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Residential Mortgage Loan Originator (RMLO)
Licensing Process

Overview of this Page

New License Applicants       Pre-License Exam Preparation
Basic RMLO Application Process
NMLS Mortgage Licensing Terminology
Step 1 - Register for the NMLS Account
Step 2 - Register for Pre-License Education
Step 3 - Register for the NMLS National Exam
Step 4 - Apply for your NMLS License
License Application Fees
Texas SAFE Act Guidelines
      Exam Preparation Info
NMLS National Uniform State Test (UST)

Existing Licensee Info
Renewing Your License
Mortgage Call Reports & Financial Statements

The Application Process Made Easy

To apply for the new RMLO license, you will need to meet the following basic requirements (more details are below):

1)  Enroll in the Exam Preparation Course
2)  Register for an account in the NMLS Resource Center
3)  Register for the National and State Tests in the NMLS Resource Center
4)  Complete the National and State Pre-License Education Hours
5)  Begin filling out the MU1, MU2, MU3 and MU4 applications, as necessary
5)  Pass the 125 Question National Exam
6)  Submit your application forms through the NMLS system

For Live Course & Exam Prep Dates, click here.

For a Quick Summary of how to meet the NMLS license requirements, click here.

NMLS Mortgage Licensing Terminology

NMLS Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System
RMLO Residential Mortgage Loan Originator
MU1 Application form for the company ID
MU2 Application form for any principals of the company (not originating)
MU3 Application form for any branch locations of your company
MU4 Application form for each individual loan originator
Credit Hours Banking Education hrs completed are submitted into NMLS

NMLS Quick Guides

NMLS Navigation Guides

How to Attest in NMLS

Step 1 - Register for the NMLS Account

All Residential Mortgage Loan Originators (RMLO) must be sponsored by a company, therefore all companies must file an MU1 application. Even individual brokers, contract processors, and underwriters must file a form MU1 to create a company to house thier license.

1) Request a company account

If you work for a large company, speak with your manager about the company records in NMLS.  You will need to apply under their company ID.

If you are the owner of your company, you will need to create an MU1 account.

Click here to begin the MU1 appliction process

How to create an company account

2) Next you will need to create an Individual Account.

Click on the "Log in to NMLS" button above and then select "Create an Individual Account."

How to create an individualaccount

Step 2 - Register for Pre-License Education

NATIONAL: ALL applicants must complete 20 hours of Pre-license Education (PE).  There is a $30 fee charged by NMLS for "Banking" of credit hours.  This fee will be facilitated through the education provider who is submitting your hours for course credit.

Register for Nationally Approved Online Pre-License Courses and State Specific

If the RMLO has already satisfied 20 hours of NMLS approved PE education previously, you do not have to take the hours again.

How to view your course completion record in NMLS

STATE SPECIFIC: In addition to the 20 Hours required nationally, some states have additional education requirements. You will need to complete this education in each state that you apply for licensing. For example, Texas requires an addtional 3 hours of State-Specific PE education.

View State Specific Education Requirements

Step 3 - Register for the NMLS National Exam

If you have already passed the National Component of the SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test and your passing score is part of your RMLO record in NMLS, you do not need to take it again.

You will register and pay for the National Exam through the NMLS system after you have created your account. The exam is taken through Prometrics Testing Centers.

The exam costs $110 and consists of 125 questions.  (115 questions count for your score and 10 questions are sample questions being tested by NMLS.)

You will have 225 minutes to complete the exam.  Take your time reading each question carefully.  If you do not know the answer, make your best educated guess and mark the question to "review" in the testing software to be reviewed after all questions have been completed.

Testing center tips: Bring your drivers license and another form of ID such as a credit card with matching signatures.  You will have a locker for all personal belongings such as coats, purses, watches, phones, calculators, etc.  The testing center will provide a calculator and scratch paper to work on.

How to register for a pre-license exam

How to register for a pre-license exam

Video: What to expect on test day

Step 4 - Apply for your NMLS License in Each State

WHO NEEDS THE MU1 APPLICATION? All MU4 licenses must be sponsored under a MU1 Company Filing. "The MU1 is completed by mortgage companies or sole proprietorships to apply for, maintain, amend, renew, and/or surrender a license."

You will need to follow the State-Specific Licensing instructions for each state that you are applying for a license.

