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California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) Mortgage License Requirements

Learn about the California (DBO) mortgage education needs and additional requirements for mortgage licensing.

In the state of California, mortgage loan originators, under the Department of Business Oversight (DBO), are required to:

  1. Complete a Criminal Background Check (CBC).
  2. Authorize a credit report through the NMLS that demonstrates financial responsibility.
  3. Fulfill all state and federal education requirements as designated by your state agency.
  4. Take and pass the National Component.
  5. All applicants must apply for a license through the NMLS by filing a Form MU4 and receiving a sponsorship by a company holding a valid unique identifier with NMLS and which is licensed by the California Department of Business Oversight (formerly Department of Corporations).
  6. An applicant must demonstrate financial responsibility, character and general fitness such as to command the confidence of the community and to warrant a determination that the mortgage loan originator will operate honestly, fairly and efficiently.
  7. Coverage by a surety bond provided by the mortgage loan originator’s employer.

California (DBO) NLMS Pre-Licensing Education Requirements

New state-licensed MLOs are required to complete 20 hours of NMLS-approved education. This includes:

  • 3 hours of federal law
  • 3 hours of ethics
  • 2 hours of non-traditional mortgage lending training
  • 10 hours of electives
  • 2 hours of California state-specific education

California (DBO) Continuing Education Requirements

State-licensed MLOs are required to complete 8 hours of NMLS-approved mortgage education annually beginning the year they are licensed (unless PE was completed in the same year). This includes:

  • 3 hours of federal law
  • 2 hours of ethics
  • 2 hours of non-traditional mortgage lending
  • 1 hour of California state-specific education

MLOs are advised that to comply with the SAFE Act’s “successive years” rule, they may not take the same CE course two years in a row.

California (DBO) Mortgage Licensing: More Information

California Department of Business Oversight

Phone: 866-275-2677

Email: ASK.DBO@dbo.ca.gov

Website: www.dbo.ca.gov

NMLS Resources:

To view the California (DBO) MLO License Description Page, please click here 
Professional Standards: Mortgage Education – click here 
Professional Standards: Criminal Background Check – click here 
Professional Standards: Credit Report – click here 
Professional Standards: Mortgage Education – click here 
Professional Standards: MLO Testing – click here