How to Get an Insurance License in Montana

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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How to Get an Insurance License in Montana

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

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

In order to get your Montana 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 Montana Insurance License Exam(s)
  4. Complete a Fingerprint and Background Check
  5. Submit Your Insurance Producer 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 Montana:

  • Life
  • Disability (Health)
  • Property
  • Casualty
  • Limited Lines Credit Insurance
  • Pre-Paid Legal Insurance
  • Variable
  • Marine
  • Viatical
  • Title
  • Surety Bail Bonds
  • 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 prospective insurance adjusters will need to obtain a separate license — more information on this can be found in our Montana adjuster license overview.

Step 2: Complete a Montana Pre-Licensing Education Course

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

Now, it’s important to note that — unlike many other states — Montana 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.

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 Montana Insurance License Exam(s)

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant Montana 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 and Health insurance agent, you’ll need to pass both the Life exam — which is 120 minutes long — and the Disability (Health) exam, which is 135 minutes long.

In Montana, all insurance exams are multiple-choice, administered by Pearson VUE, and come with a $59 registration fee.

Keep in mind that you can sit for more than one insurance line at a time (e.g., if you want to apply for both a Life and Health and a Property and Casualty 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.

Note: You will have 12 months to complete the next steps and apply for your insurance license after passing an exam. If you fail to do this within the specified timeframe, you’ll be required to register for a retake. For more information, you can have a look at our Montana 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 for a state and federal criminal background check.

To do this, you will need to first find the right fingerprinting location. The State Auditor’s Office offers the following recommendations when it comes to fingerprinting services:

You can also choose to contact your local Sheriff or Police department and ask whether they offer paper fingerprinting services.

Once you’ve received your fingerprint card, be sure to double check that the Employer and address section reads:

David Dachs, State Auditor’s Office
840 Helena Ave.
Helena, MT 59601

You’ll also need to ensure that it includes the right fingerprinting code, which for insurance producers is MCA 33-17-220.

The “ORI” section will need to read “ MT920050Z, MT State Auditor”, and your “No. OCA” will need to read “MTST00017”.

Once you’ve verified that all of this information is correct, you’ll be ready to mail your completed fingerprint card — alongside a $30 process fee — to the following address:

Montana Criminal Records
P.O. Box 201403
Helena MT 59620-1403

Keep in mind that you will also need to complete this Rights and Consent to Fingerprinting form — which can be signed electronically and submitted via email — in order for your fingerprints to be processed.

Note: Your fingerprints will remain valid for one year. For more information on this step, you can get in contact with the Montana State Auditor’s Office directly via email.

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 Montana, applications are submitted online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR).

Unlike most states, Montana does not charge a processing fee for insurance producer applications, meaning you’ll only need to pay NIPR’s small transaction charge — which is around $5.60 — in order to complete this step.

Be aware that if you’ve passed the licensing exams for multiple lines of authority, you’ll be required to submit an application for each one of these.

Step 6: Application Review

And that’s it! After satisfying all the other requirements and submitting a license application via NIPR, 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 Montana Insurance License

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

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: Depending on your line of authority, you’ll likely be required to complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years in order to renew your license. This will need to include at least one hour on legislative changes in Montana insurance statutes and administrative rules and at least three hours on ethics.

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

Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Office of the Montana State Auditor
Insurance Department
840 Helena Avenue
Helena, Montana 59601

Phone: (406) 444-2020

Fax: (406) 444-3413

Email: csi.producerlicensing@mt.gov

Website: http://www.csimt.gov/insurance

License Search: Montana Insurance License Search and Lookup

Montana Insurance License FAQ

Will I need to renew my insurance license in Montana?

Yes, Montana insurance licenses expire every two years but are automatically renewed within 90 days of the deadline as soon as a producer has completed the required number of continuing education (CE) hours. This is 24 hours, with a minimum of one hour in legislative changes in Montana insurance statutes and administrative rules and a minimum of three hours in Ethics.

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

This will depend on several factors, including on how long it takes you to complete your pre-licensing training, how many exams — and which ones — you decide to sit, and whether there are any issues with your fingerprint and background check. For more information, you can have a look at our in-depth Montana Insurance License guide.

How much does the Montana insurance license cost?

Even though the Montana Insurance Department doesn’t charge a fee for submitting an insurance producer application as a Montana resident, you’ll need to pay a $5.60 National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) transaction fee. However, the total cost of obtaining your insurance license will also include things like purchasing a pre-licensing education course ($100-$300), a licensing exam ($59), and your background check ($30 + fingerprinting fee).

Is the Montana insurance license exam hard?

The difficulty of the Montana 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, we recommend spending at least two to six weeks preparing.

How do I get my insurance license in Montana?

After choosing the insurance lines you want, you will need to pass the relevant state exam (if applicable), submit your fingerprints to the Montana State Auditor, and submit an online application via NIPR. Keep in mind that this process relates to resident licensing; if you’re looking to obtain a business entity license instead, the process may be slightly different.

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