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How to Get a License to Sell Insurance in North Carolina

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Selling insurance can be rewarding for motivated and people-oriented individuals. Before you can begin your insurance career in North Carolina you must complete the required pre-licensing education and examination requirements. Insurance is primarily regulated by the state but some products such as life insurance have federal regulations as well. Additional federal licensing may be required to sell certain types of insurance such as variable universal life insurance or other securities-backed products. North Carolina is changing its licensing procedures effective October 1, 2010.

Obtain an Examination Admission Ticket by downloading the Insurance Licensing Examination Candidate Guide from the Department of Insurance website. The Examination Admission Ticket is at the end of the Guide.

Complete the required pre-licensing education requirements for the license you desire. For most licenses the requirement is 20 credit hours of study through an accredited program and a summary exam. The courses do not have to be classroom-based but you must communicate with your assigned instructor a minimum of twice. A list of approved courses is available at the North Carolina Department of Insurance website or the state exam vendor Pearson Vue's website.

Have your Examination Admission Ticket validated by your pre-licensing education provider. If you are taking more than one course in order to apply for more than one license, have a separate Examination Admission Ticket for each course. Tickets showing more than one course will be considered invalid.

Make a reservation to take the appropriate state exam by going to the Pearson Vue website or by calling (800) 274-0668. Make your reservation at least four business days prior to the exam date. Walk-in exams are not available. Record your confirmation number for the reservation.

Make your payment of $106.50 when arranging the time and location of your exam with Pearson Vue. This fee includes a $50 registration fee for Pearson Vue which is required by law. If you fail the exam an additional fee of $56.50 will be charged for each subsequent exam attempt.

Bring your confirmation number, Examination Admission Ticket and two forms of photo identification to the testing center. You will know immediately after the exam whether or not you passed.

Complete the North Carolina license application at the time of the examination. The state will review your exam results, application and pre-licensing education and will issue your license.

Become appointed by an insurance company or admitted insurance carrier. You must be appointed by one or more companies before you can sell insurance products in North Carolina. Each company has its own appointment procedures so check with your company for details.


Effective October 1, 2010, some of the above procedures are changing. Starting that date, new license applicants must submit their fingerprints to the state as part of the application process; the license application will be completed and submitted electronically through the National Insurance Producer Registry website; and you will print your own license online rather than receiving one issued by the state.


The year 2010 is a year of transition for the North Carolina Department of Insurance. Be sure you are following accurate application procedures or your license may be denied. For up-to-date accurate information on any aspect of this process you can call the Department directly at (919) 807-6800.