Who Needs a License to Originate Mortgage Loans in Florida?

A Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license is required in the state of Florida for anyone who provides or offers to provide the following services:

  • Solicit mortgage loans
  • Accept applications for mortgage loans
  • Negotiate terms for mortgage loans on behalf of a borrower or lender
  • Process mortgage loan applications
  • Negotiate the sale of an existing mortgage loan

Common job titles for people who provide these services include loan officer, mortgage broker, and mortgage banker.

Do I Need a Degree to Become a Mortgage Loan Originator?

In Florida, applicants do not need a college degree to become an MLO. The application process (see question below) does require proof of a high school diploma (or equivalent).

How Do I Become a Mortgage Loan Originator in Florida?

Becoming a mortgage professional (such as a loan officer, broker, or mortgage banker) in Florida starts with becoming an MLO. Here's a breakdown of all the steps.

  1. Complete Pre-Licensure Education. This step is explained in more detail below!
  2. Schedule and pass an MLO license test, usually called the SAFE (Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing) 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. Undergo a federal and state background check by submitting your fingerprints. Find a list of Florida background check services here.
    2. Authorize a credit report
    3. Answer background disclosure questions
  4. Get an employer sponsorship and give your current or future employer NMLS access.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Mortgage Loan Originator in Florida?

To comply with the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act, mortgage loan originator (MLO) students need at least 20 hours pre-license education (PE) before applying for a license.

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

Does Florida Require Specific Pre-Licensing Education?

Yes! Two hours of Florida-specific pre-license education must be part of the 20-hour requirement.

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

Is There a Time Limit for Finishing the Florida-Specific Course?

No. Unlike our National MLO Pre-License course, the Florida pre-license education is self-paced and has no completion deadline.

Does MLO Pre-License Education Expire?

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

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

Do I Need a License to Become a Mortgage Broker?

Anyone conducting mortgage loan activities needs a valid mortgage loan originator license, regardless of job title. Mortgage brokers, loan officers, and other mortgage professionals fall in the same requirement category under the NMLS.

To learn more about the differences between MLOs and mortgage brokers, check out this blog.