All Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) licensees must complete Continuing Education (CE) prior to renewing each calendar year. All Continuing Education courses must be NMLS approved.
Continuing Education Requirements
MLO licensees are required to complete 9 hours of Continuing Education. The courses must be from the NMLS CE Catalog. The 9 hours must cover 3 hours in Federal law and regulations, 2 hours in ethics, 2 hours in lending standards for nontraditional mortgage products, 1 hour in Washington law and the final 1 hour is an elective.
There are two most common ways to meet this requirement, depending on if you are licensed in just Washington or in multiple states:
- Take two courses
- A "8 hr SAFE Comprehensive CE" course and
- A "1 hr WA SAFE" course
- Take one course:
- A "9 hour WA SAFE Comprehensive" course
Tips for Continuing Education Success
It is very important to keep in mind the following when planning your Continuing Education:
- Only select NMLS approved Continuing Education courses from the NMLS Master Course Catalog.
- If you plan to renew before December 31, you will need to take courses listed under the "Regular PE or CE Courses" button on the NMLS Education webpage.
- Be sure to take Continuing Education (CE), not Pre-Licensing Education (PE).
- Do not take the same course(s) two years in a row. This does not mean you cannot take a course(s) from the same provider. It means you cannot take the exact course two years in a row. See the SAFE Act’s Successive Year Rule
- Finish your Continuing Education early.
- Continuing Education providers have up to 7 days to report completed courses. Until the Education is posted to your record, you cannot renew your license.
- Some courses are scheduled for a set amount of time and even though you finish early, the results cannot be reported until the class is scheduled to close.
Find a Course - NMLS Course Catalog
- NMLS Master Course Catalog
Ensure you take Continuing Education (CE) courses, not pre-licensing education (PE). You can determine this by checking the "Category" for the course listing.
- NMLS Instructions on How to Enroll In a Course
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much Continuing Education must a MLO take each year?
MLOs must complete 9 hours of Continuing Education each year. 8 hours must satisfy the SAFE Act requirements and 1 additional hour must be in Washington Law.
- Can a MLO take any Continuing Education course?
No. A MLO must only take NMLS approved courses and those courses must be approved for Continuing Education (CE) and not Pre-Licensing Education (PE). You can consult the NMLS Master Course Catalog for a complete listing of approved courses.
- Are all MLO Licensees required to take Continuing Education in order to renew?
While the majority of MLO licensees must take Continuing Education to renew, those who have a Pre-Licensing Education completion year (on their NMLS record) of the current year do not have to take Continuing Education to renew.
- Can Continuing Education be completed online?
Yes. Most, if not all, NMLS approved providers offer courses online. Some also offer classroom courses, although these courses appear to be offered less frequently.
- Once a MLO completes Continuing Education, how does it get reported to DFI?
Upon the scheduled completion of the course, the education provider has 7 days to report it directly to the NMLS. It will show on the individual’s record for viewing by the MLO, the sponsoring company and regulators.
- How can I tell if my Continuing Education has been reported to the NMLS so that I can submit my renewal?
You can view your Continuing Education by logging into the NMLS, click on Composite View and then on View Education Information. You can then click on the Continuing Education year to open the CE course information. If the education is not showing or shows incorrectly, please contact your education provider immediately.
- If I take Continuing Education now but do not renew before December 31, is the Continuing Education still valid?
As long as the Continuing Education is reported on your NMLS record, it is valid for a late renewal as long as the renewal is completed before February 29.
- Is there a difference between Continuing Education and Pre-Licensing education?
Yes. Pre-licensing Education is for those applying for their MLO license. Continuing Education is for those already licensed who are renewing their license. The two types of education are not interchangeable so it is critical you take Continuing Education to renew.
- What is the cost of Continuing Education for a MLO?
Each provider sets the price for their course. You must contact the course provider directly for course pricing.