Who Needs a Mortgage Loan Originator License in California?

A mortgage loan originator (MLO) license is required for anyone who provides or offers to provide these services:

  • Accept mortgage loan applications
  • Negotiate terms for mortgage loans
  • Process mortgage applications
  • Negotiate existing mortgage loan sales

What is the California-DFPI License?

The CA-DFPI MLO license allows you to work with mortgages that fall under the California Finance Lenders Law (CFLL) or the California Residential Mortgage Lenders Act (CRMLA).

This license requires 20 hours of pre-license education (PE) with two hours of state-specific course material.

How Do I Get a California-DFPI License?

Obtaining your CA-DFPI MLO license is a relatively simple process! Here's a breakdown of the steps:

  1. Complete the necessary pre-licensure education (PE)
    1. You must complete at least 20 hours of PE, including 2 hours of California-specific education. Our California-DFPI MLO Pre-License Package fulfills all pre-license requirements.
  2. Schedule and pass the SAFE (Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing) MLO license test.
  3. Submit an Individual Form (MU4) through NMLS (Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry). You must also complete the following steps either during or after you've submitted the MU4:
    1. Go through a criminal background check by submitting your fingerprints
    2. Authorize a credit report
    3. Answer a few background disclosure questions
  4. Acquire an employer sponsorship and give your current or future employer NMLS access.

How Long Does It Take to Get a California-DFPI License?

To comply with the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act, you must complete at least 20 hours of pre-license education (PE) before applying for your CA-DFPI license.

After you have finished the PE, it depends on how quickly you complete all the steps in the application process (see above).

Does the California-DFPI License Require Any State-Specific Education?

Yes, the CA-DFPI license requires two hours of state-specific pre-license education. These two hours are included as part of the 20-hour requirement.

Our California-DFPI SAFE course covers everything needed to fulfill the requirement and includes helpful resources like practice quizzes.

Do the California-DFPI Pre-License Courses Have a Completion Deadline?

Students have a maximum of 14 days to complete the 20-hour national MLO course upon starting. If the course is not completed within 14 days, we must reset the course and the student needs to start over. Per NMLS regulation, assessments included in the national course must be graded by an AYPO instructor before a student can continue.

Unlike the national course, the 2-hour California-DFPI SAFE course is self-paced and has no completion deadline.

Will AYPO Report My Course Completion to NMLS for Free?

Yes! We report your successful completion to NMLS at no additional cost.

Can California-DFPI MLO Pre-License Education Expire?

Yes! Pre-license education (PE) can expire after three (3) years and must be retaken if:

  • An MLO doesn't renew their license within three years of it expiring
  • The student doesn't become a licensed MLO within three years of completing the PE