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State of Washington Warns of Licensing Deadline


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Kenmore, WA

With less than 100 days remaining until every practicing home inspector in the state of Washington must either be licensed or close down the business until all requirements for licensure have been met, the Washington State Department of Licensing is trying to spread the word and ensure that all inspectors know what the new rules are.

On Friday, March 26, DOL issued the following via their list server:

Information about home inspector licensing!

All home inspectors must be licensed by July 1, 2010. There are four steps to becoming a licensed home inspector:

1. Get educated

2. Submit an exam application

3. Take the exam

4. Apply for your license

Here are detailed instructions on the steps to becoming a licensed home inspector!

1. Get educated

If you were not licensed before September 1, 2009, you are required to take a board approved, 120-hour home inspection fundamentals course and mentor with an experienced home inspector for 40 hours of field training to include 5 actual home inspections.

You can find a list of board approved fundamental courses on the Department of Licensing website.

2. Submit an exam application

After you finish your education and field training, submit your home inspection exam application packet. Your exam application must include:

1. Proof of completing a board approved home inspection fundamentals course

2. Proof of completing field training with an experienced home inspector with 5 actual home inspections

3. A complete home inspector exam application form

Mail your exam application to:

Home Inspectors

Department of Licensing

P O Box 9048

Olympia WA 98507-9048

Once your exam application has been evaluated and approved, you will receive an exam eligibility approval letter with contact information for the exam provider and instructions on completing the license process.

3. Take the exam

You must contact the exam provider to schedule your exam time and location and arrange payment for your exam. The cost for the full exam is $300.

When you pass the exam, the exam provider will give you state and national pass reports you will need for your license application.

If you fail all or a portion of the exam, you must wait 24 hours before scheduling with the exam provider to retake your exam. The cost to retake your exam is $125 for the state portion and $250 for the national portion.

4. Apply for your license

After passing your home inspector exam, submit your home inspector license application. Your license application must include:

1. A copy of your state and national pass reports from the exam provider

2. A complete home inspector license application form with your date of birth and Social Security Number required by RCW 26.23.150

3. Your $680 licensing fee made payable to Washington State Treasurer

Mail your license application to:

Home Inspectors

Department of Licensing

P O Box 9048

Olympia WA 98507-9048

For more information, please contact us at:

Home Inspectors

Department of Licensing

P O Box 9015

Olympia WA 98507-9015

Email: DOLINTHomeInspectors@dol.wa.gov

Phone: 360-664-6487

Fax: 360-586-0998

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Hi John,

Yes, they do mean business. In case you haven't been following it; a little bit of back story.

When the law was passed in June 2008 word was put out here as well as on other forums and via numerous private email lists to most inspectors in the state. Folks were told to spread the word and licensing was a constant topic of debate and discussion at every training venue from that point on. I never encountered a single inspector anywhere that didn't ask me about the law and beginning about six months after the law was passed realtors got word from Washington Realtors about it and realtors began prematurely asking inspectors whether they were licensed.

The law set an initial deadline for "experienced" inspectors to get licensed by only taking the exams. That deadline was September 1st 2009 and nearly 300 inspectors met that initial deadline.

Under the rules, an "experienced inspector" is anyone that had already been in business at least two years as of June 12, 2008 and had completed at least 100 inspections. The law made it clear that anyone that did not make that deadline would have to meet all education and training requirements by the July 1, 2010 deadline for all inspectors.

Not everyone listened or was proactive about getting licensed. Beginning about 3 weeks before the September deadline, some inspectors began showing up at DOL in Olympia demanding to know why they hadn't been informed about the new law and demanding more time to complete the requirements. Some of those folks were on the list of addressees that had received notice of the new law and rules over a year before, but that didn't prevent them from insisting they'd never heard anything about the law being passed anyway.

When some of these stalwarts didn't get the answers they liked from the program Manager, Ms. Myers, they literally stood there in her office and bellowed at her or stomped out vowing to talk to their legislator and slammed the door. Still she did what she could to help those who were willing to do what needed to do to get licensed on time; and, thanks to her, there are many that might have missed the deadline if she hadn't found them a seat in one of the testing venues and been willing to work unpaid overtime to get their applications processed on time.

