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California Insurance Licensing State Requirements

On this page, you will find all of the state-specific information for Insurance Licensing in the state of California. This information pertains to resident license applicants. For additional information for resident licensing, or for non-resident license information, please refer to the California Department of Insurance website at http://www.insurance.ca.gov. Information is subject to change, and we will do our very best to make the process of completing your licensing education requirements as simple as possible.

California Department of Insurance

Producer Licensing Bureau
320 Capitol Mall  Sacramento, CA 95814
916-322-3555
800-967-9331
Website: http://www.insurance.ca.gov
Email: ProducerLicensing@insurance.ca.gov

 

COVID-19 Updates:

Effective 4/6/2020: The California Department of Insurance (CDI) will not be issuing temporary licenses or waiving the legal requirements for applicants to pass a qualifying examination and to submit fingerprints for a criminal background check. In order for license applicants to be able to qualify for licenses during this extraordinary time, CDI will continue to administer license examinations at its Los Angeles test center on a daily basis. CDI's license exam vendor, PSI, is now also administering license examinations at its test centers in Sacramento, Redding, Lawndale, San Francisco, and Agoura Hills on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The centers maintain social distancing practices and the number of allowed examinees is consistent with state and local public health directives. License applicants may schedule their exams through PSI Online Exams or by calling PSI Services at (877) 392-6422.

How to Get Your California Insurance License

1. Complete an Insurance Prelicensing Course

California requires those seeking an insurance license to complete prelicensing before taking the state licensing exam. Prelicensing courses with Kaplan give you the best chance to pass—our pass rates are among the highest in the industry. 

Prelicensing Education Hour Requirements

  • Ethics and California Insurance Code: 12 Hours
  • Life: 20 Hours
  • Accident and Health: 20 Hours
  • Life / Accident & Health: 40 Hours
  • Property: 20 Hours
  • Casualty: 20 Hours
  • Property and Casualty: 40 Hours
  • Personal Lines: 20 Hours

Note: The required 12 hours of Ethics and California Insurance Code need not be repeated by those applying for more than one license.

Online Course Requirements

  • Time Tracking: California requires that your online study time be tracked. In order to successfully complete the course, you must complete the required number of hours while studying in the Course Contents Units of the online course. Your online course tracker will be displayed in the upper right-hand corner of your page so that you can verify the time spent in the course is being tracked.
  • Forced Progression: This requires the user to successfully complete each page of the online course before being allowed to proceed to the next.

Prelicensing Education Exemptions

Applicants who hold one or more of the following designations or certifications are exempt from prelicensing education requirements for the indicated line of authority:

  • Life Only, Accident and Health: CLU®, LUTCF
  • Fire and Casualty, and Personal Lines: CPCU®, CIC, AAI 

Note: Even if exempt from the prelicensing requirements of the above-indicated line(s) of authority, applicants must still complete the 12-hour Ethics and California Insurance Code course. 

2. Pass Your California Licensing Exam

After completing your prelicensing course, you must pass a state licensing exam. Kaplan’s Prelicensing Content is based directly on the California licensing exams, so you will be prepared to pass the first time. 

Certificate of Completion Requirements

  • Applicants maintain a duplicate copy of the certificate and submit the original Certificate of Completion with their license application.
  • Prelicensing certificates of completion are valid for three years from the date of course completion

Exam Provider:  PSI

  • Residents applying for any license for which an exam is required must pass the exam prior to applying for a license.
  • For online registration and exam information, visit PSI’s online service at http://www.psiexams.com.
  • For questions about examination scheduling, please call 877-392-6422
  • Pursuant to section 1676(a) of the California Insurance Code, examinations are valid for one year from the date the examination was passed.

Frequently Asked Questions About the California Licensing Exam

After completing my prelicensing, how should I prepare for exam day? 

