How to Get an Insurance License in Hawaii

Written by: Will Bond

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How to Get an Insurance License in Hawaii

If you’re thinking about becoming an insurance agent in Hawaii, the first step you’ll need to take in order to kickstart your career is to obtain a Hawaii insurance license.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to become an insurance agent in Hawaii, as well as what to do once you get licensed.

Tip: 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.

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Hawaii Insurance License

In order to get your Hawaii insurance license, you’ll need to complete the following five steps:

  1. Figure Out Which Insurance License You’ll Need
  2. Complete a Pre-Licensing Education Course
  3. Pass the Relevant Hawaii Insurance License Exam(s)
  4. Complete a Fingerprint and Background Check
  5. Submit Your Insurance License Application

Below we have explored each step in more detail.

Step 1: Decide Which Insurance Licenses You Need

The first step will be deciding what type of insurance policies you’ll want to sell — at least at the start of your career.

This is because the type of insurance policies you’re hoping to sell will dictate the type of license you’ll need. For example, you’d need a Property & Casualty (P&C) license to be able to sell auto, home, or business insurance.

Here’s a list of all the different types of insurance agent licenses that are available in the state of Hawaii:

  • Life
  • Accident, Health or Sickness
  • Property
  • Casualty
  • Personal Lines
  • Surety
  • Title
  • Variable Life & Variable Annuity
  • Credit (Limited Lines)
  • Travel (Limited Lines)
  • Car Rental (Limited Lines)

While there are a large number of different licenses to choose from, the vast majority of insurance agents will either obtain a Property and Casualty (P&C) or a Life and Health insurance license.

In fact, many agents actually opt to go for both of these licenses as it allows them to offer clients a much wider range of the most common insurance products.

However, if you already know you want to specialize in one particular type of policy, you’ll of course only have to focus on the specific license that’s relevant to this insurance type.

It’s worth noting at this point that if you’re looking to work as an insurance adjuster, you’ll need to obtain a separate license — which you can find more information about in our Hawaii Adjuster License overview.

Step 2: Complete a Hawaii Pre-Licensing Education Course

The next step you’ll want to take toward becoming a licensed insurance agent in Hawaii is completing a pre-licensing education course.

Now, it’s important to note that — unlike many other states — Hawaii does not actually require aspiring insurance agents to complete a certain number of pre-licensing education hours in order to sit their insurance licensing exam, meaning that this step is entirely optional.

Having said that, completing a course is highly recommended as it can go a long way in helping you pass on your first attempt — which can save you both time and money in the long run.

This is because many of the features that come with these courses — such as live tutoring, study calendars, and hundreds of practice exams — are designed to enhance your understanding of the material, making you more comfortable and confident on the day of the exam.

Due to the sheer number of pre-licensing education courses available, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed when deciding which one is right for you. To avoid this, we typically recommend making a decision based on the following factors:

  • The course’s flexibility (e.g., does it allow flexible learning, does it require completing within a short time-window, etc.)
  • The course’s price: This one is obvious; our only tip here is to not go too low, as from our experience you tend to get what you pay for when it comes to these
  • The course’s reputation: How reliable is each provider? The last thing you want is insufficient and/or incomplete resources before your exam

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:

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If you want more information before getting started, you can also have a look at our in-depth overview of the five best pre-license education courses in 2024.

Step 3: Pass the Relevant Hawaii Insurance License Exam(s)

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant Hawaii insurance license exam.

We say “relevant” because this will depend on the line you wish to specialize in; for example, if you’re planning to become a life insurance agent, you’ll need to pass the Life exam — which has 85 scored questions, 11 pre-test questions, and must be completed within two hours.

All Hawaii insurance exams are multiple-choice, administered by Pearson VUE, and cost $75 per attempt. Note that you’re required to pay this fee when you book your exam reservation — payments cannot be made at the testing center.

You’ll need to schedule your Hawaii insurance exam appointment online through the Pearson VUE website or over the phone by calling (800) 274-2608, as walk-in testing isn’t available. This is also a good moment to decide how you want to take the exam — in-person at a test site or online using the OnVUE testing platform.

Keep in mind that you can sit for more than one exam at a time (e.g., if you want to apply for both a P&C and a life and health insurance license).

Even so, we recommend avoiding this route; this is because passing your exam is hard enough as is, and there is arguably little to gain and a lot to lose with the added risk of confusing separate line material.

After finishing this exam, you’ll be shown a score report on-screen detailing whether you passed or failed. In order to pass, you’ll need to obtain a scaled score of at least 70 overall, though a numerical score will only be displayed if you failed.

It’s important to be aware that you won’t be required to take an insurance examination in Hawaii if any of the following apply to you:

  • You’re submitting an application for a Limited Lines license
  • You’ve held a Hawaii insurance license within the last year
  • You are currently licensed for the same lines of authority in another state
  • You held a license that expired within the last 90 days for the same lines of authority in another state

For more information, you can have a look at our Hawaii Insurance License Exam guide.

