How to Get an Insurance License in Washington State

The procedure for obtaining an insurance license in Washington is pretty straight forward. First you must select the type of license you wish to obtain. Washington offers life, property, casualty, personal lines and more. Visit the Division of Insurance website for a full listing of license types.

Insurance License Education Requirement

Washington requires its candidates to take 20 hours of pre-licensing education classes before they can take the state exam. You must take the classes from one of the state approved education providers. The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner website provides a listing of the state-approved providers along with links to the provider websites. Upon completing the 20 hour requirement you will receive a certificate of completion. Once you receive the certificate you can take the state licensing exam (you must take the exam within 12 months of completing the education requirement).

Pre-Licensing Education Exemptions

The Commissioner of Insurance allows candidates with certain designations to forgo the education requirement for the associated license. Below is a listing of exemption-earning designations:

Life Insurance License

  • Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS)
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
  • Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  • Fellow of Life Management Institute (FLMI)
  • Life Underwriting Training Council (LUTCF)

Disability License

Property or Casualty License

  • Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI)
  • Associate in Risk Management (ARM)
  • Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
  • Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)

State Insurance Licensing Exam

Washington State uses Pearson VUE to administer its insurance exams. You can either register on their website or call them at 1-800-274-8949 to schedule the state exam.

It is recommended that you visit the Pearson VUE website as they have free downloadable documents that will be valuable in helping you pass the Washington state insurance licensing exam. The Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook is a guideline to help you get through the licensing process and the Examination Content Outlines provides information on the types of questions asked on each of the licensing exams.

After reviewing the documents, schedule a date, time and location for taking the exam. There are currently 8 exam testing locations (Everett, Kennewick, Lacey, Spokane, Tukwila, Vancouver, Wenatchee and Yakima). Select a conveniently located testing center and take the state exam.

Insurance Criminal Background Check

Resident licensing candidates must provide a fingerprint card when applying for the insurance license. You can contact Pearson VUE to get fingerprinted as some of their locations offer fingerprinting services. Otherwise, contact your local law enforcement agency to utilize their fingerprinting services. Once you have your fingerprint card, send it to the Office of Insurance Commissioner, Attn: Licensing, P.O. Box 40257, Olympia, Washington 98504-0257.

Insurance Producer’s Application

After satisfying the education requirement, passing the state exam and obtaining the fingerprint card, the last remaining step to becoming a licensed insurance producer is to complete the licensing application. Download and complete the 4-page Uniform Application for Individual Producer License/Registration. Once the form is completed, mail it along with the appropriate fee to the Washington Insurance Commissioner.

Since fees are subject to change, visit the Washington Commissioner of Insurance website for the most up-to-date fee schedule.

Once the application is received, reviewed and approved, you will be issued an insurance license. Washington licenses are issued for a period of two years. Within those two years you must comply with the 24 credit continuing education requirement. If you fail to take the 24 credit hours, you won’t be able to renew your license.

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