidavit attesting to military service during the license lapse period
  • Other evidence of continued competence in professional engineering, like proof that you’ve been employed by another licensed PE, a government agency, or as a teacher of professional engineering at a college or university
  • Proof that you’ve passed the “Part II - Principles and Practice of Engineering” exam 

If all else fails — say the Board denies your reactivation because they don’t think you have sufficient evidence to support one of the first three bullets — you can always take and pass the Part II exam to restore or reactivate your license.