How to Get an Insurance License in New Jersey

Written by: Will Bond

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How to Get an Insurance License in New Jersey

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

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

In order to get your New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 producer licenses that are available in the state of New Jersey: 

  • Life
  • Health
  • Combined Life and Health
  • Property
  • Casualty
  • Combined Property and Casualty
  • Personal Lines
  • Title
  • Surplus Lines
  • Limited Lines – Bail Bonds

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 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 a public insurance adjuster, you’ll need to obtain a separate license — which you can find more information about in our New Jersey Adjuster License overview.

Step 2: Complete a New Jersey Pre-Licensing Education Course

The next step you’ll want to take toward becoming a licensed insurance agent in New Jersey is completing a pre-licensing education course. This requirement applies to all individuals looking to sell any of the insurance lines listed in the previous section. 

However, not just any pre-licensing education course will be sufficient to satisfy this requirement. In fact, on top of being offered by an approved insurance education provider, the course you take must meet certain mandatory pre-licensing education classroom hours.

The exact number of required hours will vary depending on the type of insurance lines of authority you’re applying for:

  • Life: 20 hours
  • Health: 20 hours
  • Combined Life and Health: 40 hours
  • Property: 20 hours
  • Casualty: 20 hours
  • Combined Property and Casualty: 40 hours
  • Personal Lines: 20 hours
  • Title: 20 hours
  • Surplus Lines: None
  • Limited Lines – Bail Bonds: 10 hours

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 New Jersey Insurance License Exam(s)

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant New Jersey 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 offer life and health insurance, you’ll need to pass the Property and Casualty exam — which is made up of 88 questions.

In New Jersey, all insurance exams are multiple-choice, administered by PSI, and cost $47 per attempt.

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.

To pass these insurance exams, you’ll need to obtain a grade of at least 70%. After you’ve passed, you’ll need to apply for your insurance license within 12 months in order to avoid having to re-take.

Note: You’ll be exempt from this exam requirement if you’ve previously had a resident license for an equivalent line in another state. However, this license must either be currently valid or have expired within the last 90 days.

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

Step 4: Complete a Fingerprinting And Background Check

Under PL2003, Chapter 199 of New Jersey Law, all applicants must submit their fingerprints along with written consent to a criminal record check.

This process, which is completed through IdentoGO, costs $66.05 and will initiate a background check into your past conduct to confirm you meet New Jersey’s insurance producer regulations.

To organize a fingerprinting appointment, you’ll need to go to the IdentoGO website or call (877) 503 5981. As part of the booking process, you’ll be prompted to input a Service Code, which for insurance producers in New Jersey is 2F16Y3.

It’s essential you input the correct code when booking an appointment, as this allows the fingerprinting agency to identify the reason for the background check and follow the relevant requirements. Your check will not be valid without it.

Note: Any misdemeanors or felonies may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. If you’re worried about this, you can contact the New Jersey Department of Banking and 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 New Jersey, applications are submitted online through the National Insurance Producer Registry.

This costs $170 for major line licenses (e.g., Life, Accident, & Health or Sickness, Variable Life, and Variable Annuity) or $95 for limited lines licenses (e.g., Car Rental, Group Mortgage Cancellation, or Bail Bond). NIPR also charges a small transaction fee of $5.60 on top of this.

Be aware that if you’ve passed the New Jersey producer licensing exam for multiple lines of authority, you’ll be required to submit an application (and pay the respective license fee) for each of these.

Note: If you want to add any lines to your license later, you’ll need to pay a $20 amendment fee plus NIPR’s filing fee for each subsequent application.

Step 6: Application Review

And that’s it! After satisfying all the other requirements and submitting a license application to the New Jersey Department of Banking and 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 a month — 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 New Jersey Insurance License

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

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 New Jersey, you’ll be required to complete 24 credit hours of continuing education every two years, with at least three of these being allocated to approved ethics instruction.

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

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Contact Information

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 327
Trenton, NJ 08625-0327

Physical Address:

20 West State Street
PO Box 325
Trenton, NJ 08625

Phone: (609) 292-7272

Fax: (609) 984-5263

Email: inslic@dobi.nj.gov

Website: http://www.nj.gov/dobi

License Search: New Jersey Insurance License Search and Lookup

New Jersey Insurance License FAQ

Do you need a license to sell insurance in NJ?

Yes, you’ll need a license to sell insurance in New Jersey. This requirement applies to individuals who wish to engage in insurance sales, including life insurance, health insurance, property insurance, and casualty insurance. To find out more about how to get licensed, see our New Jersey Insurance License guide.

How much does it cost to get a life insurance license in New Jersey?

The cost of obtaining a life insurance license in New Jersey can vary depending on the insurance line you apply for and the number of attempts at the exam you need. However, it will normally be between $340 and $540. This should be enough to cover the fees of your pre-licensing education course, examination fees, and licensing application fees.

How often must an insurance producer’s license be renewed in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, every insurance license must be renewed every two years before its expiration date to be kept valid. License renewal involves completing 24 hours of continuing education requirements, with three hours specifically in approved ethics modules. These requirements apply to both individuals and business entities equally.

How many questions are on the NJ life insurance exam?

The New Jersey life insurance exam consists of 83 multiple-choice questions covering various topics related to life insurance, such as insurance basics, policy types, regulations, and ethics. Regardless of whether you’re applying as an individual or business entity, you’ll need a passing score of 70% on the relevant state licensing exam to obtain a New Jersey insurance producer license.

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