Fingerprint requirements

Washington state requires resident applicants to submit their fingerprints for a background check. Non-resident applicants do not have any fingerprint requirements.

We do not issue licenses until we receive the results of the background check.

There are two ways to submit fingerprints: electronically or using a hard-copy card.

Submitting electronically saves you money and takes less time for us to receive your background-check results. E-fingerprinting means getting your license issued weeks earlier than if you submit a hard-copy fingerprint card.

There are more than 30 locations in Washington state that provide e-fingerprinting services, so there's probably a location close to you.


Why do I have to send in a new fingerprint card if I've been licensed in Washington state before?

If it has been more than 12 months since your license was active, we have to reprocess your background check. This is because you are required to apply for a new license rather than renew or reinstate your previous license record.

If my license won't be issued until the results of my background check are returned, how long will it take to be licensed?

For e-fingerprinting

Up to eight days. Our office generally receives e-fingerprint background-check results in one to three days and then we strive to issue a license within five days of receiving all necessary application items.

For a hard-copy card

Up to four weeks. Our office generally receives hard-copy card background-check results in two to three weeks and then we strive to issue a license within five days of receiving all necessary application items.

Where do I go to have my fingerprints taken?

For e-fingerprinting

For a hard-copy card

  • Generally, your local law-enforcement agency or city/county jail provides fingerprinting services.
  • Submit your fingerprints on one fingerprint card. We accept any standard 8" x 8" fingerprint card. You may contact the licensing and education division to request a blank card.

Where do I send my completed fingerprints?

For e-fingerprinting

You don't have to send us anything. MorphoTrust will transmit your fingerprints electronically.

For a hard-copy card

Do not fold your card. Please send your card via postal mail to:

P. O. Box 40257
Olympia, WA 98504-0257

If you would prefer to send your card via overnight (direct) delivery, use our physical address:

5000 Capitol Blvd. SE
Tumwater, WA 98501

How much does it cost?

Depending on where you have your prints done, you may be charged for the service. These service fees, also known as rolling fees, range anywhere from $15 - $25. The fees below reflect the cost of the background check only.

For e-fingerprinting

$32.50. (This fee will be paid to MorphoTrust at the time they collect your e-fingerprints.)

For a hard-copy card

$42.50. (If you submit a hard-copy card, you'll also need to include this fee, payable to Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner.)

You may send a check or complete our credit-card authorization form (Word, 97KB).

Updated 09/16/2014

See also

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