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Upgrade to a RN and LPN Nurse Multistate License 

Starting Jan. 31, 2024 you can upgrade your active single-state Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) license to a Washington state multistate license (MSL).

  • If you have a Washington single-state license, it won’t change automatically. If you want a multistate license, you must apply for the MSL upgrade.

*This page has information for nurses already licensed in Washington. If you don't have a Washington state license and want to apply visit: RN and LPN License 

MSL Upgrade Information

  • You must have an active Washington state RN or LPN license to be eligible for an MSL upgrade. 
    • If your license is expired or inactive, you must reactivate the RN or LPN license before applying for the MSL upgrade. 
  • MSL upgrade fee is $65.
  • Your license number won't change when upgrading to an MSL.
  • Provide a PDF copy of your proof of primary state of residence (PSOR) in Washington state documentation. This document should be uploaded to your online application in PDF format. Accepted PSOR documentation includes: 
    • Driver’s license with home address.
    • State issued identification card with home address.
    • Voter’s registration card with home address.
    • Federal income tax return declaring state of residence.
    • Military Form No. 2058, state of legal residence certificate.
    • W2 from a federal agency, bureau, or division, indicating the declared.
  • You must complete an FBI background check as part the application process. (We will email you instructions after you apply.)
  • We expect the MSL application review process to take 2 to 3 weeks.
  • You still must pay your annual renewal fee to maintain an active license in Washington state.
    • For example: If your license is due for renewal the same month you apply for an MSL upgrade, you must renew your license online AND submit an MSL upgrade application online. 

Before you apply

Applying for a Multistate License
  • Make sure you meet all Uniform Multistate License Requirements.
  • Get your required documents ready to upload in PDF form. Be sure to include your PSOR documentation to avoid processing delays.
  • Have a payment method ready to pay online.

Apply online

To upgrade your single-state Washington RN or LPN license to an MSL, complete an online application

Submitting forms and documents

  • You have 14 days after you submit your application to upload your documents online. 
  • After 14 days you won’t be able to access your application though SAW.  
  • If you have more documents to submit after 14 days, please email them to

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about upgrading to an MSL 

How do I submit the MSL upgrade application?


You will need to complete an online application through the Department of Health’s Online Application Portal. Please be sure to add a new service within your Secure Access Washington (SAW) Account and select the “Online Application Portal” under the “Department of Health”. This is not the same service code used for online renewal. If you do not see an option to apply for an RN or LPN multistate license, please remove the service code and manually add again.


Can I apply for the MSL upgrade if I am not currently due for renewal?

Yes. You may apply online to upgrade your single-state Washington license to a Washington MSL if your license is currently in active status. You do not need to wait for your renewal cycle since these processes are separate. If your license is expired or inactive, you will need to reactivate your license first.

Can I apply for the MSL if I do not currently have a Washington state RN or LPN license?

Yes. You may apply for a Washington state MSL if your PSOR is in Washington state. However, you will be required to complete the full application process since you are applying for your first Washington state license. For more information about the requirements, please visit RN or LPN License | Washington State Board of Nursing.

Can I apply for the MSL upgrade if my PSOR is in another compact state?

No. Your MSL must be in the same state as your PSOR. You may practice in Washington state under your MSL from another state and do not need to renew your Washington state RN or LPN license, unless you change your PSOR.

If moving to Washington state, please note that under the Interstate Commission of Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators rules section 403 (1), a nurse who changes his or her primary state of residence from one party state to another party state may continue to practice under the existing multistate license while the nurse's application is processed, and a multistate license is issued in the new primary state of residence.

Under section 402 (2) of the NLC rules, a multistate licensee who changes primary state of residence to another party state shall apply for a multistate license in the new party state within 60 days. Note, a change in primary state of residency does not include travelers living in a state temporarily and plan to return to another state of residence.


More Information

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