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!


Illinois MLOs Who Filed a Timely Renewal Application may Keep Originating


The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Banking has issued a memo indicating that all Mortgage Loan Originators who complied with the education requirement and submitted a timely request for renewal (on or prior to 12/31/2012) will be allowed to continue to do business until their renewal application has been reviewed and the renewal approved (no later than January 31, 2013).  Additionally, all Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensees (companies) who are in the same situation will be allowed to continue to conduct business until their license application has been reviewed.  Note that NO FURTHER EXTENSIONS will be granted; if your application is reviewed and a deficiency is placed on the application that must be corrected, you will need to stop originating until the deficiency is cleared and the renewal approved.

A copy of the notice can be found at: http://www.idfpr.com/Banks/RESFIN/NEWS/2013MBRenewalDateNotice.asp.  The wording is a bit vague, but it is apparent that they mean it to apply to all MLOs who meet the renewal criteria described above, not just those who work for companies whose renewals have not been formally approved.


If you have not yet renewed your ILLINOIS MLO license and you want to continue to retain it, you must submit a renewal request through NMLS no later than 2/28/2013 and you will not be able to conduct business until the application has been approved.  In addition to the $150 renewal fee and $30 NMLS processing fee, you will also be assessed an additional $75 late fee, for a total of $255.  Reminder that you MUST take 8 hours of continuing education in order to renew.  If you did not comply with that requirement in 2012, you need to take an NMLS-approved LATE CE course.  Real Estate Institute offers such a course.  Please call us at 800-995-1700 for details and to enroll.

Happy New Year and have a great 2013!

Peter Citera and the Real Estate Institute Staff

**THE ABOVE INSTRUCTIONS APPLY TO ILLINOIS-LICENSED MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATORS ONLY.  If you need information on another State’s requirements, please contact the NMLS call center at (240) 386-4444 or visit the NMLS renewal resource center at  http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/slr/common/renewals/Pages/default.aspx

NOTE: Real Estate Institute’s LATE CE COURSE will satisfy the 8-hour requirement for all States that do not require additional State-specific education.