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 Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Why can’t I find a company or individual I am searching for on Consumer Access?

§  The company or individual may be licensed in a state that is not licensing companies, branches, and/or individuals through NMLS at this time. For information, see a list of states currently participating in NMLS Consumer Access.

§  You may be searching on a nickname that has not been reported to NMLS. When searching for an individual, it is best to use their full name (e.g. search for “Timothy” instead of “Tim”).

View the search tips found under the search box for more hints on performing successful searches.

Q. What does “Authorized to Represent” mean?

Most mortgage loan originators must be associated with a licensed/registered company in order to make mortgage loans. Such associated companies are listed under “Authorized to Represent”. For information regarding companies an individual can make mortgage loans for under a particular license, view the “Authorized to Represent” section under the license details for the desired license. Individuals licensed in states that only have mortgage loan originator licenses on NMLS will not have any companies listed under “Authorized to Represent”.

If an individual is federally registered, “Authorized to Represent” means the individual has met all the requirements of a federal registration, and the institution displayed has confirmed employing that individual.

Q. What does the license status mean?

For a description of each license status, see the License Status Descriptions.

Q. What does the Federal Mortgage Loan Originator status mean?

Mortgage loan originators employed by federally insured or chartered institutions, such as banks, thrifts, credit unions, or Farm Credit System institutions, must meet all requirements of the federal registration process. An “active” status indicates that the mortgage loan originator currently meets all those requirements. An “inactive” status indicates that the mortgage loan originator does not currently meet all those requirements.

Q. What is the difference between a state license and federal registration?

Mortgage loan originators employed by state-licensed companies are generally required to hold a state license to conduct business in that state. Mortgage loan originators employed by banks, credit unions, and other federally regulated depository institutions must be federally registered in order to conduct business, and that registration is not limited to a particular state.

Q. What if I have questions regarding a company’s or individual’s license that are not answered by the information found on Consumer Access?

Questions regarding the license status of companies or individuals in states not currently participating in NMLS Consumer Access and questions not answered by the data found on NMLS Consumer Access can be directed to the appropriate state agency. You should consult the agency website for further information prior to calling the agency.

Q. What is NMLS?

NMLS is the legal system of record for licensing in all participating states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. In these jurisdictions, NMLS is the official and sole system for companies and individuals seeking to apply for, amend, renew, and surrender licenses managed in the NMLS on behalf of the jurisdiction’s governmental agencies. NMLS itself does not grant or deny license authority.

NMLS is also the system of record for all federal registrations required of federally regulated mortgage loan originators.

Q. What does “Other Business Name” mean?

Some companies perform financial-services related activities under names other than their legal company name. In fact, you may only know the company by such a name. Names the company has filed in NMLS to use when performing financial-services related business are listed under the “Other Business Name” section. For information regarding names used under a particular license, view the “Other Business Name” section under the license details for the desired license.

Q. What does the Financial Services indicator in the employment history mean?

Employment entries are marked with a ‘yes’ under Financial Services if the individual’s employment pertains to securities, commodities, banking, insurance, consumer lending, or real estate (including, but not limited to: acting as or being associated with a bank or savings association, credit union, Farm Credit System institution, mortgage lender, mortgage broker, real estate salesperson or agent, appraiser, closing agent, title company, or escrow agent).

Q. What does selecting a state or “Federal” from the drop-down list on the search results page do?

When you select a state from the regulator listing and click the Apply Filter button, all results for companies or individuals who do not currently hold a license in the selected state will be removed from the list of search results. Selecting “Federal” will filter results to only show those companies or individuals which are federally regulated.

Q. What is a Regulatory Action?

Regulatory Actions are administrative or enforcement actions taken by a state agency in connection with a person or entity that is engaging in a business activity that is regulated by the agency. While some state agencies may add actions taken in previous years against a licensee, the majority are adding only new actions from 2012 or later. To view complete information regarding regulatory actions posted by the state agency, visit the state’s website.

Q. What is a Federal Disciplinary Action?

Mortgage loan originators who are employed by banks, thrifts, credit unions or other institutions that federally chartered or federally insured are required to disclose information regarding certain final disciplinary actions.  These actions can be issued by various authorities, such as criminal courts, civil courts, and regulatory agencies.  The information displayed in this section reflects information the individual provided and attested to in his or her most recent federal registration filing.  This information has not necessarily been verified by NMLS or federal regulators.

Q. What is the Action Type displayed in a Federal Disciplinary Action?

Action Type is a general description of the disciplinary action being disclosed. 

Action Types include:
     •  Criminal (e.g., verdict in a criminal case)
     •  Regulatory (e.g., action taken by a state or federal regulatory agency)
     •  Civil Judicial (e.g., certain civil court order)
     •  Civil (e.g. certain civil court award or settlement)

Q. What is the Authority Type displayed in a Federal Disciplinary Action?

Authority Type is a description of the legal authority that took or issued the disciplinary action being disclosed. 

Authority Types include:
     •  Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
     •  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
     •  Farm Credit Administration
     •  Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
     •  National Credit Union Administration
     •  Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
     •  Securities and Exchange Commission
     •  Other Federal Regulator
     •  State Regulator
     •  Foreign Financial Regulator
     •  Criminal Court
     •  Civil Court

Q. Can information in NMLS Consumer Access be amended?

Information for active licensees and registrants can be amended by submitting filings through NMLS. The information provided on Consumer Access is pulled from the NMLS records. 

If the entity no longer holds any active licenses or registrations, they are unable to submit amendments or otherwise correct record information. Inactive licensees or registrants are not expected to keep their identifying information, employment history or contact information up to date. 


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