Exam Registration:

  • For the fastest and most convenient test scheduling process, PSI recommends that candidates register for their examinations using the Internet. 
    • Log onto PSI’s website and create an account. You will be asked to put in your email address and the spelling of your name exactly as it is shown on your identification that will be presented at the examination site.
    • You will be asked to select the examination. You will then enter your personal and contact information. You will then be ready to pay and schedule for the examination. Enter your zip code and a list of the examination sites closest to you will appear. Once you select the desired examination site, available dates will appear
  • Call PSI registrars at 877-392-6422 Monday through Friday between 4:30 am and 7:00 pm, or Saturday-Sunday between 6:00 am and 2:30 pm, Pacific Time, to schedule your appointment for the test.
  • For retesting you will need to login to your account online and select “Apply for retest.”
    • The calculation for determining the number of exams taken is based on exam type. 
  • You may cancel and reschedule an examination appointment without forfeiting your fee if your cancellation notice is received two days before the scheduled examination date.
    • A voicemail or email message is NOT an acceptable form of cancellation.

Exam Day:

  • On the day of the examination, you must arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. This allows time for check-in and identification verification and provides time to familiarize yourself with the examination process
  • You must provide one form of identification.  
    • ○t must be a VALID form of government-issued identification with photo and signature. The identification provided must match the name given during registration. 
      • Driver’s license from any state
      • California identification card
      • Passport
      • Passport card
      • Military ID
      • Employment Authorization card
      • Permanent Resident card
      • A Veteran Health Identification Card (VHID) with a photo
      • An out-of-state ID card is NOT acceptable.
      • California does allow candidates to bring in their expired ID along with the paper extension. The names and licenses numbers must match both the expired ID and the paper extension.  

Security Procedures:

  • NO conversing or any other form of communication among candidates is permitted once you enter the examination area.
  • With the exception of religious apparel, head coverings, hats, baseball caps, visors, coats, shawls, hooded clothing, heavy jackets and overcoats are not permitted in the examination site.
  • Children, cell phones, calculators, pagers, cameras, programmable electronic devices and recording devices of any kind are NOT allowed to enter PSI or CDI testing sites. 
  • NO personal items are to enter the testing sites.
  • No weapons of any kind allowed in the testing room, including, but not limited to, guns, knives, clubs or sharp objects.
  • No smoking, eating, or drinking will be allowed at the examination site.
  • Dictionaries, books, papers, or study and reference materials are NOT permitted in the examination room.
  • You may not exit the building during the examination.
  • Copying or communicating examination content is a violation of PSI security policy and Section 1681.5 of the CIC. Either one may result in the disqualification of examination results and may lead to legal action and prosecution.

Additional Security Measures:

  • You will have your picture taken prior to admittance into the examination.
  • You may not wear a jacket, coat or any type of hooded clothing into the examination room. Sweaters that do not have pockets are allowed.
  • You may not bring a purse or backpack into the examination room. You will be asked to put these items in your vehicle.
  • PSI only provides accordion type folders for any items. These folders are left in the lobby and PSI is not responsible for the security of those items.
  • You may not wear a wristwatch into the examination room and you will be asked to empty your pockets.
  • While at the site you shall not use words or take actions that are vulgar, obscene, and libelous or that would denigrate the examination staff or other candidates. 

What is the exam like? 

  • The examination will be administered via computer. You will be using a mouse and computer keyboard.
  • You will be directed to a semiprivate testing station to take the examination. When you are seated at the testing station, you will be prompted to confirm your name, identification number, and the examination for which you are registered. 
  • A pencil and scratch paper are available at every examination computer terminal.
  • Before you start your examination, an introductory tutorial is provided on the computer screen. 
    • Time spent on tutorial, up to 15 minutes, DOES NOT count as part of your examination time.
    • Sample questions are included following the tutorial so that you may practice answering questions, and reviewing your answers.
  • During the examination, one question appears on the screen at a time.
  • During the examination, minutes remaining will be displayed at the top of the screen and updated as you record your answers. 
  • After you have entered your responses, you will later be able to return to any question(s) and change your response, provided the examination time has not run out.
  • While taking the examination, examinees will have the opportunity to provide comments on any questions, by clicking the Comments link on the function bar of the test question screen. 
    • These comments will be analyzed by PSI examination development staff.
    • This is the only review of examination materials available to candidates.
  • As part of the examination review, CDI may include questions that need to be validated on your examination. 
    • An additional 10 to 15 minutes may be added to your examination to allow time for you to respond to these questions.
    • These questions will not count towards your final score.

