Updated: Jan. 16, 2021

Qualifications for Admission by Motion Under APR 3(c)(1)

Lawyers admitted to the practice of law in other states or territories of the United States or the District of Columbia are not required to sit for the lawyer bar examination if they present satisfactory proof of admission and current good standing in that jurisdiction, together with proof of active legal experience for at least three of the past five years immediately preceding the filing of the application.

Applications for admission by motion under Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 3(c)(1) may be filed online at anytime. Note that Washington Supreme Court APR 5(b) requires that Admission by Motion applicants must complete the preadmission requirements within one year from the date of filing the application. After one year, applicants must submit a new application and fee. Applicants may withdraw the application at any time subject to a $300 non-refundable administrative fee. Fees paid to the National Conference of Bar Examiners are also non-refundable.

Important Notice:

Currently we are developing a new online admissions portal. Due to the upgrade, Admission by Motion applications must be submitted by Jan. 21, 2021. Failure to do so, will require the applicant to start a new application beginning Jan. 25, 2021. 

Filing an Application for Admission by Motion

To apply for Admission by Motion, complete and submit the application through the WSBA Online Admissions System. In addition to filing the application online, applicants must upload to the online application the following completed documents prior to submitting the application. These forms must be dated within six months prior to the date the application is submitted:

  • One signed and notarized authorization and release form (do not alter this form)
  • Two signed Good Moral Character Certificates
  • One Certificate of Good Standing from each jurisdiction in which you are or have ever been admitted to practice law as a lawyer

Application Fees

  • Admission by Motion for U.S. attorneys: $620 + additional NCBE Investigation fee. (NCBE will contact you)
  • All eligible attorney applicants and foreign applicants are required to pay an investigation fee to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). After review of your application by the WSBA office,  the NCBE will contact you and provide you with NCBE payment, authorization, and release forms that will need to be executed. 

Admission Requirements

After an application is submitted and approved, there are additional requirements that must be met prior to recommending to the Washington Supreme Court that it issue an order admitting you to practice in Washington. These requirements will be displayed on your online application page. Please review the New Lawyer Admittee Process Instructions.

Qualifications for Military Spouse Admission by Motion Under APR 3(c)(2)

 Effective Sept. 1, 2019

Important Notice:

All applications for admission or licenses to practice law are posted on this website. If you have started a paper application, submit the application and fee by Nov. 30, 2020.  If not, applicants are required to complete a new online application beginning Dec. 1, 2020. Paper or PDF applications will not be accepted after Nov. 30, 2020.

A lawyer admitted to practice law in another state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia who does not qualify for admission by motion under APR 3(c)(1) and does not qualify for admission by UBE score transfer under APR 3(d), who is the spouse of an active duty service member of the United States Uniformed Services, who is or will be stationed in Washington and currently resides or will reside in Washington as a spouse of that member of the United States Uniformed Services, is not required to sit for the lawyer bar examination if they present satisfactory proof of admission and current good standing in that jurisdiction, proof of marital status (i.e marriage certificate), together with the spouse's proof of duty and current/future assignment in Washington. Military spouse admission by motion applicants do not require an NCBE report.

Applications for military spouse admission by motion under Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 3(c)(2) may be filed at any time. Note that Washington Supreme Court APR 5(b) requires that Admission by Motion applicants must complete the preadmission requirements within one year from the date of filing the application. After one year, applicants must submit a new application and fee. Applicants may withdraw the application at any time subject to a $300 nonrefundable administrative fee.

Filing an Application for Military Spouse Admission by Motion

At this time, the application for Military Spouse Admission by Motion is a paper application, which must be mailed or delivered to the WSBA. Submit the paper application along with the $620 payment to the WSBA, and include the following items:

  • One signed and notarized authorization and release form (do not alter this form);
  • Two signed Good Moral Character Certificates; and
  • One Certificate of Good Standing from each jurisdiction in which you are or have ever been admitted to practice law as a lawyer.

Application Fees

  • Military Spouse Admission by Motion: $620

Admission Requirements

After an application is submitted and approved, there are additional requirements that must be met prior to recommending to the Washington Supreme Court that it issue an order admitting you to practice law in Washington. These requirements will be mailed to you after review and approval of your application. Please review the New Lawyer Admittee Process Instructions.

Please Note : All applicants are subject to a character and fitness review prior to being admitted to practice law in Washington.  Factors considered by Admissions staff and Bar Counsel when determining whether an applicant should be referred to the Character and Fitness Board are set forth in Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rules (APR)  20-24.2(a). 

Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and the rules and regulations set by the Washington Supreme Court, or the Bylaws and policies of the Washington State Bar Association, is unintentional and will be resolved in favor of strict compliance with the rules, regulations, Bylaws and policies.