Frequently Asked Questions

Licensing and exams

Choose from the following categories:

General Question

If the company you work for is a Corporation or Limited Liability Company and offers to perform or does perform engineering or land surveying work directly to the public, the business will be required to get a Certificate of Authority from the Board as well as from Washington's Secretary of State’s Office.

You may qualify for retired status when you reach age 65 and have discontinued active practice. If you are under a Board ordered sanction (suspension, reprimand etc.) at the time you reach 65 you will not be eligible for retired status until those conditions have been removed. You need to fill out the Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Retired Certificate of Registration Application and submit to our office.

The name on the stamp should essentially match our records on who is issued the license. Use of a middle initial, in place of a full middle name, is acceptable. However, nicknames are not acceptable unless they match our licensing records.

You need to send us an email that includes your name and license number. There is no cost for this.

You should receive your new wall certificate within 12 weeks of being notified that you have been licensed.

Professional License Renewal

License renewals completed online in most cases are automatic! If you renew your license by mail, please expect up to 4 weeks processing time.

Yes, you can renew online or by mail. You may renew your professional license up to 120 days before your expiration date.

The first time you log into the Professional and Business Licensing service, SAW will ask you to enter a contact email address and phone number. The next time you log in, you may get a numeric code sent to your phone or email. You’ll enter this code into the login screen to verify you are authorized to access your account. SAW requires you to list at least one email address and phone number. However, if you lose access to this primary email and phone number, you will not be able to access your account. We recommend you provide a back email and phone number.

You already have a SAW account if you renew your vehicle tabs or driver license online or if you renew your business license online. You already have a SAW account if you use online services through Department of Revenue, Labor and Industries, or Employment Security Department.

You will need to check your browser language. Adjust your browser language settings to English (United States). If this does not resolve the issue, please email our office at engineers@brpels.wa.gov.

Access the service called ‘Professional and Business Licensing’. If you do not have this service available click ‘add a new service’. Once the service has been added to your SAW account click ‘access now’, complete the MFA and you should then be at the Professional and Business Licensing service.

Double check your birthdate and license type. If you have leading zeros on your license number, do not include them. If you are still unable to locate and link your license please email the board office at engineers@brpels.wa.gov.

The new system will not automatically print and mail your updated license. There is a $5.00 print fee to request a mailed copy. You are now able to print a copy of your license at home! Log into your SAW account and access our ‘Professional and Business Licensing’ service to self-print.

Log into your SAW account and access ‘Professional and Business Licensing’. Manage your existing professional license and click into your license number. Select ‘Generate License’ and choose how you would like to receive the updated license.

You must be sixty-five and having discontinued active practice. There are profession specific requirements for retired status. You may find the retired status application on our forms page.

Business Renewal

If this is your first time renewing your COA as of 11/4/2019, you will need to contact our office to add an activation code email. Once you request the activation code and ‘link existing business’, you will click into the name of your firm to open more info and renew!

The UBI Business ID and UBI Location ID are provided upon registering with the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR). This information can be found on your Master Business License or the public license lookup on the DOR website.

Make sure your registration with Secretary of State (SOS), Dept. of Revenue (DOR), and your Designee (DE and/or DLS) are all current and active. If any of those named are not current, your COA renewal will not process.  

Fundamentals of Engineering Exam

Yes, you can still work in Washington as an EIT if you have taken and passed your EIT in another jurisdiction as long as you are working under the direct supervision of a Professional Engineer. When signing your name on emails, correspondence etc. you will use your name - EIT State (example John Smith - EIT CA)

If you want to be certified as an engineer-in-training in Washington, you must submit the Engineer-in-Training/Land Surveyor-in-Training Certification Application. Certificates are issued only to those applicants that designated Washington as their practice state when they registered to take the fundamentals of engineering exam.

If you were registered as a Washington applicant and failed the fundamentals exam, you can go directly to the NCEES website and register to retake the exam. You may take the exam once during any 2-month testing window, and no more than 3 times in a 12-month period.

  • If you have a baccalaureate degree or have achieved senior standing in an ABET accredited or CEAB accredited engineering curriculum, you can go directly to the NCEES website and register for the exam.
  • If you don’t have an ABET accredited degree, you have to submit an application and obtain approval from the board. There is no fee. Please see How to get your engineer-in-training certificate for details.

 

Fundamentals of Land Surveying Exam

Yes. You must submit a completed Land Surveyor-In-Training Registration Application and obtain approval from the board prior to registering with NCEES. There is no fee.

If you want to be certified as a land surveyor-in-training in Washington, you must submit the Engineer-in-Training/Land Surveyor-in-Training Certification Application. Certificates are issued only to those applicants that designated Washington as their practice state when they registered to take the fundamentals of land surveying exam.

If you were registered as a Washington applicant and failed the fundamentals exam, you can go directly to the NCEES website and register to retake the exam. You may take the exam once during any 2-month testing window, and no more than 3 times in a 12-month period.

 

Professional Engineer by Exam or Comity

Work experience gained outside the U.S. must be under the direct supervision of a professional engineer licensed in the United States or a professional engineer (PEng) licensed in Canada to be considered.

Your experience must be gained under the direct supervision of a licensed professional engineer unless you are employed by the federal government, in the military or you work in the manufacturing industry. If your experience is gained in the manufacturing industry your experience is not required to be under the direct supervision of a licensed professional engineer, however, a PE must be employed at the company (at the time of your employment) and you must list his/her name and license number on the experience verification form.

For any experience to be considered there must be a PE in the company.

Licensing examination content is copy write protected and not available for public inspection. Many questions are repeated from one exam to another. Review of exams would compromise the exam items from further use. If you fail a NCEES or state specific exam, you will be provided with a diagnostic report that outlines how you performed in topic areas of the exam.

