The process of becoming licensed can seem overwhelming, but it’s a very important part of professional practice.

Obtaining licensure provides you with:

  • The ability to practice and call yourself a landscape architect
    Licensure is required to practice and call yourself a landscape architect in all 50 United States, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Puerto Rico. Regardless of your education, experience or licensure in another jurisdiction, it is illegal to provide landscape architectural services or to use the title “landscape architect” unless you are licensed in the jurisdiction in which the service is provided or the representation is made. Want to practice all the things you are learning in school now and be called a landscape architect? You need to be licensed!
  • More professional opportunities
    Getting licensed sets you apart from other candidates for jobs. Not getting licensed could limit your career opportunities not only for getting a new job, but even delay timing of starting projects because you may need to be licensed. Getting licensed sets you apart and shows initiative, and could even increase your earning potential, according to the ASLA Salary Survey.
  • The ability to practice independently
    You’ll also be able to practice independently without supervision or review of another professional. This creates more opportunities for management and leadership. While you may be able to work under someone who has a license for now, many landscape architect firms are small. Not getting licensed limits the career opportunities for your future.
  • Equal status with other disciplines
    Licensure is a professional differentiator. You’ll hold equal status to architects and engineers once you are licensed.
Learn about licensure

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Step 1: Start a council record.

The Council Record is a valuable tool throughout your career – from exam candidate to established professional. It is a verified history of your education, experience, examination, licensure history and professional references. Use your Council Record to apply for examination, licensure and certification. Access or purchase your Council Record.
To ensure your information is up to date and ready to use for an exam registration or licensure application, your Council Record is renewed and updated annually. Fees apply.

CLARB’s verification process takes the workload off of you with a streamlined licensure process for you and for the registration board in your jurisdiction by guaranteeing accurate, up-to-date information.

Your Council Record enables you to:

  • Register for the L.A.R.E.  
    An active Council Record is required to register for the L.A.R.E. To ensure your information is up to date and ready to use for an exam registration or licensure application, your Council Record is renewed and updated annually.
  • Apply for licensure
    Utilizing the Council Record for licensure application is faster and more efficient for you and jurisdictions because you’ve already compiled – and CLARB has verified — the information that jurisdictions require. Use your Council Record to apply for licensure today.
  • Track continuing education
    As a licensed professional, continuing education (CE) is required by most jurisdictions, many of which have different requirements.  Use the free CE tracking tool – available exclusively to professionals who have a Council Record – to easily track your CE efforts and provide a digital CE report to each jurisdiction where you are licensed.
  • Receive CLARB Certification
    Maintaining a complete Council Record enables you to be evaluated for CLARB Certification, an important, recognized credential that will help you obtain licensure more quickly—a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace.

Step 2: Apply to take the L.A.R.E. with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (Applications & Forms).

Use the Exam Candidate Checklist to insure your documents are complete and in order.

South Carolina Board of Registration Links

Exam Candidate Checklist

Continuing Education

Applications & Forms

Step 3: Prepare for, register, and take the L.A.R.E on the CLARB website.

Take the exam

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The L.A.R.E. is a four-part fully computerized examination designed to determine whether applicants for landscape architectural licensure possess sufficient knowledge, skills and abilities to provide services without endangering the health, safety and welfare of the public. It is prepared and scored by CLARB in accordance with all current standards for fairness and quality of licensure exams.

The L.A.R.E. is made up of the following sections:
Section 1:  Project and Construction Management
Section 2:  Inventory and Analysis
Section 3:  Design
Section 4:  Grading, Drainage and Construction Documentation

When is the exam offered?  The L.A.R.E. is administered three times a year over a two-week period in April, August and December. Please visit the “Dates, Deadlines and Fees” webpage for more information.

If you’re interested in joining a study group, email Maria to sign up at

Study Resources:

clarb logo


Exam Candidate Checklist

CLARB LARE orientation guide
CLARB Recommended Reading
CLARB YouTube Videos



ASLA Licensure
LARE resources
 LARE Youtube Videos


Step 4: Apply for licensure.

Apply for licensure

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Applying for licensure using your Council Record is easy and saves you time! Once all categories (Education, Employment, Registration, References, Examination) are verified by CLARB, you can transmit your Council Record in support of your licensure application.

Here’s how:

  • Login to your Council Record and look at the “Reference Received” column for each category.
  • If “Reference Received” is “Yes,” all information in this “category” has been verified by CLARB and you may transmit your Council Record.
  • If “Reference Received” is “No” please contact CLARB via email or phone (571-432-0332).
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