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Legal Information: Washington

Restraining Orders

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December 3, 2020

What happens if I move?

Your order is valid throughout the state of Washington.  If you move to another part of the state, you may want to bring a copy of your order to the police department in your new area.  It also may be a good idea to call the clerk at the courthouse where you got your order to change your address but if your address is confidential, be sure to ask the clerk what steps you need to take to make sure that the address is listed as confidential in the court records.

Additionally, the federal law provides what is called “full faith and credit,” which means that once you have a criminal or civil protection order, it follows you wherever you go, including U.S. territories and tribal lands.  Different states have different rules for enforcing out-of-state protection orders.  You can find out about your state’s policies by contacting a domestic violence program, the clerk of courts, or the prosecutor in your area.

If you are moving out of state, you can call a domestic violence program in the state where you are going to find out how that state treats out-of-state orders.  Please see our Moving to Another State with Your Domestic Violence Order of Protection section for more information.  You may also want to call the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit (1-800-903-0111, ext. 2) for information on enforcing your order there.

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.