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How to get your license: Architect by exam

We have a new online service for managing professional and business licenses. These videos and guides can help you set up your account access. For help using the new service, please contact your professional licensing program.

We expect a processing delay for mailed applications and renewals. Renew or apply online for faster processing of your license. Thank you for your patience and we apologize for any inconvenience.

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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