Find out what you need to do to renew your MLO endorsement or license.

Hit the books

If you are a mortgage loan originator (MLO) in California, you have:

  • a valid California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) license, with an MLO license endorsement;
  • an MLO license issued by the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO); or
  • a federal MLO registration, if you’re employed by a federally regulated entity, such as a federally-chartered bank.

MLOs holding a CalBRE MLO license endorsement or a DBO MLO license are state-licensed MLOs. MLOs working for federally regulated entities are federally registered MLOs.  State-licensed and federally registered MLOs meet their respective state and federal requirements for endorsement or licensure through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). Both state-licensed and federally registered MLOs are required to renew their licenses or endorsements with the NMLS annually.

However, only state-licensed MLOs are also required to take eight hours of continuing education (CE) with each renewal.

If you’re a state-licensed loan originator, make sure you enroll in a course with different course content than the course you completed the prior year. State-licensed MLOs are prohibited from repeating the same course or course content two years in a row. After you’ve completed your CE, your CE course provider will bank your CE credit with the NMLS.

The remainder of this article discusses California state-licensed MLO renewal procedures.

Watch the clock

Once your CE has been banked, you need to renew your state endorsement or license through the NMLS. For California state-licensed MLOs, there are three renewal windows:

  • on-time renewal;
  • late renewal; and
  • expiration.

The on-time renewal period for the MLO endorsements or licenses is November 1st through December 31st. Though you may complete your CE any time in the calendar year, you may only process an on-time renewal with the NMLS during the on-time renewal period.

If you hold an endorsement for both an officer license and a corporation license, you are required to renew the endorsement on your officer license first.

California MLOs who miss the on-time renewal may complete a late renewal (also called reinstatement by the NMLS) between January 1st and February 28th of the next calendar year. For example, if you do not renew your endorsement or license by December 31, 2014, you have until February 28, 2015 to complete a late renewal.

Late renewals do not require you to file a new MLO application with the NMLS. However, if you have not completed your CE, you will be required to complete late CE in order to complete a late renewal. For MLO renewals, late CE is not the same as on-time CE.  Make sure you confirm you’ve enrolled in the correct CE if you’re renewing late!

If you do not renew your MLO endorsement or license by February 28th, your MLO endorsement or license expires. (Note: any underlying CalBRE or DBO license remains intact.) To re-activate your MLO endorsement or license, you need to reapply. This means you’ll have to file a new MLO application with the NMLS, re-submit fingerprints, authorize a background check, authorize a new credit report and pay the applicable fees through the NMLS. You do not need to retake any pre-licensing courses, but you will be required to complete late CE.

Editor’s note — Not all states offer late renewals. If you also hold an MLO endorsement or license in another state, check the renewal deadlines and fees for your state on the NMLS webpage.

Additionally, if any pre-licensing course requirements have changed since you initially obtained your endorsement or license, you will be required to meet them before reacquiring your endorsement or license. In 2015, DBO will require an additional 2 hours of California-specific pre-licensing education.

You can renew your endorsement online at The NMLS offers extensive renewal instructions to MLOs in their renewal handbooks, also available online.

Related articles:

NMLS Renewal Handbook for Companies

NMLS Renewal Handbook for Individuals

Pay your dues

State agencies set the renewal fees, but all fees are paid through the NMLS. In addition to the state fees, MLOs pay additional annual processing fees, per license, to the NMLS.

EntityLicense NameRenewal FeeLate Renewal Fee
IndividualReal Estate Broker License Endorsement$3000
IndividualReal Estate Salesperson License Endorsement$3000
CompanyReal Estate Broker License Endorsement00
CompanyReal Estate Corporation License Endorsement$3000
BranchBranch Office License Endorsement00


EntityLicense NameRenewal FeeLate Renewal Fee
IndividualMortgage Loan Originator License$300$100
CompanyExempt Company Registration00
CompanyFinance Lenders Law License00
CompanyResidential Mortgage Lending Act License00
BranchFinance Lenders Law License (Branch)00
BranchResidential Mortgage Lending Act License (Branch)00


EntityRenewal FeeLate Renewal Fee

Get it done the easy way

Your best practice is to complete the MLO CE as soon as possible. Enroll in your CE course now, and finish it at your leisure. When the end of the year rolls around, you can rest easy, enjoy your holidays, and side-step additional requirements for late renewals.

Sign up for first tuesday’s MLO renewal course today!