Skip to main content

A License Renewal Program That Works

Your renewal season will be here before you know it. Do you have a program in place?

Vanessa Bodnar
Vanessa Bodnar
License Renewal Program That Works

The Mortgage License renewal season starts Nov. 1 in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) and ends Jan. 31. Let’s talk about what your renewal program needs to include to ensure a successful season.

According to a press release by The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) on Oct. 20, 2022, “More than 261,000 mortgage loan originators (MLOs) and companies are licensed to conduct business, accounting for nearly 1.1 million state licenses to be renewed. There are nearly 21,000 more MLOs eligible to renew their licenses than this time last year. In addition, the number of individual state licenses eligible for renewal is 13% higher than the same time last year, while the number of company licenses eligible for renewal is up 16 percent compared to this time last year.“

It is imperative that you start preparing for next year’s renewals right away to avoid delays due to the ever-increasing number of licenses in NMLS. Having a robust and solid renewal program in place will make sure all your renewals are processed in a timely manner and approved with fewer issues. The following components will help you structure your program:


Each state your company is licensed in has a renewal checklist located in NMLS. Some state checklists are more inclusive than others. Review each renewal checklist and create a spreadsheet of renewal requirements for loan officer, branch, and company licenses. You can find these checklists on the Annual Renewal Information page in the resource center of NMLS. I recommend you check back often as the states will announce any changes to their renewal checklists. Some of the items to consider are continuing education requirements, any documents needing to be executed, and any additional requirements unique to the state.

Continuing Education Program

Depending on your leadership and what they desire in terms of providing continuing education (CE) to loan officers or if they require them to enroll themselves in CE, it would be a good idea to understand how everyone will be completing their CE. If you need to choose a CE provider, you may choose any CE provider you like, if they are NMLS approved. You can find a list of NMLS-approved CE providers on the NMLS Approved Course Provider List.

There is a little-known requirement in NMLS that when you attest to company renewals on November 1st, as a company, you are saying that to the best of your knowledge all CE has been completed by your employees.

Either your company will want to enroll your loan officers or ensure they are enrolled by early summer. If your company is licensed in many states, you will want to set a deadline for CE completion early enough to make sure your renewals can start being processed by Nov. 1. It is my opinion that a solid CE deadline should be mid-October. There is a little-known requirement in NMLS that when you attest to company renewals on Nov. 1, as a company, you are saying that to the best of your knowledge all CE has been completed by your employees.

In the past few years, I have instituted incentive programs for CE completion. The most successful one I have put into place was a raffle. Each loan officer was entered into the raffle as they completed their CE. We would draw names for prizes each week. The prizes were gift cards and company swag. It’s amazing how loan officers respond to a fun incentive.


Working closely with your marketing department (or if you are a company without one, you can do this on your own) to develop a plan to communicate renewal expectations for the upcoming season. This plan can include sending emails to loan officers prior to renewals on how to prepare including if their NMLS profiles are updated, where to go to complete CE, tips on how to make time for CE, a complete step-by-step instructional guide on how to process renewals, and any company-imposed deadlines.

If your company has an intranet or a hub online to speak to employees, you may want to consider posting this information there as well. Making these emails or postings as light-hearted and concise as possible will likely entice your loan officers to read and act more easily. Remember Loan Officers work through email all day, and you will want to grab their attention.


Another component of your renewal program will be tracking. It needs to include your licenses at all levels: loan officer, branch, and company renewals. Items you can track include but are not limited to:

• Continuing Education

  • CE enrollment
  • CE providers used by loan officers
  • Completed CE — with completion percentages

• Renewals

  • Renewal submissions by date
  • License approvals by state

This will make sure no renewal is left behind, and you can communicate effectively to leadership what is happening with your renewals.

License Renewal Programs

Post Renewal Cleanup

You finally get the last loan officer, branch, and company license renewal across the finish line, but now is not the time to go on that long-awaited winter vacation. There are several things to think about as you wrap up your renewal program for the year.

Reinstatements and Approvals
There is a reinstatement period in NMLS from Jan. 2 to Feb. 28. If you intend to reinstate an expired license, you will need to consult the Annual Renewal Information page in the NMLS Resource Center to ensure the state you wish to reinstate allows you to do so. If you want to reinstate a loan officer license, and the state requires CE, you will make sure CE has been completed or late CE will need to be completed prior to reinstating your license.

Access to Originate
As soon as a license status becomes terminated/expired or in the case a license renewal hasn’t been approved but the state requires approval in NMLS, you must be sure you remove access from that state in your Loan Maintenance System (LMS) to originate. Even if a loan officer intends to reinstate their license, you will want to be sure they are not able to originate in that state. Note: You will need to be sure you are aware of any licenses in which a state hasn’t approved a renewal. Some states will not allow you to originate if a license renewal is not approved by Jan. 1.

Pipeline Reports
For loan officers whose licenses have terminated or expired you will want to run pipeline reports to make sure any loans in progress are assigned to a licensed originator. Oftentimes this requires consulting your policies and procedures as well as speaking with leadership on how to communicate these changes with borrowers and to ensure the loans are reassigned to the correct person. These reports need to be executed as soon as possible after the new year. The last thing you need is a loan that cannot make it to closing due to licensing issues.

You will want to communicate to your marketing department any licenses that have been terminated. This is to make sure that all social media, websites, and marketing materials reflect your current licensing.

Ultimately your company’s renewal season will be as successful as you are organized. Taking the time to plan and execute now will make all the difference in ensuring that your renewals are approved, and your company can continue to serve their community by providing home ownership opportunities. Remember communication is key, so do the work early and you will not be disappointed in the results.

This article was originally published in the Mortgage Women Magazine March 2023 issue.
Vanessa Bodnar
Vanessa Bodnar,
Vanessa Bodnar

Vanessa Bodnar is the licensing manager for Homespire Mortgage.

Published on
Mar 28, 2023
Do Teens Know The Value Of A Buck?

Ask yourself tough questions about what you are teaching your children

Ashley Gravano
Turning Messes Into Successes

Jane Mason turned her hatred of corporate disarray into her own company

Sarah Wolak
Be Ready To Pivot

Lessons learned navigating the complexity of leadership

Michele Bodda


OriginatorTech Deep Dive: Jaro's True End-To-End Appraisal Solutions

During the webinar, Jaro will demonstrate how their platform simplifies the appraisal process, reduces turnaro...

May 23, 2023
Investor Confidence in Today’s Non-QM And Why Originators Are Paying Attention... A Virtual Town Hall

We host Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions for a special 2021 edition of their virtual town hall series they ran fro...

Apr 08, 2021
How to Help Real Estate Pros in a Post-Refi World

Hear from Melissa Merriman, REALTOR® with The Melissa Merriman Team at Keller Williams, on what real estate pr...

Mar 18, 2021
Tightening Credit Adds To Housing Affordability Struggles

Black Knight report says rates remain elevated, and worsening inventory shortages prop up home prices.

loanDepot Names Former CoreLogic Exec Its New CFO

David Hayes succeeds Patrick Flanagan; LDI Digital president, accounting & human resources officers also leaving.

Resilient Labor Market Adds 339K Jobs In May

Despite 15% increase in new jobs from April, unemployment rate rises to 3.7%.