After September 1st there were some folks disgruntled about the whole thing who vowed to get the law changed. Consequently, in January, we were hit with a plethora of new bills aimed at the home inspection licensing rules. All died in committee but one resurfaced when the Governor called the legislators back into emergency session to balance the state budget. That bill seeks to extend the deadline for all experienced inspectors until July 1, so that those who'd failed to meet September 2009 deadline wouldn't have to go to a course or do any mentoring. It also sought to exempt anyone that had gone to school after the deadline from having to get CEU's for the next six years. The bill's sponsor pulled the exemption for CEU's after encountering stiff opposition from home inspectors; but left the rest of the bill intact and it's still out there.

At this point we have to wait until this special legislative session expires before we'll know whether the bill indeed has finally died and we don't know whether those who were behind that bill have thrown in the towel and are getting themselves trained or they are looking for another way to skirt the law.

The ironic thing is that some of those behind the attempt to extend the deadline claim to be very experienced inspectors yet they'd failed multiple times to pass the NHIE - a test of very basic inspector knowledge. If anyone needs retraining, those folks do.

I certainly hope they're getting the training they need. With less than 100 days to go, it might be difficult for them to get trained, get the 40 hours of mentoring that they need, and then find a seat in a testing venue in time to make the July 1st deadline.

I guess we'll know somewhere around the last week in June whether they've done what needs to be done; because, if they haven't, I'm guessing that they'll probably be back down in Olympia yelling at Ms. Myers again about things that are nobody's fault but their own.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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The $680 licensing fee sounds high. I hope our Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors doesn't hear of it. They've charged $200.00 since they were first created in 2000.

Marc

The $680 is for the initial fee for all new licences and it's for two years (or at least until your 2nd date of birth). After that it's $375 for each 2 year renewal. We have state laws that basically require any new program such as this to pay for itself, hence the high initial fee.

Unfortunately, the fees might even increase as the number of inspectors in the state, or at least those applying for the licence, seems to be way below the expected. We'll have to wait and see about that.

One way of looking at it...'cos I'm all for the silver lining...is that just one inspection a year that might have gone to someone who, for whatever reason, doesn't or can't get licensed, more than pays my fees.

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The TREC in Texas is going through all sorts of considerations and some of them may be substantial fee increases as well as having the state tax department require that we charge a sales tax on our reports.

All "talk" at present ... but some, all or none would not surprise me.

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Hi John,

Yes, they do mean business.

The ironic thing is that some of those behind the attempt to extend the deadline claim to be very experienced inspectors yet they'd failed multiple times to pass the NHIE - a test of very basic inspector knowledge. If anyone needs retraining, those folks do.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

It's always easier to bluster and stomp your foot. It doesn't work on government employees. I can't figure out how an "Experienced" inspector would not be able to pass the NHIE. The end result may be good for the real inspectors if many of the wannabe's just return to their jobs bagging groceries.

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  • 3 months later...

I wish BC would get their act together like Washington, here we require licensing but it is still left to at enactment 1 organization, now of course the BPCPA listed 3. You tell me Cahpi, Cahpi BC, ASST(or something like that) which I learned has agreements with Cahpi.

Licensing came in April 1st, 2009(april fools), since then they have added CanNachi to the list.

Since then Cahpi has terminated it's mandated program of NCH(National Certificate Holders).

Without proof, as a conspiricy theorist it stinks to high heaven of a monopoly which is illegal in Canada. Of course the MLA who tabled the legislation was fired for unrelated causes so no chance of finding out from that angle. Biggest piece of evidence is that in 2006 my wife(secretary) was at a swim meet with my daughter, in the same facility there was a Cahpi BC meeting, she was wearing my colors and he asked her if she was going to the meeting. When she said no he said what are you going to do when you have to be Caphi or you can't work.

As I said unprovable but I'll voice my opinion on the matter to whoever will listen, I'm all for licensing, our industry needs it but it has to be a level playing field: All inspectors having to take a government run program/test. Yes governments typically set the bar low but it is the only fair way to do things.

I became a Cahpi NCH last year to comply. Now I'm told that by Mar 31,2011 I have to be a Cahpi BC or CanNachi member.

The only possible saving grace is that PHPIO(Ontario) went national PHPIC(Canada) and is trying to reinstate the NCH. They are running into trouble as Cahpi never returned they're correspondance in time and is in fact now suing them saying that it is their program(what program, they terminated it).

Anyway stay tuned as things are going through a transition stage north of the border.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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