Chapter 02 - Professional Surveyors

Chapter 02 - Professional Surveyors

31.0201 Authority.

The rules set out in this chapter are issued pursuant to the authority granted the board of registration for professional surveyors by 31.0603 ASCA.

31.0202 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) "professional surveyor" means one who is certified to practice surveying as defined in this section;

(2) "board" means the board of registration for professional surveyors;

(3) "chairman" means the chairman of the board, who is by statute the director of public works;

(4) "responsible charge of work " means the independent control and direction, by the use of skill, initiative, and independent judgment, of the observations, measurements, calculations, and descriptions involved in land survey work;

(5) "subordinate" means any person directly supervised by a registered professional surveyor and who assists a registered professional surveyor in the practice of land surveying without assuming responsible charge of work;

(6) "survey branch manager" means that person assigned primary responsibility for surveying functions within the department of public works;

(7) "Surveying." Any person practices "surveying" when he is in responsible charge of surveying work and offers or performs any of the following operations:

(A) Locates, relocates, establishes, reestablishes, or retraces any property line or boundary of any parcel of land or any road, right-of-way, easement, alignment, or elevation for any fixed works embraced within the practice of civil engineering;

(B) Makes a survey for the subdivision or resubdivision of any tract of land;

(C) By use of the principle of land surveying determines the position for any monument or reference point which marks a property line, boundary, or corner, or sets, resets, or replaces any such monument or reference point;

(D) Determines the configuration or contour of the earth's surface or the position of fixed objects thereon or related thereto by means of measuring lines and angles and applying the principles of trigonometry;

(E) Does geodetic or cadestral surveying;

(F) Determines the information shown or to be shown on any map or document prepared or furnished in connection with anyone or more of the functions set out in this section;

(G) Indicates in any capacity or in any manner, by the use of the title "registered professional surveyor" or by any other representation that he practices or offers to practice land surveying in any of its branches;

(H) Procures or offers to procure land surveying work for himself;

(I) Manages or conducts as manager, proprietor, or agent, any place of business from which land surveying work is solicited, performed, or practiced.

31.0203 Registration required-Work for ASG.

(a) Any person practicing or offering to practice land surveying in this territory shall submit evidence that he is qualified to practice and shall be registered under this section. It is unlawful for any person to practice, offer to practice, or represent himself as a land surveyor in this territory or to set, reset, replace, or remove any survey monument unless he has been registered or specifically exempted from registration under this section.

(b) Surveys made exclusively for geological or landscaping purposes, which do not involve the determination of any property line, do not constitute surveying within the meaning of this section.

(c) In any firm, partnership, company, corporation, or association practicing or offering to practice surveying, a t least 1 member , employee, officer, or director must be individually registered as a professional surveyor pursuant to this section.

(d) Any firm, partnership, company, corporation, or association organized, or individual from outside the territory and performing contractual surveying work for the ASG shall comply with the following conditions:

(1) Field surveys performed shall be done by persons holding full or temporary registration from the board.

(2) Computation, compilation, mapping, and other surveying services performed outside the territory shall be done by, or under the direction of, persons duly registered to perform such services under the jurisdiction of the state or territory in which the work is performed.

(e) This chapter does not prohibit or prevent an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, or association engaged in any line of business other than the practice of surveying from hiring a registered professional surveyor to perform surveying services incidental to the business of the individual or organization.

(f) The following are not required to be registered under this section:

(1) Officers and employees of the United States Government practicing solely as such officers and employees, and engaged in work incidental and necessary to performance of services for the government of the United States or the ASG;

(2) Any employee of the ASG, directly responsible to a registered professional surveyor, insofar as he acts solely in such capacity;

(3) Any subordinate to a registered professional surveyor.

31.0204 Application for registration- Qualifications-Certificates.

(a) An application for registration as a professional surveyor shall be made to the board on the form prescribed by it, with all statements therein made under oath, and shall be accompanied by the application fee fixed by 31.0604 ASCA.

