Getting your California property and casualty license is the first step toward becoming a P&C insurance agent in California.
The California Department of Insurance requires you to complete a five-step process to obtain your property & casualty license – from taking the P&C insurance exam to applying for a P&C 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 California Property and Casualty Insurance License
- Complete a California Pre-License Education Course (ExamFX – $189+)
- Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check (Accurate Biometrics – $59, which covers the following: $17 FBI fingerprint check fee + $32 California Department of Justice fingerprint check fee + $10 Accurate Biometrics’ rolling fee)
- Take the California Licensing Exam (PSI Exams – $88 exam fee + $33 convenience fee)
- Complete a California License Application (Sircon or the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) – $188 application fee. The NIPR also charges a $5.60 transaction fee while Sircon doesn’t have a service fee)
- Watch for Your Application Results
Steps to Get a California Property and Casualty Insurance License
Obtaining your California P&C license is easy. Just follow these five simple steps to start your journey toward becoming a property and casualty insurance agent. Once you earn this license, check out our guide on how to get your California life insurance license as well.
Step 1: Complete a California Pre-License Education Course
Before you take the California P&C 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.
California requires 40 hours of pre-license education for both property and casualty insurance license applicants. You also must complete 12 hours of ethics training as part of the state’s 40-hour pre-licensing education requirement.
Once you complete your pre-license courses, you’ll receive a certificate valid for three years. Keep your copy of that certificate for three years until it expires.
A pre-license education course provides very specific industry knowledge that insurance professionals will encounter during the exam. There are very few questions on this test that you can answer with “common sense” information.
You can complete insurance licensing courses on your own schedule and at your own pace when you choose online courses. Taking a pre-license education course will also give you a solid understanding of your duties as a P&C insurance agent.
Step 2: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check
After you complete the required pre-license education, you must get a fingerprint-based background check from Accurate Biometrics (CDI’s contracted fingerprint vendor).
The $59 fee for fingerprinting services covers the $17 FBI processing fee, the $32 California Department of Justice processing fee, and the $10 CDI contractor rolling fee.
You also have the option to provide your fingerprints at a PSI Exams test center. The total processing fee for PSI’s fingerprint impressions is $68.95, which includes the $17 FBI processing fee, the $32 California Department of Justice processing fee, and a $19.95 CDI contractor rolling fee charged at PSI’s test centers.
To properly get a fingerprint-based background check, you must pay the applicable fees and do the following:
- Fill out and print the Request for Live Scan Service (Form BCIA 8016) and the Resident Licensing Applicant Instructions (Form LIC 442-39A).
- Take your completed forms to an authorized live scan fingerprinting location.
- Complete your fingerprint impressions.
Keep a copy of your completed Request for Live Scan Service (Form BCIA 8016) for your records. Give the original to the live scan service vendor, which will provide you with the Automated Transaction Identifier (ATI) number assigned to your fingerprint impressions. If your fingerprint impressions are rejected, the ATI number will allow for you to retake your fingerprint impressions at no charge.
Step 3: Take the California Licensing Exam
After you complete your pre-license education and fingerprinting appointment, it’s time to take the California P&C license exam.
California uses PSI Exams as its official testing service for delivering licensure exams. First, you must schedule an appointment to take the P&C insurance license exam. PSI Exams now provides license applicants with the option to take a remote, online, proctored license exam for all insurance licenses.
The California P&C insurance exam:
- Includes a total of 150 scored questions that cover two sections: general and state-specific knowledge. The general section deals with basic property and casualty insurance product knowledge. The state-specific section covers P&C insurance concepts and terms, rules, regulations, and practices specific to California.
- Gives you 196 minutes to complete the test. The exam is a proctored test, meaning an official proctor will closely monitor you in a controlled environment.
- Costs $88, a fee you must pay at the time of reservation by credit card, debit card, or voucher.
Passing the California P&C license exam can prove challenging, but taking an exam prep course and following a good study program can help prepare you to pass on your first attempt.
If you happen to fail the California P&C insurance exam, you may reschedule a time to retake it as soon as 24 hours after your first attempt. Failing 10 times can get you barred from taking the licensure examination for a 12-month period from the date of your last failed exam.
Tip:Check out our in-depth insurance exam guide for tips to help you pass on the first attempt.
Step 4: Complete a California License Application
Once you complete a fingerprint-based background check and pass the P&C insurance exam, you can apply for your P&C insurance license.
In California, you must apply online via Sircon or the NIPR. The application fee is $188. There’s no service fee if you apply via Sircon. If you apply via the NIPR, you must pay a $5.60 transaction fee.
