How to Obtain the Required Licenses to Become a Loan Originator
Being a Loan Originator in California requires you to have both a California Bureau of Real Estate endorsed NMLS license and a California Bureau of Real Estate Salesperson or Broker License. Both licenses are required. It is not important which license you obtain first and based upon the waiting periods required by the education course providers an applicant wanting to expedite their licensing should probably start the BRE and NMLS licensing process simultaneously.
Instructions for obtaining the California Bureau of Real Estate License
The requirements to apply for a California Bureau of Real Estate Salespersons license can be found here. Prior to the submission of the California Bureau of Real Estate Salespersons license application, the applicant must complete the Education Requirements required by the state of California which can be taken either in person or over the internet at online schools such as Allied Business Schools, Inc. Online courses start at $188.00 and additional services such as the Exam Cram DVD and online exam practice tests can be purchased for additional costs.
Bureau of Real Estate
P.O. Box 137001
Sacramento, CA 95813-7001
Wait at least six weeks or check the current processing timeframes for how long CalBRE is taking to process salesperson exam applications. Once qualified, an Examination Schedule Notice (RE 401A) or an authorization to self-schedule will be sent to you. Use the eLicensing online system to check your exam date or to self-schedule. You will be able to schedule your Real Estate Salesperson license test at one of the approved testing centers. All qualification requirements must be met before you can be scheduled for the salesperson examination. Applicants will travel to a testing facility to take the Salesperson license. Once passed a BRE license number will be assigned ot the applicant
The Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) uses the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) to manage all Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license endorsements. All applications for the MLO license endorsement and any changes to MLO records must be submitted electronically through NMLS. Information submitted through NMLS must match current CalBRE records.All applicants requesting a MLO license endorsement from the CalBRE must hold a current real estate license which is in a "current license status". A CalBRE license in an expired, revoked, suspended or surrendered status will not be approved for the MLO license endorsement. After the MLO license endorsement is approved, the real estate license must be maintained in order to retain the approval of the MLO license endorsement. Salespersons, brokers, and broker/officers of corporations who wish to perform residential mortgage loan originator (MLO) activities must file an Individual (MU4) form electronically through NMLS to obtain an Individual MLO license endorsement.
Steps to apply for an Individual MLO License Endorsement
At this time applicants should call NMLS directly at 1 (855) 665-7123 and as for assistance as the NMLS online system is very complicated
Submit the Individual (MU4) form along with the proper fees electronically through NMLS
Submit fingerprints to NMLS during the MLO license endorsement application process
Submit authorization for NMLS to obtain a credit report
Grant access to the employing company for an approved (active) MLO license endorsement. The company will also need to request sponsorship before the MLO license endorsement will be issued in an "Approved" status. If no sponsorship is submitted, the Individual MLO license endorsement will be issued in an "Approved-Inactive" status.
Instructions for Obtaining the National Mortgage Licensing Sysytem (NMLS) License
The requirements to apply for a California Bureau of Real Estate endorsed NMLS license can be found here. Prior to submission of the application, complete at least 20 hours of NMLS-approved pre-licensure education SAFE MLO (PE) courses which can be either in person or over the internet at online schools such as Allied Business School, Inc. in California or or any other provider on the NMLS Course Provider List. Courses start at $288.00 and additional services such as online exam practice tests can be purchased for additional costs. Prior to beginning the process applicants must register for obtain an NMLS unique identifier number here. Once on this page, applicant will select the "Request an Account: link and follow the instrucitons to obtain their NMLS Unique Indentifyer number. This number will become the applicants license number forever.
Once you have completed your online training, your testing facility will notify NMLS. Once this occurs you will receive an email from NMLS letting you know that your educational requirements have been completed. At this time applicants should call NMLS directly at 1 (855) 665-7123 and as for assistance as the NMLS online system is very complicated. The NMLS representative will help you (1) schedule your required fingerprinting ($30), (2) pay your BRE registration fee ($300), (3) help you order your mandatory credit report ($15) and (4) order your FBI Criminal Background Check ($36.25), (5) help you fill out your MU4 form and (6) help you contact www.prometric.com/nmls 1 (800) 671-6657 to schedule your SAFE MLO test.
You will find out immediately if you passed or failed your NMLS SAFE MLO test. If you fail the NMLS SAFE MLO test then you must adhere to the retake policy before you are eligible to retake the test. You NMLS SAFE MLO test is 125 questions and you will have 190 minutes to complete the test. Once an applicant passes the SAFE MLO test they must contact NMLS again and then wait for the state regulator to approve the license. Once the license is approved the applicant can request sponsorship from the Broker they intend to work for and the Broker will go on to the NMLS website a sponsor the applicant. At that time the licensee is eligible to originate mortgage loans.