Updated: June 13, 2024

Information about setting up a payment plan and applying for a hardship exemption or armed forces exemption.

Payment Plans

If you are experiencing financial challenges, please note that our payment plan option is available to all licensed legal professionals. Payments may be made in up to five installments with the balance required to be paid in full by Feb. 3, 2025. To take full advantage of the plan, sign up and pay the first installment in October 2024.

How do I set up a payment plan?

  • Download the 2025 WSBA Payment Plan Form and complete the "Payment Options and Authorization" and "Plan Selection" sections.
  • The $20 Client Protection Fund assessment set by the Washington Supreme Court is included in your first payment.
  • Optional: You may take the Keller deduction or donate to the  Washington State Bar Foundation (WSBF) and/or Campaign for Equal Justice with your last payment.
  • Mandatory: Online licensing opens in November. All  licensing requirements, including payment, must be completed by Feb. 3, 2025.  A late fee will be assessed Feb. 4. Failure to comply with licensing requirements may result in a Washington Supreme Court order of suspension (Washington Supreme Court  Admission and Practice Rule 17).
  • Mail your completed form to the Washington State Bar Association, Attention: Accounting, 1325 Fourth Ave, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98101.

If you have questions, please email licensing@wsba.org or call 206-443-9722, toll-free: 800-945-9722.

Hardship Exemption

WSBA Bylaw Article III, section I.5. provides for license fee and assessment exemptions due to hardship. In case of proven extreme financial hardship, which must entail a current annual household income equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty level as determined based on the member’s household income for the calendar year immediately preceding the calendar year for which the member is seeking to be exempted from license fees, the Executive Director may grant an exemption from payment of annual license fees and assessments by any Active member. Hardship exemptions are for one licensing period only, and a request must be submitted on or before Feb. 1 of the year for which the exemption is requested. Denial of an exemption request is not appealable. A member may be granted a hardship exemption a maximum of two times, on the basis of separate exemption requests, and the exemptions may be granted for consecutive or non-consecutive calendar years. Supporting documentation may be requested.

To request an exemption for the 2025 license year, log in to your online license renewal and click Save and Pay. (Be sure to complete trust account, insurance, and MCLE certifications, if applicable.) Submit the license fee hardship exemption request by Feb. 3, 2025.

When applying for this exemption, please use your 2024 annual household income.

If your request is denied and payment is not made online or postmarked or received by Feb. 3, a 30% late fee will be assessed. You will only be denied if you do not meet the criteria outlined in the bylaw.

For 2024 federal poverty guidelines, visit the  Health and Human Services webpage.

If you have questions, please email licensing@wsba.org or call 206-443-9722, toll-free: 800-945-9722.

Armed Forces Exemption

WSBA Bylaw Section III.I.1.a.7 provides for a fee exemption for eligible members of the Armed Forces whose WSBA license is active. An active member of the Bar who is activated from reserve duty status to full-time active duty in the armed forces of the United States for more than 60 days in any calendar year, or who is deployed or stationed outside the U.S. for any period of time for full-time active military duty in the U.S. armed forces will be exempt from the payment of license fees and assessments for the Client Protection Fund upon submitting to the WSBA executive director satisfactory proof that he or she is so activated, deployed or stationed. All requests for exemption must be postmarked or delivered to the Bar’s offices on or before Feb. 1 of the year for which the exemption is requested. Eligible members must apply every year they wish to claim the exemption. Each exemption applies for only the calendar year in which it is granted, and exemptions may be granted for a maximum total of five years for any member. Granting or denying an exemption under this provision is within the sole discretion of the Executive Director and is not appealable.

Please submit a copy of your orders and a recent LES by e-mail to licensing@wsba.org. Upon review and acceptance you will be sent a notification of approval granting the Armed Forces Exemption.

If you have questions, please email licensing@wsba.org or call 206-443-9722, toll-free: 800-945-9722.