Get your license: Architects by reciprocity

Find out how to get an architect license in Washington if you already hold one from another state.

Who needs a license?

Anyone who holds an active architect license in another state and wants to work as an architect in Washington can get a license by reciprocity.

How to apply

Follow the steps below to apply for an architect license by reciprocity.

1. Meet the requirements

To qualify for a license by reciprocity, you must:

  • Have a current architect license in good standing in another state, province, or recognized jurisdiction that is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
  • Show that your qualifications and experience are equivalent to those required under the Certificate of registration—Application—Qualifications (RCW 18.08.350).
  • Provide documentation that you’ve met the NCARB seismic exam requirements. See step 3 for types of proof.
    • If you can't prove completion of seismic exam requirements, you may be required to complete that division of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).

2. Take the 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:

3. Transmit your NCARB record

Existing NCARB council records

If you already have an NCARB record, have NCARB transmit your record to us. Once NCARB has transmitted your record, NCARB will send an email to both you and the DOL. After we add the record to your application and our files, it will be reviewed.

Nonexistent NCARB council record

If you do not have an NCARB council record, you will need to request a current state certification and a certification of written examination from the NCARB-recognized jurisdiction where you were originally registered. This includes verification that you successfully completed the ARE and seismic requirements. Have them sent to the address shown below.

If you've been licensed for at least nine years, go to step three.

If you've been licensed less than 9 years:

  1. Request an official college transcript indicating the degree you received and have it sent to the address shown below.
  2. Complete an Architect Applicant Employment and Experience Summary form for each work experience you are having verified. Have the verifier complete their part and return the form to the address shown at the top of the form.
  3. Have proof that you’ve completed the Architect Experience Program (AXP) or Intern Development Program (IDP) sent directly to us. You can get this proof from:
    • NCARB – You must pay a fee to NCARB to release this information directly to us, or
    • The state where you got your initial license – The document must state that you completed the program and include how many hours and years you completed, and have the state board seal. Send directly to us at the address below.

Mailing address for third party submissions:

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

4. 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 online. Have your completed Architect Law Review Exam ready to upload.

Log into SecureAccess Washington (SAW)

Don't have a SAW account? Learn how to create a SAW account to submit and pay the reciprocity application and license fees.

Submit your application by mail

Complete the Architect Registration Initial Application.

Mail your application, Architect Law Review Exam, and a check or money order (payable to the Department of Licensing) for the reciprocity application and license fees to:

Washington State Board for Architects
Department of Licensing
PO Box 3777
Seattle, WA 98124-3777

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

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