Vermont has a mandatory license for mortgage loan originators. It is obtained through the NMLS system. For the requirement to apply, you must be doing mortgage work for profit or at least expect to profit from your activities. This could be via a salary or commission. Only residential mortgages apply. Covered activities include taking an loan application, offering a loan, or negotiating a loan. And just holding yourself out to the public as a provider of these services is sufficient to required registration. The licensing agency is the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation’s Banking Division. An MLO can work for one licensed broker or other business at a time.
Even if you are a sole proprietor who is a licensed broker or lender, you still have to get this MLO license if you engage in the covered activities. Otherwise, you would have to hire someone to do this work. If you are a loan processor or underwriter who works as an independent contractor, you will also have to be licensed as an originator. But employees who only process or underwrite do not have to be licensed. A real estate broker who is not being compensated for mortgage-related transactions does not have to get a license, either. But the activities of the broker must be limited to authorized real estate broker activities. Employees of certain banks and other institutions are exempt. Your employer will know whether you are exempt. The last exemption is for those who exclusively market credit for timeshares.
As of 2013, applicant must complete an educational course that is a total of at least 20 hours and includes 2 hours on Vermont law. Also since 2013, there is a new exam requirement. You must pass the National and Stand-alone SAFE test components or the National Test Component with Uniform State Content. A background check and credit report are both required, as well. If you are licensed in another state, then you must be in good standing in that jurisdiction.
Fees are $130, but there may be an additional fee of $15 for a credit report and $36.25 for fingerprints. Use the checklist on the following page when applying for your Vermont mortgage loan originator license:
If you have questions, you can call 802-828-3307. The email address is DFR.NMLS1@state.vt.us.