How to Get an Insurance License in Oregon

Written by: Will Bond

Last updated:

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

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

In order to get your Oregon 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 Oregon 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 Oregon:

  • Life
  • Health
  • Property
  • Casualty
  • Surplus Lines
  • Personal Lines
  • Variable Lines
  • Credit
  • Crop
  • Travel
  • Surety
  • Title
  • Managing General Agent
  • Reinsurance Intermediary Broker
  • Reinsurance Intermediary Manager

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 need to obtain a separate license — which you can find more information about in our Oregon Adjuster License overview.

Step 2: Complete an Oregon Pre-Licensing Education Course

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

Keep in mind that not just any course will satisfy this mandatory requirement, and you’ll actually need to complete one with a minimum of 20 hours of pre-licensing training for each line of authority you intend to apply for.

This would mean, for example, that you would need to complete 40 hours of training if you wanted to become a Property and Casualty agent.

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: Your course provider will give you a Certificate of Completion after you finish your course — make sure to hold on to it as you’ll need to bring it with you on the day of your exam.

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

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant Oregon 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 property and casualty insurance agent, you’ll be required to pass the Property and Casualty exam.

In Oregon, all insurance exams are multiple-choice, administered by PSI, and cost either $45 or $55 depending on the line in question.

You can schedule your exam online through the PSI website up to six weeks in advance, so make sure to book early in order to ensure you get your preferred date. Oregon also allows you to take this exam both in-person in a test center or online using remote-proctored testing software, which allows for more flexibility.

To pass this exam, you must obtain a grade of at least 70% overall. However, there is no limit on the number of attempts you need in order to get a passing score.

Note: Since your Certificate of Completion will only be valid for a year following the date it was issued, it’s important to schedule your exam promptly to avoid having to retake your pre-licensing education. For more information, you can have a look at our Oregon 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 to provide the Division of Financial Regulation with a set of your fingerprints. This will initiate a state and national background check into your past conduct and criminal history record to confirm you meet the state’s insurance agent regulations.

You can have your fingerprints taken electronically at one of PSI’s Oregon sites on the day of your insurance exam by paying a $61.25 fee. After this, your prints will be forwarded to the appropriate agents for review — which can take up to four weeks to complete.

Note: Any misdemeanors or felonies may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. If you’re worried about this, you can contact the Oregon 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 Oregon, applications are submitted online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) for a fee of $75 (plus NIPR’s $5.60 filing fee).

Since all lines of authority are contained within the same license, if you intend to apply for another insurance line after submitting your first application, you’ll need to wait until your initial license has been granted before adding these lines to your existing active license.

If you don’t, and instead choose to apply for a second “license” before your first application has been approved, the second one will automatically fail — wasting both your time and money.

To avoid this, you can submit an application for multiple lines of authority in the same application, but will have to have passed a certification exam for each of these lines beforehand.

Step 6: Application Review

And that’s it! After satisfying all the other requirements and submitting a license application to the Oregon 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 14 days — 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!

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 Oregon Insurance License

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

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 Oregon, you’ll be required to complete 24 hours of continuing education within every two-year renewal cycle. Each two-year renewal cycle requires 24 hours of CE credit, which should include at least three hours on professional ethics, three hours on Oregon statutes and administrative rules, and no more than four hours on approved agency management.

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

Oregon Division of Financial Regulation Contact Information

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 14480
Salem, OR 97309-0405

Physical Address:
350 Winter Street NE, Room 410-3
Salem, OR 97301-3883

Phone: (503) 947-7981

Fax: (503) 378-4351

Email: web.insagent@oregon.gov

Website: https://dfr.oregon.gov/business/licensing/insurance/Pages/producer-licensing.aspx

License Search: Oregon Insurance License Search and Lookup

Oregon Insurance License FAQ

Will I need to renew my insurance license in Oregon?

Yes, Oregon insurance licenses expire every two years and must be renewed by the last day of your renewal month by completing 24 credit hours of continuing education and paying a $45 renewal fee. Of these 24 credit hours of continuing education, at least three hours must be dedicated to professional ethics and another three hours to Oregon statutes and administrative rules.

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

The time it takes to obtain an insurance license in Oregon varies depending on several factors, including the type of license you want (e.g., life settlement broker or pharmaceutical sales representative), the preparation course you select, and how many attempts you need at the exam. Once you submit your application to the Department of Insurance, it will typically be processed within one to two weeks.

How much does the Oregon insurance license cost?

In Oregon, it costs $75 to submit an insurance licensing application through NIPR (plus a $5.60 filing fee) and $61.25 to request a background check. However, the total cost of obtaining your insurance license will also include the cost of the insurance exam for your insurance line as well as your pre-licensing education course — both of which can vary.

Is the Oregon insurance license exam hard?

The difficulty of the Oregon 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 Oregon Insurance License article.

How do I get my insurance license in Oregon?

There are five main steps you’ll need to complete to obtain an insurance producer license in Oregon. After choosing the insurance lines you want and completing a pre-licensing education course, you’ll need to pass the relevant state licensing exam, request a background check, and submit an application to the Oregon Insurance Division online through NIPR.

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