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AGO 1953 No. 64 - June 04, 1953
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington


Temporary salesman's licenses issued under the prior law are not revoked by chapter 235, Laws of 1953.  The increase in license fees provided for in 1953 act is applicable to all licenses issued subsequent to June 11, 1953.  The amount paid in as advance deposit for the prior license fee must be credited on the fee prescribed in 1953 act.

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                                                                    June 4, 1953

Honorable Della Urquhart
Department of Licenses
Transportation Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 64

Dear Mrs. Urquhart:

            Your letter of May 13, 1953, as supplemented by our discussion with Mr. Slater, Administrator of the Real Estate Division, refers to the changes in fees chargeable under chapter 18.85 RCW, relating to real estate brokers and salesmen which will become effective when chapter 235, Laws of 1953, goes into effect on June 11, 1953.

            You point out that under the statute now in effect an applicant for a salesman's license may obtain a temporary license without charge.  Under chapter 235, Laws of 1953, a charge of $5.00 will be made for temporary permits.  The present fee of $5.00 chargeable for the issuance of a salesman's license to an applicant who has passed his examination will be increased to $15.00 under the 1953 Act.  The fee for a broker's license will be increased from $5.00 to $25.00.  The examination fee of $15.00 charged applicants taking both the brokers' and the salesmen's examinations remains unchanged.

            You state that it has been the practice of the department to charge each salesman applicant the examination fee of $15.00 and at the same time to accept payment of the sum of $5.00 as an advance deposit for the salesman's license fee.  In the event the applicant fails to pass the examination, the $5.00 license fee is returned to the applicant.

            In view of the fact that the next examinations will be held on June 13, 1953, a short period of time will elapse between June 11th, the effective date of chapter 235, Laws of 1953, and the date of the announcement of the results of the examinations.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            You request our opinion on the following questions:

            1. When chapter 235, Laws of 1953, becomes effective on June 11, 1953, will a present applicant for a salesman's license who now holds a temporary license which was issued to him without charge pending the outcome of his examination be required to obtain and pay the $5.00 fee for the temporary permit provided for under the 1953 Act?

            2. Will a present applicant who takes and passes the examination on June 13th be required to pay the increased license fees prescribed by the 1953 Act?

            3. If the answer to question No. 2 is yes, may the $5.00 which has been accepted in advance as the salesman's license fee under the present law be credited toward payment of the $15.00 license fee under the 1953 Act?

            It is our conclusion that question No. 1 must be answered in the negative and that questions Nos. 2 and 3 should be answered in the affirmative.


            1. Under the provisions of RCW 18.85.150 as now in effect, the Director is authorized to "issue a temporary salesman's license pending examination."  This temporary license is valid until the results of the next examination are available.  No fee is prescribed for such temporary license.

            Under the amendment contained in section 8, chapter 235, Laws of 1953, the temporary "license" provided for in RCW 18.85.150 is changed to a temporary "permit."  The "application fee" for a temporary permit is to be $5.00.  Presumably this fee is to cover the cost of processing the application.  The 1953 Act does not cancel or revoke the temporary license issued under the prior provisions of RCW 18.85.150.  We are of the opinion that such temporary licenses need not be replaced by temporary permits under the 1953 Act.

            2. Section 7 of chapter 235, Laws of 1953, amends RCW 18.85.140 by increasing the real estate broker's license fee to $25.00 and by increasing the salesman's license fee to $15.00.  Payment of such fees is a condition which must be complied with before the applicant receives his license.  We believe this increase in the fees clearly applies to all licenses issued after June 11, 1953, the effective date of the 1953 Act.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            3. The additional $5.00 which has been accepted in advance from applicants for salesmen's licenses has never become payable to the department.  The license fee does not become due until after an applicant has passed his examination.  Thereafter, upon payment of the license fee, he is entitled to his license.  If the applicant does not take the examination or fails to pass it, the license fee is not chargeable against him.  The department accepted the $5.00 payments from the present applicants merely as a convenience to all concerned, with the understanding that such sums would be applied to the license fees when and if the fees become payable.  We are of the opinion that such payments must either be returned or credited as part payment to the new license fees.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General

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