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California NMLS Mortgage Pre‑License Education

Get Your California Mortgage Loan Originator License Online!

About OnlineEd's California Mortgage Loan Originator Licensing Course

Looking to get your California mortgage loan originator license online? You're in the right place!

  • California DFPI (DBO) and DRE packages available.
  • We price-match any competitor.
  • All courses are online. No classroom attendance required.
  • Free EPUB/PDF course book is yours to keep.
  • Get help with live instructor sessions.

See the catalog for prices and dates.

Our courses are 100% online!

Everything is online

Our NMLS-approved MLO licensing program is delivered online so you can take the mortgage license course from anywhere.

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Our NMLS-approved MLO licensing program is delivered online so you can take the mortgage license course from anywhere. Your learning material and exams are delivered through your web browser. At several points in the schedule, you will have the opportunity to connect with your instructor and other students taking the course via a live internet conference. This will give you the chance to ask questions, have NMLS license topics explained in more detail, and get insights from industry professionals.

California mortgage license courses are delivered over a week at regular calendar dates. See the schedule on the information page to pick the dates that are right for you.

The OnlineEd system is compatible with all current major browsers and operating systems.

Reviewed and approved by the NMLS for pre-license credit.

Reviewed, Approved, Authorized

Our program has been rigorously reviewed and approved by the NMLS for pre-license education credit.

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NMLS approved courses.

Our program has been rigorously reviewed, approved, and authorized for pre-license credit by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS).

Our mortgage education courses at OnlineEd are written by OnlineEd. Because of this, we save on overhead licensing costs and can pass those savings on to you.

Start With A Great Education

Start with OnlineEd's MLO licensing package!

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How To Get A Mortgage License in California

All 50 states use the NMLS system to process licensing requests. In order to do business as a mortgage loan originator in California, you will need to:

  1. Apply for an NMLS account and ID number.
  2. Complete your Pre-License Education.
  3. Pass a licensing exam.
  4. Apply for a license with the NMLS.
  5. Complete background checks and pay all fees.
  6. Associate your NMLS account with an employer.

1 Create an NMLS Account

This part is easy and you can do this right now. Head over to the NMLS website and get started.


2 Complete Your California Pre-License Education

In California, you can get your mortgage loan originator license through either the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) or the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), previously known as the Department of Business Oversight (DBO). Which one is right for you? If you plan to work for a CA-DFPI licensed mortgage company, you should get a DFPI license. Otherwise, licensing through the DRE is likely what you need.

DRE License

Getting a license through the DRE gives you the most freedom but requires more to get and maintain a real estate license.

  • You must also maintain a real estate license.
  • Separate real estate license education required.
  • Allows you to work for any company.
  • More difficult license to obtain.
  • More information on the DRE website.

DFPI License

A CA-DFPI license is for persons who are looking to work with a company that is also licensed by the DFPI.

  • You may only work for DFPI-licensed companies.
  • Easier license to obtain.
  • Mortgages must fall under either California Finance Lenders Law (CFLL) or the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act (CRMLA).
  • More information on the DFPI website.

See the catalog for available California pre-license courses.

3 Pass a Licensing Exam

After your education is completed along with all state-specific modules, you need to schedule an appointment to take your licensing examination at a testing facility. This exam is administrated by Prometric. Follow the guides below to schedule your exam:



Contact Prometric at 1-877-671-6657 or visit their website.

4 Apply for a License

You will need to complete and submit an application for a mortgage loan origination license via the NMLS website. (NOTE: The mortgage company you plan to work for may fill out your application for you. Please check with them before submitting any paperwork.)


5 Background Checks

As part of your application process, most states require you to get a criminal background check, submit fingerprints, and submit to a credit report:


6 Get Hired

Although you may already be working closely with your new employer, your NMLS record will need to be associated with your employer before you can receive a license and do business.


Start With A Great Education

Start with OnlineEd's NMLS pre-licensure package!

Shop Courses