Engineering Licensing Compliance Guide
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Washington Engineering Industry Licensing

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Licensing requirements for engineering industry firms and individuals in Washington.

This page provides an overview of engineering industry licensing in Washington for individuals and firms. You will find state requirements, application fees, filing instructions, and more. For assistance with licensing, please contact us to learn about our software and managed license services.

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Company Licenses

Washington Engineering Company Licenses

Washington Certificate of Authorization (Engineering and/or Land Surveying)

Agency:Washington Board of Registration for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors (BORPELS)
Law:

RCW § 18.43.130

Eligible Entity Types:
  • Business Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Partnerships
  • Joint Stock Associations
Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Ownership Requirements:

Business Corporations:

  • Officers and directors need not be licensed, but the corporation must appoint a Washington licensed individual to be responsible for all professional activities undertaken by the firm in Washington.

Professional Corporations:

  • All shareholders, directors, and all officers, other than the secretary and the treasurer, must be licensed in a profession performed by the firm.

Limited Liability Companies:

  • Members and managers need not be licensed, but the LLC must appoint a Washington licensed individual to be responsible for all professional activities undertaken by the firm in Washington.

Professional Limited Liability Companies:

  • All members and managers must be licensed in a profession performed by the firm.

Partnerships:

  • Partners need not be licensed, but the partnership must appoint a Washington licensed individual to be responsible for all professional activities undertaken by the firm in Washington.
Notes:

Professional service corporations and professional limited liability companies are not required to hold a certificate of authorization to perform engineering services in Washington.

Requirement Notes:


  • General Business License required
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Initial Registration

Form:

Corporation or Limited Liability Company Certificate of Authorization Application and a Designated Engineer/Land Surveyor Affidavit

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$150

Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Identify a Washington licensed engineer and/or land surveyor, who is a full-time employee, to be in responsible charge of the firm's engineering and/or surveying activities in Washington.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Identify a Washington licensed engineer and/or land surveyor, who is a full-time employee, to be in responsible charge of the firm's engineering and/or surveying activities in Washington.
  • Obtain a certificate of good standing from your business entity's home state (to be filed during the foreign qualification process). The certificate cannot be more than 60 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Washington Secretary of State - Corporations Division.
  2. File a business license application with the Department of Revenue.
  3. File a Corporation or Limited Liability Company Certificate of Authorization Application and a Designated Engineer/Land Surveyor Affidavit with the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors or complete the online application process to obtain a license.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. File foreign qualification documents with the Washington Secretary of State - Corporations Division.
  2. File a business license application with the Department of Revenue.
  3. File a Corporation or Limited Liability Company Certificate of Authorization Application and a Designated Engineer/Land Surveyor Affidavit with the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors or complete the online application process to obtain a license.
Required Attachments:
  • Individual qualifier must sign an affidavit consenting to the appointment (part of the application)
  • Corporate resolution naming the  qualified individual is required (part of the application)
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$110

Due:

Annually by the end of the registration anniversary month.

Required Attachments:
  • List of licensees in responsible charge of the firm's professional services
  • List of branch office locations including licensee in responsible charge
Fact Checked:4/15/20

Amendment

Form:

Change of Designated Engineer/Land Surveyor

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 30 days of the effective date of the change.

Notes:

Other information updates should be reported to the board in writing.

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Washington Geology Firm License

Not required



Geoscience Firm licensure is not required on the State level in Washington.

More information: Washington Department of Licensing - Geologist Licensing Board

Individual Licenses

Washington Individual Engineering Licenses

Washington Engineer-in-Training Certification

Agency:Washington Board of Registration for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors (BORPELS)
Fact Checked:7/3/18

Initial Registration

Form:

Certification Application

Agency Fee:

$0

Fact Checked:11/2/18

Renewal Not Required

Not required



Washington Geologist License

Agency:Washington Department of Licensing - Geologist Licensing Board
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

(3) The terms "signature" or "signed" as used in chapter 18.220 RCW and this chapter, mean the following:

(a) A handwritten identification or a digital representation of your handwritten identification that represents the act of putting your name on a document to attest to its validity. The handwritten or digital identification must be: (i) Original and written by hand, or a scanned image of an original, handwritten identification; (ii) Permanently affixed to the document(s) being certified; (iii) Applied to the document by the identified licensee; (iv) Placed across the seal/stamp of the licensee.

(b) A digital identification is an electronic authentication process attached to or logically associated with an electronic document. The digital identification may include a scanned or digitized signature. The digital identification must be: (i) Unique to the licensee using it; (ii) Capable of independent verification; (iii) Under the exclusive control of the licensee using it; and (iv) Linked to a document in such a manner that the digital identification is invalidated if any data in the document are changed. Final work products prepared pursuant to regulatory compliance shall be stamped consistent with this section and are not considered exemptions under RCW 18.220.190(4).

WAC 196-23-075

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Digital Sealing Guidelines:

Upon licensure, you must obtain a seal bearing your name, license number, and the legend "State of Washington Licensed Geologist." If you are licensed as an engineering geologist or hydrogeologist, the specialty must be noted on the seal. Seals may be physically or digitally produced.

