How to Get a Life Insurance License in Rhode Island

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

Last updated:

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

The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (DBR) requires you to complete a six-step process to become a life insurance agent in Rhode Island — 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 Rhode Island Life Insurance License

  1. Complete a Rhode Island Insurance Pre-license Course (Kaplan Education Company – $149+)
  2. Take the Rhode Island Life Insurance Licensing Exam (Pearson VUE – $80)
  3. Complete a Rhode Island Life Insurance License Application (National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) – $125 application fee + $5.60 transaction fee )
  4. Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check (Rhode Island Attorney General – Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation – $5)
  5. Submit Your Background Check Information and Exam Score
  6. Watch for Your Application Results

Life Insurance License Rhode Island

Obtaining your Rhode Island life insurance license isn’t difficult. Just follow these six 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 Rhode Island property and casualty (P&C) license as well.

Step 1: Complete a Rhode Island Insurance Pre-license Course

Before you take the Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island Life Insurance Licensing Exam

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

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

The Rhode Island life insurance exam outline contains a total of 80 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 Rhode Island.

You’ll have 120 minutes to complete the exam. The Rhode Island life insurance exam fee is $80, 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 Rhode Island 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: Complete a Rhode Island Life Insurance License Application

Once you pass the life insurance exam, you can apply for your Rhode Island life insurance license. The application fee is $125 plus $5.60 transaction fee, and you must apply online via the NIPR.

The Rhode Island DBR 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 Rhode Island, make sure you comply with the insurance licensing requirements as defined under the Rhode Island Insurance Code and the Rhode Island Administrative Code.

Send any questions or supporting documents to DBR.Insurance@dbr.ri.gov.

Step 4: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check

After you apply for your Rhode Island life insurance license, you must get a fingerprint-based background check from the Rhode Island Attorney General – Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI)The fee for fingerprinting services is $5

To set up a fingerprinting appointment, go to the Rhode Island Attorney General BCI website and click on the “Background Checks” link in the left-hand menu.

At your fingerprinting appointment, you’ll receive a receipt. Don’t throw it away! Keep the original receipt for your records and so you can send a copy to the Rhode Island DBR. See the next step for more details about this.

Step 5: Submit Your Background Check Information and Exam Score

After submitting your license application to the state, you’ll receive an email from the Rhode Island DBR requesting your background check information and your exam score report.

Scan these documents and send those files as attachments in a reply email.

Step 6: Watch for Your Application Results

After you complete the previous four steps, the Rhode Island DBR will review your application and background check. It reviews applications in the order it receives them, and this process usually takes 10 business days from the date you submit your application.

Once the Rhode Island DBR finishes reviewing your application, background check information, and exam score, it’ll email you with its decision or ask you to provide more information.

You can print your license from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) 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 National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) License Lookup tool.

Congratulations!

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

Steps After Securing Your Rhode Island Life Insurance License

Once you complete the above steps and have your Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to renew your license and keep it in good standing.

To avoid delays in renewing your license, you should complete the required CE hours at least 90 days before your license expires.

This will ensure that your CE provider has enough time to report your successful completion of the coursework to the Rhode Island DBR. 

The fee for renewing your license is $120; there is also a late fee of $170 for missed filings.

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

Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation Contact Information

Mailing Address

Insurance Division
1511 Pontiac Avenue Cranston, RI 029301

Phone: (401) 462-9520

Email: DBR.Insurance@dbr.ri.gov

Website: https://dbr.ri.gov/divisions/insurance/

License Search: Rhode Island Insurance License Lookup

Rhode Island Life Insurance License FAQ

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

Obtaining a life insurance license in Rhode Island requires these fees:
Insurance Pre-license Education Course Fee: $149+ via Kaplan Education Company
Exam Fee: $80 via Pearson VUE
Application Fee: $125 + $5.60 transaction fee via the NIPR
Fingerprint-Based Background Check Fee: $5 via the Rhode Island Attorney General – BCI

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

This process typically takes 10 business days. You’ll receive an email once the Rhode Island DBR reviews your application.

Can I get a temporary life insurance agent license in Rhode Island?

No. Rhode Island doesn’t provide a temporary life insurance license.

Can I get an emergency life insurance agent license in Rhode Island?

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

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

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 Rhode Island?

With a Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island?

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

What are the limitations of a Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island?

Yes. To cancel your license, email an attached letter with your name, license number, and signature to DBR.Insurance@dbr.ri.gov.

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

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

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