Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to DSHS Facilities, Finance and Analytics Administration's Frequently Asked Questions! Below you may search by topics such as information for bidders and question about our Language Testing and Certification Program, and Background Checks.

Check the particular solicitation document for instructions on submitting your proposal.

  1. Fill out completely and obtain required signatures before calling. Listen carefully when you call.
  2. After entering all data, wait until the phone voice says "Press the star key now." After you press the star key, you will hear the phone voice say, "You have successfully completed your page/invoice." This means your page/invoice has been successfully submitted and will be sent for processing.
  3. Do not mail your invoice when using Invoice Express. Keep it for your permanent records in case of audit.
  4. If you have trouble you can hang up at any time before pressing the star key and the invoice will not process so that you can try again later.
  5. For invoices phoned in before 4:30 p.m. payment will be processed in 2 business days. If you call after 4:30 p.m., payment will be processed in 3 business days.
  6. If you call to process an invoice for the current month, your invoice will be processed the first business day of the next month.

Submit your SSPS invoice for payment or inquire about a submitted invoice

The Invoice Express toll free number is 1-888-461-8855, and is printed at the top of every SSPS invoice.

An operator is available during normal business hours if the caller has problems, however SSPS staff cannot submit your invoice information for you.


  • Callers may choose either English or Spanish voice prompts.
  • Callers may choose to complete an entire invoice, or to complete selected pages of their invoice.
  • Callers may choose to check on the status of an invoice.
  • Callers may use the toll free line any time of day or night.

Helpful Information about Invoice Express

View the Invoice Express Brochure (DSHS 22-369 PDF)

A LiveScan Machine is a small photocopy machine. It scans your fingerprints and creates electronic copies without the mess of ink and paper cards.

LiveScan fingerprinting helps to reduce the number of fingerprint rejections and speeds up the process by allowing fingerprints to be sent electronically rather than through the mail.

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Pretest study materials, also known as study guides, are available on our website under the 'Study Materials' tab. You can access the pretest booklets and oral practice recordings by clicking on the appropriate links. Pretest study materials for DSHS employees and licensed agency personnel are available at the DSHS Intranet or SharePoint (internal) website.


If you plan to set up your own language agency or company, please contact Business Licensing at the Department of Licensing . Contact information for Business License Information can also be found in the Government Pages in the phone book.

DSHS will not be liable for any costs incurred by the Bidder in preparation of a proposal or in presenting a proposal for any procurement.

Yes, and these two terms are not interchangeable. An interpreter is a person who orally transfers a message from one spoken language to another (or manually for Sign Language). A translator is a person who transfers a message in writing from one language to another.

Eighteen (18) is the minimum age for being fingerprinted for all DSHS programs and services. IDEMIA (formerly MorphoTrust) Technicians will not print anyone under the age of 18. The Background Check Central Unit (BCCU) will conduct a Name and Date of Birth background check for a minor. Contact the office requesting your fingerprints for further information.

Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) may ONLY request fingerprints for under age applicants without prior approval.  Student ID’s, such as ASB cards, with a photo will be an acceptable form of ID. 

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The pretest materials, both written and oral, are intended to familiarize you with the formats of the test and how test items are constructed. The study guides will help you know what to expect on the test, but will not be enough to help you improve your language ability, your interpreting skills, or your knowledge base in any particular field.

We only test people who are available to serve DSHS clients in Washington State.

The Invoice Express toll free number is 1-888-461-8855, and is printed at the top of every SSPS invoice.

You must bring one of the following NON-EXPIRED Government Issued PICTURE Identification options with you to your fingerprint appointment.

Government Issued PICTURE ID:

  • US Driver's License, or any Federal, State or Local Government issued ID (including a Washington State Learner's Permit).  If the Driver’s License is expired you must have the paper copy, the expired hard copy and an additional form of ID.

  • Any US Armed Services ID (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, etc..)

  • US Passport

  • Foreign Passport (with photo and signature)

  • Federally Recognized Tribal ID

  • British Columbia, Canadian driver’s license (Both enhanced and non‐enhanced versions)

All ID must be current. Expired identification WILL NOT be accepted unless you can prove you are in the process of renewing it.

No applicants under 18 years old can be printed unless prior DSHS Program approval.

DCYF may ONLY request fingerprints for under age applicants without prior approval.  Student ID’s, such as ASB cards, with a photo will be an acceptable form of ID. 

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When you follow the steps in how to schedule a test online, you will see open test dates and time slots. Then you can pick your test date and time.

Certificates issued by entities other than Washington State DSHS will be considered on a case by case basis. Please consult WAC 388-03-114 for related information.

  1. According to the state constitution, the state cannot pay for a service until the service is complete.
  2. Invoice vouchers are mailed for the provider to receive just before the end of the month.
  3. On a high volume day, as many as 30,000 paper invoices are returned by mail.  Clerical delays may occur because of the large number of pages received.
  4. Quicker payment processing occurs when providers use Invoice Express to validate their invoice by telephone.
  5. Invoices are processed immediately after the end of the month of service.
  6. Some payments are delayed because messages are attached to or written on the invoice.  Invoices with messages are set aside and read as soon as possible, delaying payment.

Payment to a provider is considered timely if made within 30 days of the receipt of a properly completed invoice, plus mail time, according to RCW 39.76.010.  SSPS makes it a top priority to not only pay faster than required, but to pay as fast as is technically and legally possible.

Direct deposit takes the guesswork out of address changes and other complications of postal delivery.  Direct deposit may or may not be quicker than postal delivery, depending on the provider's geographical location and the speed of mail delivery.

Example: For the year 2013, June 3rd is the first business day of the month, and the first business day when SSPS payment for May services will be issued.  Payment for services processed on June 3rd will not reach the U.S. mail for distribution for two business days (possibly three), because Consolidated Mail Service is used to achieve significant postal discounts.  This means the U.S. Postal Service will begin mailing payments on June 5th, the third business day of the month.

No.  If you have received a Review Required Notification instructing you to complete a Character, Competency and Suitability (CC&S) review, please follow your oversight program’s policy on conducting and retaining your completed CC&S review. BCCU does not accept or retain any CC&S review documentation.

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Since test dates and time slots are extremely limited, you would want to keep your test appointment if at all possible. To reschedule, you need to email ( or call (360-664-6111) our office within ten (10) calendar days from the date you created your test appointment. It is your responsibility to follow through with your request within the ten-day (10) time frame. Any oral or written request after the 10-day time frame will not be honored. If more than 10 days have passed since you created your test, then we will need documentation for the emergency situation that is preventing you from attending your test as scheduled. If more than 10 days have passed, and no documentation can be provided, then you will have to pay another test fee to reschedule your test.

Please contact the Office for the Deaf and Hard Hearing in the Department of Social and Health Services for information about becoming an ASL interpreter. Their contact information can also be found in the Government Pages in the phone book.

If you are providing social services that will be paid through SSPS, those services must be based on an agreement with a social service staff person.  Until an SSPS authorization is written and submitted to the computer system by that staff person there is no mechanism by which to pay you.  Social service staff have a regular and supplemental deadline each month that they must meet in order for you to receive the invoice needed for payment validation.