Do I need a license?

If you:

  • manufacture
  • sell
  • purchase
  • store
  • or use explosives (i.e. blasting, R&D testing, mining, etc.)

And you're not:

  • a federal/military employee
  • a laboratory researcher in a university (using less than 1 lb of explosives)

Then, yes - you will need a Washington State Explosives License.

Get a License


Read sections WAC 296-52-61005 through 66060 to understand what license you need, then fill out the form best for you:

Background Checks:

  • Fingerprint Background checks are required by law
  • Fingerprint cards are the same everywhere (Standard FBI FD-258).

Here is an example of how to fill it out

  • Mail your fingerprints to:
    Explosives Licensing
    PO Box 44655
    Olympia, WA 98504-4655


A resume with your experience and training is required for a User’s license.

There is no specified form, but here is an example that meets minimum requirements (WAC 296-52-64030 through 64040).

Training and experience must be documented and validated by:

  • Certificate of training
  • Signed statement of the trainer/blaster
  • Interview (in person or by phone) by L&I
  • Everything except fingerprints can be emailed to


IMPORTANT: Only individuals can be licensed as Users (Blasters) after passing a written test administered by L&I.

* Note: Active Law Enforcement personnel are exempt from background check requirements

Renew or Change a License


Washington law only allows for 1 year licenses. Notices are sent out

  • 60 days before the license expires (Renewal)
  • 30 days before expiration (Reminder)
  • The day of expiration (Failure to Renew)
  • 30 days after expiration (Cancellation)

Important: you can cancel your license at any time. Just tell us.

Send your payment AND renewal notice to us

  • in the mail (only checks allowed by mail); or
  • bring both to any L&I office

Background Checks*

  • Fingerprint Background checks are required every third year by law
  • Mail your fingerprints to:
    Explosives Licensing
    PO Box 44655
    Olympia, WA 4655


Changes happen. Small changes like Address, phone, email:

  • contact us by phone Explosives Licensing and Safety at 360-902-5563 or 360-902-5569, email to or mail anytime; or
  • cross off the old and write in the new information on your renewal notice

Responsible Person

Is your Responsible Person moving, retiring, or something similar? To change a Responsible Person on a license:

  • Fill out the Change of Responsible Person (F447-032-000) form; and
  • Submit the form (with fingerprints and background check fee if the person is not already licensed with L&I for explosives):
    Explosives Licensing
    PO Box 44655
    Olympia, WA 4655

* Note: Active Law Enforcement personnel are exempt from background check requirements

Record Requirements

Explosives Dealer's Records

Explosives Dealers must report transactions of all explosives bought and sold in Washington by the 10th of the month (RCW 70.74.230 and WAC 296-52-62045)

Any record we require can be scanned/emailed to

Blasting Report

Blasters in Charge must create a Blast Record as described in WAC 296-52-67010(8). You can use this form or make your own.


Washington State


Explosives rulemaking and stakeholder group (ESSG)

Beginning October 4, 2017, L&I began revising Washington Code regarding Safety Standards for Possession, Handling, and Use of Explosives (WAC 296-52) with a group of 21 leaders from private industry, government, and law enforcement from across the state. Progress has been very good and we are almost done revising this code.

See the ESSG rulemaking page for more information.

Information and Answers


We can only accept payments 2 ways:

  • Send a check in the mail to the Explosives Licensing office
  • Use cash/check/credit card at any L&I office:

We’re working on online payments- let us know your thoughts on this

Can I send my documents by e-mail?

Yes. You can send anything but payments and fingerprints by email to Sometimes its smarter to keep them all together though.

Do I need a permit to use explosives?

Maybe. Permits are issued by cities or counties in Washington. Contact your local Fire Marshal to find out.

Why do we need a license?

It’s the law. Explosives are powerful tools that are misused worldwide by criminals and terrorists. Licensing helps us control and prevent this.

Who do I call if blasting seems unsafe or uncontrolled?

L&I Explosives Licensing and Safety at 360-902-5563 or 360-902-5569 or email to

I thought explosives were just for military use, what else are explosives used for?

Explosives have many important uses in:

  • mining, quarrying, construction and demolition,
  • avalanche control, firefighting, law enforcement,
  • manufacturing, logging, agriculture,
  • seismology (studying earthquakes) and even medicine to fracture kidney and gall stones.

Will blasting near my home damage my foundation?

Probably not. Thousands of blast occur every year in Washington. Very few cause any damage. Some are confused with earthquakes (which cause much more damage).

Is blasting at night illegal?

No, but it is discouraged.