Getting your Washington insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in Washington. Whether you’re interested in selling property and casualty insurance, life insurance, health insurance, or any combination of those lines of authority, this article has the information you need to get started.
The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner has a 6-step process on how to become an insurance agent in Washington. We’ll walk you through step-by-step; from the license application to insurance test prep, to the Washington insurance exam, and beyond.
This guide has everything you need to know to get your WA insurance license quickly and easily.
How to Get Your Washington Insurance License
Getting your insurance license in Washington is easy! Just follow our step-by-step guide. Be sure to bookmark this page so that you can visit it again throughout this process.
Step 1. Which Insurance Licenses Do You Need?
The first step to getting your insurance license is choosing which licenses you need. The most common licenses new insurance agents get are the property & casualty license (P&C), life and health insurance license (L&H).
The types of insurance products and policies you’ll be selling will determine which licenses you need. Here are some examples of the types of policies you can market with each license:
- Property and Casualty Insurance License – Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, Business Insurance, etc…
- Life and Health Insurance License – Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, Health Insurance, etc…
Most insurance agents and producers choose to get both P&C and L&H licenses, but if you plan on specializing in only one category then you don’t need every license.
Insurance adjusters require a separate license. You can find more information on becoming an insurance adjuster here: Washington Insurance Adjuster License.
If you plan on specializing as a life insurance agent, then you may also need to hold a certain FINRA securities license.
Step 2. Washington Insurance Pre-License Education
After you’ve determined which licenses you need, you must now take your Washington insurance pre-license education courses.
Most folks choose to take their insurance pre-license course online. These courses are created specifically to give you the skills you need to pass the test. The types of licenses you choose (also known as “lines of authority”) will determine which courses you take.
Each line of authority in Washington requires twenty (20) hours of pre-license education. This means that if you wish to get a Property and Casualty license, you must take forty (40) hours of pre-licensing, and for Life and Disability you must also take forty (40) hours.
You will receive a certificate upon completion of the course. Keep this certificate, as you will need it when taking your exam.
For Washington insurance pre-license education courses and exam prep, StateRequirement recommends:
Step 3. Washington Insurance License Exam
The next step after completing all of your pre-license coursework or self-study is to take the insurance exam. You will take one exam for each line of insurance you wish to carry. Life and Disability (L&D) and Property & Casualty (P&C) lines are combined exams in Washington, so you only have to take two tests if you wish to attain all of these lines of authority: Property, Casualty, Life, and Disability.
This is a proctored test, which means that you will be in a controlled environment with a person watching over you. For people who haven’t tested in a situation like this should be aware of this fact, and work on taming their nerves prior to sitting for the exam.
The fee for each attempt of the exams is as follows:
- Life & Disability: $52
- Property & Casualty: $52
- Life: $35
- Disability: $35
- Property: $35
- Casualty: $35
When you show up you must have a photo ID any other documents that the testing facility has asked you to bring.
Both the Life & Disability and the Property & Casualty exams, contain one hundred fifty (150) questions and have a time limit of one hundred ninety-five (195) minutes.
- Washington Life Producer Content Outline
- Washington Disability Producer Content Outline
- Washington Life and Disability Producer Content Outline
- Washington Property Producer Content Outline
- Washington Casualty Producer Content Outline
- Washington Property and Casualty Producer Content Outline
The passing score is 70%. To explain scoring, we will quote the PSI Washington Insurance License Examination Candidate Information Bulletin:
Score Reporting at the Test Site
You must get 70% correct to pass the examination. Your score will be displayed on screen at the end of the examination and a score report will be emailed to you. If you fail, the emailed score report will include the diagnostic report indicating your strengths and weaknesses by examination type. Candidates taking a remotely proctored exam: Please note that you must select to end both the exam portion and survey portion of your test in order to receive your on-screen results and emailed score report. If you do not receive your emailed score report, you may reach out to email@example.com. You may request a duplicate score report after your examination by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, candidate ID number and confirmation number. Your candidate ID number and confirmation number is on your exam confirmation email. Please allow up to 72 hours to receive your duplicate score report.
Check out our Insurance Exam Guide. It’s extremely in-depth, and will hopefully help you pass the first time.
Looking for a guide to passing the insurance exam in Washington? Check out our Washington Insurance License Exam article.
Insurance license tests are intentionally difficult, but not impossible by any means. You should study to the point of comfortability with the information before you attempt the test. Failing the exam isn’t the end of the world, but keep in mind that you will need to pay the fee each time you attempt the test.
