Policies: Washington State Board for Architects

Read the Washington State Board for Architects policies for incomplete applications, disaster relief licensing, life safety, military training or experience, and stamping and sealing authority.

Board policies direct activities in the following areas:

Incomplete applications

If a licensing applicant fails to complete the licensing process and his/her records show no activity for 5 consecutive years, the board will consider the application abandoned. Showing no activity includes, but is not limited to:

  • Failure to submit the required documents within 5 consecutive years from the receipt of the most recent information submitted.
  • Failure to provide the board with any written communication during 5 consecutive years indicating the applicant is attempting to complete the licensing process.

If the application is considered abandoned, it may be archived or destroyed, and the applicant will be required to reapply for licensure and comply with the licensing requirements in effect at the time of reapplication.

Disaster relief licensing

Registration of out-of-state registrants (RCW 18.08.400)

Out-of-state architects entering Washington State to do work under disaster relief must be licensed in Washington. If the architect is a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Certificate holder, the Washington State Board for Architects will expedite the licensing process and issue a license within 7 working days.

If an architect is not licensed in Washington State and is not an NCARB certificate holder, the architect must align with a local, licensed architect.

Life safety as it relates to RCW 18.08.410(7)

Life safety is affected if the work contemplated includes but is not limited to:

  • Alteration of any fire-rated construction.
  • Alteration of any means of egress defined by the building codes.
  • Alteration of a building such that the number of occupants in the affected space(s) would be increased or the occupancy type changed.

Military training or experience

Military training or experience (RCW 18.08.500)

The board will evaluate applicants with military training or experience on a case-by-case basis to determine if the experience/training meets the licensing requirements.

POL500-1, Board, 2/2012.

Stamping and sealing authority

Architects are required to sign and seal technical submissions prepared by them and are allowed to sign works created by others under certain limited conditions found in RCW 18.08.370 (3). Additionally, the Board recognizes the possibility of unforeseen events (i.e. closing a business, termination of a contract for architectural services with or without cause, delay of a project, disputes, death, or similar situations) which result in a situation where the initial architect is unavailable to sign and seal as architect-of-record.

In this event, you may be a subsequent architect engaged to provide ongoing architectural services for a project. In order to be consistent with the other allowed conditions in RCW 18.08.370(3) some form of a written dissolution agreement or granting of permission with the original architect and/or the legal owner of the documents must have been executed. Verification of such agreement(s) is your responsibility and if there is any doubt you are advised to contact your legal counsel. After satisfaction of this condition, you become architect-of-record with stamp and seal authority. Your professional duties, obligations, and responsibilities as a subsequent architect are the same as if you were the original architect.

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