Get your license: Home inspectors

Learn how to get licensed as a home inspector.

Who needs a license?

Anyone who examines the conditions of a home for a fee.

Note: We do not license commercial building inspectors. They are usually licensed by your county or local municipality. 

How to apply

Follow these steps to get your home inspector license.

1. Meet the education and training requirements

You must take a Washington State Home Inspectors Board-approved, 120-hour Fundamentals of Home Inspection course. View a list of approved courses.

After you take your Fundamentals of Home Inspection course, you must mentor with an experienced home inspector. You must complete 40 hours of field training and 5 actual inspections.

2. Gather the required documents

  • Completed Home Inspector Examination Application (if you apply by mail)
  • Your certificate of completion from a Washington State Home Inspectors Board-approved Fundamentals of Home Inspection course
  • Training log showing 40 hours of field training

3. Take the exam

Apply to take the required exam using the method that works best for you.

Option 1: Apply to take the exam online

You can apply to take the exam online. You'll need a SecureAccess Washington account to apply.

Log into SecureAccess Washington (SAW)

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

Option 2: Apply to take the exam by mail

Mail your application and supporting documents to:

Home Inspectors
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9021
Olympia, WA 98507-9021

4. Wait for us to process your application

After you submit your Exam Application, you will receive either:

  • An exam approval letter or email from our testing vendor indicating that your application is complete and providing you with information to schedule your exam, including your assigned ID number for our testing vendor, or
  • A letter or email from us requesting additional information so we can process your application

5. Pass the Home Inspector Exam

You will pay the $300 exam fee when you schedule your exam.

  • Review the Home Inspector Examination Candidate Handbook (only available in English) before you take the exam
  • You must bring your photo ID to the testing site
  • You will receive your exam results (pass or fail report) as you leave the testing center

How to schedule your exam

Visit our testing vendor's website to schedule your exam.

  1. Select "Real Estate" as the category
  2. Select "Washington Home Inspector Program" as the program
  3. Select "Home Inspector Examination" as the examination
  4. Select "Schedule/Apply for this Exam"
  5. Provide the required information, including your Assigned ID number, to select your desired testing site

If you fail the exam

The cost to retake the exam is $125 for the state portion, and $250 for the national portion.

  • You must wait 24 hours after your exam before scheduling to retake it with the exam provider
  • You must wait 30 days before you can attempt to retake the exam
  • There are no restrictions regarding the number of attempts
  • You must pass the applicable portion(s) within your 2-year eligibility period before applying for a license

Experience and education requirements

Level of experience Education and training or documentation required Exam required

New Inspectors
Those who have not actively performed home inspections

  • Fundamentals of Home Inspection (120 clock hours)
  • Field training (40 hours)
Full exam

Out-of-state inspectors
Those who have been licensed as a home inspector in good standing for at least 2 of the last 4 years.

  • Documentation of education and training that meets or exceeds Washington's requirements (WAC 308-408A-040)
State portion of the exam

6. Apply for Your Home Inspector License

Apply for your license using the method that works best for you.

Submit your application online

You'll receive your license faster by applying and paying online using your SAW account.

You must upload a copy of the report stating you passed the state and national exams.

Submit your application by mail

Send the following:

  • Completed Home Inspector License Application
  • A copy of the report stating you passed the state and national exams
  • A check or money order for the $680 licensing fee (payable to the Department of Licensing).

Mail to:

Home Inspectors
Department of Licensing
PO Box 3917
Seattle, WA 98124-3917

After we approve your license application

You can either log into SAW and print a copy of your license (free), or request a copy by mail ($5 license print fee).

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: 360-664-6487
(TTY: Call 711)
fax Fax: 360-586-0998
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