License Requirements

4/2/20: Temporary extension of health profession licenses
The Secretary of Health has extended health profession license expiration dates for licenses up for renewal between April 1 and September 30, 2020.
This extension will allow health professionals to focus on patient care and promote continued patient safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. Because renewal payment won’t be required until September 30, 2020, it will also reduce the economic burden on those providers not able to work during this emergency.

More info available here.

  • Education - Applicants must graduate from a dental hygiene program accredited through the American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The Washington State Department of Health must receive an official transcript listing the degree and dates posted directly from the applicant’s education program.
  • Expanded Function Education - Applicants must complete expanded function education through the applicant’s ADA CODA-accredited dental hygiene program or from a secretary of health-approved program. Expanded function education is required in anesthesia, nitrous oxide and restorative.
  • Dental Hygiene National Board Examination - Applicants must successfully complete the Dental Hygiene National Board Exam. Original scorecards must be sent directly from the National Board.
  • Clinical Examinations - Applicants must successfully complete clinical examinations in basic hygiene, anesthesia and restorative. Original scorecards must be sent directly from the testing agency.
  • Washington State Drug and Law Examination - Applicants must successfully complete the Washington State Drug and Law exam. The department must receive the original letter stating that the applicant has passed the examination.
  • Work History - Applicants must submit a complete listing of professional education and experience, including college and a complete chronology of practice history from the date of dental hygiene school graduation to present, whether or not engaged in activities related to dental hygiene.
  • State Licensure Verification - Applicant must list all states where they do or did hold credentials. This list must also include when the applicant has applied for a credential, even if a credential was not granted. The jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed must complete and submit the verification form. Applicant shall send the verification form to the jurisdiction for completion. The jurisdiction is required to send the completed form directly to the department. All applicants are checked for disciplinary information.
  • Personal Data Questions - Each applicant must answer the personal data questions. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint, and the settlement or final disposition. If the case is pending, applicant must indicate status.
  • HIV/AIDS training - Seven hours.

For the most current list of license requirements, please visit the Washington State Department of Health Website


Online Application for Dental Hygienists

  • The Washington State Department of Health has rolled out an online application for dental hygienist credentials. Check out the features of the online application portal on YouTube.
  • Applying online instructions

Online applications are accessed through SecureAccess Washington (SAW) security portal. You’ll need to add the Department of Health Online Application Portal service to access the online applications. The first time you add the service, you’ll be prompted to answer several questions to verify your identity. The questions will match the name and address you provide with the existing public record information. Because the questions come from public record, you need to provide a complete address and your full legal name as it appears on your driver’s license or birth certificate. You may find you have to enter a former address, especially if your address has changed recently (within the past one or two years) to get the right questions that pertain to your identity. If don’t have sufficient information in the public record to verify your identity and aren’t currently credentialed by the Department of Health, then you'll need to submit a paper application, as you won’t be able to access the Online Application Portal.

Once you have completed the process you will receive an email with your pending credential number, or you may look on Provider Credential Search. Refer to this credential number any time you contact Department of Health or submit paperwork.