Birthing / Childbirth Centers

License Requirements

A current license issued by the Department of Health is required before operating or advertising a birthing/childbirth center. A license is effective for one year from the date it is issued. The licensing process for a birthing/childbirth center has several steps. These steps involve working closely with various offices within the department.

The licensing steps include:

Step 1. Contact the department's birthing / childbirth center program manager at 360-236-2929 to discuss the initial licensing process/steps and to confirm this type of license fits the community services you want to provide.

Step 2. Submit the birthing /childbirth center licensing application and fee to the department's Credentialing/Licensing Office.

Along with the application, include the following documents:

  • A copy of your Washington state business license, which includes your Uniform Business Identifier (UBI) number. For information on how to obtain a Washington state business license-Uniform Business Identifier number, see the Washington State Department of Revenue, Business Licensing Service website or call 800-451-7985.
  • A criminal history background check and disclosure statement for the administrator and director of services in accordance with RCW 43.43.830-842.

Step 3. Submit a separate application and fee to the department's Construction Review Services (CRS) to have your new or existing building reviewed and approved according to applicable building codes. The timeline for CRS to review and approve your building varies and may take several months if your building requires significant construction or renovation work in order to meet standards. Once CRS has approved your building for use as a birthing/childbirth center, the department's survey office will be notified you're ready for their inspections.

Note: CRS staff members can also provide technical assistance about a building you are considering to use as a birthing / childbirth center. This assistance can be done at your location. You can get upfront information on what the requirements are and learn about any obvious issues in an existing building. Technical assistance is most helpful near the beginning of your process to assist you in making informed purchasing decisions. Contact CRS at 360-236-2944 to discuss if scheduling a technical assistance would be beneficial.

Step 4. The department's assigned surveyor will contact you and schedule an on-site inspection, usually within 30 days of referral. The surveyor will request that you email your policies and procedures for review and approval. It is typical for surveyors to identify deficiencies that need to be corrected before licensure is achieved. When the surveyor is satisfied that you have achieved compliance with the standards in chapter 246-329 WAC, he or she will recommend licensure to our Credentialing/Licensing Office and your license will become active within a few business days.

Note: As indicated above, the CRS process require a separate application and can take several months to complete. Applicants may choose to complete the CRS process first and then submit their birthing/childbirth center licensing application.