Get your license: Whitewater river outfitters

Find out what the requirements are to get your whitewater river outfitter license.

Who needs a license?

Any business that carries, or advertises to carry, for-hire passengers on whitewater sections of Washington rivers.

How to apply

1. Meet the requirements

To qualify for a whitewater river outfitter license, you must:

  • Ensure that each vessel on a whitewater river trip is operated by a guide who meets RCW 79A.60.430(2) requirements. See below.
  • Have a federal permit for trips in federally regulated areas. For more information, contact the U.S. Forest Service at 360-956-2400.
  • Comply with federal uninspected passenger vessel licensing. For more information, call the U.S. Coast Guard at 206-220-7210.

Qualified whitewater river guides must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Successfully complete a lifesaving training course that meet the State Parks and Recreation Commission standards.
  • Complete a guide training program on whitewater rivers taught by a qualified guide instructor.
    • Training instructors must have traveled at least 1,500 river miles, with 750 river miles as a guide.
  • Complete at least 1 trip on the entire section of a whitewater river before carrying passengers for hire in a vessel on that section of river.

2. Gather the necessary documents

Complete these forms:

Provide proof of liability insurance including:

  • Insurance company name.
  • Policy number.
  • Effective dates that show current coverage.
  • Coverage for all river guides and employees used by your business.
  • Minimum coverage of $300,000 per claim, per occurrence.
  • The certificate holder as:
    State of Washington
    Business Licensing Service
    PO Box 9034
    Olympia, WA 98507

3. Submit your application

Note: We issue this license, but it's processed by the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service (BLS). BLS prints it on the business license they provide. They refer to licenses issued by us as endorsements to the business license.

Submit your application

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

Apply online with the Department of Revenue

Submit your application by mail

Mail your completed forms, supporting documents, and a check or money order payable to the Department of Revenue for the BLS fees and license fee to:

State of Washington
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507–9034

Post your license

You must post a license at each location where you operate. You may not begin any business activity until you receive the required license.

Update your license

If you move or your address changes, please contact us to update your license.

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

call Phone: 360-705-6741
(TTY: Call 711)
fax Fax: 360-705-6699
mail Email:
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