Behavioral Health Agencies (BHA) License Requirements

License Information

Verify the status of a BHA license

The quickest way to check the status of a behavioral health agency (BHA) license is on the Facilities Credential Search site. This site will show if the license is in "active" or "pending" status. A license in "active" status allows the BHA to operate. A license in "pending" status means the licensing review process is under way and the BHA should not be operating. The status is quickly updated to active when the review process is complete. Agencies 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

An agency must include payment of licensing and certification fees with the initial application, renewal application, or with requests for other services. Visit the fee schedule webpage for more information.

WAC 246-341-0365 – Agency licensure and certification – Fee requirements

Licensing Requirements

Questions about outpatient BHA licensure? Contact the Facilities Program Manager.

Questions about residential inpatient BHA licensure? Contact the Facilities Program Manager.

A BHA Licensing and Certification Application (PDF) is required for initial licensure, annual license renewal, and when amending a license. Additional instructions are included in the application.

Tip: Submit a cover letter with your application describing what you are intending to do with your application (i.e., applying for initial licensure or renewing or amending and existing license).  If amending a license, provide a brief description of the type of amendment you wish to make. 

BHA licensing and certification requirements were revised in May of 2023. The following guidance documents were created to help agencies navigate those changes:

Initial License


An initial licensing application is required when:

  • Establishing a new BHA 
  • Adding a branch site
  • Adding a new BHA location to an existing hospital BHA license  
  • Changing locations
  • Changing ownership

The initial licensing steps include submitting:

Annual License Renewal 

Renewal requests must be received by the Department before the expiration date of the agency’s current license. 

To renew your BHA license, submit:

Tip: The application to renew a BHA license is required as of August 1, 2023. Please complete the entire application. Please see the certification crosswalk (PDF) for help determining the revised certification and service titles. If you need assistance determining which certifications and services to include on your renewal application, please contact 360-236-2971.

Amending a License 

An amended licensing application is required when: 

  • Adding or removing a certification or behavioral health service. 
  • Changing the administrator. Include a copy of the disclosure statement and report of findings from a background check of the new administrator completed within 30 days of the change. 

To amend an existing license, submit a BHA Licensing and Certification Application (PDF).

Depending on the change being made, you may also need to submit a fee  or policies and procedures. See the Policy and Procedure Review Tool (PDF).

Closing a Location

A BHA License Closure Form (PDF) is required when an agency is closing a licensed BHA location. 

An agency closing a location must provide each individual currently being served:

  • Notice of the agency closure at least 30 calendar days before the date of closure.
  • Assistance with accessing services at another location.
  • Information on how to access records to which the individual is entitled.

When a closing agency that has provided substance use disorder services arranges for the continued storage and management of individual service records by a qualified service organization (QSO), the closing agency must enter into a written agreement with the QSO that meets the requirements of 42 CFR Part 2.