How to Get a Mortgage Broker License in Florida [2021 Guide]

Published: Feb 19, 2021
How to Get a Mortgage Broker License in Florida

 

Do you want to launch a mortgage business in Florida? Mortgage professionals in the state need a Florida mortgage broker license to start their activities. 

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation is the authority which oversees the licensing for mortgage brokers. The actual procedure is handled by the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS).

Here are the steps in the licensing process to become a mortgage broker in Florida.

Choose a Mortgage Broker License Types

 

Florida Mortgage Broker License Types

Chapter 494 of the Florida Statutes sets the different license types and the requirements you need to meet to obtain them. 

The license types for mortgage brokers include: 

  • Mortgage Broker License (company) – conducting loan originator activities through one or more licensed loan originators who act as independent contractors or are employed by you
  • Mortgage Loan Originator License (individual) – soliciting a mortgage loan, accepting an application for a mortgage loan, negotiating the terms or conditions of a new or existing mortgage loan, processing a mortgage loan application, or negotiating the sale of an existing mortgage loan to a non-institutional investor 

You can find the full list of license types on the NMLS website.

Meet the Florida Mortgage Broker License Requirements

florida mortgage broker licensing requirementsYou’ll have to meet a number of licensing requirements to prove you’re a suitable candidate for conducting mortgage brokering activities.

Business Documents 

In case you want to get a company license, you’ll have to register a business entity in the state. You have to apply with the Florida Division of Corporations.

The other documents you’ll have to provide for a company license are:

  • Form MU1
  • Trade name (if you want a different one)
  • Complete the information for your Principal Loan Originator
  • Answer all disclosure questions and supply relevant documents as needed

You can find here the complete list of requirements for companies.

If you wish to get a mortgage loan originator license as an individual, you’ll have to provide the following:

  • Form MU4
  • Disclosure questions
  • Proof of meeting the age requirement 

You can consult the full checklist for individual licenses

The Repealed Surety Bond Requirement 

Previously, one of the main criteria you had to meet to get licensed was to post a Florida mortgage broker bond and prove a certain level of net worth, but these rules have been repealed.

When you get bonded, you pay a fraction of the bond amount that is required of you. This is the bond premium. It’s between 0.5% and 5% of the bond amount for applicants with a solid financial profile. 

Need a mortgage broker bond for another state? Fill in the short form below to get a quote! 

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Criminal Background Check

You’ll have to authorize an FBI criminal background check for both the company and the individual license. You’ll also need to pass a state criminal background check


Credit Report 

For both types of licenses, you’ll have to authorize a credit report check. In the case of the company license, the report has to be for all of the control persons on your application.


Education and State Exams 

To become a mortgage loan originator in Florida, you’ll have to provide proof of high-school education.  

You’ll also need to complete  20 hours of NMLS approved pre-licensure education course. A minimum of 2 hours have to cover the provisions of Florida Law and Rules. 

Then, you’ll have to complete a licensing test. You have three options:

  • Pass both the National and Florida State components of the SAFE Test 
  • Pass both the National and Stand-alone UST components of the SAFE Test
  • Pass the National Test Component with Uniform State Content

You can use the services of the many Florida mortgage broker schools to help you get prepared. 

Complete the Florida Mortgage Broker License Application

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary documents, you’ll have to apply online via the NMLS for your state license. 

You may need to send some of the documents via mail. The address is:

Division of Finance 

Bureau of Regulatory Review 

200 East Gaines Street 

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0376

License and Registration Fees

Florida Mortgage Broker License Fees

You’ll need to pay the following fees:

  • Mortgage Broker License – $425 application fee, $100 NMLS processing fee,  $38.75 FBI criminal background check fee per person
  • Mortgage Loan Originator License – $195 application fee, $30 NMLS processing fee, $36.25 FBI criminal background check fee, $24 state criminal background check fee

The other applicable fee is for the credit report check, which is $15 per person. 

Renewals

You’ll have to renew your license yearly through the NMLS system. You’ll need to apply for a renewal and pay the relevant fees for the next licensing period before December 31 of each year. If you miss the renewal deadlines, you have to pay a $250 reinstatement fee for a broker license.

As a licensed broker, you’ll have to keep thorough records of your activities. You should complete the Mortgage Brokerage Deposit Account Form, as well as keep a Transaction and Lending Journal and a Noninstitutional Investor Funds Account, if applicable.

Do you need more information about the Florida mortgage license and bonding? Don’t hesitate to contact us at 877.514.5146.

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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.