(a) Applications for certificates of registration may be submitted only on forms prescribed and furnished by the board. The board shall promptly notify any applicant of the requirements for receipt of a certificate of registration and the schedule of fees established by it for receipt of a completed application.

(b)(1) The board may issue a certificate of registration authorizing an individual to engage in the practice of interior design and use the title of interior designer in the State of Alabama, only if:

a. The applicant is determined by the board to be of good moral character.

b. The applicant has successfully passed the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination, or an equivalent examination, accepted and approved by the board, based on the standards set by the NCIDQ.

c. The applicant is a graduate of a Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER) accredited interior design program or its equivalent based on content standards set by FIDER.

(2) Each applicant shall have a combined minimum record of passing 48 semester or 60 quarter hours of board approved interior design education and practical experience under the guidance of a person holding a valid certificate of registration, or any individual approved by the board to total a minimum of six years.

(3) The board shall approve the equivalent interior design educational programs based on content standards set by FIDER and standards set by the NCIDQ or subsequent and equal accrediting and testing agencies.

(c) The board shall adopt rules providing for the review and approval of the aforementioned required full-time interior design experience and educational programs. For purposes of this section, full-time experience means at least 35 hours per week; 40 semester hours or 60 quarter hours in an approved collegiate level interior design program are equivalent to two years of education.

(d) Those applicants found qualified by the board shall be granted a certificate of registration which shall bear the registration number, the full name of the applicant, the date and term of issuance, the seal of the board, and the signature of the chair and the Secretary of State. Every certificate of registration shall be maintained in the possession of the individual to whom it is issued and shall be posted in the business office where he or she practices.

(e) Certificates of registration shall expire and become invalid on the 30th day of September following their issuance or renewal, unless renewed in accordance with this chapter. Certificates of registration issued to those who are in the armed forces of the United States shall not expire until the 30th day of September following the individual’s discharge or final separation from the armed forces of the United States. Renewal may be accomplished at any time prior to and during the month of September by the payment of an annual fee, as prescribed by the board, through procedures as may be developed by the board.

(f) Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection (b), any individual registered as an interior designer on August 1, 2001, pursuant to Chapter 15A of this title shall be entitled, upon application to the board within a period of one year after August 1, 2001, to receive a certificate of registration under this chapter.

(g) Any individual registered or licensed to practice interior design in any state of the United States, other than the State of Alabama, who has successfully passed the NCIDQ examination or an equivalent examination, accepted and approved by the board, may apply for a certificate of registration which shall be issued if the individual otherwise complies with the requirements imposed on all applicants.