How to Get a Life Insurance License in New Mexico

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

Last updated:

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

The New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) requires you to complete a five-step process to become a life insurance agent in New Mexico — 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 New Mexico Life Insurance License

  1. Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check (Gemalto – $44)
  2. Complete a New Mexico Life Insurance License Application (National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) – $35 application fee + $5.60 transaction fee)
  3. Complete a New Mexico Insurance Pre-license Course (Kaplan Education Company – $149+)
  4. Take the New Mexico Life Insurance Licensing Exam (Prometric – $75)
  5. Watch for Your Application Results

Life Insurance License New Mexico

Obtaining your New Mexico 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 New Mexico property and casualty (P&C) license as well.

Step 1: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check

New Mexico requires that all insurance license applicants provide fingerprints prior to licensing. You must get a fingerprint-based background check from Gemalto. The fee for fingerprinting services is $44 to cover the cost of comparing your prints against criminal history records. 

To set up a fingerprinting appointment, go to the Gemalto website or call 877-996-6277. Use service code NM920210Z when making your appointment.

At your fingerprinting appointment, you’ll receive a receipt. Don’t throw it away! Keep the original receipt for your records and attach a copy to your license application.

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 2: Complete a New Mexico Life Insurance License Application

After you complete your fingerprint-based background check, you are now ready to apply for your New Mexico life insurance license. The application fee is $35 plus a $5.60 transaction fee, and you must apply online via the NIPR.

The New Mexico OSI will issue a life insurance license to individuals who are at least 18 years old and have passed the proper licensing exam (see Step 4). To apply for a life insurance license in New Mexico, make sure you comply with the insurance licensing requirements as defined under the New Mexico Insurance Code and New Mexico Administrative Code.

Send any questions or supporting documents to agents.licensing@state.nm.us.

Step 3: Complete a New Mexico Insurance Pre-license Course

Before you take the New Mexico 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 New Mexico 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 4: Take the New Mexico Life Insurance Licensing Exam

After you complete the previous three steps, it’s time to take the New Mexico life insurance exam.

New Mexico uses Prometric as its official testing service for delivering licensure exams.

The New Mexico life insurance exam contains a total of 100 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 New Mexico.

You’ll have 120 minutes to complete the exam. The New Mexico life insurance exam fee is $75, 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. Prometic will notify the New Mexico OSI of your exam results.

If you happen to fail the New Mexico 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 5: Watch for Your Application Results

After you pass the licensing exam, the New Mexico OSI will review your application and background check. It reviews applications in the order it receives them, and this process usually takes one to five business days from the date you submit your application.

Once the New Mexico OSI finishes reviewing your application, it’ll email you with 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 New Mexico.

Steps After Securing Your New Mexico Life Insurance License

Once you complete the above steps and have your New Mexico 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 New Mexico, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to renew your license (three of which must relate to ethics training).

To avoid delays in renewing your license, we recommend completing the required CE at least 30 days before your license expires in order to give your provider enough time to report your completion to the New Mexico OSI.

The fee for this is $65, with a $120 late fee being imposed for missed deadlines.

Note: If you have a non-resident license and are in good standing in your home state, you won’t need to complete CE in New Mexico.

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

New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance Contact Information

Mailing Address

Producer Licensing Bureau
P.O. Box 1689
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1689

Phone: (505) 827-4554

Email: agents.licensing@state.nm.us

Website: http://www.osi.state.nm.us/

License Search: New Mexico Insurance License Lookup

New Mexico Life Insurance License FAQ

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

Obtaining a life insurance license in New Mexico requires these fees: 
Fingerprint-Based Background Check Fee: $44 via Gemalto
Application Fee: $35+ $5.60 transaction fee via the NIPR
Insurance Pre-license Education Course Fee: $149+ via Kaplan Education Company
Exam Fee: $75 via Prometric

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

This process typically takes one to five business days. You’ll receive an email once the New Mexico OSI reviews your application.

Can I get a temporary life insurance agent license in New Mexico?

Yes. The New Mexico Superintendent of Insurance may issue a temporary insurance producer license to an individual for a period not to exceed 180 days without requiring an exam. This is intended for use when extenuating circumstances exist that require a designee to substitute for the producer (e.g., the death or induction into active military duty of an active agent or broker).

Can I get an emergency life insurance agent license in New Mexico?

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

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

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 New Mexico?

With a New Mexico 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 New Mexico?

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

What are the limitations of a New Mexico 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 New Mexico 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 New Mexico?

Yes. To cancel your license, send your completed License Cancellation Form to agents.licensing@state.nm.us.

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

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

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