Washington Architect License Exam

How to Get Your Washington Architect License

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On this page, you’ll find an exhaustive guide on the Washington Architect License Requirements and the Architect Registration process in Washington. It provides all the crucial information you need including state regulations, application fees, and filing instructions among other relevant details. If you need any assistance related to the licensing process, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to offer further details about our software and managed license services to support your needs.

How do I become an architect in Washington?

To achieve architectural licensure in Washington, WA, the first prerequisite is securing a professional architectural degree from a program sanctioned by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Typically, this entails pursuing either a five-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) or a two-year Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree. Subsequent to attaining the degree, requisite practical exposure is gained through internships or apprenticeships. The Washington State Board for Architects, Landscape Architects, and Professional Engineers mandates a minimum of 3,740 hours of experiential learning, which must be validated by a licensed architect.

Once the educational and practical components are completed, aspiring architects are required to successfully pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), a rigorous exam that probes the candidate’s architectural knowledge and proficiency across different domains. This exam is divided into six sections, which can be attempted in any sequence but must be completed within a span of five years. Alongside the ARE, the Washington State Supplemental Exam, assessing state-specific legislative knowledge and regulations, must also be cleared.

After securing the necessary exam scores, applicants can submit their licensure application to the Washington State Board for Architects, Landscape Architects, and Professional Engineers. This step involves filling out an application form, paying the designated fee, and supplying evidence of your academic qualifications, practical experience, and examination results. Upon approval of the application, the candidate is granted a license to practice architecture within Washington state.

Moreover, to uphold their license, architects in Washington are obligated to fulfill continuous education requirements. This mandate necessitates the completion of specific hours of approved coursework or professional advancement activities biennially. Non-compliance with these requisites could lead to punitive measures, including the suspension or cancellation of the license.

How Do I Take The Architect Registration Examination In Washington?

Company Licenses

Washington Architectural Firm Permit

  • Agency: Washington State Department of Licensing – State Board of Architects
  • Law: RCW § 18.08.420
  • Eligible Entity Types:
  • Business Corporations
  • Professional Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Professional Limited Liability Companies
  • Partnerships
  • Do I Need To Have A Foreign Qualification?: Yes
  • Ownership Requirements:
  • Business Corporations:
  • A minimum of one director should be a licensed architect in Washington.
  • Professional Corporations:
  • All shareholders, administrators, and officers, barring the secretary and the treasurer, must be accredited in a profession the firm performs.
  • Limited Liability Companies:
  • At least one of the firm’s managers must be an architect with a valid Washington license.
  • Professional Limited Liability Companies:
  • Each member and manager must hold a license in a profession the firm offers.
  • Partnerships:
  • A minimum of one partner should hold an architect license in Washington.
  • Is an exam required?: Not Set
  • Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?: Not Set
  • Qualifying Individual Requirements: The organization must select a representative architect who:
  • Holds a valid architecture license in Washington State.
  • Takes responsibility for your firm’s architectural practice.
  • Has the authority to make all final architectural decisions concerning work executed in Washington on behalf of your business.
  • Is regularly employed in the office and has firsthand knowledge and control over the work your business performs in Washington.
  • Holds a governing role in the business, which means they are:
  • A general partner, if the firm operates as a partnership or limited liability partnership (LLP).
  • A manager, if the firm operates as a limited liability company (LLC).
  • A director, if the firm operates as a business corporation or professional service corporation.

First-Time Applicants

The following information pertains to architectural firms seeking an initial license in Washington. If you currently possess a license and wish to renew it, please refer to the renewal section.

  • Fill out the Business License Application and Registered Professional Design Firm Addendum
  • Agency Fee: $19 business license fee + $292 new application fee + $6.50 surcharge fee
  • Original Ink is not required
  • Notarize is not required
  • Note: Enterprises with branch offices in Washington must nominate a currently licensed professional engineer and/or land surveyor to take “responsible charge” for the services offered at the branch location.