StateRequirement recommends that you study for one exam at a time, then after passing, starting on your next line. The exams are difficult enough on their own without confusing information from one line to another. Check out our review of the Kaplan Insurance Course.
You may register to take your exams and find more information on the PSI Exams Washington page. PSI Exams provides more testing information in the Washington Insurance License Examination Candidate Information Bulletin. Keep your PSI Exams score report after passing the exams, as you will need it when applying for your license.
When contacting PSI Exams about your testing, also ask them about their fingerprinting services, as this is your next step.
Step 4. Fingerprinting And Background Check
The State of Washington requires that all insurance license applications provide fingerprints prior to licensing. Giving your fingerprints will initiate a background check. If you have any prior misdemeanors or felonies, this may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. For more information on this topic, call the Washington Department of Insurance at (360) 725-7144, or visit their page on fingerprinting.
Fingerprinting must be completed through IdentoGo. You will schedule an appointment at one of the locations in Washington, and the will electronically record your fingerprint information using LiveScan (as opposed to ink and paper). Many PSI Exams locations can also perform the fingerprinting, so be sure to ask them about this when testing.
The fee for fingerprint services is $49.25. Your fingerprints will be submitted automatically to the Washington Insurance Department.
Step 5. Washington Insurance License Application
After you have completed your exams and fingerprinting, the next step is to apply for your license. If you have more than one line of authority that you have taken the education for, be sure to apply for all of those lines.
The fee for an online application is $60. Adding a line later will not cost anything.
The application process is located within Washington’s Online Services account system. You must upload your PSI Exams score report with your application, as it is not automatically sent to the Department of Insurance.
Step 6. Application Review
Once you have submitted your application and passed your exams, your license application will be reviewed by the state. Your background check will also be reviewed.
If everything is to acceptable standards your license should be issued quickly. If there are any items from your background check that need to be reviewed, it may slow down the process of issuance. If this is the case, the state may contact you to provide context to the issues that they have run into.
It should take about three to five (3-5) business days after the state has received your background check information to issue your license. The background check itself can take up to fifteen (15) business days but is usually closer to between five and seven (5-7) business days.
After the license is issued, you will receive an email from the state regarding your acceptance.
You’ve done the work, put in the time and effort, and now hold the key to your own success! We’re proud of you. Take five (5) minutes and celebrate.
After Getting Your Washington Insurance License
Once you’ve passed your exams and completed the licensing application, you are now a licensed insurance agent in Washington. A common question we hear is, “I have my insurance license, now what?” Here are a few things you can do or need to know:
- Get a job in the insurance field. Check out StateRequirement’s Insurance Jobs board
- If you’re going to sell advanced life insurance products, you’ll need to have the proper securities licenses. Series 6, Series 7, and Series 63 are the most common among insurance agents, but you’ll need to begin with the SIE (Securities Industry Essentials) exam. Find out which licenses you need with our Securities Licensing Guide
- Every two years, you’ll need to renew your insurance license. Check out our guides on Washington Insurance License Renewal and Washington Insurance Continuing Education for more details
- Learn how to market yourself as an insurance agent: Have a look at our Insurance Agent Marketing article
- Interested in learning how successful life insurance agents operate? Check out our How Do Life Insurance Companies Make Money article
Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner Contact Information
P.O. Box 40257
Olympia, Washington 98504-0257
Phone: (360) 725-7144
Fax: (360) 586-2019
Email: Contact Form
License Search: Washington Insurance License Search and Lookup
Washington Insurance License FAQ
How long is the insurance license period in Washington?
Learn how to get an insurance license renewal here: Washington Insurance License Renewal
How long does it take to get an insurance license in Washington?
2-8 weeks. The bulk of the time is spent studying for your Washington insurance exam. Some people study for as little as one week and feel comfortable taking the exam. We recommend you take whatever amount of time you need to feel comfortable with the material. Check out our guide: How to Pass the Insurance Exam
How much does the Washington insurance license cost?
The total cost for your insurance course, application, and exam will be about $375. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, add $66 for each subsequent attempt.
How do I get a life insurance license in Washington?
Follow the steps above. The licensing process is the same for all insurance agent and producer licenses.
How do I get a property and casualty license in Washington?
Follow the steps above. The licensing process is the same for all insurance agent and producer licenses.
Do I need business insurance in Washington?
If you are operating a business based in Washington, you probably need Washington business insurance to protect your assets and operate safely.