11 More States Switching to NMLS Electronic Surety Bonds

Published: Jan 23, 2017
electronic surety bonds

If you’re a professional in the financial sector, you’re probably acquainted with the National Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS). Mortgage brokers and a range of other trades in the field undergo their licensing process via the NMLS system.

In 2016, the NMLS introduced a new method for submitting the required NMLS surety bonds during the licensing – the electronic surety bond (ESB). The conditions and bond costs have not changed, but here is what is new.

The new electronic surety bonds

The first phase of the new system came into effect in January 2016. It affected surety bond providers, which now have to comply with it. Last year, nine states started using electronic surety bonds: Texas, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Iowa, Wisconsin, Vermont, Massachusetts and Indiana.

The purpose of the change is to ease the process of submitting, storing and monitoring the NMLS surety bond requirements for licensees. The database of the NMLS thus aims to be a complete storage for all licensing data.

More states join in

As of January 23, 11 more states are switching to the new NMLS bond system. These include Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Indiana (partially).

In these states, new applicants will have to file an electronic surety bond if getting licensed after January 23. Existing licensees have to convert to the electronic filing by the end of 2017.

Here are the professions that have to comply with the new NMLS bond system by January 23:

  • Alaska: Mortgage brokers and lenders and Registered depository institution
  • Georgia: Money transmitters, Mortgage brokers and processors, Mortgage lenders and Sellers of payment instruments
  • Illinois: Residential mortgage brokers
  • Louisiana: Pawnbrokers’ main offices, Residential mortgage brokers, Sellers of checks and Money transmitters
  • Minnesota: Accelerated mortgage payment providers, Credit services organizations, Currency exchange, Electronic financial terminal, Money transmitters, Residential mortgage originators and  Residential mortgage servicers
  • Mississippi: Mortgage brokers and Mortgage lenders
  • Montana: Deferred deposit lenders, Escrow businesses, Independent contractor lenders, Mortgage brokers, Mortgage lenders and Mortgage servicers
  • North Carolina: Money transmitters
  • North Dakota: Collection agencies, Debt settlement service providers, Exempt company registration, Money brokers and Money transmitters
  • Rhode Island: Check cashier and Debt management services registration, Electronic money transmitters, Lenders, Loan brokers, Sellers of checks, Small loan lenders and Third party loan servicers
  • South Dakota: Exempt mortgage company registration, Mortgage brokers and Mortgage lenders

What are your thoughts about the electronic surety bonds? Do you think the new system will ease the licensing and bonding process for financial sector professionals? Please share your insights in the comments.

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Victor Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc. He began his career as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving two combat tours. As president of Lance Surety, he now focuses on educating and assisting small businesses throughout the country with various license and bond requirements. Victor graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

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