The CDI will issue a P&C 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 P&C insurance license in California, make sure you comply with the insurance licensing requirements as defined under the California Insurance Code.
If you have any questions or need to forward supporting documents related to your license application, submit them via the CDI’s online Contact Form.
Step 5: Watch for Your Application Results
After you complete the previous four steps, the CDI will review your application and background check. This process usually takes two to three weeks from the date you submit your application.
You can print your license from the Sircon or NIPR websites. The NIPR charges a $5.60 fee to print a license. You also can check the status of your license application by visiting the CDI’s Check License Application Status Service (CLASS) page.
You’re now ready to get started as a P&C insurance agent in California.
Next Steps After Securing Your California Property and Casualty Insurance License
Once you complete the above steps and have your California P&C insurance license, here’s what you should pursue next.
Get a Job in the Insurance Field
Once you hold a P&C license, you can consider several different insurance-related careers. The P&C license gives you authorization within your state to sell P&C insurance policies and related products that’ll provide financial protection to your clients against loss or damage.
You can find P&C insurance job postings on our Insurance Jobs Board.
When applying for an insurance-related job, potential employers will request your license number and National Producer Number (NPN). You can request a letter of certification, which proves you have a P&C license in California, by visiting the Sircon website. You’ll need to submit this letter along with your job applications.
Complete Continuing Education and Renew Your License
In California, you must take 24 hours of continuing education (CE) courses every two years to renew your P&C license. The California CE requirements state that three of those 24 hours must focus on ethics training. (This ethics requirement changed from four hours to only three hours.)
If you have a non-resident license that meets the requirements in your home state, you don’t need to take CE courses in California.
The CDI will email you a renewal notice approximately 90 days before your license expires. You can also choose to check your license status online to review your license expiration date and CE credits. After reviewing your license status, you can visit Sircon’s Renewal and Reinstatement or the NIPR’s Resident Renewal page. The renewal fee is $188.
For more detailed information, check out how to renew your license with our California insurance license renewal guide.
California Department of Insurance Contact Information
Producer Licensing Bureau
320 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (800) 967-9331
Email: Use the CDI’s online Contact Form.
License Search: California License Status Inquiry
California Property and Casualty License FAQ
How much does it cost to get a property and casualty insurance license in California?
The total cost of getting a property and casualty (P&C) insurance license in California is at least $568.20, but can exceed $600 based on the type of pre-license course you choose.
The costs include:
- Insurance Pre-license Education Course Fee: $189+ via ExamFX
- Fingerprint-Based Background Check Fee: $59 total processing fee ($17 FBI processing fee + $32 Department of Justice processing fee + $10 CDI contractor rolling fee) via Accurate Biometrics
- Exam Fee: $88 exam fee + $33 convenience fee via PSI Exams
- Application Fee: $188 application fee + $5.60 transaction fee via the NIPR (no service fee via Sircon but you still need to pay the $188 application fee)
- Printing a license: $5.60 via the NIPR or free via Sircon
How long does it take to process a property and casualty insurance license application in California?
This process typically takes two to three weeks upon receipt of your application.
Can I get a temporary property and casualty insurance agent license in California?
No. The CDI isn’t issuing temporary licenses at this time (i.e., during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic). Bookmark this page for the latest updates.
Can I get an emergency property and casualty insurance agent license in California?
No. An emergency license isn’t available for P&C insurance agents in California.
What can I sell with a property and casualty insurance license in California?
With a California P&C license, you can sell insurance products like homeowners insurance, renters insurance, auto insurance, general liability insurance, and workers’ compensation policies.
How much can you make with a property and casualty insurance license in California?
According to ZipRecruiter, P&C insurance agents earn an average salary of between $30,000 and $44,500+ per year. P&C insurance agents who sell homeowners and auto insurance also can earn a 5 percent to 20 percent commission based on policy premiums.
What are the limitations of a California property and casualty insurance license?
Unless you have multiple licenses to sell various types of insurance products, having a California P&C license only gives you the authority to negotiate and sell P&C insurance policies. You’ll need additional licenses to sell other types of insurance.
Can I cancel my property and casualty license in California?
Yes. To cancel your license, complete the California Insurance License Cancellation Request (Form LIC CC2). Submit your completed form to Licdocuments@insurance.ca.gov, fax it to 916-327-6907, or mail it to California Department of Insurance, 320 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814.
How hard is it to get a property and casualty insurance license in California?
The process is quite simple! Follow the steps above and get started today!
Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in July 2022.
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