How to Get a Life Insurance License in Montana

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

Last updated:

Getting your Montana life insurance license is the first step toward becoming a life insurance agent in the state.

The Insurance Department at the Office of the Montana State Auditor (the Department) requires you to complete a five-step process to become a life insurance agent in Montana — from taking the life insurance exam to applying for a license.

These steps will take a few weeks to complete so we recommend you bookmark this page so you can use it as a reference throughout the process.

How to Get Your Montana Life Insurance License

  1. Complete a Montana Insurance Pre-license Course (Kaplan Education Company – $149+)
  2. Take the Montana Life Insurance Licensing Exam (Pearson VUE – $59)
  3. Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check (IdentoGO – $54)
  4. Complete a Montana Life Insurance License Application (National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) – $5.60 NIPR fee only)
  5. Watch for Your Application Results

Life Insurance License Montana

Obtaining your Montana life insurance license isn’t difficult. Just follow these five steps to start your journey toward becoming a life insurance agent. Once you earn this license, check out our guide on how to get your Montana property and casualty (P&C) license as well.

Step 1: Complete a Montana Insurance Pre-license Course

Before you take the Montana life insurance licensing exam, it’s important to make time to acquire the knowledge you’ll need to pass this exam on your first attempt. Completing a pre-license education course will equip you with the necessary information and tools you’ll need to prepare for your exam.

While Montana doesn’t have any formal pre-license education requirements, most insurance professionals opt to take a pre-license education course online. Others purchase books or self-study materials to prepare themselves for the exam.

A pre-license education course provides very specific industry knowledge that will be tested during the exam. There is very little information on the test that could be considered “common sense.” Pre-license education courses are self-paced and include study materials like practice exams and flashcards.

Beyond helping you effectively prepare for and pass the life insurance licensing exam on your first try, taking a pre-license education course also will give you a solid understanding of your duties as a life insurance agent.

Recommended

Doing a pre-licensing education course dramatically increases your chance of passing your exam on your first attempt, which can end up saving you both time and money in the long run. For pre-licensing education, StateRequirement recommends:

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

Step 2: Take the Montana Life Insurance Licensing Exam

After you complete a prep course and your own independent studying, it’s time to take the Montana life insurance exam.

Montana uses Pearson VUE as its official testing service for delivering licensure exams.

The Montana life insurance exam contains a total of 86 scored questions that cover two sections: general and state-specific knowledge. The general section deals with basic life insurance product knowledge. The state-specific section covers insurance concepts and terms, rules, regulations, and practices specific to Montana.

You’ll have 120 minutes to complete the exam. The Montana life insurance exam fee is $59, which you must pay at the time of reservation by credit card, debit card, or voucher. The exam is a proctored test, meaning an official proctor will closely monitor you in a controlled environment.

If you happen to fail the Montana life insurance exam, you can schedule a time to retake it as soon as 24 hours after your first attempt. There’s no limit to the number of attempts you can make on the same exam.

Tip

Check out our in-depth insurance exam guide for tips to help you pass on the first attempt.

The best way to understand if you are prepared for the test is to take a Life Insurance Practice Exam.

Step 3: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check

After you take the Montana life insurance exam, you must get a fingerprint-based background check from IdentoGO. IdentoGO will submit your fingerprint card directly to the Montana Department of Justice. The Montana Department of Justice will forward the card to the FBI. The fee for fingerprinting services is $54 to cover the cost of comparing your prints against criminal history records. 

To set up a fingerprinting appointment, visit the IdentoGO website or call 866-761-8069.

At your fingerprinting appointment, you’ll receive a receipt. Don’t throw it away! Keep the original receipt for your records.

After completing your fingerprint-based background check, you must submit your license application within one year of passing the licensing exam. If you fail to do so, you’ll need to retake the exam.

Step 4: Complete a Montana Life Insurance License Application

Once you pass the life insurance exam and complete the background check, you can apply for your Montana life insurance license. The state doesn’t charge any fee other than the NIPR’s $5.60 processing fee, and you must apply online via the NIPR.

The Department will issue a life insurance license to individuals who are at least 18 years old and have passed the proper licensing exam. You should submit your completed license application within 12 months of passing the exam.

To apply for a life insurance license in Montana, make sure you comply with the insurance licensing requirements as defined under the Montana Insurance Code and the Montana Administrative Code.

Send any questions or supporting documents to producerlicensing@mt.gov.

Step 5: Watch for Your Application Results

After you complete the previous four steps, the Department will review your application and background check. It reviews applications in the order it receives them, and this process usually takes two to three business days from the date you submit your application.

Once the Department finishes reviewing your application, it’ll email you its decision or ask you to provide more information.

You can print your license from the NIPR website. There’s no charge to create an account or print a license. If you don’t remember your license number, you can find it by using the NAIC SBS Lookup Search tool.

