Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) Application FAQs

DFI expects licensees to meet high ethical and performance standards. Often consumers' money is in your hands. Attention to detail and the law is a requirement for licensees and it starts with the licensing application.

What requirements must a MLO meet?

How do I obtain a MLO license in Washington?

May I submit a MLO Application before I complete my education or testing?


Once I submit my application via the NMLS, do I need to do anything else?


What are the most common items which delay applications?

If any of the following items are missing, your application will be delayed:

In addition, disclosure explanations must be complete and thorough. Failure to disclose or providing an incomplete explanation will delay your application.

What is the application fee for a MLO License?

The application fee for a new MLO License is $155.00 which includes a $30 NMLS System Fee.

What is the application fee for the criminal background check (fingerprints) and credit report?

The fee for Criminal Background Check is $39 and Credit Report Authorization fee is $15.

Do I have to be employed with a mortgage company in order to apply for a MLO license?


How will I know when my MLO application is approved?

You will receive an email notification from the NMLS that your license status has changed. For a list of status explanations, see: License Status Definitions (PDF)*.

Can I work for multiple companies as a MLO?

Yes. Washington law allows MLOs to work for multiple companies as long as they have added the additional sponsorship and it has been approved. Other laws, rules or company policies may prohibit this duel licensure, so check with your employer.

What is the average time it takes to process a new application?

DFI tries to review all applications within two weeks of the date they are fully complete (status of pending-review). If the application has deficiencies, the deficiencies are noted in the NMLS and the application is placed on hold until the deficient items are corrected.

Does my credit score matter?

Washington does not solely use your credit score to determine financial responsibility. There are several disclosure questions relating to your credit report (bankruptcy, lien, judgments, foreclosure) and those questions must be answered accurately.

* This document is a PDF file, and you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it. If you don't already have Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, you may download it for free from Adobe.