The License Process

NOTE: You can sign up for the state exam any time. Just be sure you leave enough time to complete our training course AND allow at least a week or so to study the exam prep workbook that is included in your prelicense training purchase.

Tell me about the state exam

Before you can sit for the State Exam you need a Certificate of Completion from our school for the courses required by your license (see licensing). On the day of the exam, you need to bring proper identification. The State Exam is computer-based (sample). There are 75 questions for the Life Only License; 75 for Accident & Health and 150 for Property & Casualty.

You must score 60% or better to pass. If you fail, you can retake the exam 3 consecutive times for a fee of $50 each ($88 at a private testing center). Your 4th try requires a 30 day waiting period. Use our Exam Prep Workbook to avoid this kind of problem. It is included with your course.

NOTE: When you schedule your exam, be sure to choose the LIFE, ACCIDENT & HEALTH COMBO EXAM (if you are going for the life & health license)…or the PROPERTY & CASUALTY BROKER COMBO EXAM (if you are going for both the property broker and casualty broker license). The combo exam allows you to take both exams on the same day (highly recommended).

What is the State's Application process?

After you pass the State Exam, you the apply for your insurance license. The state has an online application process called FLASH. A brief description is below. You can go to our State Exam page to get the application or schedule your state exam.

In California, you can apply for your insurance license and schedule a date to take your state exam online. It’s called Flash Online Application Service. Here is a brief description of the process.

  1. You will need internet access, a credit card, email address and printer to apply for your license.
  2. Go to the FLASH application
  3. You will be asked to type in your name, address, type of license you want, a little history of your work experience and other licensing and background questions.
  4. You will be asked if you have completed your prelicense training. If you haven’t finished our prelicense course answer NO. (You can start our course at anytime, but you must finish our prelicensing course before taking the State Exam).
  5. You will go to a payment area to pay fees (See fees below)
  6. You will be prompted to save and print your application. You will also receive and print a checklist of what to do next.

What are the current fees for obtaining an insurance license in California?

License: $188 (2-year term)

Examination: $50 per exam at a State location. Add $38 for a private PSI location.

Fingerprint Processing: $60-$70.

What are the fees after licensing?

License Renewal Fee: Currently $188 every 2-years per license. NOTE: Life and Accident and health is considered one license. Property & Casualty is considered one license.

Do I have to be sponsored by a company or agent before taking the State Exam?

No sponsorship or approval is needed.  However, you cannot transact any insurance business unless you have an “appointment” (approval and agreement) with an approved life or casualty carrier (insurance company).

Can I take the State Exam online?

No. You need to personally take the State Exam at an approved DOI testing site.

What if I fail the State Exam?

Don’t think like that! But, if you do fail you can re-take it 3 times in a row at a cost of $50 each time. You have to wait 30 days for the 4th try.

I had a license in another State, do I have to take California prelicense training?

It depends. If your state required you to complete a 40-hour prelicensing course you may be exempt, but you may need to take the 12 hours code and ethics. Contact the DOI for a final answer.

What reasons would the state deny my license application?

Always check with the state if you feel you have something in your past that could be cause for a denial and know that you can present information to help your case. The following state codes may provide some important information.

§ 2183.2 Substantial Relationship Criteria for Crimes or Wrongful Acts.
For purposes of denial, suspension, revocation, and/or restriction of a license or license application, statutes within the Insurance Code list specific grounds and also allow for action based upon findings that include, but are not limited to, the licensee or applicant lacking integrity, having a poor business reputation, or that permitting the licensee or applicant to hold an insurance license is against the public interest. The following is a partial list of crimes or acts that are substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of an insurance licensee:
(a) Any felony conviction;
(b) A misdemeanor conviction which evidences present or potential unfitness to perform the functions authorized by the license in the manner consistent with the public health, safety, and welfare, including but not limited to, soliciting, attempting, or committing crimes involving the following:
(1) Dishonesty or fraud;
(2) Any conviction arising out of acts performed in the business of insurance or any other licensed business or profession;
(3) Theft;
(4) Sexually related conduct affecting a person who is an observer or non-consenting participant in the conduct or convictions, or which requires registration pursuant to the provisions of Section 290 of the Penal Code;
(5) Resisting, delaying, or obstructing a public officer in violation of Penal Code Section 148;
(6) Any act or offense wherein the person willfully causes injury to the person or property of another;
(7) Violation of a relation of trust or confidence, or a breach of fiduciary duty;
(8) Multiple convictions which demonstrate a pattern of repeated and willful disregard for the law.
(c) Any act which demonstrates a willful attempt to derive a personal financial benefit through the nonpayment or underpayment of taxes, assessments, or levies duly imposed upon the licensee or applicant by federal, state or local government or a willful failure to comply with a court order.
§ 2183.3 Weight of Substantially Related Acts.
In considering discipline of a license or license application, the weight to be accorded to a substantially related crime or act described in Section 2183.2 (a), (b), or (c) may be determined by the application of guidelines including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) The extent to which the particular act or omission has adversely affected other person(s) or victim(s), including but not limited to, insurers, clients, employers or other persons, and the probability such adverse effects will continue;
(b) The recency or remoteness in time of the act, misconduct, or omission;
(c) The type of license applied for or held by the licensee or applicant involved;
(d) The extenuating or aggravating circumstances surrounding the act, misconduct, or omission;
(e) Whether the licensee or applicant has a history of prior license discipline, particularly where the prior discipline is for the same or similar type of conduct.
§ 2183.4 Criteria for Evaluating Rehabilitation.
The Commissioner may consider all of the evidence presented, including evidence offered by the licensee or applicant, to determine whether the licensee or applicant has sufficiently rehabilitated from the prior act, misconduct, or omission such that the licensee or applicant is fit to hold an insurance license. When evaluating the rehabilitation of an applicant for an insurance license, or when considering the suspension, revocation, and/or restriction of an insurance license, on the grounds of conviction of a crime or the commission of some other wrongful act, the Commissioner may consider criteria, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) Nature and severity of the act, misconduct, or omission;
(b) Total criminal record;
(c) The time that has elapsed since commission of the act, misconduct, or omission; however, the mere passage of time without unlawful or wrongful activity is not alone sufficient to establish rehabilitation;
(d) Whether the licensee or applicant has complied with any terms of parole, probation, restitution or any other sanctions lawfully imposed against the licensee or applicant; however, termination of probation or parole or obtaining a Penal Code Section 1203.4 expungement of the conviction, or other comparable orders of a court, including federal courts, are not alone sufficient evidence of rehabilitation;
(e) Whether the licensee or applicant has made any restitution or done anything to recompense the injured party or to alleviate the wrong or damage caused by the act, misconduct, or omission;
(f) Significant and/or conscientious involvement in community or privately-sponsored programs designed to provide social benefits or to ameliorate social problems.