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How to get your license: Architect by exam

Requirements

If you don't have an accredited architectural degree you can get your license with experience by exam.

To get your license, you must have:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent.
  • At least 9 years of practical architectural work experience.
    • Including completing the Architectural Experience Program (AXP).
  • Passed the Architect Registration Examination (ARE)

How to apply

Steps for getting your license

  • Submit your application and pay application fee.
  • Have education and experience verification sent to us.
  • Take and pass all divisions of the ARE.
    • If you don't pass a division of the exam the first time, you can retest until you pass. However, after you pass your first division, you must pass all divisions of the exam within 5 years.
  • After successfully completing the ARE:
  • After you pass your exam, pay the 2-year license fee.

What you'll need

Online

  • Prepare your documents for upload:
    • Electronic copy of your completed Architect Law Review.
  • Log in or sign up to apply and pay your application fee, and, after approval, your 2-year license fee.
  • Have any official transcripts, records, or experience verification sent to:
    Washington State Board for Architects
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 9012
    Olympia, WA 98507-9012
    Email: architects@dol.wa.gov (email must come directly from the school)

By mail

Please allow at least 7–10 business days to process your application.

  • Complete an Architect Registration Initial Application.
  • Complete an Architect Law Review Exam.
  • Complete applicant section of the  Architect Applicant Employment and Experience Summary and send to verifiers.
  • Mail documents with a check or money order, payable to the Department of Licensing, for the application fee to:
    Washington State Board for Architects
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 3777
    Olympia, WA 98507-3777
    Email: architects@dol.wa.gov (email must come directly from the school)
  • Have any official transcripts or experience verification sent to:
    Washington State Board for Architects
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 9012
    Olympia, WA 98507-9012
    Email: architects@dol.wa.gov (email must come directly from the school)
  • Once we approve your application, mail us a check or money order (payable to the Department of Licensing) for your 2-year license fee.

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