Mortgage Loan Originator License Application Instructions
To implement the provisions of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act), the Department requires MLOs to:
- Submit an application through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS)
- Complete 20 hours of NMLS approved Pre-licensing Education Courses, including 3 hours of New York law;
- Pass the SAFE Act test, consisting of a National component and a New York State component;
- Submit a Surety Bond and Surety Bond Certification Form, upon approval of the application.
Submitting a Complete Application
The New York State Department of Financial Services accepts new Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) applications through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). All new applications for licensure must be submitted through the online NMLS application process.
To ensure that your application is received, acknowledged as complete, and processed, please follow the instructions below. No application shall be deemed to be complete until all required information, documents, and fees have been received. If an application is determined to be incomplete, you will receive written notification identifying the items and matters that must be addressed for the Department to continue the application review process. Applicants will then have 30 days to submit missing documents before the application is considered withdrawn. Applicants who have applications withdrawn must repay applicable fees and resubmit all documentation to the Department to restart the process.
Access to NMLS
Before beginning the online application process, you will be required to register with NMLS at www.nationwidelicensingsystem.org and create a personalized user ID and password.
Note: If you already have access to NMLS, you do not need to create a new account.
In the application process, an NMLS Identification Number will be assigned to your application. Please maintain a record of this NMLS Identification Number as it will be used as your application reference number throughout the remainder of the application process. Your NMLS Identification Number must be included on every hard-copy document submitted to the Department of Financial Services.
Log on to the application section of NMLS to complete the MU4 Form. Information that must be provided on the MU4 Form includes, but is not limited to, name, date of birth, address, work experience, and financial and criminal conviction disclosures.
Note: If you have already submitted Form MU4 through NMLS for another state, you do not need to re-enter your personal information. However, you are required to provide jurisdiction-specific information to support your New York State application.
Applicants for an MLO license are required to pay the following non-refundable fees:
- Investigation fee: $125
- License fee: $254
- Fingerprint fee: $86.50
- NMLS processing fee: $30
Notice of Receipt of Application
After all required components of the application, including the hard-copy and jurisdiction-specific documents, are received by the Department of Financial Services, a notification confirming receipt will be mailed to the sponsoring entity and the individual MLO.
Please note that the notice of receipt is based on an initial review and additional materials may be requested during the processing of the application.
Note: Applicants are prohibited from engaging in mortgage loan origination activities until authorized by the Department of Financial Services.
Weekly Bulletin Publication
Applications deemed complete are published in the Department’s weekly bulletin every Friday. The Weekly Bulletin can be accessed via the following link: http://www.dfs.ny.gov/reportpub/wb.htm.
Approval or Denial
After the application has been processed, the sponsoring entity and the individual MLO will receive written notification of the approval or denial of the application.
If the application is approved, the MLO will be required to submit a surety bond in accordance with requirements of Section 420.15 of the Superintendent’s Regulations, after which a License Certificate will be issued. A notification will be mailed to the sponsoring entity.
If the application is denied, the MLO will receive notification of denial. A notification of denial will also be mailed to the sponsoring entity.
Jurisdiction-specific requirements, as identified below, must be submitted to the Department within five business days of the submission of your application through NMLS. All submissions of jurisdiction-specific requirements may be made electronically (either via email to MLO@dfs.ny.gov or uploaded to NMLS). If originals are required, copies may be submitted electronically to help expedite the Department’s review, but the originals MUST be mailed in hard copy to the following address:
New York State Department of Financial Services
Attention: Mortgage Banking
One State Street
New York, NY 10004
- SPONSORSHIP. New York Banking Law requires all applicants for a Mortgage Loan Originator License to be affiliated through an employment or independent contractor relationship with a New York regulated entity. Applicants may submit an application for processing prior to securing employment or establishing a relationship with a New York regulated entity. Once the Department is satisfied that the applicant has met all of the requirements to become an MLO other than affiliation with a New York regulated entity, the Department will send the applicant a sponsorship notification. The sponsorship notification will require the applicant to become affiliated with a New York regulated entity within 30 days of the date of such notification. The applicant must also update the MU4 application form with the date of employment and the name and address of the sponsoring entity within the 30 days. The sponsoring entity is required to process a sponsorship request through the NMLS within 30 days of the date of the notification.
Note: An MLO application will remain confidential until the MLO becomes affiliated with a New York regulated entity, at which point the application will be deemed complete and published in the Department's Weekly Bulletin.
- CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK/FINGERPRINTING. Pursuant to New York Banking Law Article 12-E and Part 420 of the Superintendent's Regulations, applicants for MLO licensing are required to submit their fingerprints for the purpose of a criminal background check. Applicants are required to use IdentoGo by MorphoTrust USA for the New York State component of the criminal background check.
- SURETY BOND. Provide either an "Originating Entity" or an "Individual Mortgage Loan Originator" surety bond furnished by a surety company authorized to conduct business in New York. For an "Individual Mortgage Loan Originator" surety bond, the name of the principal insured on the bond must match exactly the full legal name of the applicant as listed on the MU4 form filed through NMLS.
- CREDIT REPORT.Authorization for a credit report must be completed through the NMLS. Individuals will be required to complete an Identity Verification Process (IDV).
Note: If any of the individuals listed above has a credit report that includes derogatory information, the applicant will be required to provide an explanation, including, but not limited to: (1) relevant payoff or satisfaction letters from creditors and/or collection agencies evidencing payment of outstanding obligations or an existing repayment plan, (2) relevant tax lien releases or satisfaction notices or an existing repayment plan, (3) a lender short sale approval letter or loan modification approval, (4) bankruptcy discharge documents, (5) court order(s) vacating outstanding judgments, (6) documentation supporting a medical condition and its financial impact on the individual, (7) documentation demonstrating identity theft and its financial impact on the individual, and (8) a child support enforcement balance and arrears statement or letter.
- AFFIRMATION. Provide an affirmation stating that the applicant will immediately notify the Superintendent of any changes to the information furnished in the application and that the applicant has reviewed the application and certifies that it does not contain any untrue statement or omission of material facts. Please write your NMLS identification number in the upper right-hand corner of your affirmation form.
- DISCLOSURE QUESTIONS. Provide complete details of all events or proceedings for any “Yes” answer to any of the disclosure questions (found on NMLS).
- EVIDENCE OF AUTHORIZATION TO WORK IN THE U.S.Individuals born outside of the United States must provide evidence of authority to work in the U.S. (e.g., permanent resident alien card, naturalization certificate, U.S. passport, or appropriate immigration authorization).
- OTHER LICENSE INFORMATION.If you have a license to practice any profession, please provide details regarding the nature of license, date issued, license number, and licensing agency. Lawyers must submit an original certificate of good standing. Also, provide details regarding any refusal to issue license(s) or the revocation or suspension of license(s), registration(s), or authorization(s) in this or any other state.
- GARNISHMENT OF WAGES. Provide information relating to any garnishment of wages or salary.
Annual Renewal: MLO authorizations expire on December 31 each year and must be renewed annually. A renewal reminder and directions for renewing through the NMLS system will be e-mailed to all MLOs at least 60 days prior to the expiration date.
WHO TO CONTACT
If you require assistance in using the NMLS database or logging into the system, please contact the NMLS Call Center at (855) 665-7123.