Mortgage Loan Originator License Requirements
If you intend to originate residential loans in the U.S. you will have to comply with Federal Law. If you intend to originate residential loans in California, you will have to comply with both Federal and California State law.
If you intend to originate loans as a loan officer for an insured depository institution such as a bank, savings & loan, or credit union, you will be federally registered, but not state licensed. You will be required to obtain a unique identifier number with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) for accountability purposes, but you will not be required to pass a test or take pre-licensing education. Consult with your employer about how to proceed.
If you intend to originate residential loans in California without working for an insured depository institution, you need the educational services we provide. You will be required to obtain a unique identifier number with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) for accountability purposes If you work as a Consumer Finance Lender (CFL) or a Mortgage Banker, you will answer to the Department of Business Oversight (DBO). If you originate loans as a Mortgage Broker, or under the supervision of a Mortgage Broker, you will answer to the Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE).
Working under the oversight of the DBO or CalBRE, you must complete at least 20-hours of pre-licensing education before receiving your Mortgage Loan Origination (MLO) designation. You must also pass a challenging National Test, as well as a California State Test with a score of 75% or better.
Obtaining a Unique Identifier / NMLS ID Number
Your NMLS ID number will follow you throughout your mortgage career. You will need it for test enrollment, criminal background authorization, credit report authorization, and your required NMLS education. To obtain an NMLS ID# visit the NMLS Resource Center website. Under 'Popular Links' click 'Quick Guides - Individual'. Under 'Account Administration' click 'Individual Account Creation'. Follow the directions. If you have any questions on how to navigate the system or on what information to provide, call the NMLS Call Center at (855) 665-7123. Keep your NMLS ID number confidential and secure.
Mortgage Loan Originator Renewal Requirements
In order to maintain your NMLS endorsement, you must complete 8 hours of continuing education every year. The continuing education must be completed by the student, submitted by the school, and processed by the NMLS before December 31st. (If you completed your basic education and received your endorsement in the same year, you do not have to complete the continuing education that year.)
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Continuing education hours must be completed by the student, submitted by the school, and processed by the NMLS by December 31st. We encourage students to complete their continuing education course no later than November 30th, or as early as possible, to ensure on-time renewal.