Electrical Laws & Rules
Current electrical laws (RCW)
Replacement/insert pages due to changes in legislation. Please replace/insert pages below in your print version of 2018 RCW 19.28.
- Replacement page 5 — Change is due to 2019 legislation - SHB 1594.
- Replacement page 7 — Change is due to 2020 plumbing legislation - SB 6170.
- Replacement page 9 — Change is due to 2020 plumbing legislation - SB 6170.
- Replacement page 16 — Change is due to 2020 plumbing legislation - SB 6170.
- Replacement page 18 — Change is due to 2020 plumbing legislation - SB 6170.
- Replacement page 22 — Change is due to 2021 legislation - SSB 5267.
- Insert page 22.5 — Please insert this page between pages 22 and 23. Change is due to 2020 legislation - SSB 6409 which added new section 19.28.265.
- Replacement page 27 — Change is due to 2021 legislation - SSB 5267.
Current electrical rules (WAC)
Replacement pages due to rule changes. Please replace pages below in your October 29, 2020 print version of WAC 296-46B.
- Replacement fee schedule pages (Effective July 1, 2021) — Changes reflect 5.79% fee increase.
- Replacement page 89 — Change is due to rule revisions of WAC 296-46B-940 Reciprocal agreements between Washington and other states.
NFPA codes and standards
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has adopted changes to the qualifications for journey level (01) electrician examinations. This is taking place now to comply with a new state law.
The adopted rule affects Washington Administrative Code 296-46B-945. It takes effect July 3.
What the rule does
- Provides greater opportunities for electrical trainees to continue to work and qualify for the (01) exam without going through an apprenticeship.
- Trainees with more 3,000 hours of electrical experience before July 1, or those that completed a two-year electrical construction training program before July 1, may continue gaining experience until July 1, 2026, without registering as apprentices.
- Trainees with fewer than 3,000 hours of electrical experience worked before July 1, 2023, must register as apprentices with an (01) apprenticeship program if performing work limited to (01) journey level electricians.
The adopted rule also incorporates some items from the agency’s earlier rulemaking. It establishes permanent pathways to qualify for the journey level electrician's certificate of competency examination for military, state licensed, and out-of-state electricians.
The rule change is required to implement, Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5320 (Chapter 95, Laws of 2023) that passed this legislature this year. The law also takes effect July 1.
Expedited Step 1: Proposed Rulemaking
Expedited Step 2: Final Adoption
L&I is considering adoption of the 2023 National Electrical Code (NEC) and other rule changes. L&I filed a formal Preproposal Statement of Inquiry (CR-101) on April 4.
The changes under consideration would affect WAC 296-46B, Electrical Safety Standards, Administration, and Installation, excluding WAC 296-46B-945, Qualifying for master, journey level, specialty electrician examinations.
Why this is happening now
L&I reviews the state electrical rules every three years, to ensure consistency with national electrical safety standards and industry practice. The NEC is recognized and adopted in nearly all 50 states.
How you can participate
L&I’s Electrical Program, like many jurisdictions, doesn’t adopt the NEC in its entirety. We’re seeking input from interested parties in making code amendments and other changes to the rules. Interested parties may submit rule proposals through May 20.
L&I is also seeking experts and interested group representatives to participate on a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) during the same period.
See the April 2023 Special Edition Electrical Currents Newsletter for more details and a link to the rule proposal form.
Notice of Intent 4/04/2023
• CR-101 Preproposal
Here’s what happens next
• November 21: The proposed rules (CR-102) are expected to be filed with the state Office of the Code Reviser.
• January 3, 2024: A public hearing on the proposed rules is tentatively scheduled.
• February 27, 2024: The final rules (CR-103) are expected to be filed with the state Office of the Code Reviser.
• April 1, 2024: The new rules are expected to take effect.
L&I has adopted rule changes that provide more opportunities to qualify for the journey level (01) examination.
A new law, implemented under 2018’s Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 6126, provided L&I the opportunity to engage in rulemaking. L&I’s used its discretion provided by the law to continue to help the electrical industry while implementing the bill. Below is an overview of the adopted changes, and where to go to see a complete text of the adopted rule.
L&I filed a CR-103 Rulemaking Order to adopt the changes on Feb. 14. The new rules take effect on July 1.
An important note:
These changes do not apply to specialty electrical contractors or the trainees they employ. Also unchanged is the process for trainees to submit hours of experience to the Electrical Program’s licensing division
Overview of proposed changes
The adopted changes allow journey-level candidates to take the 01 exam based on a “good cause” exemption available under law. The exemption would be in effect through July 1, 2025. The adopted rule, in part, recognizes:
- State-licensed electricians from other jurisdictions that require 8,000 hours of experience (4,000 hours must be new commercial or industrial installations) as journey level electricians;
- Individuals with military experience from a construction battalion while in the U.S. military, or those from other jurisdictions with 16,000 hours working in the electrical trade (4,000 hours must be commercial or industrial installations), to qualify for the 01 journey level electrician examination.
- Individuals with 4,000 hours performing industrial or commercial installations accrued prior to July 1, 2023. The individual can continue accruing remaining specialty experience and qualify for the journey level electrician examination without joining an apprenticeship program.
This rulemaking also adopts other changes to the rule for updates and housekeeping.
Notice of Intent 8/02/2022
- CR-101 Preproposal
- First Draft WAC 296-46B-945 Proposed Amendments
- Second Draft WAC 296-46B-945 Proposed Amendments
- Third Draft WAC 296-46B-945 Proposed Amendments
Proposed Rule Language 11/22/2022
- CR-102 Proposed Rulemaking.
- CR-102 Proposed Rule Language.
- Preliminary Cost Benefit Analysis.
- Public Hearing Information Packet.
Final Adoption 2/14/2023
- CR-103 Adoption.
- CR-103 Adoption Language.
- Final Cost Benefit Analysis.
- Concise Explanatory Statement (CES).
Here's what happens next
July 1, 2023: The adopted rule takes effect.
As new policies are approved, they will be posted here. Please check back on a regular basis.
|Policy Number||Effective Date|
|none current or pending||None as of 10/1/2013|