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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the prelicensing requirements?
What do I need to sit for the state insurance exam?
Where can I find more information on getting licensed?
How do I sign up for my PLE?
For how long are my PLE credits valid?
Are there any waivers or special notices that apply to me?
What if I was licensed in another state?
How do I submit my fingerprints?
Where can I get fingerprinted?
Why do I have to send in a new fingerprint card if I've been licensed before in Washington?
If my license won't be issued until the results of my background check are returned, how long will it take to be licensed?
Where do I send my completed fingerprints?
How much does it cost to get fingerprinted?
What's the difference between a license renewal and a license reinstatement?
How do I renew my license?
Do I need to complete any continuing education before I can renew my license?
How do I know if my continuing education courses are valid?
For how long are my continuing education credits valid?
What happens after I finish my continuing education course(s)?
How do I know which of my continuing education courses have been reported?



Prelicense education (PLE) for producers

The required prelicense education (PLE) must be completed before you can sign up for the state insurance exam or submit a license application to become a resident producer.

  • You must complete 20 hours of PLE for each major line of authority (LOA) you wish to obtain.
  • Major lines of authority include: life, disability, property, casualty, and personal lines.

The Candidate Handbook contains additional information about license eligibility, exam content outlines, what to bring to an exam, exam schedules and fees, testing center rules, and much more.

What do I need to sit for the state insurance exam?

If you want a resident producer's license, prelicense education (PLE) must be completed before you can sign up for an exam or submit a license application. You must complete 20 hours of PLE for each major line of authority (LOA) you wish to obtain. Major lines of authority include: life, disability, property, casualty and personal lines.

For example, if you want to get a producer's license in Life & Disability, you will need to complete 20 hours of PLE in both Life and Disability for a total of 40 hours. When you have completed the required PLE classes and your certificates of completion have been issued, you may schedule your exam with PSI Exams. You may register for your examinations online by accessing PSI's registration website at http://www.psiexams.com OR you may contact them at (800) 733-9267. PSI registrars are available Monday-Friday between 4:30am-7:00pm, or Saturday-Sunday between 6:00am-2:30pm, Pacific Time.

Where can I find more information on getting licensed?

The Candidate Handbook contains additional information including license eligibility, exam content outlines, what to bring to an exam, exam schedules and fees, testing center rules, and much more. You can download the Washington State Candidate Handbook here.

How do I sign up for my PLE?

To register for Walls' prelicense class, click on the "register" link above or call us at 425-990-3366. Your PLE may be completed either by attending live-lecture classes or by self-study, as long as the courses are purchased from an approved provider.

For how long are my PLE credits valid?

Upon completion of your PLE course, the PLE provider will issue a certificate of completion. This certificate is required to take the exam(s); you may take the exam for up to 12 months after the date the course was completed. (The certificate must be presented at the exam-testing location when you take your licensing exam.) Note that you have 12 months from the purchase date of your Walls courses to complete your PLE.

Are there any waivers or special notices that apply to me?

You may qualify for a waiver of your PLE if you have completed an insurance designation within the past 12 months.

Approved designations:

  • Life insurance designations are CEBS, ChFC, CIC, CFP, CLU, FLMI and LUTCF
  • Disability insurance designations are RHU, CEBS, REBC and HIA
  • Property or casualty insurance designations are AAI, ARM, CIC and CPCU

If you have a question about a waiver of your PLE requirements you can email the Office of Insurance Commissions education analyst at joem@oic.wa.gov.

What if I was licensed in another state?

If your license from another state was in good standing before you moved, you are not required to complete Washington's required PLE or pass Washington's examinations to obtain the same LOA you held if your application is received within 90 days of your former home state license being canceled.

Washington state requires resident applicants to submit their fingerprints for a background check. (Non-resident applicants do not have any fingerprint requirements.) The OIC will not issue a license until they receive the results of the background check.

How do I submit my fingerprints?

There are two ways to submit fingerprints: electronically or using a hard copy card. You are encouraged to submit your fingerprints electronically because when you do so, it takes less time for the OIC to receive your background check results. This could speed up the licensing process by two to three weeks.

Where can I get fingerprinted?

