Travel Agent License

Written by: Nik Ventouris

Are you interested in a career in the insurance industry? Obtaining a travel agent insurance license is a great way to open doors to new opportunities and specialized markets.

In this detailed Travel Agent License guide, we will cover everything you need to know about acquiring this license, including the qualifications you must meet and the specific steps required in order to get started.

What Is a Travel Agent License

A travel agent license, which falls under the “limited lines” insurance category, is often required for entities that sell, solicit, or negotiate travel insurance. This includes travel agencies, franchisees, or public carriers that arrange transportation or accommodations for travelers.

It’s important to note that the requirement for this license isn’t uniform across all states. While most states require some form of licensing for selling travel-related insurance, this can vary.

For example in some states, the license might be issued to the business entity itself (e.g.,, California, etc), while in others, individual agents may need to be licensed (e.g., Minnesota, etc).

Insurance Types Provided by a Travel Agent License

Under a travel agent license, agents are allowed to offer various types of insurance that address the different risks associated with travel. These include:

  • Coverage for medical expenses due to accidents or health issues occurring during travel
  • Financial protection against the costs that arise from canceling or interrupting a trip due to unforeseen circumstances
  • Reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged personal items during a trip
  • Financial security for beneficiaries in the event of the traveler’s death
  • Coverage for issues related to travel arrangements made through the agency

Note: It should be noted that a “limited lines” license has a specific scope, allowing agents to only solicit insurance directly related to travel, unlike major lines licenses that cover a broader array of insurance products and services.

How to Become a Travel Agent

Now that we’ve covered what a travel agent insurance license is, and how it differs from “standard” insurance lines, we’re going to break down how you can get licensed in four simple steps, regardless of where you’re based.

Having said that, you should remember that this is a general overview of this process — while the following general steps will always apply, the specifics may vary depending on the state in question.

Step 1: Complete Your Pre-licensing Education

In many states, travel agents are required to complete pre-licensing education — which is focused on travel-related insurance products and regulations — before they can obtain a travel agent license.

This is done in order to ensure that travel agents understand the specific needs of travelers as well as the legal aspects of travel insurance.

Note: In addition to pre-licensing education, some states like California require travel insurance agents to obtain a ‘Notice of Appointment’ from an authorized insurer’s officer or managing agent as part of the official registration process.

Step 2: Pass Your State’s Travel Agent Exam

The next essential step to becoming a licensed travel agent can involve passing your state’s travel agent exam — though this isn’t applicable in all states.

This exam is generally more focused and concise than broader state insurance exams, often consisting of 50 to 100 questions and lasting about one to one and a half hours. Unlike other insurance exams that may have multiple sections, the travel agent exam typically assesses:

  • The common rules and regulations applying to all insurance lines in your state
  • Specific rules and regulations pertinent to travel insurance in your state

To pass, you will usually need to achieve a minimum score of 70%, though some states may employ a scaled scoring system with varying criteria.

Once you pass, it’s important to promptly continue with the licensing process; this is because in some states (like New Jersey) exam scores can expire after a certain period — potentially requiring you to retake the exam and reapply for your license if there are delays.

Note: For more information on state specific insurance licensing regulations, you can have a look at our Insurance License Exam guide.

Step 3: Complete a Fingerprint Background Check (If Applicable)

While a few states, such as Indiana and Illinois, may not require this step, in most cases you’ll need to submit a full set of fingerprints and allow for comprehensive state and federal background checks in order to be eligible for a travel agent license.

This process is typically conducted by a state-approved fingerprinting vendor, such as Fieldprint or IdentoGO.

After the fingerprinting process is completed, the vendor will forward a detailed report to your state’s Department of Insurance; the Department will then assess this report and determine whether you should be eligible for obtaining a license.

It should be noted that the cost of fingerprinting can vary significantly depending on several factors, including location and the service provider. However, as a point of reference, it is usually under $50.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Once you’ve met all other licensing requirements, the next step you will need to take is to submit your application for a limited lines travel agent license in the state you plan to be based in.

This application is usually filed through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR), although in some states, you might also have the option to use Sircon.

Regardless of how you choose to submit it, you’ll usually need to pay a filing fee — typically around $100, although this amount can vary from state to state.

After your application is submitted, you should receive a response from your state’s Department of Insurance via email relatively soon which will include your new National Producer Number (NPN).

The processing time for your application can vary widely depending on which state you are applying in, but it usually ranges from a few business days to a few weeks.

Note: While this step is listed last in our guide — reflecting the usual process in most states — it’s important to be aware that in some states, like Florida and Michigan, applications may need to be submitted much earlier on.

Travel Agent License FAQ

What types of insurance can I sell with a travel agent license?

With a travel agent insurance license, you can solicit insurance that’s specifically related to travel, including coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellations or interruptions, lost or damaged personal items, and travel arrangement issues.

Is an exam required to obtain a travel agent license?

Not all states require an exam for a travel agent license. Having said that, where required, the exam typically focuses on travel insurance regulations and general insurance principles in your state. Interested in finding out more? Check out our Travel Agent License guide.

How long does it take to receive a travel agent license?

The time it takes for your travel agent insurance license to be issued varies by state but generally ranges from a few business days to a few weeks (after you submit your application and complete all necessary steps correctly). For more information, you can have a look at our state-specific How to Get an Insurance License guide.

How much can you make selling travel insurance?

Earnings from selling travel insurance vary widely based on factors like location, the scale of your travel business, and the breadth of your client base. Having said that, with the right approach and client base, selling travel insurance can be a lucrative part of a travel agent’s business.

How can a travel advisor save money in the travel industry?

A seasoned travel advisor can save money by leveraging industry knowledge to access discounts, promotional offers, and exclusive deals. These savings can be passed on to clients, which increases your business’s competitive advantage and client loyalty.

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