How to get a telecommunications contractor license in Washington State

Washington Telecommunications License

If you happen to be in the business of telecommunications and need to apply for a contractor’s license in Washington state, you are in for a challenge.

Washington Labor and Industries governs the contractor license for Telecommunications Contractors. An electrical/telecommunications contractor’s license is the equivalent of a specialty contractor’s license. Getting a telecommunications license does not let you do any other work besides telecommunications.

This guide will help you navigate the steps.

What the contractor does

  1. Choose your contractor license type
    If you’re doing telecommunications, most likely the best option for your company will be the telecommunications contractor license. The only exception is if you have someone in your organization who has passed the Limited Energy System exam (exam number 06). If that’s the case, you can get a Limited Energy Systems Contractor License, and you won’t have to send anyone to take the telecommunications administrator exam (exam 09). However, each of your employees doing the work will need to be certified.
  2. Choose an administrator
    If you decide to go ahead with the telecommunications contractor license, you’ll need someone in your company to be your telecommunications administrator. The administrator is the person designated and qualified to make sure your company complies with applicable rules. Other electrical contracting requires an Electric Administrator or someone qualified as a Master Electrician; but WA state specifically requires you to have a telecommunications administrator as part of your company. If you’re a sole proprietor, you have to become that administrator.
  3. Get bond and insurance originals
    To get a telecommunications contractor license, you’ll need a $4,000 surety bond. You’ll also need a certificate of liability insurance in the amount of $170,000. You can get these an insurance agent. The Department of Labor & Industries requires you to submit an original of these with your application. Be sure that your business name on your bond and insurance certificate are the same.
  4. Submit contractor’s license application
    The license application itself isn’t super long—but it asks for pretty detailed information:

    • Contractor license number (if you have one)
    • UBI number
    • Business name and contact information. Make sure you record your business name exactly the same as it’s shown on your bond and insurance certificate.
    • Telecommunications administrator’s name and certificate number
    • Industrial Insurance Account number, if you have or will have employees
    • Names, mailing addresses, and social security numbers of each principal (officer, member, partner, etc.). These names need to match what you put on your formation documents with the Secretary of State exactly.
    • EIN (federal tax ID number) if you have one.

    If the administrator doesn’t have a number yet, or the contractor doesn’t have a number yet, you can leave both blank. There is a $266.20 fee.

  5. Attach Administrator Assignment form
    Fill out the contractor’s section of the Change Assignment of Administrator/Master Electrician Certificate, making sure that your business name matches your contractor’s application. Have your administrator fill out the administrator section. After you fill out the certificate, submit it with the contractor’s license application and the $39.90.

What the administrator does

  1. Take the Telecommunications Administrator Exam
    The person you designate as your administrator must pass the telecommunications administrator exam (09). You don’t need L&I’s approval to take the exam. The exam is conducted by PSI, and you can schedule your exam online or call 1-800-733-9267.
  2. Apply for Telecommunications Administrator Certificate
    You can apply for your Telecommunications Administrator Certificate in three ways:

    • Online
      Apply online and mail in your exam scores with your online receipt. You’ll find the appropriate mailing address on your score result report from PSI.
    • By Mail
      If you’d rather skip the online payment form, you can just mail everything with a check or money order.
    • In Person
      Your third option is to walk everything into your local Department of Labor & Industries.

    Because you’ll have to mail your scores in anyway with option 1 or 2, we recommend walking your application in. Make sure to submit your application within 90 days of passing the test. There is an $80.10 fee, and the Administrator Certificate lasts for 3 years.

  3. Sign Administrator Assignment form in front of a notary
    The contractor will need a notarized signature from the telecommunications administrator on the Change Assignment of Administrator/Master Certificate. The contractor attaches this certificate to the contractor application.
  4. Fulfill continuing education requirements
    Administrators in WA must get 8 hours per year of continuing education.

What the Department of Labor and Industries does

The Department of Labor and Industries will process your administrator’s application – they will mail you your certificate within 5 days, or let you know what action they will take if there is a problem with your application.


Telecommunications Contractor License

Telecommunications Administrator Information

Washington State Industrial Insurance

RCW 18.27 Law governing Washington Contractors:

WAC 296-46B-925 Law governing Electrical/Telecommunications Contractor’s License