Renewal information | Frequently asked questions
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:
- 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 members 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 have completed the process you will 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
Genetic counselor license
Non-Refundable Fee Type Fee Amount License application $50 Renewal $50 Late renewal penalty $50 Expired license reactivation $100 Duplicate license $10 Verification of licensure $25
Genetic counselor provisional license
Non-Refundable Fee Type Fee Amount License application $30 Renewal $30 Late renewal penalty $30 Duplicate license $10 Verification of provisional license $25
WAC 246-12-340 – Refund of fees
Fees submitted with applications for initial credentialing, examinations, renewal, and other fees associated with the licensing and regulation of the profession are non-refundable.
- See licensing requirements below
State license verification
Applicants must list all states where they do or did hold credentials, including where the applicant applied but didn't 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 all personal data questions. If there is a positive answer to any of the questions, the applicant must send an explanation and official documentation (if applicable). With regard 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, applicant must indicate status.
Additional information/documents required
- Applicants must successfully pass an examination given by either the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) or the American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG).
- Applicants who have met the requirements for licensure except for passing the examination may apply for a provisional license to engage in supervised practice as a genetic counselor.
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 18.290 RCW and chapter 246-825 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.
Genetic counselors must renew their license every year. Credentials expire on the credential holder's birthday and may be renewed within the 90 days before the expiration date.
Continuing education requirements
Genetic counselors are required to complete 75 hours of continuing education, or 7.5 continuing education units (CEUs), every three years, due at the time of license renewal.
To order laboratory tests or recommend other evaluations regarding hereditary or carrier conditions, a genetic counselor must have a collaborative agreement with a physician (medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine). Such agreements must be signed by both practitioners and be re-evaluated every two years.