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    California Mortgage Licensing Requirements

    Need a license?(919) 296-1608 State Mortgage Licensing Experts

    California mortgage licensing requirements are regulated by two separate departments with the state - the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) and the Department of Real Estate (DRE).
    Generally, companies that do not employ real estate brokers are regulated by the DFPI, while real estate companies and sole proprietor brokers are regulated by the DRE.

    DFPI California Mortgage Licensing Requirements


    All mortgage brokers and lenders that are not affiliated with a real estate brokerage are regulated by the DFPI and will need either the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act (CRMLA) license or California Financial Law (CFL) license. The CFL license is typically less expensive and easier to obtain for most mortgage brokers. There is less paperwork and, as a result, the requirements can be taken care of and submitted to the DFPI more quickly for review. It also has a much lower net worth requirement of $25,000 versus the $250,000 net worth required for the CRMLA license. Mortgage lenders with certain needs may benefit from the CRMLA license. Contact us for more information on which license type may be right for your mortgage company.

    We have a lot of experience dealing with the DFPI. Their team members handle large numbers of applications at one time and it can be difficult to get in touch with them. This is why it's especially important to submit complete and accurate applications in NMLS that meet all of the California mortgage licensing requirements.

    Please note that the DFPI is currently taking a long time to process new company mortgage license applications. A Lynx Licensing representative can provide you with our latest estimate.

      DFPI - Residential Mortgage Lending Act (CRMLA) License (Company)
    • NMLS Cost: $1100
    • Additional Costs: $$15 per credit report, $36.25 per criminal background check; additional state fingerprinting and fees required ($20 for residents and $62.50 for non-residents) Arizona also assesses an additional pro-rated license fee through an NMLS invoice that varies and must be paid prior to licensure
    • Minimum net worth: $250,000
    • Qualifying Individual required
    • Surety Bond Requirement: $50,000 minimum
    • Fidelity bond required
      DFPI - Residential Mortgage Lending Act (CRMLA) License (Branch)
    • NMLS Cost: $20 (yes, $20)
    • You must submit your license request at least ten (10) business days prior to opening your branch
      DFPI - Mortgage Loan Originator License (individual)
    • NMLS Cost: $330
    • Additional Costs: $15.00 per credit report, $36.25 per criminal background check
    • Education: 2 hours of CA-specific pre-licensure education is required in addition to the national 20-hour requirement
    • Citizenship documentation is required
      DRE Licensing
    • Coming soon!