For e-fingerprinting: There are more than 30 locations in Washington that provide e-fingerprinting services, so there's probably a location close to you. E-fingerprint services are currently being offered at most PSI exam centers and all MorphoTrust USA's IdentoGo centers. For more information, or to schedule fingerprint reservations at any of the available Washington centers, please contact MorphoTrust at 888-771-5097 or online at http://www.identogo.com/BusinessSolutions/SecureBadgingforSchoolsUniversities.aspx.

For a hard-copy card: Generally, your local law-enforcement agency or city/county jail provides fingerprinting services. You are required to submit your fingerprints on one standard 8x8 fingerprint card. You may contact the licensing and education division to request a blank card at http://www.insurance.wa.gov.

Why do I have to send in a new fingerprint card if I've been licensed before in Washington?

If it has been more than 12 months since your license was active, you are applying for a new license (not a renewal or reinstatement), so another background check is required.

If my license won't be issued until the results of my background check are returned, how long will it take to be licensed?

For e-fingerprinting, it can take up to eight days. If you submit a hard copy fingerprint card, it may take up to four weeks.

Where do I send my completed fingerprints?

For e-fingerprinting, this will be all handled for you by the vendor. If you choose to provide a hard copy fingerprint card, you should mail it unfolded through the United States Postal Service to: P. O. Box 40257, Olympia, WA 98504-0257. If you would prefer to send your card via overnight (direct) delivery, you must use the street address: Office of the Insurance Commissioner, 5000 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater, WA 98501

How much does it cost to get fingerprinted?

E-fingerprinting costs approximately $30 to $35 (please check with the vendor for current pricing). If you choose to send in a hard copy fingerprint card, these can cost anywhere from $15 to $25. If you submit a hard-copy card, you'll also need to include a fee of $42.50 for the background check payable to Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner. You may pay by check or use the credit card authorization form found at http://www.insurance.wa.gov.

What's the difference between a license renewal and a license reinstatement?

You may renew your license 60 days before it expires, or up to 60 days after the expiration date. (If you renew within the 60-day period following the expiration date, you must pay a late renewal fee.) To reinstate your license after it has been more than 60 past the expiration date, you must pay the required reinstatement fee. The fees for both renewal and reinstatement can be found at http://www.insurance.wa.gov.

Note: If it's been more than 12 months since your license was active, you'll need to follow the requirements for first-time applicants noted above.

How do I renew my license?

To renew your license log, into your account with OIC, select "Renew License," and complete the online renewal application located at https://fortress.wa.gov/oic/onlineservices/Login.aspx?module=LSE. You will also have to pay the renewal fee. Renewal applications are available no sooner than 60 days prior to your license expiration date and no later than 60 calendar days following your license expiration date. An email reminder will be sent to the email address you have on record 60 days prior to your license expiration date. If your license is not renewed within the 60 days following the expiration date, you will be notified by email that your license can no longer be renewed.

Do I need to complete any continuing education before I can renew my license?

Before you can renew or reinstate your license, you must complete a total of 24 credit hours of continuing education. Three of those hours must be ethics credits.

How do I know if my continuing education courses are valid?

All the following must be satisfied to ensure your CE courses are valid.

  1. You took them from an approved provider. "Approved" means a provider has been granted authority by the OIC to offer insurance courses with CE credit.
  2. You completed your courses during your current renewal cycle (between your last expiration date and current expiration date).

For how long are my continuing education credits valid?

A certificate of completion is valid for 24 months from the date of completion. Course credit may be applied toward renewal only if it was completed within the current renewal cycle (between your last expiration date and current expiration date). For reinstatement, courses must be completed within the 24 months prior to your application for reinstatement. Excess credits cannot be carried over from one renewal cycle to the next.

What happens after I finish my continuing education course(s)?

When you successfully complete an approved course, Walls will issue you a certificate of completion and report your CE credits to the OIC (within 10 days of course completion). We recommend that you retain each certificate of completion in your own files for a minimum of three years from the date the course is used for renewing your license.

How do I know which of my continuing education courses have been reported?

Log in to your online account at the OIC website and select "Individual Education History." This will provide you with a PDF document charting your CE history