Brokers Should Launch NMLS Renewal Process Well in Advance


BLOG VIEW: Many professionals in the financial sector in the U.S. must get licensed and maintain their operating rights via the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS). This is true for mortgage brokers across the country.

The licensing period ends on December 31 of each year. Brokers who wish to renew their licenses and continue their legal compliance into 2019 must meet the renewal deadline.

The NMLS annual renewal starts on November 1 and continues until December 31. As we’re well into this period, it’s a wise step to launch the process. Additionally, some states may have extra renewal requirements that have to be met earlier. Thus, it’s best to get started in time. Here is what brokers need to know about the 2019 NMLS renewal.

The Basics

The 2019 renewal for mortgage brokers and various other financial professionals opened on November 1. The information about the process is readily available on the NMLS website.

One of the basic tasks that brokers must get through before the actual renewal is to check that their computer can meet the technical requirements of the NMLS. Brokers must also make sure also that their account on the NMLS is active, so there are no unpleasant surprises in the last moment. This is a good opportunity also to ensure that their company records are up to date, verify that their license is eligible for renewal, and resolve any outstanding licensing issues.

The Renewal Requirements

The next step is reviewing the 2019 Renewal Checklist. This provides the crucial elements of the renewal procedure. The list is available per state. It’s also useful to consult the Renewal Deadlines, Requirements and Fee Chart to obtain all the details applicable to a state mortgage broker license.

Alternatively, one can use the search option, where one can enter your state, entity type and license type in order to receive the specific information about renewal. In this way, one can ensure that one will be aware of all requirements one must meet as a company, branch, or individual licensee.

Whenever a broker has gained the full picture of the renewal criteria for their state, they must make a renewal request through their profile in the NMLS. They will then receive a confirmation email of the renewal request and will be able to view it in the system. In many states, mortgage brokers also have to provide additional documents which need to be sent directly to the state licensing authority.

For further information, brokers can consult also the Renewals for Mortgage Companies guide prepared by the NMLS.

Renewing the Mortgage Broker Bond

While renewal requirements vary by state, in most places mortgage brokers are required to obtain a mortgage broker bond and keep it active at all times during their licensing period. The bond functions as a safety net that protects the state the broker operates in and his/her customers against potential illegal activities on the broker’s side. With every renewal, one can work on improving one’s financial strength, allowing for a reduction in bond premium.

Since 2016, states have been gradually moving to the electronic surety bond (ESB) handled by the NMLS. This means that instead of providing the surety bond on paper, a broker can now submit it online. Not all states have adopted the ESB – a broker can check whether theirs has by reviewing the chart State Adoption of NMLS ESB. Brokers should check also whether their state requires a continuation certificate for their existing mortgage broker bond, or if they need a new bond altogether.

In order to ensure smooth operation into 2019, brokers should launch the NMLS renewal process well in advance.

Todd Bryant is president and founder of Bryant Surety Bonds.

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