How to Get an Insurance License in Maryland

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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How to Get an Insurance License in Maryland

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

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to become an insurance agent in Maryland, 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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Maryland Insurance License

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

  1. Figure Out Which Insurance License You’ll Need
  2. Complete a Pre-Licensing Education Course
  3. Pass the Relevant Maryland Insurance License Exam(s)
  4. 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 Maryland:

  • Life
  • Accident and Health or Sickness
  • Property
  • Casualty
  • Personal Lines
  • Title
  • Surplus Lines
  • Variable Life and Variable Annuity
  • Credit
  • Travel

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 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 likely need to obtain a DHS adjuster license — which you can find more information about in our Maryland Adjuster License overview.

Step 2: Complete a Maryland Pre-Licensing Education Course

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

Depending on the line of authority you are pursuing (e.g., life, health, property & casualty, etc.), you’ll likely be legally required to complete a 20-hour study course from an approved provider. 

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.

Note: If you are currently employed by an insurer, producer, or the Maryland Insurance Administration in a role relevant to the line of authority you’re applying for, you’ll be able to obtain a pre-licensing education waiver instead. 

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

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant Maryland 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 an accident and health insurance agent, you will need to pass the Accident and Health or Sickness producer exam — which has 80 scored questions (plus 10 unscored ones).

All insurance agent licensing examinations in Maryland are administered by Prometric and come at a cost of $62.

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.

We found that the best approach is to study for one at a time, averaging between two to six weeks of study time per exam — depending on whether you are studying full time or part-time, as well as on how comfortable you are at taking proctored exams.

You should note that, under Maryland law, candidates can attempt any given insurance examination an unlimited number of times.

Having said that, if you fail an exam you will be required to wait four days before you can schedule the next one.

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

Step 5: Submit Your Insurance License Application

With the actual state licensing exam out of the way, you’ll be ready to apply for your license. To do this, you will need to complete the application process online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR), and pay a $54 filing fee.

To do this, you will need to:

  • Complete and submit the NAIC Uniform Application via the NIPR electronic licensing system that’s available on their website
  • Thoroughly address each background question on the application. If any of your responses are “Yes”, you will need to include a detailed written statement along with any required official court documents; please note that printouts from a court’s website are not acceptable
  • Upload additional documents if necessary. Any other documents required as part of your application should also be submitted through the NIPR Attachments Warehouse

Note: Any misdemeanors or felonies may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. If you’re worried about this, you can reach out to the Producer Licensing Unit of the Maryland Insurance Administration for more guidance on this topic.

Step 6: Application Review

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

If everything on your application has been filled out correctly, your license should be issued within three to five weeks — 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 Maryland Insurance License

Once you have passed all required exams and your license application is approved, you will be a licensed insurance agent in Maryland.

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 Maryland, you will be required to complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years — which must include 3 hours of ethics training — in order to keep your insurance license active.

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

Note: For more information on topics such as adding lines of authority to an existing active license, initial license requirements, or details about the insurance producer license expiration date, please visit the Maryland Insurance Administration’s official website.

Maryland Insurance Administration Contact Information

Mailing Address:
200 Saint Paul Place, Suite 2700
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Phone: (410) 468-2411

Fax: (410) 468-2399

Email: ProducerLicensing.mia@maryland.gov

Website: https://insurance.maryland.gov/Producer

License Search: Maryland Insurance License Search and Lookup

Maryland Insurance License FAQ

Will I need to renew my insurance license in Maryland?

Yes, as a Maryland licensed insurance producer, you will be required to renew your insurance license every two years. The renewal process involves completing 24 hours of continuing education, which must include 3 hours focused on ethics. For more details, check out the Maryland Insurance Administration website.

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

After you have completed all required exams and submitted your insurance license application, it typically takes three to five weeks in order to receive your license in Maryland. Please note that this timeframe may be extended if additional information is required during the processing of your application. Interested in finding out more? You can have a look at our state-specific Insurance Licensing guide.

How much does the Maryland insurance license cost?

To obtain an insurance license in Maryland, you will need to pay an exam fee of $62 per examination, plus a $54 application fee to the NIPR. Keep in mind that you will also need to cover the cost of any required pre-licensing education, which varies depending on the provider and course format you choose. These requirements can be different for business entities.

Is the Maryland insurance license exam hard?

The difficulty of the Maryland insurance license exam can vary based on your preparation and familiarity with the material. Having said that, most candidates find success by dedicating two to six weeks of study per exam, depending on their schedule and comfort with the exam topics.

How do I get my insurance license in Maryland?

To get your insurance license in Maryland, you will need to decide which type of insurance you want to sell, complete the required pre-licensing education, pass the appropriate Maryland licensing examination, and submit your license application via the NIPR’s online system. For more information, see our Maryland Insurance License article.

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