How to Get an NMLS Number (Step-by-Step)

How to Get an NMLS Number

The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) appoints unique identification numbers to track professionals and companies in the mortgage industry. It’s also a valuable tool for consumers in the United States. But, how do you get an NMLS number?

In this guide, we’ll teach you how to get an NMLS number and highlight the importance of obtaining one. Keep reading for a comprehensive overview of NMLS numbers, or use the links below to navigate the post.  

What is an NMLS Number?

An NMLS number is a string of digits assigned to MLOs, companies, and financial institutions by the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS). This number helps regulators keep track of the entities mentioned, ensuring they’re adhering to all federal regulations in the mortgage industry and can’t evade their obligations by simply moving to another state. An NMLS number is also known as NMLS Unique Identifier and NMLS ID.

Moreover, consumers can visit NMLS Consumer Access to uncover essential details about MLOs, including their:  

  • Contact information
  • Current place of employment
  • Work history
  • Qualifications
  • Registration status
  • Legal issues

Ultimately, this allows consumers to work with only trustworthy lenders and find the best mortgage officer for their specific situation. We’ll go over this in more detail later in this article. 

Who Needs an NMLS Number?

According to the NMLS, individuals that classify themselves as an MLO and are employed at an institution that’s regulated federally must obtain an NMLS account and ID number.

Getting an NMLS Number and Becoming an MLO: Step-by-Step

If you’ve been asking yourself how to get an NMLS ID number and start your career as an MLO, we’ll walk you through the steps below: 

1. Create an NMLS account

To create an NMLS account, you’ll head over to the NMLS website and click the “Login to NMLS” button on the top right-hand side of the page. Then, you’ll click on the “Request an Account” link. From here, make sure to select the “Individual” option. 

Once you’re redirected to the application form, fill it out with accurate information. Any inaccuracies could result in duplicate accounts—which you’ll be financially responsible for to remedy the issue.   

When you submit the form, you should receive your NMLS ID right away. Keep in mind that once an NMLS ID number has been assigned to you, it cannot be changed. 

An email with your temporary login information will also be sent to your inbox. You’ll need to verify your account and update your login details to successfully log in. 

For further assistance, refer to the Creating An Individual Account document. 

2. Register with NMLS

When you finish setting up your individual NMLS account, you’ll need to register for a 20-hour NMLS-approved MLO Pre-Licensing Education (PE) course. Courses can vary state-by-state but will mostly include the following components:

  • 3 Hours of Federal Law
  • 3 Hours of Ethics 
  • 2 Hours of Non-traditional Mortgage Lending
  • 12 Hours of Electives

Some states may require state-specific PE education, so ensure you know what’s expected of you before moving forward with this step. 

3. Complete Form MU4R

Form MU4R is a document used to establish and confirm an MLOs identity and maintain proper licensure. This form will either be completed by the institution where the MLO works or by MLOs themselves. 

To access this form, you’ll log into your NMLS account, select the “Filing” tab located in the upper right-hand corner, and click on the MU4R link. Once there, you’ll find the “Request New/Update” button and select it. 

You’ll then be redirected to a new page where you can begin filling out Form MU4R. Sections of this form include: 

  • Identifying information
  • Other names
  • Employment records
  • Current residence
  • Disclosure questions 
  • Disciplinary actions 
  • Criminal background check

When you’re done, you’ll proceed to the “Attest and Submit” portion of the form, complete it, and submit it for filing. 

4. Obtain Your License 

One of the final steps in obtaining your MLO license is taking and passing the NMLS exam with a score of 75% or higher. You can prepare for the exam by using our NMLS Test Prep tools, which include flashcards and practice tests. 

Once you pass the exam, you can apply for your MLO license. 

How Long Does it Take to Get an NMLS ID Number?

Getting an NMLS ID Number should only take a couple of minutes as long as you have all of the necessary information on hand. This includes basic personal details, such as name, Social Security Number, mailing address, date of birth, and phone number.  

Why is an NMLS Number Important?

Before the enactment of the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licencing Act (SAFE Act), there were almost no resources to help consumers stay safe from predatory lenders. Consumers can now use an MLO’s Unique Identifier to verify their credentials. This can significantly prevent them from making a costly mistake when trying to obtain a mortgage loan. Not only does this provide peace of mind, but it also allows consumers to compare the professional experience and expertise of multiple MLOs.  

Without an NMLS number, consumers may be wary of your services and decide to move forward with another MLO. 

Final Notes

To recap, NMLS numbers are used to keep track of MLOs throughout their career—whether they move across state lines or obtain an additional state MLO license—to guarantee they’re complying with their MLO responsibilities. An MLO’s Unique Identifier can also be looked up by consumers to verify their mortgage lending experience and to see if they’re reliable. 

To get an NMLS number and become an MLO, you have to go through a series of steps, one of which requires you to take PE courses and pass the NMLS exam. At Diehl, our PE courses are thorough and easy to follow, ensuring you receive the necessary information to pass the NMLS exam on your first try and originate loans correctly. 

Once you receive your MLO license, we can also help you maintain it with our extensive NMLS Continuing Education (CE) courses. Remember, CE is a requirement that must be completed every year. 

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