State Specific Application Requirements

For example, in Texas, there are seven categories in addition to branch and individual licenses.
    1) Auxiliary Loan Activities
    2) CUSO (Credit Union Subsidiary Organization)
    3) Financial Services Company Registration
    4) Independent Contract Loan Processors and Underwriters Licensing
    5) Mortgage Banker Registration
    6) Mortgage Company Licensing(formerly known as a Broker)
    7) Mortgage Servicing Registration

Now you are ready to file your applications Forms MU1, MU2, MU3, and MU4!

How to apply for your RMLO MU4 license

RMLO Application Expanded Guide with detailed info and screen shots of the process.

How to submit a Credit Report Check request

How to submit a Background Check request

How to provide a Company access to your application record

How to interpret your Application Status

How to hire a MLO with an existing license (transfer)

License Application and Renewal Costs


In 2020 to set up a broker company and get a RMLO license in Texas, it will cost...
  MU4 Individual Testing - $110
  MU1 (Brokerage Company) - $275
  MU2 (Owners Registered)- $50 each
  MU3 (Branch) - $0 if no branches
  MU4 (Originator) - $215
+ MU4 Background Checks - $125.25

NMLS Fees: For companies and individuals applying or renewing through the NMLS portal, the system will require payment electronically through NMLS upon submission for processing fees. [Full Info]

MU1 $100 per company paid annually
MU2 Principals/Officers are at no cost to register
MU3 $20 per licensed branch location paid annually
MU4 $30 per residential mortgage loan originator license paid annually
National Exam Fee $110 - to Prometric Testing Center
MU4 Individual FBI Background Check $36.25
MU4 IndividualCredit Report $15
MU4 Changes $30 each time a RMLO changes company sponsorship

The NMLS processing charges are applied on a per license per state basis. There are no other NMLS processing fees. These processing fees pay for NMLS’ operations, including licensee system access 362 days per year, ability to maintain, renew and run reports on your licenses, and call center support.

PLUS Texas SMLD Fees: For companies and individuals submitting a NEW APPLICATION OR RENEWAL through NMLS, the system will require payment electronically through NMLS upon submission for processing fees. [Full Info]

MU4 Individual License (in addition to company) MU4 - $185 New
MU4 Criminal Background - $75 New
MU4 - $60 Renewal
Mortgage Banker Registration MU1 - $350
MU3 - $50
Mortgage Company License(formerly known as a Broker) MU1 - $175 New
MU3 - $50
Independent Contractor
Contract Loan Processor Company or Contract Underwriter Company License
MU1 - $150 New
MU1 - $100 Renewal
Financial Services Company MU1 - $500
Credit Union Subsidiary Organization
MU1 - $150 New
MU3 (Branch) - $0
Auxiliary Loan Activities Company MU1 - No Fee
Mortgage Loan Servicer Registration MU1 - $350 New
Bond Requirement
(based on servicing volume)
  <$25,000,000 - $25,000
  >$25,000,000 - $50,000

SMLD Fee Schedule for Licensing Applications

Texas SAFE Act Guidelines


Background Checks

Criminal History - All individuals acting as residential mortgage loan originators must authorize a fingerprint background check through NMLS for the purpose of conducting a national criminal history background check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation when filing Form MU4 through NMLS. This requirement applies to all individuals, regardless whether you are currently licensed in the state or if you have previously submitted fingerprints for licensure. NMLS will implement a comprehensive process which includes electronic fingerprint capture with locations throughout the state.

Credit Report - All residential mortgage loan originators must provide authorization to obtain a credit report through NMLS.  Texas SML will review the credit report provided through the NMLS as part of its determination of financial responsibility for each residential mortgage loan originator.  SML has stated that they will take into account recent economic factors when reviewing credit reports and will differentiate between financial irresponsibility and economic hardships.

Texas does NOT have a credit score requirement.

Annual NMLS License Renewal

ALL NMLS licenses expire on December 31st each year. The MU1, MU2, MU3, and MU4 records must be renewed prior to December 31st. Beginning November 1st, licensees can log into NMLS, click the Renewal Tab and request renewal of their licenses, or indicate to their regulator the licenses they do not intend to renew. Individuals should consult with their company to determine who will be submitting and paying for the renewal request in NMLS. In some instances, the company may wish to submit the renewal request on your behalf (individuals must attest to their record first.)

All MU4 must complete a minimum of 8 hours of continuing education each year.  There is a $12 fee charged by NMLS for "Banking" of credit hours.  This fee will be facilitated through the education provider who is submitting your hours for course credit. These hours must be completed prior to renewing your license. You CANNOT renew your license until your hours are posted in NMLS and you have received the confirmation email.

