3 Tips for a Successful (and On-Time) MLO License Renewal

Hand writing the text: Time to RenewIt’s difficult to believe that another year has come and gone, and the license renewal period for Mortgage Loan Originators is now in full-swing. While this time of year generally involves visions of turkeys, football and sugarplums dancing in heads, let’s not forget that our careers also need some tending to prior to the end of the year. Here are some tips to make sure that the Grinch doesn’t steal your ability to originate loans in 2018.

    While it’s true that the federal SAFE Act sets a December 31 deadline for an on-time renewal application, waiting until the last minute won’t give the licensing agency time to process and approve your application before January 1. Some states will not allow you to originate new business (even with a timely renewal request) until your application has been formally approved, meaning that you will not be able to take applications or review loan terms with new clients until this happens; doing so could land you in hot water with your regulator and face discipline for unlicensed activity. Other States (like Georgia) have earlier deadlines for submitting on-time renewal requests, so please make sure you know the requirements for each state in which you’re licensed. For those of you in Illinois, the IDFPR will only guarantee that your renewal request will be processed before January 1 if you submit it by December 1.


    Most states will not let you submit a license renewal request through NMLS unless you’ve completed your continuing education requirement. Seems simple enough, right? Just do the education on December 30th and renew on the 31st! Unfortunately, to quote a recent nationwide commercial sensation, “That’s not how this works.”

    Course providers have seven days from the day you complete your education to report your hours to NMLS. This means that the latest you can complete education (in most states) and still be guaranteed a timely renewal is December 23. Note that Real Estate Institute will report all course completions until 1:00 PM on Friday, December 29 to allow some extra time, but even WE don’t recommend waiting that long! The good news is, If you need to get your education done, we have options to meet your needs through the end of the year.


    When logging in to NMLS, the “individual dashboard” will tell you how many licenses you have that are eligible for renewal, and how many you are prevented from renewing (generally because of issues like outstanding education or a required fingerprint submission). You’ll need to address any “deficiencies” prior to being able to submit for renewal, and you can find out what those are by clicking on the number of licenses that cannot be renewed. (This will take you to the renewal page, where you’ll have to click “attest and pay” to see a list of licenses that are not eligible.)

    Don’t wait until the last minute to check your record; allow yourself time to address any issues that may come up. This is ESPECIALLY true for those of you licensed in many states, as it’s easier than you think to forget a state-specific education requirement.

If you follow these three tips, you should have an easy and pain-free license renewal, not to mention a more enjoyable holiday season. As always all of us at Real Estate Institute appreciate your time and business, and we wish you the best for a successful 2018.

Happy Holidays!


CE Update and Warning from the NMLS

The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) sent an email yesterday reminding mortgage loan originators (MLOs) about the annual continuing education (CE) requirement.  The NMLS warns MLOs that based on an upcoming system upgrade, MLOs may experience delays renewing their license.  Bottom line: DO NOT wait until the last minute to complete your CE and renew your license!

The NMLS email stated, “Please be advised that on October 1, 2011, an enhancement is being released in NMLS which, at a state’s discretion, will provide state regulators the ability to prevent an MLO from submitting an application to renew their license if they have not completed CE. A majority of licensing agencies using NMLS will make use of this new system functionality. Since it may take as long as seven (7) days for a course provider to report a course completion into NMLS, MLOs are strongly encouraged not to wait until the last minute to try to complete CE or they may be prevented from submitting for renewal on time. MLOs are encouraged to complete their CE as early as possible.

Additional information about CE and a link to approved courses is available on the NMLS Resource Center.  If you have questions about completing CE, please contact the NMLS call center at (240) 386-4444.”

As a reminder, the SAFE Act states that:

  • individual MLOs who are state-licensed must complete eight (8) hours of NMLS approved CE annually.
  • the 8 hours of CE must include: federal law (3 hours), ethics (2 hours with fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues), non-traditional mortgage lending (2 hours) and an elective (1 hour).
  • a number of states also have a specific number of state-specific education requirements that must be met. See the 2011 State-Specific Education Requirements Chart for details.

Real Estate Institute offers NMLS-approved CE that tackles critical, need-to-know issues facing mortgage professionals in 2011.  Don’t delay, enroll today for our upcoming 8-hour course.  Convenient online webinars and live classes are available.