What is happening?
Effective January 1, 2022, the Department of Licensing will review “preliminary applications” (Criminal Conviction Screening form) from individuals with past criminal convictions who want certain professional licenses. The review will not approve the license. It will determine whether the type of conviction is related to the license.

The law in question, House Bill 1399, adds a new chapter to Title 18 RCW and specifically applies to only licenses, certifications, or recognitions administered by the Department of Licensing or a board or commission with the support of the Department of Licensing. This service is optional. It is intended to give applicants information before they spend time or money taking any required classes or exams or paying licensing fees. Also, it does not cover every profession, please see “full list of Title 18 professions” below.

The new chapter in the RCW outlines the full list of Title 18 professions impacted by this bill. Please note, this list includes other professions outside of Title 18.

Why is this changing?
The law was passed to provide a reliable process for individuals with past criminal convictions to apply for a professional license, and to allow these individuals to obtain a professional license if the criminal conviction does not directly relate to the applicable profession, business, or trade.

Who will this impact?
Before applying for a professional license, individuals with a criminal conviction can request a review of their conviction to determine whether it would disqualify them from obtaining a professional license from the Department of Licensing.

When is this happening?
The new law is active January 1, 2022.

How is DOL preparing for this change?
DOL is preparing for the new change by:
•       Developing a manual (mail-in application) and electronic (on-line application) process for requesting the review. The manual process will be available Jan. 1, 2022. The electronic process will be available March 2022.
•       The new criminal conviction screening page on DOL’s website is now live.
•       The Professional License Criminal Conviction Screening Request form is now published on DOL’s website.

Questions? Need help?
Please email DOL at  DOLBPDCompliance@DOL.WA.GOV Phone 360.664.6645


Criminal Conviction Screening
If you have a criminal conviction, you can ask DOL to decide if you can get certain professional licenses. The review will not approve the license. It determines whether the type of conviction  relates to the license.

This service is optional. DOL will review your application before you take any required classes or exams or paying licensing fees. Also, it does not cover every profession. See the full list of covered professions below.

How to get screened
1.      Submit a completed Criminal Conviction Screening form. You can include supporting documents if you wish. Access our fillable form at Professional License Criminal Conviction Screening Request form.
2.      DOL will review the form and any documents to determine if you would be eligible to apply for a license. We may ask you for more information or documents so they can make an accurate decision.
3.      DOL give you a decision in writing within 60 days after receiving your request.

What you’ll need
You’ll need information for every criminal conviction that occurred within the last 5 years. Don’t include traffic convictions. Include details about:
•       what led to the offense?
•       where it occurred.
•       the date of conviction.
•       sentencing information (jail or prison time, fines, etc.).

Provide as much information as you can recall and any supporting documents. You can contact the county or district clerk where the conviction(s) occurred to get information.

License eligibility
The conviction review can help you decide whether to apply for a new license. When you apply, you may not be eligible for a license due to:
•       A change in your circumstances,
•       The discovery of new information about your conviction(s), or
•       A change in the law or related policies.

You can appeal the decision.

Note: DOL verifies licensing requirements during the licensing process.

Does my profession qualify for this new professional licensing service?
This service is available only to professions DOL licenses or certifies. Professions managed by a board or commission we support are also included. These professions are:

•       Architects
•       Auctioneers
•       Cosmetologists, hair designers, barbers, manicurists, and estheticians
•       Embalmers/Funeral directors
•       Real estate broker and managing brokers
•       Real estate brokerage relationships
•       Landscape architects
•       Regulation of business professions
•       Certified real estate appraiser act.
•       Court reporting practice act.
•       Private investigators
•       Security guards
•       Bail bond agents
•       Geologists
•       Home inspectors
•       Body art, body piercing, and tattooing,
•       Appraisal management companies
•       Military spouses – professional licensing

Related information
•       RCW 13.235.020 – Title 18 Business and Professions
•       RCW 34.05 – Administrative Procedure Act
•       Certification of Enrollment HB 1399
•       Final Bill Report HB 1399