Step 4: Complete a Fingerprinting And Background Check

The final step you’ll need to complete before you can submit your insurance agent license application is sending your fingerprints to the Hawaii Insurance Division and FBI.

This process, which is completed through Fieldprint, costs $63 and will initiate a background check into your past conduct to confirm you meet the state’s insurance agent regulations.

To schedule a fingerprinting appointment, you’ll need to head over to the Fieldprint website and enter the code “HI-DCCA-INS” when prompted — this will allow the Hawaii Insurance Division to receive the results of your background check when it’s complete.

Be aware that — unless submitted at the same time — each insurance producer application you make in Hawaii will need to be accompanied by fingerprints. For example, if you apply for a producer and then a surplus lines broker license at a later date, you’ll need to go through the fingerprinting process twice.

Note: Any misdemeanors or felonies may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. If you’re worried about this, you can contact the Hawaii Division of Insurance by phone or email for more guidance on this topic.

Step 5: Submit Your Insurance License Application

With your exams and fingerprinting out of the way, you’ll be ready to actually apply for your license. In Hawaii, applications are submitted online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) for a fee of $150 (plus a small transaction charge of $5.60).

You’ll need to submit your licensing application and pay the applicable licensing fee within 60 days of the date you got fingerprinted, or the background check results will expire and you’ll be required to complete this step again in order to move forward with your application.

Keep in mind that you’ll also be able to submit your insurance licensing application by mail; this is generally not recommended as it can take longer for processing to be completed.

Note: After online submission, you’ll be able to check the progress of your pending application on the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website.

Step 6: Application Review

And that’s it! After satisfying all the other requirements and submitting a license application to the Hawaii Division of Insurance all that’s left to do is wait.

If everything on your application has been filled out correctly, your license should be issued within 45 to 60 days — which is the amount of time it typically takes for a license application and background check to be reviewed.

It’s important to be aware that the issuance of your insurance license can take a bit longer than this if there are any items from your background check that need to be looked over. However, the state will likely get in touch with you to give some context if they run into any issues.

In any case, the state will send you an email regarding the status of your license once this review has been completed, so keep an eye out for that!

Pro tip: 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.

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After Getting Your Hawaii Insurance License

Once you’ve passed all your exams and your licensing application has been approved, you’ll be a qualified insurance agent in Hawaii.

At this point, there are four main steps that we recommend new insurance agents to take:

  1. Obtain Any Relevant Securities Licenses: If you’re planning on selling advanced life insurance products, you’ll need to pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and obtain the relevant securities licenses (e.g., Series 6, 7, and 63).
  2. 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.
  3. Develop Your Marketing Approach: To succeed as an insurance agent, you’ll need to adopt a marketing approach that’s effective for you. Finding and sticking to a niche, as well organizing all client appointments for the start of your week, are two great ways to do this.
  4. Keep Your License Valid: In Hawaii, you’ll be required to complete 21 hours of continuing education if you hold a license that allows you to sell one class of insurance (e.g., life/accident or property/casualty), or 24 hours if you’re licensed to sell multiple classes (e.g., you have a life/health and a property/casualty license). Note that at least three credit hours must be focused on ethics.

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

Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Insurance Division
P.O. Box 3614
Honolulu, Hawaii 96811

Physical Address:
King Kalakaua Building
335 Merchant Street, Rm. 213
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Phone: (808) 586-2790

Fax: (808) 586-2806

Email: insurance@dcca.hawaii.gov

Website: http://cca.hawaii.gov/ins

License Search: Hawaii Insurance License Search and Lookup

Hawaii Insurance License FAQ

Will I need to renew my insurance license in Hawaii?

Yes, Hawaii insurance licenses expire every two years and must be renewed by completing either 21 or 24 credit hours of continuing education and paying a renewal fee of either $100 (for resident producers) or $150 (for non-resident producers).

How long does it take to get an insurance license in Hawaii?

The time it takes to obtain an insurance license in Hawaii varies depending on several factors, including how many licenses you want to obtain and the number of exam attempts you need to pass. With that said, once you submit your application to the Division of Insurance, it will typically be processed within 45 to 60 days.

How much does the Hawaii insurance license cost?

In Hawaii, it costs $150 to submit a resident insurance licensing application to the Division of Insurance and $63 to obtain fingerprints and request a background check. However, the total cost of obtaining your insurance license can also include a $75 exam fee as well as your pre-licensing education course (if you decide to take one).

Is the Hawaii insurance license exam hard?

The difficulty of the Hawaii insurance license exam will ultimately depend on your individual preparation, insurance line (e.g., the life and health exam), and knowledge of the material. To ensure you pass this exam on your first attempt, you can check out our Hawaii Insurance License article.

How do I get my insurance license in Hawaii?

After choosing the insurance lines you want and passing the relevant state licensing exam, you’ll need to request a background check and submit an application to the Hawaii Department of Insurance. If you’re applying as an insurance company, you’ll also be able to request a change of trade name on your insurance license when submitting a business entity application to the Hawaii Business Registration Division.

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