New Contractor Laws & Rules Webpage

Laws and rules about contractor registration can be found in the:

The laws and rules are maintained and updated by the State Office of the Code Reviser.

All Rulemakings in the Contractor Registration Program can be found here.

2023 rulemaking

L&I is considering changes to the state’s contractor registration rules. The amendments affect the definitions, penalty and bond amounts, and fees for general and specialty contractors. The amendments are necessary due to the passage of legislation and the need to support operating expenses for the Contractor Registration program.

The agency filed a CR-101 preproposal on Oct. 10, 2023, for changes under Chapter 296-200A WAC.

About the new laws

2023’s Second Substitute House Bill 1534 (2SHB 1534) (Chapter 213, Laws of 2023) helps to strengthen protections for consumers in the construction industry. Provisions of the bill increase fines, penalties, and bond amounts for contractors. These provisions take effect July 1, 2024.

2019’s Senate Bill 5795 (SB 5795) (Chapter 155, Laws of 2019) increases bond requirements for contractors. The law gives L&I the authority to require up to three times the normal bond amount if there has been one court judgment against a contractor involving a residential single-family dwelling. The law took effect July 28, 2019.

The rule amendments under consideration include:

  • Increasing fees by the fiscal growth factor.
  • Making amendments to be consistent with the statutory amendments under 2SHB 1534. This includes:
    • Defining the meaning of “due diligence” related to a successor of an entity verifying the entity is in good standing related to unsatisfied final judgment against it for work performed under chapter 18.27 RCW or owes money to L&I for assessed penalties or fees as a result of a final judgment.
    • Increasing surety bond amounts for general and specialty contractors.
    • Increasing the monetary penalty amounts for infractions by contractors.
  • Amending contractor bond requirements for final judgments to be consistent with the statutory amendments under SB 5795.
  • Making amendments for updates and clarification. These include:
    • Clarifying the existing filing fee for suits against a contractor.
    • Clarifying the requirements to collect penalties from a contractor and restitution payments.

For details on the changes, see the CR-101 Preproposal Statement of Inquiry below.

Rulemaking Documents
Here's what happens next
  • Feb. 20, 2024: The proposed rules (CR-102) are expected to be filed with the state Office of the Code Reviser.
  • March 2024: A public hearing on the proposed rules is expected to be scheduled for this month.
  • May 21, 2024: The final rules (CR-103) are expected to be filed with the state Office of the Code Reviser.
  • Jul. 1, 2024: The rule changes are expected to take effect.