Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO)
Pre-Application Requirements

Applicants for a MLO license must complete several pre-application requirements.

Quick Links For Pre-Application Requirements


MLO Testing

MLO applicants must meet testing requirements prior to applying for a license. Changes to MLO testing took effect April 1, 2013. As a result, MLO applicants can meet testing requirements in one of the following three ways:

* The National Test and Washington State Test were retired effective March 31, 2013, but passing results are still valid for new applicants.

MLO Testing Resources

MLO Test FAQs

  1. Must I pass the test prior to applying for a MLO license?
    Yes. You cannot submit a MLO application until your passing score on the required test(s) is posted to your NMLS record.
  2. How much does the test cost?
    The Stand-alone Uniform State Test costs $33. The National Test with Uniform State Test costs $110.
  3. How do I register to take the test?
    Follow the instructions at the NMLS Resource Center.
  4. What will be covered in the test?
    Refer to the content outlines linked at the NMLS Resource Center.
  5. How soon after failing a test may I take it again?
    If you fail a test, you must wait 30 days before you can re-take that test. After failing the test three consecutive times, you must wait at least six months before taking the test again.
  6. Can I change or cancel my test date?
    Review the test candidate handbook at the NMLS Resource Center.

MLO Pre-Licensing Education

MLO applications must have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) in order to apply. See WAC 208-660-350(1) or WAC 208-620-710 for alternative to the diploma.

MLO applicants must complete 22 hours of NMLS approved pre-licensing education, including 4 hours in Washington Law. Be sure to take Pre-Licensing Education not Continuing Education.

MLO Pre-Licensing Education Resources

MLO Pre-Licensing Education FAQs

  1. Must I complete 22 hours of pre-licensing education prior to applying for a MLO license?
    Yes. You cannot submit a MLO application until you complete and have posted to your NMLS record 22 hours of Pre-Licensing Education, including 4 hours in Washington law.
  2. How much does the 22 hours of pre-licensing education cost?
    The cost for pre-licensing education varies. Contact the course provider directly for fee information.
  3. How do I register to take the 22 hours of pre-licensing education?
    Follow the instructions at the NMLS Resource Center.
  4. Are there specific pre-licensing courses which must be taken?
    Yes. Eight of the 22 hours must meet the SAFE requirements and 4 more of the 22 hours must be in Washington law.
  5. Can I take my courses online?
    Yes. The NMLS approved course providers offer a variety of formats for their education, including online courses as well as classroom courses.

MLO Criminal Background Check

MLO applicants must complete a Criminal Background Check (CBC) and pay the fee associated with that request. Applicants not licensed in any other state must then get their fingerprints taken prior to DFI processing the application.

MLO Criminal Background Check Resources

MLO Criminal Background Check FAQs

  1. When must I file a Criminal Background Check?
    At the time you apply, you will be required to complete a Criminal Background Check request form, including paying the fees for the CBC. You then have 5 business days to schedule an appointment and have your fingerprints taken and transmitted to the NMLS.
  2. How much does the Criminal Background Check cost?
    The cost for the Criminal Background Check is $39.00 for Live Scan. If you select Paper Card Capture, your fee will be $49.00 due to the manual processing of fingerprints.

MLO Credit Report Authorization

MLO applicants must complete a credit report authorization through NMLS. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review their credit report prior to applying. This ensures accurate answers on the disclosure questions.

MLO Credit Report Authorization

MLO Credit Report Authorization FAQs

  1. When must I file a Credit Report Authorization?
    At the time you apply, you will be required to complete a Credit Report Authorization request, including paying the fee for the credit report authorization.
  2. How much does the Credit Report Authorization cost?
    The cost for the Credit Report Authorization is $15.00.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about information on this webpage feel free to contact us by phone at (360) 902-8703 or toll free at 1-877 RING DFI (746-4334). You may also email us at dcs@dfi.wa.gov.

** 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.

[Top]

DFI