What Is a Series 66 License?

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The Series 66 License is a license granted to those who pass a national-level examination conducted by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) on behalf of the Financial Industry and Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Formally known as the Uniform Combined State Law Examination, it is meant for those seeking to pursue a career in securities and investment. In order to act as securities agent (person who sells stocks, bonds and investments) or investment advisor, you must have a Series 66 License.

What is a Series 66 License

A series 66 license is a license to act as an investment advisor and securities broker. Having a Series 66 license demonstrates that you have proven your knowledge of Securities Rules and Regulations; Product Education; Conduct and Business Ethics; State Laws; Retirement Planning and Investment Adviser Rules.

Earning a Series 66 License

To earn a Series 66 license, you must pass a national exam. The exam is 150 minutes long, and consists of 100 multiple-level questions and 10 pretest questions. It is a closed book system examination, and you get your score immediately upon completion of the test. In order to pass, you must earn a grade of at least 71 percent.

Candidates appearing for the exam have to pay a fee of $128, as of 2009.

Passing the test alone is not sufficient for a career in securities; it simply makes you eligible for obtaining related state licenses after you pass a background check, and pay bonds and other necessary fees.

Failing the Exam

Once you fail to secure the minimum grade needed for passing the test and qualifying for the license, you can reappear for the exam after a gap of 30 days. Between the second and third attempts too, a period of 30 days is given, and a gap of 180 days is required between the third and fourth attempts. This is the only restriction on a candidate taking the exam to earn a Series 66 license. There is no bar to the number of times a person can attempt a test.

Other Qualifications

There are no specific educational qualifications required to earn a Series 66 License. However, you must have passed a Series 7 exam in order to sit for the license test for a Series 66 license.

While you can take the Series 66 and the Series 7 License in any order, the Series 66 License is granted only upon satisfactory completion of the Series 7 exam. Sponsorship from a broker dealer is not a criterion and you do not have to be a U.S. citizen to obtain a Series 66 license.

Careers with a Series 66 License

A person equipped with a Series 66 License can pursue a career as an investment broker, adviser or securities agent. Since a Series 66 combines the license for Series 65 and Series 63, it is considered a more comprehensive license that puts a candidate on the road to a prospective career by certifying the person as a Registered Investment Advisor.