How to Get an Insurance License in North Dakota

Written by: Will Bond

Last updated:

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

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

In order to get your North Dakota insurance license, you’ll need to complete the following six steps:

  1. Figure Out Which Insurance License You’ll Need
  2. Ensure You Meet the Minimum Requirements
  3. Complete a Pre-Licensing Education Course
  4. Pass the Relevant North Dakota Insurance License Exam(s)
  5. Complete a Fingerprint and Background Check
  6. 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 North Dakota:

  • Life & Annuity
  • Accident & Health
  • Property Insurance
  • Casualty Insurance
  • Personal Lines
  • Credit
  • Crop
  • Legal Expense
  • Bail Bonds
  • Surety
  • Variable Annuity & Life
  • Travel
  • Self-Service
  • Storage
  • Title
  • Portable Electronics Insurance
  • 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 an insurance adjuster in North Dakota, it’s a good idea to obtain a DHS license — which you can find more information about in our North Dakota Adjuster License overview.

Step 2: Meet the Minimum Licensing Prerequisites

There are certain basic prerequisites you’ll need to satisfy in order to be able to qualify for a resident insurance producer license in North Dakota. This includes:

  • Being a resident or having your main place of business in North Dakota
  • Being at least 18 years of age
  • Being trustworthy, financially responsible, and of good personal/business reputation
  • Not having had any insurance licenses revoked or suspended

Step 3: Complete a North Dakota Pre-Licensing Education Course

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

Now, it’s important to note that — unlike many other states — completing a pre-licensing education course is not a mandatory requirement for insurance producers in North Dakota, meaning that this step is entirely optional.

Having said that, we strongly recommend undertaking one of these courses as they can go a long way in helping you pass on your first attempt — which saves 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 North Dakota Insurance License Exam(s)

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant North Dakota 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 obtain a casualty license, you’ll need to pass the Casualty exam — which has 110 questions and lasts 150 minutes.

In North Dakota, all insurance exams are multiple-choice, administered by PSI, and can be taken either online or in-person. All major lines (e.g., Life & Annuity and Accident & Health) cost $64 per attempt, while others (e.g., Personal Lines and Bail Bonds) cost $58.

Regardless of which insurance line exam you’ll be taking, you can schedule it online through the PSI website. Make sure to book quickly after paying, as your examination fee will only be valid for one year following the date of payment.

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.

Note: You’ll need to obtain a minimum score of 70% to pass an insurance producer exam in North Dakota. Keep in mind that there’s no limit on the number of times you can attempt each exam.

For more information, you can have a look at our North Dakota 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 producer resident license application is providing a set of your fingerprints to the North Dakota Insurance Department.

This process, which is completed at the PSI Test Center after your insurance licensing exam, costs $41.45 and will initiate a background check into your past conduct to confirm you meet the state’s insurance agent regulations.

While you can also get fingerprinted at other locations that aren’t PSI sites, such as Law Enforcement Centers, we don’t recommend doing so as you’ll be responsible for making the right payment and sending your fingerprinting card to the state.

Instead, if you opt to have your fingerprints taken at a PSI test site after your exam, PSI will mail all of the following to the ND Insurance Department on your behalf:

  • The signed consent form
  • Your fingerprint card
  • The BCI fee of $41.45 (made payable to the North Dakota Attorney General)

In return for this, PSI charges an additional filing fee of $29 on top of the fingerprinting processing fee. Alongside your payment of both of these fees, you’ll also be expected to submit a Criminal History Record Check Request form.

Note that this fingerprint requirement won’t apply if you’re renewing an existing license, adding a line of authority, or re-applying for a license within 12 months of it expiring or being canceled.

Note: Any misdemeanors or felonies may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. If you’re worried about this, you can contact the North Dakota Department 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 North Dakota, applications are submitted online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) for a fee of $100 (plus a small transaction charge).

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 a license application to the North Dakota Department 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 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 providing you with your new license number once this review has been completed, so keep an eye out for that!

Note: If you submit your insurance license application by paper or through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR), you’ll be required to pay to print it.

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 North Dakota Insurance License

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

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 North Dakota, you’ll be required to complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years depending on your license type, including a minimum of 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.

North Dakota Insurance Department Contact Information

Mailing Address:
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0320

Phone: (701) 328-2440

Fax: (701) 328-4880

Email: insurance@nd.gov

Website: https://www.nd.gov/ndins

License Search: North Dakota Insurance License Search and Lookup

North Dakota Insurance License FAQ

Will I need to renew my insurance license in North Dakota?

Yes, North Dakota insurance licenses expire every two years and must be renewed by completing 24 credit hours of continuing education and paying a $100 renewal fee. Failing to renew before your license expiration date incurs penalties and may result in your license being canceled.

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

The time it takes to obtain an insurance license in North Dakota varies depending on several factors, including the type of license you want and how long you take to prepare. Once you submit your application to the Department of Insurance, it will typically be processed within three to five weeks. Note that this estimation may vary for business entities.

How much does the North Dakota insurance license cost?

In North Dakota, it costs $100 to submit an insurance licensing application to the Department of Insurance and $41.45 to request a background check (plus $29 if PSI submits your fingerprints for you). However, the total cost of obtaining your North Dakota resident license will also include the cost of your insurance line’s exam as well as your pre-licensing education course — both of which can vary.

Is the North Dakota insurance license exam hard?

The difficulty of the North Dakota 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, check out our North Dakota Insurance License article.

How do I get my insurance license in North Dakota?

After choosing the insurance lines you want and passing the relevant state licensing exam, you’ll need to request a background check and submit a resident or non resident license application to the North Dakota Department of Insurance. While not required, we also recommend our readers to complete pre licensing education as well.

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