Congratulations!

You’re now ready to get started as a life insurance agent in Montana.

Steps After Securing Your Montana Life Insurance License

Once you complete the above steps and have your Montana life insurance license, there are a few steps you’ll need to take in order to a) excel as an insurance agent, and b) maintain your life insurance license.

Let’s take a brief look at these below.

Obtain All Relevant Securities Licenses

If you’re planning on selling advanced life insurance products, you’ll likely need to pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and obtain the relevant securities licenses (e.g., Series 6, 7, and 63).

For more information on this step, you can have a look at our in-depth Securities Licensing overview.

Choose a Means of Selling

You’ll have to decide whether you’d prefer working as a captive agent employed by one company, or running your own business as an independent agent.

If you’re just starting out, you’ll likely benefit from working as a captive agent, but this will ultimately depend on your personal aspirations and opportunities.

Develop Your Marketing Approach

To succeed as an insurance agent, you’ll need to adopt a marketing approach that’s effective for you.

We recommend finding and sticking to a niche, as well organizing all client appointments for the start of your week. This is because this can improve your overall client conversions.

Keep Your License Valid

In Montana, you’ll need to complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to renew your license and maintain its good standing. Three of those 24 hours must focus on ethics and one hour must focus on Montana statutes.

To find these courses, you can visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) website and choose “Montana” from the jurisdiction drop-down menu and “Course or Provider” as your search type. 

To avoid delays in renewing your license, you must complete your required CE hours at least 90 days before your license expires. Your CE provider will report the successful completion of your course to the Department. 

Keep in mind that there’s no license renewal fee, but the late fee is $100.

For a more in-depth look at each one of these steps, check out our Steps After Getting Your Insurance License guide.

Insurance Department at the Office of the Montana State Auditor Contact Information

Mailing Address

Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance
840 Helena Ave.
Helena, MT 59601

Phone: 406-444-2040

Email: producerlicensing@mt.gov

Website: https://csimt.gov/insurance

License Search: Montana Insurance License Lookup

Montana Life Insurance License FAQ

How much does it cost to get a life insurance license in Montana?

Obtaining a life insurance license in Montana requires these fees:
Insurance Pre-license Education Course Fee: $149+ via Kaplan Education Company
Exam Fee: $59 via Pearson VUE 
Fingerprint-Based Background Check Fee: $54 via IdentoGO
Application Fee: $5.60 processing fee via the NIPR

How long does it take to process a life insurance license application in Montana?

This process typically takes two to three business days. You’ll receive an email once the Department reviews your application.

Can I get a temporary life insurance agent license in Montana?

Yes. Montana provides a 90-day, temporary life insurance license. The commissioner may issue a temporary license to or with respect to an individual qualified for the temporary license only as to age, residence, and trustworthiness and without requiring the individual to take an examination, in the following cases:
to the surviving spouse or next of kin or to the administrator or executor, or the employee of the administrator or executor, of a licensed insurance producer upon the insurance producer’s death;
to the spouse, next of kin, employee, or legal guardian of a licensed insurance producer disabled by injury or physical or mental illness;
to an employee of a partnership, or officer or employee of a corporation, licensed as an insurance producer, upon the death or disability of an individual designated in the license to exercise the powers of an insurance producer;
to the designee of a licensed insurance producer entering upon active service in the armed forces of the United States of America;
in any other circumstance in which the commissioner finds that the public interest will best be served by issuing a temporary license.

Can I get an emergency life insurance agent license in Montana?

No. An emergency license isn’t available for life insurance agents in Montana.

Do I need to get my securities license on top of a life insurance license in Montana?

Probably. While you can sell certain basic life insurance products with just a life insurance license, a securities license removes the limits on what you can sell and puts you in a much better career position. As a securities license holder, you can provide your clients with products tied to the securities market as part of their retirement and life insurance plans. But, you’ll need FINRA accreditation to obtain your securities license.

What can I sell with a life insurance license in Montana?

With a Montana life insurance license, you can sell life insurance policies that pay a designated beneficiary when the insured person dies. You also can sell annuities that pay a set income at retirement.

How much can you make with a life insurance license in Montana?

According to ZipRecruiter, life insurance agents earn an average of $79,730 per year.

What are the limitations of a Montana life insurance license?

Unless you have multiple licenses to sell various types of insurance products (e.g., the combined life and health insurance license), having a Montana life insurance license only qualifies you to sell life insurance policies as well as retirement plans and annuities. You can’t sell other types of insurance. A securities license on top of your life insurance license removes that limitation and enables you to offer securities, including stocks and bonds.

Can I cancel my life insurance license in Montana?

Yes. To cancel your license, email an attached letter with your name, license number, and signature to producerlicensing@mt.gov.

How hard is it to get a life insurance license in Montana?

The process is quite simple! Follow the steps above and get started today!

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