Washington DC CPA Requirements
Exam and License Requirements To Become a CPA

Washington D.C. CPA Requirements

See what you need to become a CPA in Washington D.C.
Curious about the process of becoming a CPA in Washington, D.C.? If so, then you’re in the right spot. Welcome to your one-stop shop for CPA requirements in Washington, D.C. Read on below to learn everything you need to know to obtain licensure in this state.

Semester Units

Year of Experience
In Application Fees
Residency or Citizenship
Mandatory State Ethics Exam
Participates​ in International
Exam Program

Semester Units


Year of Experience

In Application Fees
Residency or Citizenship
Mandatory State Ethics Exam
Participates​ in International
Exam Program

Washington, D.C., CPA Requirements

The United States region pursues a single-tier licensing strategy. Therefore, you can obtain the Washington, D.C., CPA license only if you meet the prerequisites. The District of Columbia, like the majority of states, has a multi-step process for obtaining a CPA license. There are specific education, CPA Exam, and experience requirements.

Social Security Requirements Yes
Citizenship, Age, and Residency Requirements
  • U.S. citizenship is not needed
  • Minimum age is 18 years
  • Washington residency is not required
Education Requirement for Licensure 150 hours (including B.A.)
Pass the CPA Exams You must score 75 in each section to pass the CPA Exam
Work Experience 1-year work experience
Ethics Exam Requirement None
International CPA Examination Program Yes
Social Security Number Requirement

A Social Security number is required to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam in Washington. If you are eligible to work in the United States but do not have a Social Security number, you can send a petition to the board to waive the requirement.

Citizenship, Age, and Residency Requirements
  • You do not need U.S. citizenship to take the CPA Exam in Washington.
  • There is no residency requirement for the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia.
  • In Washington, you must be at least 18 years old to sit for the CPA Exam, but there is no upper age limit.
Educational Requirements

In order to obtain the license, you first need to pass the CPA Exam, which has a specific education requirement. You must complete a baccalaureate degree consisting of no less than 120 semester hours from an accredited U.S. educational institution.

Your credit hours must include 24 semester hours in accounting, containing:

  • Financial Accounting: 3 semester hours
  • Auditing: 3 semester hours
  • Cost or Managerial Accounting: 3 semester hours
  • U.S. Federal Income Tax: 3 semester hours
  • Commercial or Business Law: 3 semester hours

Please note that you will need a total of 150 hours for licensure.

Pass the Exam

Each section requires a minimum passing score of 75. Candidates can get their CPA Exam scores through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). If NASBA has not received your scores, you will not be able to access them. Also, you need to pass all four sections of the CPA Exam within an 18-month period. You can apply for a CPA license after passing the exam.

Work Experience Requirements
  • You must have at least 2,000 hours of work experience (one year) over the course of a year but not more than three years.
  • Your experience should be in government, business, academia, or public service.
  • Providing accounting, attestation, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, and tax business services or advice is also acceptable.
CPA Ethical Exam Requirements

The CPA ethics exam is not required in Washington, DC. However, licensees are required to complete 4 hours of Professional Ethics instruction per licensing cycle as a part of their continued professional education.

The International CPA Examination Program

NASBA administers the International CPA Examination Program for non-U.S. candidates who want to take the Uniform CPA Exam. International CPA candidates can apply through one of the participating jurisdictions, and Washington, D.C., is a participant in the International CPA Examination Program.

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Washington, D.C., CPA Exam & Licensing - Cost and Fees

When submitting a first-time application, all applicants must pay both an application fee and an examination fee. At the time of registration, all re-examination candidates must pay both a registration fee and an examination fee. The application fee for the CPA Exam costs $170, and the re-application fee is $85.

Washington, D.C., CPA Exam Fees
Initial Application Fee $170.00
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) $238.15
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) $238.15
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) $238.15
Regulation (REG) $238.15
Total $1,122.60

The Board determines fees associated with applications, services, and annual renewals. Use the structure provided as a guide to the basic costs and expenses associated with obtaining a CPA license in Washington, DC. Your actual fees may vary depending on the status of your application or the timing of your previous fee submission.

Washington, D.C., CPA License Fees
License Fees $110.00 (up to 2 years)
Renewal Fees $110.00 (up to 2 years)
Late Renewal Fees $50.00
Reinstated License Fees $110.00 (up to 2 years)
Inactive Status Fees $110.00
Duplicate License $30.00
Verification of Records $30.00
Permit to Practice $110.00 (up to 2 years)

Washington, D.C., CPA License Renewal Requirements

All CPAs in Washington, D.C., must renew their licenses every two years. The renewal cycle repeats from January 1 to December 31 biennially. You can submit your license renewal application on the District of Columbia Board of Accountancy website.

Washington, D.C., CPA Continuing Education Requirements

Maintaining a CPA license in Washington, D.C., requires 80 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. The licensee is not required to submit evidence of CPE for the first renewal of a license that has been issued for less than two years. An applicant for reinstatement of a license who has not renewed the license for less than five years must provide proof of having completed 40 hours of approved continuing education for each year of non-renewal, up to a maximum of 120 hours, since the previous issuance of the license.

Washington, D.C., CPA Exam: Exam Dates, Score Release and Scheduling

The CPA Exam is held-year round, and candidates can schedule their exam accordingly. However, it’s important to check the CPA Exam score release dates, which has the target exam and score release dates updated biennially by the AICPA.

Here are the steps necessary to apply for and schedule your CPA Exam.

  1. Submit Application and Fees

    Once you have met all the CPA Exam requirements, you can proceed with the application process. Apply either through NASBA's portal or Washington, D.C., board's website. The application fee for the CPA Exam is $170.00 in Washington, D.C.

  2. Receive Authorization to Test (ATT)

    As soon as Washington, D.C. has approved your application, you will receive an ATT document that allows you to register for the CPA Examination. You must log in to your NASBA account and pay the exam section fee to register. The average cost of one exam section is $225. The total cost of the four exams comes to around $1,000. Please remember that your ATT is only valid for 90 days. Thus, you will need to decide which sections to take, and in what order, as soon as possible.

  3. Obtain Notice to Schedule (NTS)

    After finishing the application process, you will receive a NTS within three to six weeks. The NTS is valid for up to six months. You must have your NTS to appear for the Uniform CPA Exam. You will also need the NTS while scheduling the exam via the Prometric website.

  4. Schedule Your Exam With Prometric

    Schedule your exam through the Prometric testing center's website. Your NTS number and the name of the testing center where you plan to take the exam are required to schedule the CPA Exam. If you're unsure where the nearest Prometric center is, doing some research online can be of assistance.

  5. Pass the CPA Exam

    You are all set to take the exam when you have finished the application process. The only requirements are to score 75 in each section and pass all four sections within 18 months. Your score release dates are available on the AICPA website.

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