Apply for a License as a RTF

License Status and Requirements

Verify the status of a RTF license

The quickest way to check the status of a RTF license is on the Provider Credential Search site. This site will show if the license is in active or pending status. A license in active status allows the RTF to operate. A license in pending status means the licensing review process is under way and the RTF should not be operating. The status is quickly updated to active when the review process is complete. Facilities should receive a hard copy of the active license in the mail within seven to 10 business days.

Licensing process

All licensing applications are reviewed within a few days of receipt. If there is missing or incomplete information, a Department of Health staff member will notify you via the email address provided on the application. If you didn't provide an email address, the department will mail you a letter.

Processing time varies for each application. It depends on how complete the application is, and how quickly the licensing requirements are met.

Licensing Fees

Fee Type Amount
Administrative processing/initial application fee $204
License bed fee (per bed) $190
Annual renewal fee (per bed) $190
Late fee (per bed) $33 (up to $660)
Follow-up compliance survey fee or a complete on-site survey fee resulting from a substantiated complaint $1,320

Licensing requirements

Licensing requirements differ depending on whether you are applying for an initial license, or renewing or amending an existing license. Questions? Contact the RTF program manager.

Amending a License

A license amendment is required if there are changes to:

  • Services provided
  • Number of resident beds
  • Location or use of rooms
  • Business name
  • Use of building(s) by RTF clients
  • Change in administration
  • Change of address

If any of the above changes are being made to your license, you'll need to notify the Department of Health at least 60 days before the change and submit an amended RTF application (PDF).

Depending on the change being made you may also need to send in a fee, obtain Construction Review Services approval, submit policies and procedures, and amend your behavioral health agency license.

Contact the RTF program manager to determine additional information needed to amend your license.

Annual License Renewal

A licensee must renew their residential treatment facility (RTF) license annually, 30 days before the expiration date of the current license.

The department mails the "Notice to Renew" about 45 days before the due date (30 days before license expiration). Be sure that your correspondence is postmarked no later than midnight of the license renewal due date on your "Notice to Renew" form.

To renew your RTF license, submit the following documents:

  • An updated RTF application (PDF)
  • The licensing fee
  • Disclosure statements and criminal history background checks obtained within three months of the license renewal date for the administrator in accordance with chapter 43.43 RCW
  • Proof of current Washington state fire marshal approval
  • Other information as required by the department

Late Renewals

If you don't submit your "Notice to Renew" and renewal fee to the department by the time listed on your renewal notice, a late fee will be added to the license fee.

Initial Licensure

A current license issued by the Department of Health is required before operating or advertising a residential treatment facility. A license is effective for one year from the date it was issued.

The RTF initial licensing process has several steps which include:

  • Contacting the Department of Health RTF program manager at 360-236-2937
  • Submitting the licensing application and fee
  • Application must include:
    • A copy of your master business license, also known as Uniform Business Identifier (UBI) number. If you'd like more information about how to obtain a master business license-Uniform Business Identifier number, contact the Washington State Department of Licensing at 360-664-1400.
    • A room list identifying resident rooms, dimensions and calculated square footage of each room and number of approved bed spaces.
    • A reduced floor plan on letter-size paper with identification of each room within the facility.
    • A criminal history background check and disclosure statement for those named in the application in accordance with chapter 43.43 RCW.
    • A Disclosure Statement (PDF)
  • Submitting policies and procedures for review
  • Applying for behavioral health agency licensing and certification
  • Getting Construction Review Services approval
  • Getting Washington state fire marshal approval
Transfer of Ownership

You'll need to notify us at least 60 days prior to transferring the ownership of your property or the Uniform Business Identifier number.

A residential treatment facility license isn't transferable. The prospective new owner must notify the department about the change and will need to complete the initial application process paperwork.

Send us a letter and include the following information:

  • The full name and address of the current licensee and prospective licensee.
  • The name and address of the currently licensed residential treatment facility, and the name under which the transferred residential treatment facility will operate.
  • The date of the proposed change.
  • Plans for preserving resident records.
  • Other information as required by the department.

Mail transfer of ownership letter to:

Washington State Department of Health
Residential Treatment Facility Credentialing
P.O. Box 47877
Olympia, WA 98504-7877