MLO License School

MLO License School

To become a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) with a license through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS), you need to follow several steps. Please note that the specific requirements may vary by state, and the steps described below are based on common practices and federal law. Always check with your state’s licensing department to follow the correct protocol. Here are the general steps to becoming an NMLS Mortgage Loan Originator:

Education From NMLS Mortgage School

Complete 20 hours of NMLS-approved pre-licensure education courses. These must include:
  • 3 hours of Federal law and regulations
  • 3 hours of ethics, including instruction on fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues
  • 2 hours of training related to lending standards for the nontraditional mortgage product marketplace
  • The remaining 12 hours can be relevant electives.

Pass the NMLS National 125 Questions Exam

Take and pass the NMLS National Test. This exam tests the competency of candidates to operate as a mortgage loan originator. It includes both national and state components. If you fail, you must wait 30 days before retaking it. If you fail three times, you must wait 180 days.

Background Check:

Submit a criminal background check. This includes fingerprinting so your information can be run through FBI criminal databases.

Credit Check

Undergo a credit check. A history of unpaid debts or bankruptcy might not prevent you from becoming an MLO, but you must demonstrate fiscal responsibility.


While not always required, some states may require some mortgage-related work experience.


Submit an application through the NMLS website, including any necessary fees. The application will ask for your personal history and information about your past employment.

Maintain Your License

Once you’ve obtained your license, you must keep it current. This usually involves completing continuing education courses each year, paying the annual fees, and submitting to yearly background and credit checks. Remember to check with your state’s requirements, as they might have additional or slightly different regulations. For example, some states require a state-specific education course or exam.
State Branch $: MLO$: Distance Requirement: Pre-Licensing Hours
Alabama N/A $105 TBA
Arizona $500 $350 Reasonable distance. Can work from home, but can’t meet customers at home unless licensed as a branch. 4
Arkansas $120 $80 TBA TEST
California-DBO $20 $330 Case by case basis. 2
Colorado-DRE N/A $129.50 None
Connecticut $520 $330 Case by case basis. 1
Delaware $520 $530 TBA
District of Columbia $1,320 $330 None 3
Florida $225 $329.25 None TEST
Georgia ONLY IN STATE REQ $350 $130 None. But can’t advertise a home address
Idaho $520 $330 TBA 2
Illinois ONLY  IN STATE REQ $250 $230 Must be supervised a few times a week. If home is licensed as a branch, business cards can’t have the address.
Indiana-DFI N/A $80 TBA 2
Iowa $40 $80 90 miles
Kansas $320 $130 90 miles. Can’t work from home.
Kentucky $420 $80 No more than a hour.
Louisiana $120 $230 90 miles
Maine $140 $50 Must work from a supervised location
Maryland $1,120 $409 75 mile distance requirement, CAN’T WORK FROM HOME! 5
Massachusetts $70 $645 TBA 3
Michigan N/A $280 None 2
Minnesota ONLY IN STATE REQ $20 $120 None TEST
Montana $270 $430 TBA 2
Nebraska $20 $180 Reasonable distance. Can work from home, but must license it as a branch. 2
Nevada $520 $240 50 miles, must contact NMLS if working from home. 4
New Hampshire $520 $130 TBA 2
New Jersey $1,020 $180 90 miles. To work from home, must license the home as a branch. 4
New Mexico $520 $430 No distance requirement, but if working from home, must license the home as a branch. 3
New York $500 $465.50 TBA 3
North Carolina $320 $330 90 miles 4
Ohio $520 $180 90 miles. To work from home, must license the home as a branch. 4
Oklahoma $170 $490 TBA
Oregon $350 $110 50 miles, or to work from home, must license the home as a branch 4
Pennsylvania $1,520 $230 100 miles. 3
Rhode Island $1,670 $180 None 3
South Carolina $170 $80 75 miles TEST
Tennessee $20 $230 60 miles 2
Texas $20 $340 None 3
Utah $245 $199.25 TBA TEST
Vermont $1,020 $130 TBA 2
Virginia $170 $180 90 miles
Washington $604.46 $155 TBA TEST and 4 hours
West Virginia $1,350 $80 75 miles 2
Wisconsin $1,100 $280 TBA

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