Admission By Motion Information and Application




Rules and Regulations


 Character and Fitness



 Admission Requirements


   Washington Law Component (WLC)

Qualifications for Admission By Motion

Effective January 1, 2014, APR 3(c) (admission by motion) will supersede APR 18 (reciprocity). 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 bar examination if they:

  • Present satisfactory proof of admission and current good standing, together with proof of active legal experience for at least 3 of the past 5 years immediately preceding the filing of the application.

Applications for admission by motion under APR 3(c) may be started and filed on or after January 1, 2014. Note that 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,you will need to submit a new application and fee. You may withdraw your application at any time subject to a $300 non-refundable administrative fee. Fees paid to the NCBE are also non-refundable.

Rules and Regulations

The admissions process is governed by the Admission and Practice Rules (APR) and the Application Instructions.

Admission By Motion applications and admissions are governed by APR 1 - 5 and 7.

Character and Fitness requirements and proceedings are governed by APR 20–24.

Washington ethical or professional responsibility duties are set forth in the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Membership in the WSBA is governed by the WSBA Bylaws.

Filing an Application for Admission by Motion

The application for admission by motion must be completed online through the WSBA Online Admissions System.

In addition to filing the application online, you must upload the following documents when complete to the online application prior to submitting the application:

  • One (1) signed and notarized Authorization and Release Form. Do not alter this form.
  • One (1) signed Good Moral Character certificate; and 
  • One (1) Certificate of Good Standing from each jurisdiction in which you are or have ever been admitted to practice. 

All documents filed with the WSBA must include your Applicant ID number. It is preferable that documents and files attached to the application be in PDF format. Please format files so that they are as small as possible.

Admission by Motion applicants may submit a completed application at anytime. It takes approximately 4-6 months from the time an application is submitted for the application to be approved. Once the application is approved, applicants will receive an email notification. Additional information is provided in our Application Instructions for Admission.

Application Fees

  • U.S. Attorneys: $620 + NCBE Investigation Fee 
  • All attorney applicants must submit a separate investigation fee directly to the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Complete the NCBE payment form and mail payment with the form directly to the NCBE together with two (2) original signed and notarized Authorization and Release Forms. 

Character and Fitness

All applicants are subject to a character and fitness review prior to being admitted to practice law in Washington State. The practice of law is a privilege, not a right. Admission may be withheld pending a hearing before the Character and Fitness Board and final determination regarding whether the applicants have met their burden of proving that they are of good moral character and fit to practice law. 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 APR 24.2(a).

Admission Requirements

After submitting the application and being approved for admission, there are additional requirements that must be met prior to admission. These requirements will be displayed on your online application page.

Washington Law Component (WLC)

Admission by Motion applicants are required to take and pass the Washington Law Component test (WLC), which includes 15 outlines on various subjects of law. You will be able to access the test from your online admissions account after you submit your application and pay the application fee. There are 60 multiple choice questions to be answered in no more than four hours. You will have access to the WLC research materials while taking the test. You must answer 80% of the questions correctly to pass.

Note: Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and the rules and regulations set by the Washington State 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.


House Counsel and Multi-Jurisdictional Practice


Questions about admission on motion? Call WSBA Admissions at (206) 727-8209, or email

Application Instructions

Find out everything you need to know about submitting an application.

Start an Application

Create an account and apply online. This is not the in-house counsel application.