Go to the Continuing Education page

FAQs about RMLO License Renewal

Q: What are the Continuing Education (CE) requirements for renewal?
A: Every year, licensees must complete 8 hours of approved NMLS CE prior to renewing your license.

Q: What is the best practices deadline for renewing my license?
A: All MLO renewal requests should be submitted by December 15th. The cutoff for renewing your license is December 31st each year.

Q: What happens if I do not renew my license by December 31st?
A: Your license will expire which means you will no longer be able to act as a loan originator. Certain state agencies allow licensees to request late renewal or reinstatement. Licenses can still be renewed until approximately the end of February, but they will be subject to a late fees and you cannot originate loans until it is fully approved.

Q: What is the late renewal fee for a loan originator license?
A: If you renew your LO license late, the Reinstatement Fee for Texas SML is $125.

Q: Who can help if I forgot my password to the NMLS?
A: If you are an individual and you know your user name, there is a “Forgot Password” option on the NMLS login screen. If you do not know your user name, you must contact the NMLS Call Center. You can reach them at (240) 386-4444.

Q: I am not actively originating loans, must I renew my license?
A: If you wish to maintain your inactive loan originator license, you must renew with the same requirements as an active loan originator licensee. This includes meeting all the renewal requirements and submitting the renewal request via the NMLS.

Q: Who can I call for help navigating the renewal system in the NMLS?
A: The NMLS Call Center is available Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. Their phone number is (240) 386-4444.

State Specific Information
            State Specific FAQs Spreadsheet
            Renewal Deadlines Chart
            Renewal Fees Chart

Company Renewals for RMLO
            Companies Renewal Handbook
            Companies Uniform Renewal Checklist
            Companies Renewal Role Users
              Individual Attest for Company Pay and Submit

Individual Self Renewals
            IndividualsRenewal Handbook
            Individuals Uniform Renewal Checklist
              Individual Attest and Self Pay

How to interpret your Application Status

How to view your course completion record in NMLS

How to mark a license/state as Do Not Renew in NMLS

How to terminate your relationship with a Company

How to change your employer in NMLS

How to surrender or withdraw your license


Mortgage Call Reports and Financial Statements

Companies that hold a state license or state registration through NMLS will be required to complete a Mortgage Call Report. The SAFE Act requires all state mortgage licensees to submit a report of financial condition and loan activity to NMLS. The Mortgage Call Report (MCR) functionality in NMLS allows a company to submit the required filings through the system. There are two different types of Mortgage Call Report (MCR) Filings in NMLS: the Expanded Mortgage Call Report (E-MCR) and the Standard Mortgage Call Report (S-MCR). The E-MCR is required for a company that indicates on the Company Form (MU1) that it is a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Approved Seller/Servicer or a Ginnie Mae Issuer. MCR filings contain two components: the Financial Condition (FC) and the Residential Mortgage Loan Activity (RMLA) Report.

For Standard filers, the FC is required to be filed annually, no later than 90 days after the fiscal year end. For Expanded filers, the FC is filed every calendar quarter.

The RMLA contains information about the mortgage activities for a company and it’s Mortgage Loan Originators (MLOs).

MCR filings can be created manually or by use of the upload functionality in NMLS. Regardless of how the company initiates the MCR filing, the company will still need to complete all of the components, attest to, and submit the MCR filing.

NMLS Navigation Guide for MCR and FS

Mortgage Call Report Requirements by State Agency

Standard MCR for Non GSE-Approved Companies

      How to file a Quarerly Standard Mortgage Call Report (MCR)

      How to file an Annual Financial Statement (FS)

MCR Component Filing Period Due Date
S-FC Annual 90 days from fiscal year end (FYE)
S-RMLA Q4 data (October 1 – December 31)
Q3 data (July 1 – September 30)
Q2 data (April 1 – June 30)
Q1 data (January 1 – March 31)
45 days from Q end (February 14)
45 days from Q end (November 14)
45 days from Q end (August 14)
45 days from Q end (May 15)

Expanded MCR for GSE-Approved Companies

      How to file a Quarerly Expanded ortgage Call Report (MCR)

      How to file a Quarerly Financial Statement (FS)

MCR Component Filing Period Due Date
E-FC and E-RMLA Q4 data (October 1 – December 31)
Q3 data (July 1 – September 30)
Q2 data (April 1 – June 30)
Q1 data (January 1 – March 31)
45 days from Q end (February 14)
45 days from Q end (November 14)
45 days from Q end (August 14)
45 days from Q end (May 15)

NOTE: The MCR is separate and distinct from Financial Statements.

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