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California State Licensing Requirements

Note: The information below is for individual MLO Licenses under the California Department of Corporations (DOC). Those seeking Real Estate Broker Licenses or Real Estate Salesperson Licenses with MLO License Endorsement should refer to the NMLS California DRE Licensing Page.


Department of Corporations
NMLS Licensing Unit
320 West 4
th Street, Suite 750
Los Angeles, CA  90013

Education Requirements

High School Diploma or GED
20 Hours PE 
8 Hours CE

No state specific PE or CE requirements.


Brick and Mortar State: No
Expiration: Dec. 31 annually
License Fee: $300 +$30 NMLS


Who is required to be licensed

Any person who provides services as a mortgage loan originator in California must apply for and receive a mortgage loan originator license. A mortgage loan originator is an individual who, for compensation or gain, or in the expectation of compensation or gain, takes a residential mortgage loan application or offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan.

Pre-requisites for license applications

  • All applicants must apply for a license through the NMLS by filing a Form MU4 and receiving a sponsorship by a company holding a valid unique identifier with NMLS and which is licensed by the California Department of Corporations.
  • Authorization to provide criminal records information through the FBI criminal records to NMLS.
  • Authorization to obtain an independent credit report obtained by NMLS from a consumer credit reporting agency.
  • An applicant must demonstrate financial responsibility, character and general fitness such as to
    command the confidence of the community and to warrant a determination that the mortgage loan originator will operate honestly, fairly and efficiently.
  • 20 hours of pre-licensing education approved by NMLS.
  • Passing of written tests including both federal and state components.  The written tests must be taken through test providers approved by NMLS.
  • Coverage by a surety bond provided by the mortgage loan originator’s employer.
  • Background checks including FBI fingerprint checks and civil and administrative records checks.
The following conditions would preclude an applicant from obtaining a license as a mortgage
loan originator or from annually renewing a license:
  • An applicant has had a mortgage loan originator license revoked in any governmental jurisdiction unless there was a subsequent formal vacation of the revocation.
  • The applicant has been convicted of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to a felony in a domestic, foreign or military court during the 7 year period preceding the date of the application; or at any time preceding the date of application if such felony involved an act of fraud, dishonesty or a breach of trust or money laundering.
  • A showing that the individual is not financially responsible by showing a disregard in the
    management of his or her own financial condition.  This may include:  current outstanding
    judgments, except for medical expenses, current outstanding tax liens or other government liens and filings, foreclosures within the past 3 years or a pattern of seriously delinquent accounts within the past 3 years.

Need to purchase Pre-licensing or Continuing Education Courses?

Use the links below for course schedules and information about NMLS Approved Pre-licensing Education (PE) or Continuing Education (CE).

California NMLS Approved Pre-licensing Education Courses

California NMLS Approved Continuing Education Courses

NMLS Requirements and Fees

Processing Fees for State Licensure

Entity Initial Fee Annual Fee
Company $100 $100
Branch $20 $20
Individual $30 $30

Processing Fees for Federal Registration

Entity Initial Fee Annual Fee
Company $100 $100
Branch $60 $0
Individual $30 Jan-June
$60 July-Dec
$30 ($0 if initial registration July-Dec of same year)

Professional Standards Fees

Item Fee
Criminal Background Check Livescan $39
Print Card Capture $39, plus $10 Card Packet Fee

This fee is charged at each new application for licensing, or new registration request. Single charge regardless of how many licenses are applied for in a single filing.

Click here for more information about the Criminal Background Check process.
Testing $92 National Component
$69 State Component (per state)

Beginning April 1, 2013 the Uniform State Test will be included in the National Component which replaces several individual state components.

Click here for more information about the NMLS Testing process
Credit Report $15

This fee will be charged at each new application for licensing if it does not contain a credit report that is less than 30 days old. Single charge regardless of how many licenses are applied for in a single filing.

Click here for more information about the NMLS Credit Check process

Notice: The information provided on this page is not legal advice and is shared for educational purposes only. The information provided is not a complete statement of all licensing requirements, additional licensing requirements may be required by state and/or other agencies.

Other's who searched for this page also found these pages useful:

My Mortgage Trainer Home Page
My Mortgage Trainer Course Catalog
SAFE 20 Hour Pre-licensing Courses and Study Material
SAFE 7 & 8 Hour Continuing Education Courses
My Mortgage Trainer Current Webinar Schedule

My Mortgage Trainer is approved by the NMLS to deliver National Pre-licensing and Continuing Education in all 50 states. NMLS Approved Course Provider #1400080.


Last Updated ( Monday, 24 February 2014 )
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