mortgage broker license

Mortgage brokers must begin to meet their Continuing Education

mortgage broker licenseWith November quickly approaching, mortgage brokers must begin to meet their Continuing Education (CE) requirements and complete their renewal request to meet the deadlines between November 1 and December 31 every year. In order to ensure your license renewal goes smoothly, you must understand what the requirements are and when you are obligated to meet them.


Most states have a deadline of December 31, although there are a few exceptions, including:

October 31: Georgia

November 1: District of Columbia and West Virginia

November 30: South Carolina (if licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs) and Kentucky

December 1: Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Puerto Rico, and Vermont

December 15: Utah (if licensed by the Division of Real Estate) and Washington

Apart from these exceptions, all other states adhere to a December 31 deadline. While it is best to prepare early and get your CE requirements completed months before the deadline, this is not always possible. And with the pandemic that has been widespread for most of 2020, many mortgage brokers find themselves trying to meet these requirements within a tight timeframe.

It’s essential also to understand that these represent the absolute latest date for you to meet CE requirements and submit an application. If you submit everything on this day, your license will not renew on January 1, and you will be unable to originate lanes until your application and CE credits have been reviewed and approved.

If you want to ensure your license renewal is granted by January 1, you will want to complete all of your license maintenance CE by the NMLS recommended SMART Deadline of December 11. Meeting this deadline means that there is no gap where you are unlicensed.

If you miss the SMART deadline, you should still aim to have everything completed by December 18, which is the At-Risk-to-Miss Deadline. Hitting this date allows you to complete your CE on time. However, it may not allow enough time for the credit hours to be approved by January 1 – which could still mean there is a short period after January 1 until your license renewal s approved. If you meet the December 31 deadline, it is considered the Guaranteed-to-miss Renewal Deadline – and there will be a gap in your licensure.

No matter what, it is clear that if you want your license to remain valid continuously, you must meet your requirements and submit your renewal application as early as possible. If you haven’t already started working on it, it’s time to make this a priority.

Uniform Requirements

The states may vary depending upon their specific continuing education and application requirements for license renewals. However, the SAFE Act of 2008 requires that there are some mandatory federal education requirements. At a minimum, renewal requires that the mortgage broker complete at least 8 hours of continuing education in the same year in which they are placed in an approved license status by a state agency. These hours must include 3 hours of Federal law, 2 hours of Ethics, and two hours of Non-Traditional Mortgage Lending. There is another hour allowed for electives, which may include state-required content.

Fortunately, there are many options to complete these classes virtually. If you are uncertain about a specific course or have questions about whether something may count as CE, you can visit the NMLS Resource Center for additional information about CE requirements, documentation needed, and any other information you may need for your license renewal.

State-Specific CE Requirements

In many states, if the eight required CE hours include a state-specific hour as the elective, this will satisfy the CE requirements for a renewal. There are a few states that have additional requirements, though. These exceptions include:

  • New Jersey: 12 total CE hours; 2 hours of state-specific content
  • New York: 11 total CE hours; 3 hours of state-specific content
  • Oregon: 10 total CE hours; 2 hours of state-specific content
  • Utah (DRE): 10 total CE hours; 2 hours of state-specific content
  • Washington: 9 total CE hours; 1 hour of state-specific content
  • West Virginia: 9 total hours; 2 hours of state-specific content

Additionally, many states do not require state-specific content within their CE requirement for mortgage broker license renewals, including Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Vermont – among others. You can find more information about your state requirements from the NMLS State-Specific Required Education Charts 2020.

Renewing your mortgage broker license isn’t an incredibly complex process, but it does require that you pay attention to details (such as state-specific requirements) and deadlines. Knowing this information is the best way to ensure that your renewal goes smoothly and there is no lapse in your licensure.