No. If you submitted an application in Washington but lived in another state when you made application or if you lived here and moved away, we would not allow the exam to be proctored.

No, but if you submit an application to the Washington Board, you will be required to come to Washington to take the exam.

If you have an engineering degree from a foreign country, you must have your degree evaluated by NCEES Credentials Evaluations unless your degree was accredited by EAC/ABET, or your degree was accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).

NOTE: If you have a foreign undergraduate degree in engineering, and a MS or PhD in engineering and you do not get a foreign degree evaluation, you may only receive a maximum of 4 years of credit towards the 8 years of credit needed. If you obtained a masters degree in engineering you must include a copy of your transcript for your undergraduate degree in English with your application.

Washington State law provides that the board may, at its discretion, give credit as experience not in excess of one year, for satisfactory postgraduate study in engineering.

No. Board rules state that work experience gained between semesters or quarters or during summers while enrolled in an approved curriculum will be considered part of the educational process. No more than 1 year of experience will be granted for 1 calendar year.

No. Washington does not require a degree to become licensed. However, official transcripts are required for all applicants that want education considered towards the 8-year experience requirement.

No. Go online and follow the instructions for requesting a license or exam verification. If your state board is not listed on this site, contact the state board(s) where you took the exam(s) and/or are currently licensed to request verification be sent to the Washington Board.

If requesting verification from the Washington State Board to be sent to another State Board, go online and follow the instructions for requesting a license or exam verification.

No. The person verifying your work should preferably be licensed, but could also be someone who was closely involved in the work and can verify that the description of the work is accurate. An example would be a contractor, co-owner, governmental agency or another engineer employee of the business.

You need to complete pages 1-2 of the application or you can apply online. You will also need to submit the completed Engineer Law Review exam.

The processing time of any application is based upon how completely the applicant provides all necessary materials. We process applications daily, and issues licenses once a week. Assuming all your documents are in order and you pass the required law review, you could be approved in a week, or it could take several months.

No. Washington State does not have provisions to waive either the FE or PE exam regardless of degrees or experience or being licensed in another state.

Your application will be processed for the next scheduled exam. There are no exceptions.

 

Professional Land Surveyors

Licensing examination content is copy write protected and not available for public inspection. Many questions are repeated from one exam to another. Review of exams would compromise the exam items from further use. If you fail a NCEES or state specific exam, you will be provided with a diagnostic report that outlines how you performed in topic areas of the exam.

No. If you submitted an application in Washington but lived in another state when you made application or if you lived here and moved away, we would not allow the exam to be proctored.

Yes. All land surveyor applicants are required to take and pass the 4-hour written examination in addition to taking and passing the Law Review. The law review must be taken and passed prior to your application being reviewed. You will be required to come to Washington to take the 4-hour Washington Specific exam.

No, but if you submit an application to the Washington Board, you will be required to come to Washington to take the exam.

No. Go online and follow the instructions for requesting a license or exam verification. If your state board is not listed on this site, contact the state board(s) where you took the exam(s) and/or are currently licensed to request verification be sent to the Washington Board.

No. The person verifying your work should preferably be licensed, but could also be someone who was closely involved in the work and can verify that the description of the work is accurate. An example would be a contractor, co-owner, governmental agency or another land surveyor employee of the business.

You need to complete pages 1–2 of the application and submit it with the application fee or you can apply online. You will also need to submit the completed Land Surveyor Law Review exam.

No. Washington State does not have provisions to waive either the FS or PS exam regardless of degrees or experience or being licensed in another state.

Your application will be processed for the next scheduled exam. There are no exceptions.

 

Structural Engineer by Exam or Comity

The SE license in our new system is viewed like an endorsement to your Washington Professional Engineer (PE) license. Log in to Secure Access Washington (SAW) and access our service, ‘Professional and Business Licensing’. If you do not see ‘Professional and Business Licensing’ on your list of services, you must add our service to your SAW account. Once at our service, select ‘Professional Licenses’ at the top of your screen. Click into your license number and select ‘manage endorsement’. Upload the first two pages of your Structural Engineer Registration Application. From the drop down, select none or n/a.

We will accept passage of the SE II exam (AM & PM) as long as you have also passed a state specific SE III exam. If you have only taken the SE I and SE II exams (administered prior to April 2011), you will have to take the NCEES 16-hour lateral and vertical structural exam to be considered for a structural license.

No, but if you submit an application to the Washington Board, you will be required to come to Washington to take the exam.

The review and processing time for structural engineering applications, whether by exam or comity, is fully dependent upon the quality and thoroughness of the experience descriptions provided by the applicant. Every completed application is reviewed by a committee of the Board at meetings scheduled approximately every 2 months. After that review you will be notified of the decision.

You need to demonstrate 2 years of progressive structural design experience in addition to the 8 years of experience required for registration as a professional engineer in Washington State. These 2 years should be progressive in difficulty and magnitude; demonstrating sufficient breadth and scope, and be reflective of your ability to design and apply engineering principles where your judgments and decisions are trusted and relied upon. The experience must contain structural design for a building structure or non-building structure designed in Seismic Design Category D or above and/or bridges with a total span (end to end) of 200 feet.

No. Since you are required to be licensed as a Professional Engineer in Washington prior to becoming licensed in structural, you need to have taken and passed an additional 8-hour NCEES PE exam in another branch of engineering. We cannot use the 16-hour SE exam in place of an 8-hour NCEES PE exam.

Yes. Washington law requires that you be currently licensed as a Washington State Professional Engineer prior to applying for structural. You must have 2 years of experience in addition to the 8 years of experience required for registration as a professional engineer in Washington State.

 

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