How to Get an Insurance License in California

By Cellina LaForey; Updated July 05, 2017
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If you want to conduct business as an insurance professional in California, you must first obtain an insurance license. California requires its agents and brokers to demonstrate that they have a good understanding of the insurance process and have the integrity to properly conduct insurance transactions on behalf of an insurance company or policyholder. Once you successfully prove to the state that you have what it takes, then you may obtain your California insurance license.

Determine the type of license to apply for. California has nine different types of insurance licenses ranging from Accident and Health Agent to a Special Lines Surplus Lines Broker. Spend a little time on the California Department of Insurance website to determine which license you wish to apply for.

Satisfy the age and residency requirements. To become a licensed resident insurance producer in the state of California you must be a resident and at least 18 years old.

Complete the pre-licensing education requirements. The number of course hours required varies depending on the type of license. All brokers and agents are required to take 12 hours on the California insurance code and state ethics. You must take additional course hours for your field of licensure. Some fields such as a fire and casualty agent require 40 hours, while limited lines automobile insurance agents are only required to take 20 additional hours.

Fill out the insurance application. California Insurance Department uses the Fast Licensing Application Service is Here method for quick application submission. By going to the Department of Insurance website you can access the application and submit it to the state within 24 hours.

Schedule and take the state licensing exam. After you have submitted the insurance application, the Department of Insurance will send you a checklist of the necessary information required to take the state exam. Make an appointment and take the state exam.

Access the Office of the Attorney General’s website to find out the nearest fingerprinting location. California uses the services of Live Scan to perform fingerprinting for the state’s background check. Your fingerprints will be compared against the FBI and the Department of Justice databases to check your criminal background.


Get fingerprinted prior to taking the state exam. Because California won&rsquo;t issue your insurance license without having reviewed the criminal background report, expedite the process by getting the fingerprinting done before taking the exam. This way the report will be in the Insurance Department&rsquo;s office at the same time they receive your passing test scores.

About the Author

After spending over 20 years writing for businesses in both the insurance and technology industries, Cellina LaForey now spends her time as a freelance writer. The time she spent working with Fortune 100 companies has provided the experience necessary to easily transition into full-time writing.