Do Mortgage Brokers Need a License?

A: Yes. Mortgage Brokers working in California must have both a Department of Real Estate (DRE) License and a Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) license. The state license certifies that the Broker knows how to do both real estate sales and loan origination and knows the regulations associated with both. The NMLS license certifies that the Broker knows the latest national regulations on mortgages and also involves an extensive background check to certify the Broker has not been guilty of criminal activities or financial irregularities (e.g., bankruptcies).

Note: Loan officers working in banks are not required to have either a DRE nor an NMLS license. Bank employees have been exempted from these rules.