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NMLS-Approved Loan Originator: License Renewal

Renewing Your License with the NMLS

Information on license renewals can be found in the NMLS Resource Center. This is the best resource for anything and everything licensing related. During the annual renewal cycle, the NMLS generally adds a prominent “ANNUAL RENEWAL” link on the home page that can be clicked for in-depth, immediate information. Also, remember that the NMLS call center is available to help with any issues and they’re just a phone call away at 855-NMLS-123.

When do MLO licenses expire?

If not renewed, all MLO licenses expire annually on December 31st .

How many hours of continuing education (CE) do I need in order to renew my license?

As mandated by the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement in Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act, all MLOs must take a minimum of 8 hours of continuing education in order to renew. Note that some states may require additional hours of education above and beyond the minimum, or may require instruction on state-specific law within the base requirement. It is critical that MLOs know the exact CE requirements in EVERY jurisdiction in which they are licensed, as more than one course may be needed in order to satisfy requirements in multiple states and/or for multiple regulators. You can find information on the requirements in each state at the NMLS resource center here.

Are there any exceptions to the CE requirement?

According to the Uniform Policy on Continuing Education, MLOs will not be required to complete CE only in the year in which they completed their Pre-License (PE) education requirement. Note that this goes by the date of PE course completion, not by the date the initial MLO license is actually issued.

When can I submit my renewal request?

The annual renewal period begins November 1st and ends December 31st of each year. In order to renew, MLOs must have completed all of the prerequisites and cleared all of the “license items” from their record in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) before submitting their renewal application to the appropriate regulator for each jurisdiction in which they hold a license (done through the NMLS).

What happens if I don’t renew by December 31st?

Most (but not all) regulators permit late renewal for a limited time at the beginning of the following year. For regulators that permit late renewal, the “late renewal period” runs from January 1st – February 28th of the year following the license’s expiration and there is typically an additional “late fee” associated with late renewal. Failure to renew by the late deadline (in a jurisdiction that allows for late renewal) will result in the MLO having to re-apply for licensure in that jurisdiction.

Are there any other requirements to renew besides completing CE?

It depends. Some regulators have additional requirements. For example, there are some regulators who may require a new criminal background and/or financial responsibility credit check each year. Additionally, fingerprints on file with the NMLS will expire every three years (per FBI regulations), so MLOs will have to make the occasional appointment to be re-fingerprinted. The best way to figure out what requirements need to be completed prior to renewal in each jurisdiction is to log-in to the NMLS and follow the link to “View License/Registration List” on the left-hand navigation bar. For each license held, the number of “license items” that must be resolved prior to renewal will be indicated in the field with the same name and the individual items can be viewed by clicking the number that appears in the field. More assistance is also available by calling the NMLS call center at 855-NMLS-123 (855-665-7123).

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