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How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Florida

Last updated on March 16, 2023

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Florida

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So you’re thinking about becoming a mortgage loan officer in Florida.


You’re in for a fulfilling and lucrative career. 

But before all that, you need to complete the steps to get your MLO license. 

Don’t worry – we’re here to walk you through it all. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Florida. We’ll mention all the requirements, all the steps, and answer all the questions. 

With this, you’ll have a roadmap you can follow. 

Let’s begin right away!

How to Become an MLO in Florida – The 5 Steps to Getting Licensed

To get an MLO license in Florida, you need to complete these 5 steps:

  1. Request an NMLS account
  2. Complete an NMLS-approved pre-licensing education (PE)
  3. Pass the SAFE MLO exam
  4. Undergo background checks
  5. Complete your MLO application

Let’s get into the details of each step. 

Step #1: Request an NMLS Account

Before anything else, you will need to create an individual account with NMLS — the platform for all MLO activities in Florida. 

This is super easy to do. 

Now, after creating your account, you will receive a personal NMLS number that you will use for the duration of working as an MLO in Florida. That’s how important this number is — never lose it. 

Step #2: Complete an NMLS-Approved Pre-Licensing Education (PE)

Next up are your education requirements.  

In Florida, you’re required to complete the 20-hour general PE courses PLUS 2 hours of Florida Law and Rules. That’s a total of 22 hours. 

NOTE: The 2-hour Florida-specific courses are required by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation – the state licensing agency. 

As for the general PE courses, here is how the hours are distributed: 

  • 3 hours of Federal Law
  • 3 hours of Ethics
  • 2 hours of Non-Traditional Mortgage Lending
  • 12 hours of general electives 

Looking for an NMLS-approved provider in Florida?

Then you can check out our top recommendations below:

You can also find a complete list of NMLS-approved providers here

Step #3: Pass the SAFE MLO Exam

The SAFE MLO exam is administered by Prometric

However, you first need to register for it through your NMLS account. 

Simply log in to your account > fill up an MLO exam test enrollment window > pay the exam fee of $110 > accept all the agreements. 

From there, you can go to Prometric’s online scheduling page

What can you expect from the SAFE MLO exam?

  • You can take it online or in person. 
  • There are 120 questions but only 115 will be scored. 
  • You are given 3 hours to answer the questions. 
  • You need a score of at least 75% to pass. 
  • You can check your results through your NMLS account. 

For more specific details, you can check out the MLO Testing Handbook

Step #4: Undergo Background Checks

NOTE: Steps #4 to #6 can be done at the same time. You don’t have to follow our order. 

In Florida, there are 3 background checks that you need to undergo:

  • FBI criminal background check (must be completed at fieldprint – the NMLS live scan service provider).
  • State criminal background check (to be completed at a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) approved Live Scan Service Provider).
  • Credit report (must be authorized in NMLS)

Before you schedule with fieldprint for an FBI CBC, you need to authorize it to be checked. Here are the steps:

  • In your NMLS account, go to the Filing tab and choose Individual in the submenu. 
  • Click the Request New/Update option.
  • Select authorize a background check. 
  • Complete the application and click Attest at the end. 
  • Pay the CBC fee of $36.25.

As for your State CBC:

  • Provide the ORI Number FL737111Z.
  • Submit your fingerprints. 
  • Pay the state CBC fee of $24. 

Finally, here’s how to authorize a credit report:

  • In your NMLS account, click the Filing tab and choose Individual in the submenu. 
  • Click the Request New/Update option.
  • Request for a credit report authorization. 
  • Click the “Identity Verification (IDV” link. 
  • Click attest and submit. 
  • Pay the credit report fee of $15. 

Step #5: Complete Your MLO Application

It’s time to fill up your Individual Form (MU4) application found in your NMLS account. 

Here, you will need to:

  • Have proof of the 22 hours of pre-licensing education completion.
  • Have a SAFE MLO exam passing score.
  • Pass the FBI and State criminal background check. 
  • Pass the credit report check. If not, then you need to provide an explanation letter as well as any supporting documents.
  • Submit proof of age (you have to be at least 18 years old) and high school or GED information (you must be a graduate).
  • Answer all the disclosure questions. If you answer “yes” to any of them, make sure to follow the necessary orders or provide the necessary documents. 
  • Pay the fees:
    • FL application fee – $195
    • NMLS processing fee – $30
  • Submit the Individual Form (MU4). 
  • Wait for the Florida Office of Financial Regulation to approve. You can check out the approval status in your NMLS account. 

Once approved, you will be an officially licensed mortgage loan officer in the state. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Mortage Loan Officer in Florida

Now that you know how to become an MLO in Florida, let’s tackle a few frequently asked questions to help you even more. 

Are Mortgage Loan Officers the Same as Mortgage Brokers?

No, they are not. 

Mortgage loan officers typically work for banks, credit unions, or mortgage lenders. They will also only offer clients programs and mortgage rates that are available in their respective institutions. 

A mortgage broker, on the other hand, will work on the homebuyer’s behalf to find them the best rates or loans offered by different institutions. 

How Long Does MLO Training Last In Florida?

For your MLO education requirements, you need to complete 20 hours of general MLO pre-licensing requirements (PE). Besides that, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation adds an extra 2 hours on Florida Law and Rules. 

So that’s a total of 22 hours of MLO training. 

How Long is the SAFE MLO Exam?

The whole appointment time is more than 3 hours and a half. However, you need to answer all the questions in 3 hours. 

How Much are the State and FBI Criminal Background Checks?

The FBI CBC is conducted through fieldprint and will cost you $36.25. As for the State CBC, this is conducted by an FDLE-approved Live Scan Service Provider and will cost $24. 

Is It Hard to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer In Florida?

No, it’s not hard. 

However, you will need to complete these 5 steps:

  • Request an NMLS account
  • Complete an NMLS-approved pre-licensing education (PE)
  • Pass the SAFE MLO exam
  • Undergo background checks
  • Complete your MLO application

And as you can see, each step requires time, effort, and even investment. 

How Much Do Mortgage Loan Officers Earn in Florida?

On average, a mortgage loan officer in Florida can earn $68,500/year. As for salaries, this can range anywhere between $21,500/year to $337,500/year. 


And that is how to become a mortgage loan officer (MLO) in Florida. 

Now that you know all the steps and requirements, you can get started right away. 

If you follow the steps one by one, you’ll soon be on your way to being a licensed MLO. 

Go ahead and take the leap!

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