Apply for a License
- Apply online
The Washington State Department of Health requires that only the applicant or licensee may complete an attestation for an application, or for continuing education. This is a legal attestation. Completion of the attestation by anyone other than the applicant may constitute a reportable felony offense. The Department of Health can take action against people for perjury or for making a false statement they know to be false.
For further information please see:
Washington State law authorizes the Department of Health to obtain fingerprint-based background checks for licensing purposes. This check may be through the Washington State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We may require this if you have lived in another state or if you have a criminal record in Washington State. This would be at your own expense.
You must pay the application fee at the time you apply. You may use a credit or debit card with a VISA or MasterCard logo, or pay by ACH/E-Check. Please make sure your address on the payment information screen matches the address your financial institution has on file for you. This fee is non-refundable. There is a convenience fee to apply online.
If we need additional documentation, we'll notify you by email.
There are additional items you may need, in addition to your application:
If you have questions, contact our Customer Service staff at 360-236-4700.
Online Application Instructions
Online application instructions are on our website. Online applications are accessed through SecureAccess Washington (SAW) security portal. You'll need to add the Department of Health Online Application Portal service to access the online applications. The first time you add the service, you'll be prompted to answer several questions to verify your identity. The questions will match the name and address you provide with the existing public record information. Because the questions come from public record, you need to provide a complete address and your full legal name as it appears on your driver's license or birth certificate. You may find you have to enter a former address, especially if your address has changed recently (within the past one or two years) to get the right questions that pertain to your identity. If don't have sufficient information in the public record to verify your identity and aren't currently credentialed by the Department of Health, then you will need to submit a paper application, as you won't be able to access the Online Application Portal.
Once you've completed the process you'll receive an email with your pending credential number, or you may look on Provider Credential Search. Refer to this credential number any time you contact Department of Health or submit paperwork.
- Apply on paper
The following forms are required for completing the application process. Please download and print forms.
- See fee information below
Non-Refundable Fee Type Fee Amount Fee effective June 1, 2023 License application
$175 Renewal $75 $45 Inactive license $56 $56 Late renewal penalty $50 $40 Expired license reissuance $136 $136 Expired inactive license reissuance $86 $86 Verification $25 $25 Duplicate license $30 $30 Hearing aid specialist practical examination for Washington Hearing Society applicants --- $350
Fees submitted with applications for initial credentialing, examinations, renewal, and other fees associated with the licensing and regulation of the profession are non-refundable.
License Requirements & Continuing Education
- Licensing requirements
Applicants for hearing aid specialist licenses must provide proof of successfully completing a two-year degree or nine-month certificate program in hearing aid specialist instruction through a program approved by the Board of Hearing and Speech. Official transcripts must indicate the degree or certificate and the date it was granted.
Hearing aid specialist applicants must pass the board-approved hearing aid specialist written examination. Applicants who have completed a nine-month certificate must also pass a board-approved practical examination. Verification must be sent directly from or verified directly with the examination agency.
Hearing aid specialist applicants must provide the name of a registered agent to accept service of process for any violation of law.
Bonding/security in lieu of a bond
Hearing aid specialist applicants must attest that they are covered by a surety bond, or provide verification of security in lieu of a bond in the amount of at least $10,000.
State license verification
Applicants must list all states where they do or did hold credentials. This list must also include when the applicant has applied for a credential, even if a credential was not granted. The jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed must complete and submit the verification form. The jurisdiction must send the completed form directly to the department.
Personal data questions
Each applicant must answer the personal data questions. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint, and the settlement or final disposition. If a case is pending, the applicant must indicate the status.
Process for approving/denying applications
We finish final review for approval after a credentialing specialist verifies that the application is fully complete, and complies with requirements in chapter 18.35 RCW and chapter 246-828 WAC. We complete background checks and make sure applicants have submitted required fees. Credentialing supervisors and lead workers have the authority to approve routine applications. The disciplining authority may conduct further review if the credentialing supervisor can't verify the applicant meets all requirements. We'll formally notify applicants of a denial. Those applicants may request a hearing to appeal the decision.
