Apply for a license
Send completed application and appropriate fee(s) to the Department of Health at the address listed on the application (P.O. Box 1099, Olympia WA 98507). The application form must be handwritten in blue or black ink. Typed or computer generated (modified) applications will not be accepted. Incomplete applications will hold up the licensing process. The application must be filled out completely.
When the application is received, the credentialing department will enter application information into the licensing database. Once the application is entered into the database a credential number will be created. This credential number will be visible on the department's Provider Credential Search webpage and indicate a pending status.
A fingerprint packet will be sent to all out-of-state applicants. It's recommended that fingerprints be taken at a local law enforcement agency or any similar location which is proficient at taking fingerprints. If fingerprints sent to the department are unclear, they may be rejected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). If fingerprints are returned by the FBI, they must be retaken and a new fingerprint packet must be submitted to the department. This will cause a delay in processing the application. Please note: FBI fingerprint background checks may be delayed due to federal backlog. The department isn't able to rush background checks.
Applicants who have successfully completed all other licensure requirements and are only waiting on a fingerprint based background check may be eligible to receive a temporary license. Please notify the department of health credentialing department if interested in a temporary license.
For additional information, see our fingerprint background check information webpage.
Educational material from an approved program must be submitted in one of three ways:
- Mailed in a sealed envelope from university to the applicant and then the sealed envelope submitted with application packet to the department.
- Mailed directly from the university to the department.
- Sent digitally from the university to the department.
- A score card must be requested by the applicant and sent directly from the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer (BOC) to the department by mail.
- A score card must be requested by the applicant and sent directly from the BOC to the department via the BOC's secure website.
The department will attempt to verify license(s) of all applicants who currently hold or who have ever held a healthcare license in another state. If the department can verify the out-of-state license(s) online, the applicant should note this on the application. The other state's online verification must list whether or not the applicant has ever been subject to disciplinary action. If disciplinary information is not available online, we won't be able to use the online verification, and applicant must request a hard copy be sent from the other state(s). If the department is unable to verify all necessary information online, a deficiency email will be sent to the applicant.
Our goal is to have all applications reviewed and a credential issued within 14 business days from the date that the last piece of required documentation was received.
Common Application Holdups
- Demographic information incomplete or incorrect
- Incomplete application.
- Criminal history disclosed but no legal documentation provided. Incorrect verification from BOC.
- Scores not requested from BOC.
- Educational material not received from university.
- Name change not noted on the application. If a name change is not listed on the application, educational transcript(s) or other supporting documentation may not be matched with the proper application.
Please note: If any documentation or required information is missing from the application, the department will send a deficiency email(s) to the applicant. It's important to keep the department updated with a current email address. The department recommends checking spam email folders in case the deficiency email is marked as spam by the applicants email provider. The notice of deficiency outlines the deficiency and how to correct it.
More information on the profession of athletic training and common health issues related to physical activity are available here:
- 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:
- Continuing Education; WAC 246-12-180; How to prove compliance
- Initial and renewal credentialing of practitioners; WAC 246-12-020; How to obtain an initial credential
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
See the online application video.
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'll 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 licensing fees below
Non-Refundable Fee Type Fee Amount Application $115 License renewal $135 Late renewal penalty $70 Inactive license renewal $40 Expired license reactivation $100 Expired inactive license reactivation $40 Duplicate license $15 Verification $25
Primary Source Verification Letter (PDF)
- See licensing requirements below
Applicants for athletic trainer credentials must provide proof of successfully completing an approved education program. There are currently two approved educational programs. Applicant may complete any accredited educational programs accepted by the board of certification for the athletic trainer (BOC) as meeting the requirement to sit for the certification examination. If applicant completed their education prior to January 1, 2004, they must provide documentation that their bachelors or advanced degree meet the requirements in WAC 246-916-020(2). These requirements include course work in health, human anatomy, kinesiology-biomechanics, human physiology, physiology of exercise, and basic and advanced athletic training. In addition, applicant is also required to attest to completion of an internship with a minimum of 1,500 practical hours. We must receive an official transcript listing degree and date posted directly from the applicant's education program. Transcripts not in English must have an official translation.
State license verification
Applicants must list all states where they do or did hold credentials, including where they applied but did not receive a credential. The jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed must complete and submit a 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 pending, applicant must indicate 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 18.250 RCW and chapter 246-916 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.
Athletic trainers must renew their license every year on or before their birthday. They're required to submit the appropriate fee.
Continuing education requirements
Beginning July 1, 2016, athletic trainers are required to complete 50 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years. Athletic trainers must meet the CE requirement during the first full two-year period after July 1, 2016. CE requirements are outlined in WAC 246-916-060 and WAC 246-12, Part 7. Additional information is on the frequently asked questions page.