How to Get an Insurance License in Minnesota

Written by: Nik Ventouris

Last updated:

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

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

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

Minnesota Insurance License

In order to get your Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota:

  • Life
  • Accident & Health
  • Variable Annuities & Variable Life
  • Property
  • Casualty
  • Personal Lines
  • Credit
  • Travel
  • Bail bonds
  • Farm Property & Liability
  • Title
  • Surplus 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 Minnesota Adjuster License overview.

Step 2: Complete a Minnesota Pre-Licensing Education Course

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

In accordance with Minnesota state law, 20 hours of pre-licensing training is required for all major insurance lines of authority, including Personal Lines, Property, Casualty, Life, and Accident and Health.

After this step is complete, your provider will be required to submit an electronic certificate to the Minnesota Department of Commerce which confirms your attendance and completion.

Keep in mind that you may be exempt from this requirement if you have:

  • A two-year Minnesota vocational school degree in insurance
  • A four-year college degree in business with an emphasis in insurance
  • Specific qualifications (eg., ChFC, CIC, CFP, CEBS, CLU, etc.) and are applying for a Life insurance license
  • Specific qualifications (e.g., AAI, ARM, CIC, CPCU, etc.) and are applying for a Property, Casualty, or Personal Lines insurance license

Having said that, it’s important to note that completing a course is generally highly recommended even in states where it’s not a legal requirement at all.

This is because 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.

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:

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

If you want more information before getting stuck into the licensing process, 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 Minnesota Insurance License Exam(s)

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant Minnesota 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 will need to pass the Life Insurance Producer exam — which has 75 scored questions and is two hours long.

You can register your exam through PSI — which is Minnesota’s exam administrator for all insurance exams — either online or by calling (866) 395-1006.

The cost of your exam(s) will be either $25 or $45, depending on the insurance line in question.

Note: You will have 36 months after passing an exam to submit your insurance license application. For more information, you can have a look at our Minnesota Insurance License Exam guide.

Step 4: Complete a Fingerprinting And Background Check

The final step you’ll need to take before you can submit your insurance agent license application is to complete a fingerprinting and background check.

You can do this electronically at a PSI test center on the day of your examination ($65 fee). Keep in mind that — before your fingerprints are taken — you will be required to sign a Background Check Authorization form, which will remain valid for one year.

Your fingerprint images will then be transmitted electronically to both the Minneapolis State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is done in order for the checks to occur at both a state and at a federal level. This can also be done by going to your local police station, or any similar facility with manual fingerprinting capabilities.

After paying the facility’s unique fingerprinting fee, you’ll be given a fingerprint card, which you will need to mail alongside this Background Check Consent form and a $33.25 check to the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Administrative Division at the following address:

Attn: Licensing
Minnesota Department of Commerce
85 – 7th Place East, Suite 280
St. Paul, MN 55101

While convictions under state or federal law may hurt your application, they won’t automatically result in a rejection of your application. If you have any convictions or misdemeanors, make sure to get in touch with the Minnesota Department of Commerce for more information on how this may impact your chances.

Note: For more information, we recommend having a look at PSI’s Fingerprinting Instructions, which include the working hours of each testing site, their contact details, and details in relation to how to go about scheduling an appointment.

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 Minnesota, applications are submitted online through Sircon.

For all major-lines (e.g., life, health, property, etc.), there is a $50 fee, a $10 technology fee, and a small transaction fee. However, surplus lines applications are significantly more expensive (i.e., $500.) but do not include the small technology fee.

Be aware that if you’ve passed the licensing exams for multiple lines of authority, you’ll be required to submit an application (and pay a filing fee) for each of these.

Step 6: Application Review

And that’s it! After satisfying all the other requirements and submitting an online license application via Sircon, all that’s left to do is wait.

If everything on your application has been filled out correctly, your license should be issued within a couple of 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.

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

After Getting Your Minnesota Insurance License

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

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. Find an Appointing Insurance Company: In accordance with state law (MN Statute 60K.49), you’ll need to be appointed by an insurance company before you can start transacting insurance business in Minnesota.
  5. Keep Your License Valid: You’ll be required to complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years depending on your license type. This will need to include a minimum of three hours on Ethics. Keep in mind that you’ll be able to complete this requirement up to 90 days before the official deadline.

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

Minnesota Commerce Department Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Insurance Licensing Unit
85 7th Place East, Suite 280
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101

Phone: (651) 539-1500

Email: licensing.commerce@state.mn.us

Website: http://mn.gov/commerce/industries/insurance/

License Search: Minnesota Insurance License Search and Lookup

Minnesota Insurance License FAQ

Will I need to renew my insurance license in Minnesota?

Yes, Minnesota insurance licenses expire every two years. In order to renew one, you will need to pay a $50 license renewal fee (per insurance line of authority) and complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE). Keep in mind that at least three of these hours will need to relate to ethics training.

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

The time it takes to obtain an insurance license in Minnesota varies depending on several factors, including on how you go submitting your fingerprints and how long it takes you to complete your pre-licensing education and exam. Having said that, you should receive your license within a few weeks following your application (if everything is filed correctly).

How much does the Minnesota insurance license cost?

This will depend on the insurance license in question. All major-lines insurance licenses come with a cost of $50 plus a small $10 technology fee. Surplus lines, on the other hand, are significantly more expensive, typically costing around $500. For more information, see our Minnesota Insurance License article.

Is the Minnesota insurance license exam hard?

The difficulty of the Minnesota insurance license exam will ultimately depend on your individual preparation, insurance line (e.g., resident independent adjuster, life producer, etc.), and basic insurance product knowledge. We recommend investing in the right preparation materials and giving yourself enough time to thoroughly review content at least twice in order to give yourself the best chances of success.

How do I get my insurance license in Minnesota?

In order to become a person authorized with an insurance license in the state of Minnesota will need to pick an insurance line(s) of authority, complete the required pre-license education (if applicable), pass a licensing exam, and submit an online application. You’ll also be required to submit your fingerprints to the Minneapolis State Police and FBI so they can check if you would represent a clear and present danger as an insurance producer.

Ready for more?

Start Studying

Learn More