New Licensing Requirements for Washington Plumbers

The Washington State Legislature recently passed SB-6170, which makes significant changes to existing plumbing laws. One of these changes is the creation of licensed plumbing contractors, a new licensing category of construction contractors. Beginning July 1, 2021, contractors must obtain this license through the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries to perform plumbing work in the state, as the “specialty plumbing” registration will no longer be valid.

How do I register as a licensed plumbing contractor in Washington?

To become registered as a licensed plumbing contractor, applicants must:

  1. Carry a Washington Continuous Contractor Surety Bond or Assigned Savings Account in the amount of $6,000
  2. Carry a Certificate of Liability Insurance covering up to $50,000 for injury or property damages, $100,000 for injury or death to one person, and $200,000 for injury or death to more than one person
  3. Complete and notarize the Application for Plumbing Contractor License and pay the required application fee (applications must be submitted by mail for first-time applicants)
  4. Keep a designated plumber on staff who carries a certification with Labor & Industries

Who needs a Washington plumbing contractor surety bond?

General contractors registered under RCW 18.27, who additionally want to be licensed plumbing contractors under RCW 18.106, will need to have separate bonds if operating both as a general construction contractor and a licensed plumbing contractor.

Contractors may use their liability insurance to meet the requirements for both the general construction contractor registration and the licensed plumbing contractor registration, but they must submit separate certificates of liability insurance for each license and registration, with the correct L&I program as the certificate holder. The certificate for a general construction contractor’s certificate would name L&I Contractor Registration Section as the policyholder, while a licensed plumbing contractor’s certificate would name the L&I Plumber Certification Program.

How do I get a plumbing contractor surety bond in Washington?

You can apply for a Washington plumbing contractor surety bond online 24/7 or call 1 (800) 308-4358 to speak with an expert team member about your bonding needs.

For additional information regarding this new requirement, email [email protected].

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