WAC 196-23-070

Fact Checked:5/24/21

Initial Registration

Form:

Geologist and/or Specialty License Application

Agency Fee:

$100 application fee + $300 exam fee.

Fact Checked:5/22/21

Registration Renewal

Form:

Geologist/Specialty Renewal Application

Agency Fee:

$100 (+$85 per endorsement if applicable)

Due:

Annually by the licensee's date of birth.

Fact Checked:5/22/21

Washington Land Surveyor-in-Training Certification

Agency:Washington Board of Registration for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors (BORPELS)
Fact Checked:6/4/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Land Surveyor-in-Training Registration Application

Agency Fee:

$0

Fact Checked:6/3/19

Renewal Not Required

Not required



Washington Professional Engineer License

Agency:Washington Board of Registration for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors (BORPELS)
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

The terms "signature or signed," as used in chapter 18.43 RCW and/or Title 196 WAC, means the following:

(1) A handwritten identification or a digital representation of your handwritten identification that represents the act of putting your name on a document to attest to its validity. The handwritten or digital identification must be: (a) Original and written by hand, or a scanned image of an original, handwritten identification; (b) Permanently affixed to the document(s) being certified; (c) Applied to the document by the identified licensee; and (d) Placed directly over the seal/stamp of the licensee.

(2) A digital identification that is an electronic authentication process attached to or logically associated with an electronic document. The digital identification may include a scanned or digitized signature. The digital identification must be: (a) Unique to the licensee using it; (b) Capable of independent verification; (c) Under the exclusive control of the licensee using it; and (d) Linked to a document in such a manner that the digital identification is invalidated if any data in the document is changed.

WAC 196-23-070

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Fact Checked:5/14/21

Initial Registration

Form:

Professional Engineer Registration Application

Agency Fee:

$65

Fact Checked:5/20/21

Registration Renewal

Form:

Professional Engineer Renewal Application

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$116

Due:

Biennially by the licensee's birthday. The initial license will expire on the next occurrence of the engineer's birth date. If the next birth date is within three months of the initial date of licensure, the original license will expire on the engineer's second birth date following original licensure.

Fact Checked:5/20/21

Washington Professional Land Surveyor License

Agency:Washington Board of Registration for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors (BORPELS)
Fact Checked:6/4/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Professional Land Surveyor Registration Application

Agency Fee:

$140

Fact Checked:6/3/19

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$116

Due:

Biennially by the licensee's date of birth.

Fact Checked:6/3/19

Washington Structural Engineer License

Agency:Washington Board of Registration for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors (BORPELS)
Allow Digital Signatures?Yes
Digital Signature Guidelines:

The terms "signature or signed," as used in chapter 18.43 RCW and/or Title 196 WAC, means the following:

(1) A handwritten identification or a digital representation of your handwritten identification that represents the act of putting your name on a document to attest to its validity. The handwritten or digital identification must be: (a) Original and written by hand, or a scanned image of an original, handwritten identification; (b) Permanently affixed to the document(s) being certified; (c) Applied to the document by the identified licensee; and (d) Placed directly over the seal/stamp of the licensee.

(2) A digital identification that is an electronic authentication process attached to or logically associated with an electronic document. The digital identification may include a scanned or digitized signature. The digital identification must be: (a) Unique to the licensee using it; (b) Capable of independent verification; (c) Under the exclusive control of the licensee using it; and (d) Linked to a document in such a manner that the digital identification is invalidated if any data in the document is changed.

WAC 196-23-070

Allow Digital Sealing?Yes
Fact Checked:5/14/21

Initial Registration

Form:

Structural Engineer Registration Application

Agency Fee:

$65

Fact Checked:5/20/21

Registration Renewal

Form:

Professional Engineer Renewal Application

Agency Fee:

$116

Due:

Biennially by the licensee's birthday.

Notes:

Licensees who hold more than one type of engineering license only need to file a single renewal application and pay the $116 fee.

Fact Checked:5/20/21

Learn about engineering licensing in other states:

Design Firm - Engineering firm registration is sometimes grouped with architecture and land surveying on a single “design firm” application form.

EI (Engineering Intern) - A term also used to describe an Engineer in Training.

EIT (Engineer in Training) - A professional designation granted upon having completed at least 3 years of school at an ABET-accredited university and having passed the FE exam.

FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) - An exam testing on basic engineering principles that is required to become an engineer in training.

PE (Professional Engineer or 'Principles and Practice in Engineering') - Means either Professional Engineer or refers to the Principles and Practice in Engineering exam that is a prerequisite for an engineering license.

Reciprocity - When a licensed engineer in one state can provide documentation (often an NCEES Record) to more easily apply for a license in another jurisdiction.

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
Accrediting board that sets standards for university programs in a variety of applied science disciplines.

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
Engineering, architecture, and land surveying advocacy group.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Organization that provides continuing education, professional conferences, and advocacy efforts to the civil engineering community.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Mechanical engineering organization that focuses on education and professional development.

Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC)
Reviews accreditation requirements and makes final decisions regarding the accreditation process.

National Council of Examiners for Engineering & Surveying (NCEES)
Develops, administers, and scores the exams used for engineering licenses.

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
NSPE is an advocacy group for professional engineers.

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