Member dues for joining & renewals
Members can renew their existing membership several ways:
- Online at aia.org/renew
- By phone at (800) 242 3837, option 2
- By mail: The American Institute of Architects PO Box 64185 Baltimore, MD 21264-4185
Individuals who have never been members or who were formerly members but have been terminated may join online at aia.org/join
The membership cycle is based on the calendar year.
The renewals for the following year start in September and continue throughout the year. Member dues are not prorated for renewing members.
National, state, and local dues for joining and rejoining members are prorated monthly (February-September) based on the following schedule:
In all-volunteer led components, the board and/or a membership committee is typically responsible for member retention and recruitment. All membership applications and payments received by volunteer leaders should be sent immediately to the address on the membership application in order for joining members to be activated. Joining members may also join online at aia.org/join.
Components must report their annual dues rates to AIA by September 15th for National staff to begin the invoicing process. Note that IRS guidelines require 501(c)(6) professional membership organizations to alert members that dues are not deductible as a charitable expense and, if applicable, what percentage of dues were used for direct lobbying. Please consult with your tax professional to establish the deductions.
Some state and local components charge supplemental dues to firms in addition to the standard individual member dues. Each local and state component that charges supplemental dues sets their own rates and policies regarding payment (generally outlined in the component’s bylaws). The principal or managing partner of an architecture firm is required to report and pay the firm’s supplemental dues liability according to local and/or state requirements.
You may request that AIA lapse a membership due to the nonpayment of supplemental dues by emailing email@example.com. However, you must contact the member and notify that person of the change in status and the balance due. The membership will reactivate upon receiving payment in full.
Forms for chapter transfers, Associate to Architect status changes, dues adjustments, and installment may all be found on the membership operational forms page.
Chapter transfers — Members may request to transfer their membership to another component at any time if their home or work is within the new component’s territory. Members don’t have to pay dues to both the old and new component in a single year. If members request to be part of a component outside of their home or work territory, the Secretary of the Institute must approve the request. In this process, both chapters must agree to the transfer prior to the request being sent to the Secretary of the Institute.
Email completed transfer forms to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advancing from associate to architect membership — Associate members who receive an initial license to practice architecture become eligible for architect membership and may not renew their membership as an associate. They should complete the Status Change form and send it along with a copy of their active license.
Emeritus waivers — The Institute Secretary may, on an individual basis, waive (1) all or part of the period of good standing required for emeritus status and/or (2) the age requirement for Emeritus status. Members must complete the Dues Adjustment Waiver form to request a waiver
Dues hardship adjustments & waivers
Members may request a dues adjustment or waiver of dues for exceptional circumstances such as medical disability, family leave, sabbatical, or unemployment.
This is the adjustment and waiver process:
- Member should complete the Dues Adjustment form or submit other written request for waiver/reduction to the local
- The local AND the state component must choose to approve or deny the request. Where the member is assigned both to a local component and a separate state component, either component may submit the waiver on behalf of the member. However, the originating component in that case must certify that it has consulted with the member’s other assigned component regarding the membership dues adjustment or waiver before submitting to the Institute for processing. The signed form should be emailed to email@example.com.
- The Membership department will forward the request to the Institute Secretary final approval or denial (upon receipt of completed waiver form with the member’s written request).
- The member will receive a letter from the Institute informing him or her of the outcome of the
Members who have been granted a dues waiver for three consecutive years and are able to demonstrate circumstances that are compelling and extraordinary should complete a Dues Adjustment Request form—Exceptional Circumstances.
The Membership department makes every effort to retain members who request cancellation of their membership. Both the local and state components will be notified by email when a member submits a request and are asked to follow up with members to try to keep their membership active.
If members do not pay their dues by March 31, their membership lapses. The process is handled through our database the first week of April; the final termination process begins during the first week of January.
Members whose membership lapses for nonpayment of dues in the current year may pay to activate their membership before the end of the current membership year. If they don’t pay their dues by December 31, they will have to be reinstated.
Inactive members who have been terminated for nonpayment of dues may complete a membership application or rejoin online. Reinstating members may rejoin by paying the dues as outlined in the membership schedule for new and reinstating members.
Transfer of Component Funds (ACH)
The Automated Clearing House (ACH) is a nationwide electronic funds transfer (EFT) system that facilitates the interbank clearing of credit and debit transactions and information exchanges among participating financial institutions.
Renewal invoices, new membership applications, and publications fee payments are processed in the centralized database by the Membership department. After a payment batch is processed and closed, it is sent to Accounting to be posted. Accounting posts nightly at approximately 5pm EST. The ACH distribution will appear in component bank accounts by approximately 10am the following morning.
Any component bank changes or updates need to be reported immediately to Accounting. Each component shall be responsible for the monthly reconciliation of deposits, bank accounts, membership and financial reports, and for reporting discrepancies as appropriate.