An electrical permit is required for most electrical work, whether you or your contractor is installing a new item or repairing or replacing an existing item.

A permit is the first step in ensuring your installation conforms to safety codes and standards.

Who buys the permit?

Whoever is performing the electrical work is responsible to obtain a permit before starting the work. You cannot use a permit someone else has purchased.

For example: Someone you’ve hired asks you to purchase a permit for the work they are doing on your property. This is against the law, and the permit is not valid.

Inspection requests

You must request inspection prior to covering any electrical work, no later than 3 business days after completing the work or 1 business day after any part of the installation has been energized, whichever occurs first. Failure to request an inspection may result in civil penalties.

When a permit is not required

Certain projects do not require a permit. They include:

  • Travel trailers.
  • Plug-in household appliances.
  • The like-in-kind replacement of lamps; a single set of fuses; a single battery smaller than 150 amp hour; contactors, relays, timers, starters, circuit boards, or similar control components; one household appliance; circuit breakers; single-family residential luminaires; up to five snap switches, dimmers, receptacle outlets, thermostats, heating elements, luminaire ballasts with an exact same ballast; component(s) of electric signs, outline lighting, or skeleton neon tubing when replaced on-site by an appropriate electrical contractor and when the sign, outline lighting or skeleton neon tubing electrical system is not modified; one ten horsepower or smaller motor.
  • For the purposes of this section, "circuit breaker" means a circuit breaker that is used to provide overcurrent protection only for a branch circuit, as defined in NEC 100.

For more information

Go to Electrical Work on Residential Property: What You Should Know Before Work Begins (F500-078-000) to get:

  • A list of example electrical work that either requires or does not require a permit and inspection.
  • Helpful suggestions about how to protect yourself, your home and your property investment by getting the proper electrical work permits and inspections.
  • Detailed instructions and helpful hints about the electrical permit and inspection process.

Go to Homeowner's Residential Electrical Inspection Guidelines to get basic installation requirements for a single-family dwelling.

Contact us

Phone

  • Electrical Licensing and Certification: 360-902-5269
  • Electrical Citation and Amusement Ride Support Desk: 360-902-5570
  • Electrical Plan Review: 360-902-5246

Local offices

Find an office location near you.

Email

ElectricalProgram@Lni.wa.gov

Mail

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
Electrical Program
P.O. Box 44460
Olympia WA 98504-4460