(b) The applicant for full-term registration under these provisions shall be a United States citizen, a United States national, an American Samoan, or a permanent resident as defined by 41.0502 (b) and a) ASCA, or an alien duly authorized residency and employment by the immigration board.

(c) The applicant shall be at least 25 years of age and he shall be thoroughly familiar with the laws, procedures, and rules governing the survey of lands as set forth in this chapter and in the ASCA.

(d) The applicant shall have a background of education and experience which will generate a minimum of 70 points on the following scale:

(1) For each year of surveying experience approved by the board, 10 points;

(2) For each semester-hour credit in surveying or surveying related courses from a technical institute, college, or university, as approved by the board, 3 points;

(3) For the highest degree or diploma approved by the board, points as shown:

(A) High school, 10 points;

(B) Associate, 20 points;

(C) Bachelor, 30 points;

(e) The applicant shall submit the name or names of the registered surveyor or surveyors under whom experience was accumulated.

(f) The names and addresses of at least 3 responsible persons, each of whom has sufficient knowledge of the applicant to enable the person to certify as to the applicant's integrity and moral fitness to become registered, shall be submitted with the application.

(g) The applicant shall state on his application that, should he be registered, he will support the constitutions of the United States of America and American Samoa, and that he will faithfully discharge his duties as a registered professional surveyor .

(h) Examinations for registration shall be held at such times and places within the territory as determined by the board. The examination may be conducted by l or more members of the board or l or more duly authorized representatives of the board.

(i) One division of the examination: shall test the applicant's knowledge of appropriate mathematical and basic surveying subjects. Another division shall test the applicant's ability to apply his knowledge and experience and to assume responsible charge of work in the professional practice of land surveying. Another division shall require oral examination of the applicant's personal qualifications and attitudes with respect to his profession by the board.

(j) An applicant failing an examination may, upon payment of another examination fee, be reexamined.

(k) Any applicant who has passed the examination prescribed by the board shall, upon payment of the registration fee, receive from the board a permanent certificate of registration and a card signifying registration for that calendar year. These shall be signed by the chairman and 1 member of the board and shall signify compliance with this chapter.

(l) The board may, upon application therefor and the payment of the application and registration fees fixed by statute, issue a certificate of registration without examination to any person who holds a valid, unrevoked, and unexpired certificate of registration or license issued to him by any other state or territory of the United States, when the applicant has received the certificate or license by virtue of an examination comparable to that required for registration pursuant to this chapter and when the applicant's qualifications meet the requirements of this chapter.

(m) A duplicate certificate of registration to replace one lost, destroyed, or mutilated may be issued by the board, subject to its rules and the payment of the fee therefor as fixed by statute.

(n) Upon being registered, the professional surveyor shall obtain a seal of the design authorized by the board bearing the registrant's name, certificate number, and the words "Registered Professional Surveyor, American Samoa".

(o) An unrevoked, unsuspended, and unexpired certificate of registration or renewal certificate, issued by the board is presumptive evidence in all courts and all places that the person named is legally registered under this chapter.

(p) A temporary certificate of registration as a professional surveyor may be granted, upon payment of the temporary registration fee fixed by statute, if the applicant complies with each of the following provisions:

(1) He maintains no place of business in this territory;

(2) He is legally and professionally qualified to do land surveying in the state, territory , or country in which he maintains a place of business to do land surveying;

(3) His practice as a professional surveyor in this territory does not require more than 60 calendar days in any 1 calendar year; and;

(4) He notifies the board of his intention to practice, stating the approximate date when he intends to commence and the approximate length of time he expects to continue. The board, after having determined that the applicant is qualified and has complied with the provisions of this chapter, may issue a temporary certificate to practice for a period not to exceed 60 days.

31.0205 Renewal of certificates.

(a) Any certificate issued under this chapter shall remain in effect until 31 Dec next following date of issuance of the certificate.

