Final grade: B+
Due Process Grade
- Boards may only use “directly related” convictions when considering applications and must consider multiple factors, including evidence of rehabilitation.
- Created a predetermination petition process.
- Imposes a 10-year time limit for considering old convictions.
Areas of Improvement
- Extend state’s protections to licenses for health professionals.
- Ban boards from considering arrests that did not result in a conviction as well as sealed and expunged records.
Updated May 2021
Thanks to a reform enacted in 2021, Washington’s legal protections for ex-offenders seeking licenses are well above average, earning the state a B+ for its final grade.
However, the state’s safeguards do not apply to health occupational licenses, which can be denied to applicants on the basis of any crime involving drugs, violence, financial exploitation, or moral turpitude. In addition, a health licensing board may deny a license if an ex-offender has been convicted of a gross misdemeanor or felony “relating to the practice of the person’s profession,” a far lower standard than the state’s main law.
Statute: Wash. Rev. Code § 9.96A (2016)
|Overarching ban on blanket bans||Yes, but excludes health licenses|
|Ban on considering arrest records||No|
|Ban on considering post-conviction relief records||No|
|Time limit||10 years, except for crimes against children|
|Ban on vague, discretionary character standards||Yes|
|Relationship between the crime and the license sought||"Directly relate"|
|Required factors for consideration|
|Time elapsed since crime was committed||Yes|
|Age when crime was committed||No|
|Burden of Proof||Both unspecified|
|Right to appeal||Yes|
|Written notice requirement||Yes|