In Washington, anyone engaged in the business of brokering residential mortgage loans must be licensed with the state. The mortgage licenses are regulated and supervised by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI).
The license application process for mortgage companies and individuals is handled by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). NMLS allows entities and loan originators to apply, renew or update a license online.
Types of Mortgage Licenses in Washington
The state of Washington has three major state license types: Company, Branch, and Individual. Each license type depends on the work you are going to perform. The most common mortgage license is the Mortgage Broker license.
In this guide, we’ll cover the most common licenses only. You can review the full list on the NMLS website.
Most Common Company License
- Mortgage Broker License - allows companies to engage in mortgage brokerage and loan origination activities for WA citizens or properties located within the state.
Washington State Requirements
All license applications are to be submitted online via NMLS. Please note that some agency-specific documentation, such as the trust accounting and activity declaration, need to be mailed directly to DFI at Department of Financial Institutions, Division of Consumer Services, PO Box 41200, Olympia WA 98504-1200.
For further information regarding the Mortgage Broker license, you may DFI at (360) 902-8703.
For NMLS-related questions, please contact NMLS call center at (855) 665-7123.
Education and Exams
Passing an exam is obligatory for some, but not all license types. In order to obtain a Washington Mortgage Broker License, you are not required to pass an examination or complete a pre-licensure course.
WA Mortgage Broker Bonds
Bonds for Company Licenses
- Mortgage Broker License - All license applicants are required to provide a surety bond. The amount depends on the dollar amount of mortgage loans originated by the applicant during the previous calendar year.
- $20,000 surety bond for loan volume between 0 - $20,000,000.
- $40,000 surety bond for loan volume between $20,000,000 - $40,000,000.
- $60,000 surety bond for loan volume over $40,000,000.
Fees for Company Licenses
The fees are not refundable and must be submitted via NMLS.
- Mortgage Broker License
- $901 license costs.
- $100 NMLS processing fee.
- $15 credit report fee.
- $36.25 background check fee.