(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Disclose" means to make known to any person in any manner licensing information;
(b) "Licensing information" means any information created or obtained by the department in the administration of this chapter and chapters 19.80
RCW, which information relates to any person who: (i) Has applied for or has been issued a license or trade name; or (ii) has been issued an assessment or delinquency fee. Licensing information includes initial and renewal business license applications, and business licenses;
(c) "Person" has the same meaning as in RCW 82.04.030
and also includes the state and the state's departments and institutions; and
(d) "State agency" means every Washington state office, department, division, bureau, board, commission, or other state agency.
(2) Licensing information is confidential and privileged, and except as authorized by this section, neither the department nor any other person may disclose any licensing information. Nothing in this chapter requires any person possessing licensing information made confidential and privileged by this section to delete information from such information so as to permit its disclosure.
(3) This section does not prohibit the department of revenue, or any other person receiving licensing information from the department under this subsection, from:
(a) Disclosing licensing information in a civil or criminal judicial proceeding or an administrative proceeding:
(i) In which the person about whom such licensing information is sought and the department, another state agency, or a local government are adverse parties in the proceeding; or
(ii) Involving a dispute arising out of the department's administration of chapter 19.80
RCW, or this chapter if the licensing information relates to a party in the proceeding;
(b) Disclosing, subject to such requirements and conditions as the director prescribes by rules adopted pursuant to chapter 34.05
RCW, such licensing information regarding a license applicant or license holder to such license applicant or license holder or to such person or persons as that license applicant or license holder may designate in a request for, or consent to, such disclosure, or to any other person, at the license applicant's or license holder's request, to the extent necessary to comply with a request for information or assistance made by the license applicant or license holder to such other person. However, licensing information not received from the license applicant or holder must not be so disclosed if the director determines that such disclosure would compromise any investigation or litigation by any federal, state, or local government agency in connection with the civil or criminal liability of the license applicant, license holder, or another person, or that such disclosure would identify a confidential informant, or that such disclosure is contrary to any agreement entered into by the department that provides for the reciprocal exchange of information with other government agencies, which agreement requires confidentiality with respect to such information unless such information is required to be disclosed to the license applicant or license holder by the order of any court;
(c) Publishing statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of particular licensing information;
(d) Disclosing licensing information for official purposes only, to the governor or attorney general, or to any state agency, or to any committee or subcommittee of the legislature dealing with matters of taxation, revenue, trade, commerce, the control of industry or the professions, or licensing;
(e) Permitting the department's records to be audited and examined by the proper state officer, his or her agents and employees;
(f) Disclosing any licensing information to a peace officer as defined in RCW 9A.04.110
or county prosecuting attorney, for official purposes. The disclosure may be made only in response to a search warrant, subpoena, or other court order, unless the disclosure is for the purpose of criminal tax or license enforcement. A peace officer or county prosecuting attorney who receives the licensing information may disclose that licensing information only for use in the investigation and a related court proceeding, or in the court proceeding for which the licensing information originally was sought;
(g) Disclosing, in a manner that is not associated with other licensing information, the name of a license applicant or license holder, entity type, registered trade name, business address, mailing address, unified business identifier number, list of licenses issued to a person through the business licensing system established in this chapter and their issuance and expiration dates, and the dates of opening of a business;
(h) Disclosing licensing information that is also maintained by another Washington state or local governmental agency as a public record available for inspection and copying under the provisions of chapter 42.56
RCW or is a document maintained by a court of record and is not otherwise prohibited from disclosure;
(i) Disclosing any licensing information when the disclosure is specifically authorized under any other section of the Revised Code of Washington;
(j) Disclosing licensing information to the proper officer of the licensing or tax department of any city, town, or county of this state, for official purposes. If the licensing information does not relate to a license issued by the city, town, or county requesting the licensing information, disclosure may be made only if the laws of the requesting city, town, or county grants substantially similar privileges to the proper officers of this state; or
(k) Disclosing licensing information to the federal government for official purposes.
(4) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this section, a state agency or local government agency may disclose licensing information relating to a license issued on its behalf by the department pursuant to this chapter if the disclosure is authorized by another statute, local law, or administrative rule.
(5) The department, any other state agency, or local government may refuse to disclose licensing information that is otherwise disclosable under subsection (3) of this section if such disclosure would violate federal law or any information sharing agreement between the state or local government and federal government.
(6) Any person acquiring knowledge of any licensing information in the course of his or her employment with the department and any person acquiring knowledge of any licensing information as provided under subsection (3)(d), (e), (f), (j), or (k) of this section, who discloses any such licensing information to another person not entitled to knowledge of such licensing information under the provisions of this section, is guilty of a misdemeanor. If the person guilty of such violation is an officer or employee of the state, such person must forfeit such office or employment and is incapable of holding any public office or employment in this state for a period of two years thereafter.
Purpose—Intent—Agency transfer—Contracting—Effective date—2011 c 289:
See notes following RCW 19.02.020