Hearing aid specialists must renew their licenses every year on or before their birthday. They're required to submit the appropriate fee and attest to having a surety bond or security in lieu of a bond, and that equipment has been properly calibrated. Hearing aid specialists must complete 30 hours of continuing education every three years, which must include at least one hour of infection control.
- Continuing education
The purpose of continuing education is to ensure the highest quality professional care. The objectives are to improve and increase the ability to deliver the highest possible quality professional care and keep the professional abreast of current developments.
Audiologists, hearing aid specialists, speech-language pathologists and speech-language pathology assistants must complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every three years. At least one hour of the continuing education must be on infection control.
Approved Schools for Licensure
- Two-year degree program
- Spokane Falls Community College, AAS, Hearing Instrument Specialist
- *Nine-month certificate programs
- Washington Hearing Society, certificate, Hearing Aid Specialist Training
*To enroll in nine-month certificate programs, applicants must have at least an associate or baccalaureate degree in any field of study that includes a minimum of five credits each of 100 level or greater English composition, basic math, and humanities. Each school will verify your degree and coursework.
Written Exam Information
- See written exam information below:
The Hearing Aid Specialist Written Examination developed by the International Hearing Society (IHS) is a computer-based test. Successful completion of the written exam is a licensure requirement for all applicants. The written exam is available at various testing centers statewide.
Written examination scheduling procedures are as follows:
- Department of Health credentialing staff members will review your application to ensure you're eligible to sit for the exam. If you're eligible, staff will notify IHS of your eligibility.
- IHS will contact you with instructions on how to create an online account, schedule and pay for your exam. They'll also send you a study guide.
- Once you've completed your exam, credentialing staff members will notify you of your exam score by email.
- If you pass the exam, the licensure process will proceed.
- If you don't pass the exam, you're eligible to retake the exam. Credentialing staff will notify IHS of your retake eligibility.
Practical Exam Information
The Hearing Aid Specialist Practical Examination developed by the International Hearing Society (IHS) is a clinical examination administered by members of the Board of Hearing and Speech. Successful completion of the practical exam is a licensure requirement for applicants who have completed a nine-month certificate program approved by the board. It is not a requirement for applicants who have completed a two-year degree program approved by the board. The practical exam is given quarterly at the Department of Health offices in Tumwater.
Practical examination scheduling procedures are as follows:
- Department of Health credentialing staff members will review your application to ensure you're eligible for the exam. You must send a Hearing Aid Specialist Application and fee to the Department of Health at least 60 days before the examination date.
- Your school's program director will send a roster of eligible candidates to the Department of Health for each examination date.
- You will receive an authorization letter from the Department of Health two weeks before the examination date indicating the time and location of your examination.
- If you don't pass the exam, you're eligible to retake the next regularly scheduled exam.
Practical examination dates are:
- September 29, 2023
- December 1, 2023
- March 29, 2024
- June 28, 2024
- September 27, 2024
- December 6, 2024
- See license renewal information below
Is your contact information current?
In order to serve you better, we must have your correct mailing address in our system. This is especially important because we mail your courtesy renewal notice and updated credential to the address on file. The U.S. Postal Service does not forward Department of Health mail. If your contact information is not current in our system, please complete and submit the contact information change form. If you have questions, feel free to contact our staff.
How to renew
Come to our Tumwater location.
Hearing Instrument Fitter/Dispensers may now renew online. If you renew online, you must be able to attest that:
- You have completed your continuing education requirements if they are due this year.*
- The testing equipment used in your establishment has been properly calibrated.
- You are covered by a surety bond or maintain security in lieu of a surety bond per RCW 18.35.240.*
* Licensees may be randomly audited for continuing education and/or surety bond or security in lieu of surety bond compliance.
If you have not notified us of your place of employment, or your employment address has changed, please complete the Employment Update Form.
If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Service staff at 360-236-4700.