How is the exam scored?

  • Effective January 1, 2017, any insurance license exam candidate that has failed an exam ten times within the previous 12-month period will be barred from taking the same exam for a period of 12 months from the date of the last failed exam. Exams that were taken and failed during Calendar Year 2016 will be counted towards the ten exam limit.
  • The examination proctor will give you an official score report immediately following completion of the examination.
    • If you pass, you will immediately receive a successful notification and performance summary on a CDI examination results letter.
    • If you do not pass, you will immediately receive an unsuccessful CDI examination results letter along with a diagnostic report indicating your strengths and weaknesses by examination portion. 
  • In addition to the number of examination items specified below, a small number of five to ten “experimental” questions may be administered to candidates during the examinations.
    • These questions will not be scored and time to answer them has been added to the time allowed. 

How long is the exam? 

Examination TypeTime AllowedNumber of Questions
Bail Agent2 hours75
Life, Accident and Health Agent3 hours150
Life-Only Agent1.5 hours75
Accident and Health Agent1.5 hours75
Life & Disability Analyst3.5 hours125
Property Broker-Agent and Casualty Broker-Agent3 hours150
Property Broker-Agent1.5 hours75
Casualty Broker-Agent1.5 hours75
Personal Lines Broker-Agent2 hours90
Commerical1.5 hours60
Limited Lines Automobile Insurance Agent1.5 hours60
Insurance Adjuster2.5 hours100
Public Insurance Adjuster2.5 hours100
Life Limited to the Payment of Funeral and Burial Expenses2 hours90

3. Get Fingerprinted

  • Taking the fingerprints early will expedite the issuance of a license once the examination is passed. 
  • If you would like to have your fingerprint impressions taken before your license examination, you may schedule your fingerprint impressions using CDI's contracted fingerprint vendor, Accurate Biometrics at (866) 361-9944 to find a fingerprint location near you to have your fingerprints taken. When you go to have your fingerprint impressions made, please bring with you a completed Live Scan Request, form LIC 442-39A.
  • CDI has its contracted fingerprint vendor, Accurate Biometrics, available at CDI's examination sites to assist California insurance license applicants to complete their fingerprint impression requirement. 
  • At the time that the applicant takes the license examination at the designated examination site, the applicant may also have fingerprint impressions made. 
  • Candidates will need to pay a fingerprint fee of $68.95, paid at the PSI site, that covers the following services: 
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) processing fee of $14.25
    • Department of Justice (DOJ) processing fee of $34.75
    • Rolling fee” charged by PSI of $19.95
  • In addition, if a license is not issued within twelve months of the date the fingerprints are submitted, a new set of fingerprint impressions will be required.

4. Apply for California Insurance License

Once you have passed your state licensing exam, you are ready to apply for an insurance license.

To fill out an online license application, please select the following link and follow the instructions: License Application

You will be assigned an NPN. This unique identifier is assigned through the licensing application process and is used to track individuals and business entities on a national basis. The NPN is used by many states to replace a producer license number.

5. Plan to Complete Required Insurance Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Every insurance producer must adhere to their home state’s CE requirements. Stay on top of your CE and ahead of the competition with 365 days of unlimited course access when you enroll in a CE library with Kaplan. 

Learn how to renew a California insurance license by clicking here.


This information is based on state laws and regulations and is subject to change. Kaplan Financial Education makes every effort to make sure this information is current and accurate, however, Kaplan Financial Education is not engaged in rendering legal or professional advice and shall not be held responsible for inaccuracies contained herein.

Select a Line of Authority and Start Earning Your License Today:

Life & Health

This license qualifies you to explain, sell, and write life and health insurance products in California.

 

Property & Casualty

This license qualifies you to sell products designed to protect from financial issues as a result of damage or injury in California.

Personal Lines

This license qualifies you to sell a variety of insurance plans directly to consumers in California.