Mortgage Essentials

Mortgage Career Resources


MLO License in Multiple States

How to Get Your MLO License in Multiple States

by The CE Shop Team

Getting a Mortgage Loan Originator License in Multiple States

As a Mortgage Loan Originator or Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO), the possibilities are endless. Why limit yourself to working in just one state? Whether you have friends in another part of the country, old business colleagues who have moved, or you just want to take the mortgage industry by the horns, getting your mortgage license in multiple states is the next logical step to becoming a big-time mortgage lender. 

Of course, doing so isn’t without its own challenges. While it’s always wise to double-check with your local state regulator (as well as the state regulators in the state you’re looking to get licensed in and the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System {NMLS}), this guide will offer a comprehensive look into multistate licensing requirements. 

Obtaining Multiple NMLS Licenses - Requirements by State 

Though NMLS provides a national licensing system, each state has its own unique education requirements for mortgage licenses. However, thanks to the Multistate MSB Licensing Agreement Program, many states (but not all) allow current mortgage licensees to apply for — and obtain — a participating state’s mortgage license without education beyond the SAFE Act-mandated 20 hours of Pre-Licensure Education (PE) and 8 hours of annual Continuing Education (CE). Instead, Mortgage Brokers seeking licensure in states that participate in the program must meet both Phase One and Phase Two requirements (including fees, criminal background check, company information, surety bond requirements, etc.) before a license can be issued. 
The states that do not require additional education for currently licensed MLOs are: 

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Wyoming

On the other hand, state agencies that require current mortgage license holders to complete extra education (in addition to the SAFE Act mandated 20 hours of PE and 8 hours of annual CE) are as follows:

Alabama

Alabama does not require additional state-specific education, but it doesn’t participate in the Multistate MSB Licensing Agreement Program. For more information, visit the State of Alabama State Banking Department site.

Arizona

Arizona mandates 4 hours of state-specific PE and 1 hour of state-specific Continuing Education.

Arkansas

Arkansas does not require additional education, but it doesn’t participate in the Multistate MSB Licensing Agreement Program. For more information, contact the Arkansas Securities Department.

Colorado

Colorado needs 2 hours of state-specific PE.

Connecticut 

Connecticut calls for 1 hour of state-specific PE and 1 hour of state-specific CE.

Delaware

Delaware does not require additional state-specific education, but it doesn’t participate in the Multistate MSB Licensing Agreement Program. For more information, visit the Delaware Office of the State Bank Commissioner site.

Florida

Florida calls for 2 hours of state-specific PE and 1 hour of state-specific Continuing Education.

Missouri

Missouri mandates 1 hour of state-specific Continuing Education.

Montana

Montana requires 2 hours of state-specific PE. Note: MLOs must physically work within 60 miles of their sponsoring firm’s location.

Nevada

Nevada requires 30 hours of PE, so getting licensed will require 10 additional hours (4 of which are state-specific) of PE.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire mandates 2 hours of state-specific PE. 

New Jersey

New Jersey calls for 4 hours of state-specific PE and 2 hours of state-specific CE. To maintain licensure, the state requires a total of 12 hours (or 4 hours additional coursework) of Continuing Education annually. 

New Mexico

New Mexico requires 3 hours of state-specific PE and 1 hour of state-specific CE. 

New York

New York requires 3 hours of state-specific Pre-Licensure Education and 3 hours of state-specific Continuing Education. To maintain licensure, the state requires a total of 11 hours (or 3 additional hours) of Continuing Education annually. 

Oklahoma

Oklahoma calls for 1 hour of state-specific PE. 

Oregon

Oregon requires 4 hours of state-specific PE and 2 additional hours of state-specific CE. To maintain licensure, the state requires a total of 10 hours (or 2 additional) of Continuing Education annually. 

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania mandates 3 hours of state-specific PE and 1 hour of state-specific CE.

Virginia

Virginia does not require additional state-specific education, but it doesn’t participate in the Multistate MSB Licensing Agreement Program. For more information, visit the Virginia State Corporation Commission site.

West Virginia

West Virginia requires 4 hours of state-specific PE and 2 hours of state-specific CE. To maintain licensure, the state requires a total of 9 hours (or 1 additional) of Continuing Education annually. 

Wisconsin

Wisconsin also does not require additional education. However, it also doesn’t participate in the Multistate MSB Licensing Agreement Program. For more information, visit the State of Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions site

In How Many States Can You Have a Mortgage Loan Officer License?

In theory, you or your mortgage company could hold a license in all 50 states (as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) if all of the state requirements are met. In some cases though, states will require a physical location within its borders before they’ll issue a license for your sponsoring brokerage firm. Other variations in regulations include surety bond requirements and yearly CE requirements.

Pros & Cons of Having Multiple Mortgage Loan Officer Licenses 

Pros

Cons

Dramatically Increased Opportunity

Increased License Application Fees 

An Opportunity to Expand Mortgage Knowledge Base

Additional Education May Be Required

Market Diversification 

Surety Bonds May Be Required

Makes Relocating/Moving Simple

Some States Require Physical Presence

Continuing Education With Multiple State NMLS Licenses 

Since the passing of the SAFE Act of 2008, state regulators are required by law to mandate at least 20 hours of Pre-Licensure Education and 8 hours of annual Continuing Education for state licensing renewals (though MLOs who have completed their Pre-Licensure Education courses in the same year in which the license was approved are not required to complete CE for that year). Of course, those are the bare minimum requirements set by the federal government. Many state licensing systems have Continuing Education requirements that go beyond the SAFE MLO standard. If that’s the case in your state (or in a state you’d like to work in), you will have to complete the additional 2 or 3 hours for that state annually. The good news is that The CE Shop, with its state-of-the-art mobile-friendly online courses, is the best education course provider for growing your mortgage lending empire. Check out our education offerings and start helping borrowers secure residential mortgage loans across state lines!