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Learn More About The SAFE Act                                       
The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act) established requirements for the licensing and registration of all Mortgage Loan Originators (MLOs). MLOs who work for an insured depository or its owned or controlled subsidiary are not required to take the education or exams. All other MLOs need to be licensed by the state, complete the education requirements, and pass the state and national SAFE exams.
The SAFE Act requires that state-licensed MLOs pass a written qualified test with a score of 75% or better, complete at least 20 hours of pre-licensing education courses, and take eight hours of annual continuing education courses. The SAFE Act also requires all MLOs to submit fingerprints to the NMLS for submission to the FBI for a criminal background check. State-licensed MLOs will provide authorization for NMLS to obtain an independent credit report.

The NMLS is a secure Internet-based learning system for the residential mortgage industry. It is designed to be a centralized and standardized system that will streamline the licensing process for both regulatory agencies and the mortgage industry. The NMLS initiative was begun by state mortgage regulators in 2004 in response to the increased volume and variety of residential mortgage originators and the need to address these changes with modern tools and authorities. Specifically, NMLS was created by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR). It is owned and operated by the State Regulatory Registry LLC (SRR), a wholly owned subsidiary of CSBS. The system has been built and maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), who operates similar systems in the securities industry.

The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) is the legal system of record for licensing in all participating states, the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories.  In these jurisdictions, NMLS is the official and sole system for companies and individuals seeking to apply for, amend, renew and surrender licenses managed in the NMLS on behalf of the jurisdiction’s governmental agencies.  NMLS itself does not grant or deny license authority.
NMLS was created by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR).  It is owned and operated by the State Regulatory Registry LLC (SRR), a wholly owned subsidiary of CSBS.  The system has been built and maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
About NMLS 
The SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Exam is divided into two sections: the national component and the state-specific component.
The national component of the SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Exam consists of 90 operational (scored) questions and 10 pre-test (not scored) questions. The exam is 150 minutes in length with an additional 30 minutes available for completion of an optional candidate survey and tutorial.
Each state-specific component of the SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Exam consists of 45 to 55 operational questions (scored) with an additional 10 pre-test (not scored) questions. The exact number of scored test questions for each state exam is listed in the state's test content outline. The exam time is 90 minutes with an additional 30 minutes available for completion of an optional candidate survey and tutorial.
System Goals
NMLS streamlines the licensing process for both regulatory agencies and the mortgage industry by providing a centralized and standardized system for mortgage licensing.
System History
The NMLS initiative was begun by state mortgage regulators in 2004 in response to the increased volume and variety of residential mortgage originators and the need to address these changes with modern tools and authorities.
System Governance
NMLS is owned and operated by the State Regulatory Registry LLC (SRR), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.  SRR is governed by a six member Board of Managers comprised of state banking commissioners and a representative of AARMR.  The SRR Board of Managers is responsible for all system development, operations, and policy matters concerning NMLS.  
To assist it in making decisions and handling operational matters,  the SRR Board of Managers created the Mortgage Licensing Policy Committee, comprised of 11 state mortgage regulators.  Additionally, the SRR Board of Managers created various taskforces and boards to provide input into the decision making process. 
System Decision Making
The SRR Board of Managers and the Mortgage Licensing Policy Committee are the two primary decision-making bodies for NMLS.  The SRR Board of Managers is ultimately responsible for all decisions, but relies on the MLPC consider and make decisions concerning issues that affect state agency and industry use of NMLS, licensing policy consideration, uniform forms, etc.

 

 

 

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