Washington State Veterinary Licensing in 2 Minutes

Washington State Veterinarian Licensing 2 minutes vet staff symbol, wa state park

Washington State Veterinarian Licensure Summary

You are a veterinarian licensed in another state, but you’re considering either temporary veterinary work in Washington state, or a permanent move.  Intrigued by the city of Seattle, Olympia or Mount Rainier national park?

Read on to find out what you can expect en route to obtaining your license as a relief or full-time veterinarian in Washington state:

Ease: 
Expense:    /5
Time:     /5
Temporary License Option:  N- except delayed permanent licensure or during disaster relief

Temporary Washington Veterinary License:

Unfortunately, other than for disaster relief veterinary efforts, there is no rapid or inexpensive method to get your Washington Veterinarian State license.   Only after you have applied for your full WA veterinarian license are you eligible for a temporary license.    The temporary license is granted only in the event of fingerprint processing delays of your regular license (see below), and will cost you an extra $215.  Your temporary Washington veterinarian license is valid for 180 days.

Permanent Washington Veterinary License:

Cost of your WA vet license includes initial application fee $170 + state exam fee $210.  Application processing may take up to 45 days from application submission.

The WA state exam consists of Washington state jurisprudence 50 multiple choice questions regarding state laws and veterinary medicine practice regulations.  Though you need 90% to pass, the exam is conveniently mailed to your home and is open book!

Beyond passing either the National Board Examination and Clinical Competency Test (NBE and CCT) or the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) and completing your usual exam score transfer via VIVA,  here are the Washington State Veterinarian licensing requirements:

  1. Official veterinary school transcripts sent directly from your veterinary school.
  2. As with California and Texas, you need to submit a finger-print scan at additional cost (est. $10-50).  The hard card will be mailed to you and you’ll need to visit a local finger-print scan location for fingerprinting onto the cards.  Note that in the event that fingerprinting delays processing, you may apply for a temporary permit at an additional $215, valid for 180 days.  This is the only time when a temporary permit may be issued other than for national disaster relief.
  3. Personal data questions are asked in your application.  If you have had a previous veterinary professional liability claim, further explanation of this claim, including copies of the paperwork from the original complaint and outcome are required.
  4. Verification forms from each state you have previously applied for licensure (whether or not you were ultimately licensed in these states) must be submitted directly to the board.
  5. An additional unusual WA requirement is certification that you have completed a minimum of 4 hours of education in the prevention, transmission and treatment of AIDS.  An additional course is required if this was not included in your training.
Specialist veterinarian licensure

Note that if you are an veterinary specialist in a specialty recognized by the AVMA, there is an option to apply for a “specialty license” and it costs $165 (vs. $170).  You won’t need to submit NAVLE scores but instead are required to send a letter from your AVMA approved specialty stating you are in good standing in your specialty.  Licensing times are the same for the regular WA license and you still have to take the jurisprudence open book exam.  This license limits you to only practice medicine in your specialty.  Renewal fees are $185 yearly-  the same as for regular licenses.

WA state veterinary license renewal requirements

Your Washington state veterinarian license must be renewed yearly for $185/yr.  30 hours of CE are required every 3 years for maintenance.

Best method to contact the Washington state veterinary board

Phone: (360)-236-4700 or email: hsqareview3@doh.wa.gov.  Unfortunately there is no listed direct contact method for the veterinary board.  This is contact information for the Washington State Department of Health, and they will refer you from there- possibly to a voicemail.

Ease of contact: 

Official website: Washington State Department of Health: Veterinarian

*We’re diligent about keeping this article current but veterinary licensing rules and regulations change with time!  Always double-check with the board, and kindly alert us of any discrepancies!

Thinking you might take advantage of Washington’s veterinary licensing options?  Don’t forget to peruse which vet practice to join too!  Click here for FurWork veterinarian jobs in Washington