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Live in One State and Want to Sell Insurance in Another? What You Need to Know about Non-Resident Insurance Licenses

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If you’re an insurance agent or customer service rep in the insurance industry, you probably know you need to be licensed to sell or even discuss insurance in the state where you live. But, what if you live in one state and work in another? This is a common scenario for people who live near a state border. In this case, you’ll need both a “resident” insurance license and a “non-resident insurance license.”

If you plan to work in another state, follow these steps to ensure you have covered all your bases.

    1. Get licensed in your resident state (if you haven’t already). You may need to take an approved insurance pre-license course (if required by your state) and pass a state exam in order to get licensed, after which you can formally apply for your resident license, get fingerprinted (if required by your state), and pay any fees. Contact your state’s Department of Insurance to find out how to start this process. Note that insurance licensing exams are often administered by a third-party company—for example, in Texas the testing company is Pearson VUE.

Take an approved insurance pre-licensing course to help prepare you for the state licensing exam; whether it’s required in your state or not, a comprehensive insurance pre-licensing course, like the courses offered by America’s Professor, can dramatically improve your chances of passing the insurance licensing exam the first time.

 

  1. Obtain a non-resident license in the state where you work or plan on working, as well as any additional states where you plan to sell or discuss insurance. Visit the Department of Insurance website for the state(s) where you want to obtain a non-resident license to find out about the requirements and fees.

 

What About State Licensing Exams?

If you live in one state and work in another, you may or may not be required to pass a licensing exam in the state where you work, in addition to the state where you live. Contact the insurance licensing department in the state where you plan to work to find out whether you can obtain a non-resident insurance license without having to pass the state exam.

In either case, you will need to apply for a non-resident insurance license in the state where you work after obtaining your resident license from the state you are a resident of.

It can get even more complicated if you sell insurance in multiple states. For example, suppose you’re a salesperson for a large insurance agency that sells insurance nationwide. If your company has you selling auto insurance and homeowner’s insurance policies in 26 states, you’ll be required to maintain active non-resident property and casualty insurance licenses in all 26 of those states, as well as the state where you work, plus a resident insurance license in the state where you live. That’s a lot of licenses to maintain!

The good news: Large agencies usually have a dedicated person or department that handles licensing for sales agents, customer service reps, and others who are required to be licensed.

More good news: Most states have “reciprocal agreements,” meaning that they will issue a non-resident producer license with few or no additional requirements (e.g. pre-licensing courses, fingerprinting, examinations, etc.) beyond the license application fee, as long as you have an equivalent license in your resident state.

Some states have more stringent requirements when it comes to issuing non-resident insurance licenses, however. Florida, for example, requires fingerprints and a background check before they will issue one. California also requires fingerprints for the residents of around 25 states in order to issue a non-resident license.

man in cubicle

What About Pre-Licensing Courses?

Adding another layer of complexity are state requirements regarding pre-licensing courses. Some states require you to complete an approved insurance pre-licensing course prior to taking the state licensing exam or obtaining a non-resident insurance license, while others simply encourage it.

Once you’re properly licensed in both the state where you reside and the state where you work, you can begin selling policies.

 

America’s Professor Is Here to Help

Navigating the many rules and regulations surrounding the insurance industry can feel overwhelming. That’s why America’s Professor has compiled helpful resources for individuals who are trying to get licensed.

See our State Specific Resources page for more helpful information, and don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable customer service reps with any questions at 1-800-870-3130.

26 responses to “Live in One State and Want to Sell Insurance in Another? What You Need to Know about Non-Resident Insurance Licenses”

  1. I have a non-resident insurance license to sell insurance in another State. Do I also need to a have Non-Resident Agency License?

  2. Courtney Pankey says:

    Good evening, I live in GA and I am back and forth between here and Louisiana. I would like to know if it is possible to sell insurance in both GA and LA.

