Get your certificate: Court reporters

Learn how to get your court reporter certificate by exam, national association certification, or reciprocity.

Who needs a license?

You must get a certificate in the state of Washington before you may represent yourself as a court reporter (Chapter 18.145 RCW). Representing yourself as a court reporter means referring to yourself as any of the following:

  • Shorthand reporter
  • Court reporter
  • Certified shorthand reporter
  • Certified court reporter

How to apply

Follow the steps below to get your court reporter certificate.

1. Choose how you want to get certified

There are three ways to become a certified court reporter in Washington:

  • Pass the Washington State court reporter exam
  • Using your certification through the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) or National Stenomask Verbatim Reporters Association (NSVRA)
  • By reciprocity (using your certification from another state)

2. Gather required documents

If applying using a certificate from a national association, you must have:

  • Documentation to verify your certification

If applying by reciprocity, you must have:

  • A copy of your current license or other proof of licensure
  • Proof you've passed an exam that meets or exceeds Washington State standards

3. Submit your application

Submit your application online

Get your license faster by applying online!

Log into SecureAccess Washington (SAW)

Don't have a SAW account? Learn how to create a SAW account.

If applying by exam:
Select "General Application."

If applying using a national association certificate:
Select "Reciprocity."

If applying by reciprocity:
Select "Reciprocity."

Submit your application by mail

Complete a Court Reporter Certification Application.

Mail your form(s) and a check or money order (payable to the Department of Licensing) for the application fee to:

Court Reporter Program
Department of Licensing
PO Box 35001
Seattle, WA 98124-3401
If applying by exam:
We'll schedule you for the next exam date and notify you by mail with the details.

Frequently asked questions

Licensing questions

Are temporary certificates issued in Washington State?


I'm licensed in another state. Do I need to have a Washington State court reporter license to work in the state of Washington?

Yes. Chapter 18.145.010 RCW states that “no person may represent himself or herself as a court reporter without first obtaining a certificate as required by this chapter."

I have a court reporter certificate from the National Court Reporters Association. Can I get a court reporter certificate in Washington State without taking the state court reporter exam?

If your certificate is current, we can issue you a Washington certificate.

Notary public

Do I have to be a notary public to become a court reporter?

No, it's not a requirement. However, to notarize a document you must have a notary license. See Notaries Public for more information.

Transcription questions

How long does a court reporter have to keep their notes?

Transcribed notes must be kept for at least 3 years. Untranscribed notes must be kept for at least 10 years or as required by statute, whichever is longer.

What is the definition of a standard line as referenced in WAC 308-14-010 or WAC 308-14-135(3)?

"Standard line" is a line that can be determined by looking at a full line of text and counting from the first letter, including punctuation and spaces, to the last letter of that line. The standard line doesn't include a "Q" or "A," or the numbers on the left side of the page. There are no fewer than 54 and no more than 60 characters per standard line of text.

Charging fees

Do I have to offer my court reporting services and fees to all parties on equal terms?

Yes. All certified court reporters (CCR) must offer arrangements on a case concerning court reporter services or fees to all parties on equal terms except where different standards are established by a court or governmental agency. See WAC 308-14-130 (1).

What are my obligations if a transcript is ordered on an expedited basis?

You must offer the same service and expedited fees to all parties on equal terms in addition to notifying all parties when transcripts are ordered.

For veterans, military personnel, and partners

Your military experience or training might help you meet licensing requirements. You may also be able to get a temporary license if you're moving here with a current license from another state. Learn more about using your military training to meet professional license requirements.

If you're a U.S. veteran, you may be eligible for partial reimbursement of your fees. Learn more about getting reimbursed for fees.

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

call Phone: 360-664-6633
(TTY: Call 711)
mail Email:
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