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Virginia Mortgage Broker License: Step-by-Step Guide

In Virginia, anyone engaged in the mortgage brokerage and lending business must obtain a license at the state level. The Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions (BFI) regulates and supervises all licenses.

The license application process for entities and individuals is handled by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). NMLS allows mortgage companies and loan originators to apply, update or renew a license online.

Types of Mortgage Licenses in Virginia

The state of Virginia has three major state license types: Company, Branch, and Individual. Each license type depends on the work you wish to perform.

In this guide, we’ll cover the most common licenses only. You can review the full list on the NMLS website.

Most Common Company Licenses

  • Broker License - allows companies and sole proprietorships to find, negotiate, and place mortgage loans.
  • Lender License - allows companies and sole proprietorships to make and originate mortgage loans.

Most Common Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator License - allows individuals to take mortgage loan applications and/or negotiate the terms of the loans for properties located in Virginia.
  • Transitional Mortgage Loan Originator License - allows licensees to engage in mortgage loan originator activities while completing the (pre-licensing) requirements for the Mortgage Loan Originator license. The transitional license is valid for a period of no more than 120 days.

Virginia State Requirements

All license applications must be submitted in NMLS. Please note that some documents, such as the surety bond form, must be mailed directly to BFI at Bureau of Financial Institutions, Administration and Licensing Section, PO Box 640, Richmond, VA 23218-0640.

For assistance and information regarding NMLS, please contact NMLS call center at (855) 665-7123.

Education and Exams

In Virginia, passing an exam is obligatory for some, but not all licenses. To obtain a VA Mortgage Loan Originator or Transitional Mortgage Loan Originator license, you must complete an education course and pass a test.

Exams for Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator License & Transitional Mortgage Loan Originator License - To obtain an individual license in Virginia, applicants must first complete an NMLS-approved pre-licensure education course of at least 20 hours. For further information, as well as a list of approved providers, please visit the NMLS Education page.

    After completing the pre-licensure course, applicants can enroll for the test and pay the applicable fees on NMLS. Applicants can schedule an exam date through NMLS or by contacting the exam administrator Prometric at (877) 671-6657.

    Additional information on how to schedule and take the Mortgage Loan Originator test can be found on the NMLS testing page.

VA Mortgage Broker Bonds

Bonds for Company Licenses

  • Broker License - All broker applicants, unless already licensed as a VA mortgage lender, are required to provide a $25,000 surety bond.
  • Lender License - Applicants must furnish a surety bond in the amount of $50,000. If the applicant is a licensed VA mortgage broker (with a $25,000 bond), they must provide an original rider and increase the bond to $50,000.

Bonds for Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator License - Applicants who are not employed by a licensed mortgage lender or mortgage broker are required to submit a surety bond. The amount of the bond is based on the applicant’s loan volume during the previous year.
    • $25,000 surety bond for loan volume of up to $5,000,000.
    • $50,000 surety bond for loan volume between $5,000,001 - $20,000,000.
    • $75,000 surety bond for loan volume between $20,000,001 - $50,000,000.
    • $100,000 surety bond for loan volume between $50,000,001 - $100,000,000.
    • $150,000 surety bond for loan volume over $100,000,000.
  • Transitional Mortgage Loan Originator License - Transitional license applicants who are not employed by a licensed mortgage entity, must provide a surety bond. The amount of the bond depends on the applicant’s loan origination volume during the previous year.
    • $25,000 surety bond for loan volume of up to $5,000,000.
    • $50,000 surety bond for loan volume between $5,000,001 - $20,000,000.
    • $75,000 surety bond for loan volume between $20,000,001 - $50,000,000.
    • $100,000 surety bond for loan volume between $50,000,001 - $100,000,000.
    • $150,000 surety bond for loan volume over $100,000,000.

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Licensing Fees

Fees for Company Licenses

Fees paid through NMLS are not refundable.

  • Broker License
    • $500 application fee.
    • $100 NMLS processing fee.
    • $15 credit report.
    • $25 state criminal history check.
  • Lender License
    • $500 application fee.
    • $100 NMLS processing fee.
    • $15 credit report.
    • $25 state criminal history check.

Fees for Individual Licenses

  • Mortgage Loan Originator License
    • $150 application fee.
    • $30 NMLS processing fee.
    • $15 credit report (if required).
    • $36.25 FBI criminal background check.
    • $100 exam fee.
  • Transitional Mortgage Loan Originator License
    • $150 application fee.
    • $30 NMLS processing fee.
    • $15 credit report (if required).
    • $36.25 FBI criminal background check.
    • $100 exam fee.

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