(b) Any registered professional surveyor certified under this chapter who wishes to continue the practice of his profession into the next calendar year shall, by 15 Jan of that year, secure from the secretary of the board a renewal slip and pay to the department of revenue an annual renewal fee as established by statute. Upon presentation of receipt of the payment, the secretary of the board shall issue to the registrant a card certifying his right to practice for the next calendar year.

(c) Any certificate which has expired for nonpayment of the annual renewal fee may be restored, within 1 year from its expiration, under rules prescribed by the board and by payment of the delinquency fee fixed by statute.

31.0206 Monuments - Precision standards - Datum connection - Record contents.

(a) Monuments set shall be sufficient in number and durability and efficiently placed so as not to be readily disturbed and to assure, together with monuments already existing, the perpetuation of facile reestablishment of any points or lines of the survey. Any monument set by a registered professional surveyor to mark or reference a point on a property line or land line shall be permanently and visibly marked or tagged with the certificate number of the surveyor setting it, the numbers to be preceded by the letters ,"R.P.S." if the monument is set by a public agency, it shall be marked with the recognized initials of the agency.

(b) All surveys for record shall be made using, as minimum equipment, steel tape graduated to one-hundredth of a foot (0.01 ft.) or I millimeter and angle-measuring instruments with verniers having a least count of I minute of arc. All measurements shall be made in accordance with standard survey practice. Minimum precision, as computed by latitudes and departures, acceptable for recording of the survey shall be as follows:

(1) Land which is generally clear or which has an elevation difference of less than 50 feet between the highest and lowest points on the boundary shall be surveyed to an error of closure of not less than I part in 5,000.

(2) Land which is more than 50% bush or has an elevation difference of more than 50 feet between the highest and lowest points on the boundary shall be surveyed to an error of closure not less than I part in 3,500.

(3) Land which has an elevation difference of more than 200 feet between the highest and the lowest points on the boundary shall be surveyed to an error of closure of not less than I part in 2,000.

(4) Vertical closures shall not exceed .05 feet times the square root of the traverse distance in miles.

(c) All surveys shall be connected to the American Samoa Datum. A record of survey may not be registered unless it also shows, or is accompanied by, a map showing the control scheme through which the coordinates were determined from points of known coordinates, and contains within the map or along the margin thereof, grid ticks showing the orientation of the map to the American Samoa Datum.

(d) A record of survey shall be a map, or copy thereof, filed as provided in 31.0207, legibly drawn on plastic drafting film or other dimensionally stable media, with outside dimensions of 18 and 24 inches ( 450 and 600 mm) or 12 and 18 inches (300 and 450). The left edge shall have a margin of I-I/2 inches (40mm), with a margin of one-half inch ( 15 mm) on the other 3 sides. A record of survey is not required of any survey which is preliminary in nature.

(e) The record of survey shall show the following:

(1) All monuments found, set, reset, replaced, or removed, describing their kind, size, and location, and giving other data relating thereto;

(2) Length and direction of lines and witness monuments, and both a graphic and written scale of the map (when azimuths are used, the origin shall be grid south);

(3) Name of land in which the parcel is located or of which it is a part, together with ties to adjoining tracts or parcels;

(4) Certificates required by subsection (f) and (g) of this section;

(5) Coordinate ticks American Samoa Datum;

(6) An arrow showing the north direction; and

(7) Any other data necessary for the intelligent interpretation of the various items and locations of points, lines, and areas shown.

(f) The surveyor shall affix to the map a statement or stamp in the general form of the following:


This map correctly represents a survey, having a precision of 1 in __________ as computed by latitudes and departures, and was made by me or under my direction in conformance with the Code and Rules of the Territory of American Samoa at the request of __________________________________ in ______________________ 19___.

