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How to Verify a Professional's License in Tacoma?

The Washington State Department of Licensing issues over 35 types of professional licenses across various cities in the state, including the City of Tacoma. Residents of Tacoma must understand that a license or registration is what makes a professional eligible to work in the city. As such, it is your responsibility to always request proof of licensing and verify the information from the agency that issued the license. For example, residents can verify whether a professional is licensed by the Washington State Department of Licensing by utilizing the department's license lookup tool. Note that the Washington State Department of Licensing is not the only agency responsible for regulating professionals in the City of Tacoma. For example, contractors in Tacoma are mandatorily required to register with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry. You can verify a contractor's registration status by utilizing the department's verify a contractor online search tool.

Having verified the professional's license or registration status, residents of Tacoma must also ensure that the professional obtains the necessary permits for the job. For example, carrying out home improvement or construction work in Tacoma requires obtaining and paying for a building permit. The city's Department of Planning and Development Services is responsible for issuing building permits, and queries concerning these permits can be directed to this department by at (253) 591-5030.

Do Tacoma Neighborhood Councils
Issue Building Permits?

No, neighborhood councils in the City of Tacoma do not issue home improvement or construction work permits. A neighborhood council is typically an independent, non-profit organization that promotes community-based efforts and interest via methods like the implementation of policies, public advocacy, suggestions, and recommendations. Neighborhood councils can decide on a variety of matters, including land use and zoning. For example, in 2020, the Tacoma Central Neighborhood Council opposed the city's proposed plan to re-designate a site near Cheney stadium from a park and open space to a major institutional campus. The council emphasized the importance of parks and open spaces in their everyday life, and as such, it considered the plan to re-designate a vital community resource and the campus project as being in direct conflict with the community's post-pandemic vision. Neighborhood councils also encourage activities that improve public health in their communities. In September 2021, the South End Neighborhood Council started the tidy-up Tacoma initiative, which is expected to run through November. The tidy-up Tacoma initiative will include activities like landscaping, street sweeping, removing graffiti, cleaning up any litter or debris, and improving public health across the business districts in the city. You can find out more about neighborhood councils in Tacoma by downloading the city's neighborhood council program standards and guidelines. In addition to this, you can also find a neighborhood council near you by utilizing the neighborhood council district map.

How Do You File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Tacoma?

Complaints concerning unfair and deceptive business practices in Tacoma are handled by the Consumer Protection Division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General. You can file a business complaint with the division online, by calling (800) 551-4636, or by completing and submitting a general complaint form to:

  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Consumer Protection Division
  • 800 5th Avenue
  • Suite 2000
  • Seattle, WA 98104 - 3188

Upon receiving the complaint, the Consumer Protection Division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General will review the matter to determine if it will be handled by the division or transferred to another agency. If after the review, the division decides to handle the matter, your complaint will be assigned to a staff member, and the name and contact information of the staff member will be given to you. This is to enable you to communicate or receive new updates or information from the staff member. The staff member will notify the business of the claims made against them. In many cases, the business will respond, and a solution that is favorable to both parties will be discussed. However, if the business fails to cooperate, you can file the matter as a small claims case in the Pierce County District Court if the total money involved is not more than $10,000. In cases where the total money exceeds the aforementioned amount, you can consider filing a general civil lawsuit.

Lastly, if the complaint involves criminal offenses, you can also report the matter to the Tacoma Police Department by calling (253) 287-4455.