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How to Transfer an Insurance License From State to State

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If you work either selling insurance products or adjusting claims, the vast majority of states require you to be licensed by the state insurance department. Usually this entails taking a course and passing an exam. But if you are licensed in one state and then need to move to or work in another state, there are often quicker ways to become licensed in your new home area.

Call your state insurance department and check if your current state has reciprocity with the state you are going to. The vast majority of states do participate in some degree of reciprocity. You can also find information about this on the website of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

If you are moving to a state with reciprocity, apply to the insurance department for a transfer of license in your new state. Usually you will have to have been licensed for a minimum amount of time in your state of origin, and sometimes provide a letter of clearance from that state. Other states require you to have held a non-residents’ license in their state previous to your move. Usually you will have to complete an application, but you will not have to complete course work or an exam.

If there are no reciprocal arrangements, you will have to apply for a license and then complete the course for that state. Then you will have to pass the exam in the way you did for your original license.


If you are applying for a license in a state that does have reciprocity, make sure you do it in a timely manner. Most states require that you apply within 90 days of having canceled your license in your state of origin. If you don’t do this, you will have to complete the full application process and the examination, just as if it were your first license.

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