Get your license: Architects (by exam)

If you don't have an accredited architecture degree, learn how to get your license through practical experience and passing an exam.

Who needs a license?

Anyone who wants to work as an architect and doesn't have an accredited architecture degree. 

How to apply

Follow the steps below to apply for your architect license.

1. Meet the requirements

To get your license, you must have:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent.
  • At least 8 years of practical architecture work experience, including completing the Architectural Experience Program.
  • Passed the Architect Registration Examination (ARE)
  • Passed the Architect Law Review Exam 

Please note that the Law Review Exam for individuals applying by exam without an accredited degree does not need to be taken until after you have passed all of the AREs. In this case, if you are applying online, you would need to create a document that states that you will take the Law Review Exam after passing all of the AREs and upload it during the application process in lieu of the Law Review Exam. Once you have passed all of the AREs, please complete the Law Review Exam and email it to us at

2. Have education and experience verification sent to us

Send us any official transcripts, records, or experience verification (Architect Employment and Experience Summary and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Architectural Experience Program record). To send us these records, please have your school directly email them to or send to the following address:

Washington State Board for Architects
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9012
Olympia, WA 98507-9012

3. Take your exams

Architect Registration Exam

Take and pass all divisions of the ARE. If you don't pass a division of the exam the first time, you can retest until you pass.

Architect Law Review Exam

Complete, sign, and date an Architect Law Review Exam. You must score 100% to pass. The exam covers the following laws and rules:

4. Complete the required documents

Complete the following documents and send them to verifiers.

5. Submit your application

Lastly, you will submit your application either online or by mail.

Submit your application online

You'll receive your license faster by applying and paying the application fee online.

Log into SecureAccess Washington (SAW)

Don't have a SAW account? Learn how to create an account. You will receive instructions on paying the licensing fee when you are ready to be licensed.

Submit your application by mail

Mail your forms with a check or money order (payable to the Department of Licensing) for the application fee to:

Washington State Board for Architects
Department of Licensing
PO Box 3777
Olympia, WA 98507-3777

After you have passed all of your exams and are ready to be licensed, mail us a check or money order for your 2-year license fee. The 2-year license fee is $110.50, which consists of a $104 licensing fee and a required $6.50 building code council fee.

Need additional help? Here's how to contact us:

call Phone: 360-664-1388
(TTY: Call 711)
mail Email:
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