How to Get Your Series 63 License

By: Kaplan Financial Education
March 18, 2019
Image of governemnt building representing focus of Series 63 on state laws and regulations

The Series 63 exam, known as the Uniform Agent State Law Examination, qualifies individuals as securities agents. The Series 63 exam, developed by NASAA in cooperation with representatives of the securities industry and administered by FINRA, covers principles of state securities regulations.

The Series 63 license is intended to measure an applicant’s knowledge and understanding of state law and regulations. It is required for individuals soliciting the purchase or sale of securities products, such as mutual funds, variable annuities, stocks, or bonds within a state. To sell securities, an agent must have both the Series 63 license and the Series 7 license (General Securities Representative), or the Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative). To earn the Series 6, Series 7, or both, you must also pass the new SIE exam.

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How to Get the Series 63 License

Unlike many other FINRA exams, the Series 63 exam does not require member firm sponsorship. If you are not Form U4 registered or affiliated with a firm through FINRA’s Web CRD system, you should use the Form U10 to request and pay the $125 fee for the Series 63 exam.

The 75-minute exam consists of 65 multiple-choice questions, 60 of which will count toward your final score. The remaining 5 questions are being pre-tested for possible inclusion in the official question bank. These questions will appear anywhere in the exam and are not identified. To pass the Series 63 exam, you must answer 43 of the 60 scored questions correctly, or achieve a score of just over 71%.

The exam covers two topic areas:

  • State Securities Acts and related rules and regulations
  • Ethical practices and fiduciary obligations

In July 2016, NASAA updated the curriculum for the Series 63, 65, and 66 exams. Changes to the Series 63 exam better reflect the skills and knowledge needed to be an agent of a broker dealer. This means that investment adviser and investment adviser regulation content was de-emphasized for more focus on definitional concepts. A few additional topics were added to the exam, such as advertising and correspondence (including social media), and cybersecurity and data protection.

The number of questions and the passing score for the Series 63 exam were not changed; however, the weighting of the exam and number of questions in each topic area were adjusted to better reflect the importance of certain knowledge and skills.


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