Washington Surety Bond Guide

Which Washington Surety Bond Do You Need?

The state of Washington requires two main types of surety bonds in order to legally operate:

  • License and permit bonds needed for many professions such as contractors and vehicle dealers.
  • Contract bonds (such as bid and performance bonds) needed to get bonded for public construction jobs.

If you’re unsure of what bond you need, please contact a bond professional. It’s important that you understand how bonds work and that bond claims can put you at risk.

Getting License and Permit Bonds

Washington requires license and permit bonds in order to get licenses/permits for many professions. You can find the full list of Washington license and permit bond requirements by using our bond requirement search tool.

The most frequently needed license and permit bond is the continuous contractor’s bond for general and specialty contractors, which is required by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. Another license bond that’s often applied for is the vehicle dealer bond required by the Washington State Department of Licensing (a bond is also required for vessel dealers, vehicle manufacturers, registered tow truck operators, wreckers and scrap metal businesses).

Washington Bond Requirement Search


What Does a Bond Cost in Washington?

Bond costs vary significantly depending on the bond amount required of you and your rate (which is the percentage of the full bond amount you must pay). Use our bond pricing tool to get a ballpark estimate or an exact quote.

Can You Get Surety Bonds with Bad Credit?

It’s possible to get surety bonds with credit issues in Washington, but it will depend on the bond type and how severe your problems are. You can get approved for most license and permit bonds with bad credit.

However, it’s difficult to get contract bonds with bad credit. You may be able to get contract bonds with small issues on your credit report; but you’ll probably be limited to smaller projects. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to get approved for contract bonds with severe problems such as large collections or civil judgments (unless you’re a larger contractor with strong CPA business financials).

Getting Court Bonds in Washington

Court bonds aren’t as common as the other bonds mentioned above, but may be required in Washington courts if you want to appeal a court decision, become a legal guardian of a minor or operate as a fiduciary of an estate.

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