A Complete Guide for Renewing Your California MLO License

Active mortgage loan originators (MLOs) in California must follow specific steps when renewing their license. Whether you have a CA-DFPI license or a CA-DRE license endorsement, it’s easy to complete your renewal training online. We searched the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) website to help simplify your renewal process.

MLOs must renew their license every year between November 1 and December 31. Follow the steps below to ensure you can continue to act as an MLO and avoid potential late fees.

Step 1: Complete an 8-Hour MLO Continuing Education Course

To renew your California MLO license (or license endorsement), you must take eight hours of continuing education (CE) and submit your renewal application by December 31. When you use our online CE services, we report your course completion to NMLS for free!*

Your CE must include the following:

  • Three hours on relevant federal laws and regulations
  • Two hours of ethics training (covers fair lending issues, consumer protection, and fraud)
  • Two hours on lending standards for nontraditional mortgage products
  • One hour of California-specific law education (DFPI license) OR a one-hour elective credit (DRE license endorsement)

Don’t take time away from your clients! Use our online all-in-one course package that fulfills your requirements while allowing you to learn from your computer and around your busy schedule. MLOs with DFPI licenses or a DRE license endorsement can fulfill their CE requirement by taking our 8 Hour SAFE Core and California-DFPI Law 2023 MLO Package.

*We strongly encourage you to not wait until the last minute to complete CE or you may be prevented from submitting your renewal on time.

Step 2: Ensure That Your Information Is Correct

Before submitting your renewal, NMLS requires that you make sure your Individual MU4 Form, and all the information within, is still accurate. If you need to make any updates, here are detailed instructions.

To update information within your Individual MU4 Form (if necessary), you must: 

  1. Log into your NMLS account 
  2. Click the “filing” tab
  3. Click “individual” 
  4. Click the “Request New/Update” button
  5. Choose the section of the MU4 form that needs changing on the left navigation panel and save any changes
  6. Click “Attest and Submit” on the left navigation panel

Step 3: Attest Your License

Before attesting, you should confirm whether you or your company is submitting your renewal request. You can submit the request yourself or your employer can do it. The process of attesting your license is slightly different depending on who is submitting the renewal.

To attest your license yourself, log into NMLS, click on the “Renewals” tab, then choose the “Attest and Pay” option. If your employer is submitting on your behalf, choose the “Attest for Company” option.

You may have different attestation requirements depending on your license. MLOs with a license from the CA-DFPI need to authorize an FBI criminal background check. NMLS will accept a background check that was authorized within 90 days of the renewal request. Fingerprint records over three years old will also need to be reprinted. Follow these instructions if you need to schedule a background check or fingerprinting appointment.

The process for MLOs with a license endorsement from the CA-DRE is a lot simpler: no background check or credit report is required.

Step 4: Submit Your License Renewal Request

You or your employer must submit your renewal application between November 1 and December 31 to avoid any late fee charges. If your employer is responsible for your license renewal application, you can skip this step.

Visit the NMLS California renewal page and select your licensing agency to view fees associated with your renewal. There may be additional charges for the required background check (if applicable).

After submitting your renewal request, your licensing agency (either CA-DRE or CA-DFPI) will be notified. They will review your request, communicate any identified issues, and update the status of your renewal request.

To check on your request status, visit the “Composite View” tab in your NMLS account page. The NMLS Call Center can also share your application status but cannot provide any more information than that or change your renewal request.

Renewing your MLO license may seem daunting, but if you follow these steps and complete your CE on time, you can count on your renewal request getting approved!