Signed and Sealed______________________________

Registered Professional Surveyor No ___________________"

(g) In the case of survey prepared for registration of title to land pursuant to 37.0 1.01 through 37.0104 ASCA, the surveyor shall submit to the territorial registrar a certificate signed by the pulenu 'u of the village in. which or nearest to which the land is located to the effect that he gave public oral notice to provide other interested landowners opportunity to be present at the survey said statement to be in the general form of the following:


I, as Pulenu'u of the village of _____________________ in which or nearest to which the land shown on this map is located, certify that I gave public oral notice in the village at a meeting of the chiefs of the village of the time and place of the intended survey and that other interested landowners were entitled to be present during the survey, or any part thereof.

Signed: ________________________


31.0207 Record of survey - Filing, examination, registration.

(a) Within 90 days of the establishment of points or lines, the registered professional surveyor must file with the survey branch manager copies of the record of survey relating to land boundaries or property lines which disclose any of the following:

(1) Material evidence which, in whole or in part does not appear on any map or record previously flied with the survey branch or the registrar of lands;

(2) A material discrepancy with such records;

(3) Evidence that, by reasonable analysis, might result in alternate positions of lines or points; or

(4) The establishment of l or more lines either shown or not shown on such map, the positions of which are not ascertainable from an inspection of such map without trigonometric calculations. A copy of any record of survey flied with the survey branch manager, shall, after being examined by him, be filed with the territorial registrar.

(b) Within 15 days of the date of submission of a record of survey, or within such additional time as may be reasonably necessary , the survey branch manager shall examine it with respect to:

(1) its accuracy of mathematical data and completeness of information as required in 31.0206 (e);

(2) its conformity to other records of satisfactory evidence of errors of such other records;

(3) its compliance with other provisions of this chapter.

(c) If the survey branch manager finds the record of survey to be satisfactory he shall endorse on each copy the following certificate and present 2 copies to the territorial registrar for registration:


This map has been examined by me or under my direction for conformance with the laws of American Samoa and the rules of the board of Registration for Professional Surveyors, and is hereby approved for registration this ________________ day of ______________ 19___.

Signed: ________________________

Survey Branch Manager, DPW"

(d) If the survey branch manager finds the record of survey to be not in compliance with this chapter and the laws of American Samoa, he shall within 15 days of date of submission return it to the surveyor who presented it together with a written statement of correction required for compliance.

(e) If matters appearing on the record of survey cannot be agreed on by the survey branch manager and the registered professional surveyor within 30 days of the date of submission, a list of discrepancies shall be noted on the maps by the survey branch manager, and 2 copies with such notation shall be forwarded by him to the territorial registrar for registration.

(f) The copy of the record of survey filed with the territorial registrar shall be securely fastened by him into a suitable book provided for the purpose. He shall keep proper indexes of such records of survey by district, county, village, name of land, and name of owner. It shall be proper procedure for the territorial registrar to keep 1 copy for public reference and another for safekeeping.

(g) Prior to filing the record of survey, the territorial registrar shall endorse the record with a certificate in the general form of the following:


Filed for record this _________ day of _________________ 19___ at ___________ past ____ o'clock, ___________ M, in Book Number. ____ Page _____, at the request of ________________________________________ of _______________________________ village.

Signed : _____________________________________

Territorial Registrar"

31.0208 Enforcement-Suspension and revocation.

(a) The board shall, within its statutory limitations, enforce all provisions of this chapter and pursue the prosecution, where applicable, of all violators of this chapter.

(b) By majority vote, the board may revoke or suspend for a period not to exceed 2 years the certificate of any professional surveyor whom it finds has committed:

(1) any fraud or deceit in obtaining his registration;

(2) any fraud or incompetency in his practice of surveying; or

(3) any violation of this chapter.

(c) The adjudication of mental illness, or the voluntary commitment to a hospital for a mental illness of any registered professional surveyor, shall constitute a suspension of the right to practice, such suspension to continue until restoration to or declaration of sanity or mental competence.

(d) The board may reissue a license to any person whose license has been revoked if a majority of the board votes in favor of such reinstatement.

31.0209 Former rules superseded.

All previously adopted rules of the board are hereby superseded in their entirety and are no longer in effect.