Before Applying, Take In Consideration:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. Validate your business entity’s compliance with ownership guidelines.
  2. Choose a full-time employee who holds a Washington architecture license to supervise the firm’s architectural activities in Washington.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Validate your Washington entity’s compliance with ownership guidelines.
  2. Choose a full-time employee who holds a Washington architecture license to supervise the firm’s architectural activities in Washington.
  3. Obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state’s business entity (necessary for the foreign qualification process). Ensure that this certificate is no older than 60 days when filing foreign qualification documents.

How to apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. Submit entity formation documents to the Washington Secretary of State – Corporations Division.
  2. Submit a Business License Application and a Registered Professional Design Firm Addendum to the Department of Revenue – Business Licensing Service, or execute the online application process to achieve a license.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Submit foreign qualification documents to the Washington Secretary of State – Corporations Division.
  2. Submit a Business License Application and a Registered Professional Design Firm Addendum to the Department of Revenue – Business Licensing Service, or execute the online application process to achieve a license.

Must-have Attachments

  • An Affidavit for the Designated Engineer/Land Surveyor (page 3 of this application)
  • A Resolution from the Corporate/LLC, naming the designated engineer, land surveyor, or both (page 4 of this application)

Registration Renewal

  • Submission method: online
  • Agency Fee: $45.50 renewal fee + $11 processing fee.
  • Due: Annually by date of initial issuance.
  • Original Ink is not required
  • Notarize is not required
  • Note: Renewal notifications are sent to license holders approximately six weeks ahead of the expiration date. A Designated Architect Addendum must be submitted for each designated architect during the renewal process.

Must-have Attachments

  • For each designated architect, an addendum must be prepared and attached.

Amendment

Individual Licenses

Washington Architect License

  • Agency: Washington State Department of Licensing – State Board of Architects 
  • Do I Need To Have A Foreign Qualification?: Not Set
  • Is an exam required?: Yes
  • Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?: Not Set

First-Time Applicants

Reciprocal Registration

Registration Renewal

  • Fill out the Architect Renewal Application
  • Submission method: mail or online. 
  • Agency Fee: $109 renewal fee + $6.50 Washington State Building Code Council fee
  • Due: Licenses should be renewed every two years, adhering to the license holder’s birth date. The renewal process may commence 120 days prior to the license expiration date.

Washington Landscape Architect License

  • Agency: Washington Board of Licensure for Landscape Architects
  • Do I Need To Have A Foreign Qualification?: Not Set
  • Is an exam required?: Not Set
  • Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?: Not Set

First-Time Applicants

Reciprocal Registration

Registration Renewal

  • Fill out the Landscape Architect Renewal Application
  • Submission method: mail or online. 
  • Agency Fee: $590
  • Due: Licenses should be renewed every two years, adhering to the license holder’s birth date. The renewal process may commence 120 days prior to the license expiration date.

Non-State Level Architecture Firm Licenses in Washington

This section aims to clarify licenses that are not required in Washington for architecture firms.

Washington Interior Design Firm License

Washington does not have state-level licensure requirements for interior design firms. There is no current licensing or registration process for interior design businesses in Washington.

Washington Landscape Architecture Firm License

In the state of Washington, there’s no mandatory licensure at the state level for Landscape Architecture Firms.

Additional details can be found at: Washington’s Board of Licensure for Landscape Architects.

Washington Landscape Architecture License

There are no state-level licensure requirements for Interior Designers in Washington.

Register for the Architect Registration Examination

Securing an architect’s license in Washington opens up a world of opportunities to practice architecture in the state. The journey commences with the pursuit of a professional degree in architecture, a fundamental requirement in your quest to become a licensed architect. This degree is not just a piece of paper, but a testament to your knowledge and comprehension of architectural principles, a rite of passage that equips you with the tools to craft and shape the built environment.

Remember, it’s important that your architecture degree is obtained from a program accredited by a recognized body such as the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). This accreditation assures that the program meets the industry’s standards and provides the necessary skills and training.

Architect registration in Washington is a crucial step that formalizes your standing in the industry. This process includes satisfying the state’s requirements and passing the relevant examinations. With this license, you will have the legal authority to practice architecture, offering your expertise to develop the Washington landscape. Now that you are armed with this information, you’re one step closer to realizing your architectural aspirations.

Disclaimer: These requirements are subject to change based on approval board discretion. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Washington Department of Licensing

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