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hello Courtney, Yes you can. As mentioned above you would need to get a resident license in Georgia and then apply for a non-resident license in Louisiana. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Kee Kee says:

    I have a resident license in GA. I would like to get a NRL for two additional states, do I contact the DOI in my state or the states that I have interests in?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hi Kee Kee, I would recommend you start with a call to the DOIs but I think they will end up having you process it through NIPR.com. Good luck!

  4. Alex says:

    Question that I cannot find the answer to anywhere! I recently failed my florida life and health exam three times! However I always just moved to New York State and I want to take it again. Since it’s a different state am I eligible to take it again?!

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hi Alex, Yes, different state so different rules. You are starting over again from the beginning which also means you need to take another approved pre-licensing course unfortunately. Good luck!

  5. JP says:

    I’m licensed in 20 states, but I’m thinking of moving abroad. Could I still keep my job and work from abroad if I change residency or only if I maintain a residence in the US as well?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hello JP, I believe you would need to maintain your residency in the US. You might call your department of insurance to verify but I am pretty sure you have to be A US resident.

  6. rhonda says:

    If I have a insurance producer license in Alabama but, want to get a non-resident license for NC since we have an office there also, do I have to take an exam for NC?

  7. Guilherme Lima says:

    I have a California Life license and I want to sale insurance in Florida what I need to do?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hello Guilherme, You will need to get a non-resident license in Florida. You can see the requirements and process at nipr.com. Good luck!

  8. SAlston says:

    Hello. Do you know what states are All line of authority states? I know Texas is one. Meaning if I have a resident license in NC and want to sell in Maryland. If I have my health and medicare there can I just add life without the fee?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hello, I’m not sure what All line of authority states are but it sounds like you are trying to get a non-resident license in Maryland. Most states are going to charge you a fee. Check out nipr.com to see what the rules and fees are for licenses in each state you would like to sell insurance in. Good luck!

  9. Dorota Allen says:

    Question : I live in NW Indiana and want to sell life & health insurance in Illinois only. Do I need residency license first or could I go test for non-residency license and be done. ?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hello Dorota, You will need to get your resident Indiana license first then apply for a non-resident Illinois license. Please see nipr.com for more information. Good luck!

  10. Alex says:

    Hi, 3 years ago I got my resident license in California, but now I live in Oregon. If I plan to work only in California, can I keep my CA resident license over there (and sell insurance in California) while I’m obtaining my OR license. Basically the question is if I’m a resident in the state A, but have a resident license in the state B, can I use my resident license in the state B?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hi Alex, If your license is still current you might be able to get a release on it and transfer it to Oregon. You would then have to get your non-resident in California I believe. You can check out nipr.com to see the general process. Personally, I’d call up the CA Department of Insurance and ask the licensing division your questions. They might have a shortcut for you. Good luck!

  11. Jeff w says:

    Hello, I’m ca insurance licensed and have a client that goes back and forth between ca and Colorado. He’s buying a Ltd policy from me. Can I just have him sign a ca app when he’s in ca and avoid getting non-resident license for Colorado?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hello Jeff, That is a bit beyond our scope of knowledge. I would have to deffer to department of insurance. My guess is that it would depend on what state his primary residence is in. Good luck!

  12. Diane says:

    I have Illinois license. If I have a client that moves, do I need to get a NRL in that state? Or do I have to if 5 or more clients live in that state (not IL)?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hello Diana, I think you would want to contact the new state’s DOI to see if you needed the NRL. You can also try looking the state up on nipr.com and see if they have your answer too. Good luck!

  13. Chester says:

    I live in Tennessee and have my state license there. i want to be able to be doing phone sales in many states. Do I need to be non-resident licensed in all of those states? Or since it is done over the phone from my state, just my Tennessee license?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hello Chester, You will need a non-resident in each state you are selling in. It makes no difference whether you are talking to them on the phone or knocking on their doorstep. You can check out NIPR.com to see what steps are required for each state. Good luck!

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