How to Get an Insurance License in Virginia

Written by: Will Bond

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How to Get an Insurance License in Virginia

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

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

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

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 Virginia:

  • Life & Annuities
  • Health
  • Variable Contracts
  • Property & Casualty
  • Personal Lines
  • Title
  • Life & Health (Limited Lines)
  • Property & Casualty (Limited Lines)
  • Credit (Limited Lines)
  • Motor Vehicle Rental Contract (Limited Lines)

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 insurance 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 likely benefit from obtaining a separate DHS license — which you can find more information about in our Virginia Adjuster License overview.

Step 2: Complete a Virginia Pre-Licensing Education Course

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

Now, it’s important to note that — unlike many other states — most aspiring insurance agents in Virginia will not be required 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.

The only exception to this is if you’re applying for a resident producer Title license, which requires a 16-hour pre-licensing study course to be completed.

However, even where it’s not required, we recommend taking one of these courses as they can go a long way in helping you pass your exam 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 Virginia Insurance License Exam(s)

After completing your pre-licensing education course, you will need to take (and pass) the relevant Virginia 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 will need to pass the Property and Casualty exam — which has 135 scored questions, 10 pre-test questions, and lasts two and half hours.

All Virginia insurance exams are multiple-choice, administered by Prometric, and will cost $35 per attempt. It’s worth noting that you’re able to choose whether to take these exams either in-person or remotely using Prometric’s ProProctor application.

You can schedule your insurance exam electronically through Prometric’s Internet Registration Service. We recommend doing so online as this  is available 24 hours a day, though you can also schedule over the phone by calling (866) 891-6396 if you prefer.

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 your exam, you’ll need to obtain a minimum of 70% overall. Be aware that your passing exam score will only remain valid for 183 calendar days, meaning that you’ll need to submit a fully completed application within this timeframe if you want to avoid having to retake.

If you do fail your insurance producer exam, you’ll need to wait 24 hours before you can make a reservation for re-examination. This waiting period increases to 30 calendar days before you can retake again.

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

Step 4: Submit Your Insurance License Application

With your exams out of the way, you’ll be ready to actually apply for your license. In Virginia, applications are submitted online through Sircon or the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) for a fee of $15.

If done through Sircon, your application will also include a Sircon service fee ($12.50) and a processing fee ($1.45), while those made through NIPR will include an additional filing fee of $5.60 instead.

If you fail to submit all the required documents alongside your application, you’ll need to correct this within 30 calendar days or your application will be canceled.

Applications will all the correct documentation typically take between 15 and 30 days to be processed, though this can reach up to 60 days if an applicant has any misdemeanors or felony convictions on their record.

Note: 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 5: Complete a Fingerprinting And Background Check

The final step you’ll need to complete after submitting your resident insurance agent license application is to get your fingerprints electronically processed and sent off to the Virginia State Police and the FBI.

This process, which is completed in-person at a Fieldprint site location, costs $34.95 and will initiate a state and federal background check into your past conduct to confirm you meet the state’s insurance agent regulations.

To organize a fingerprinting appointment, you’ll need to head over to Fieldprint’s website and use FieldPrint Code “FPVABOICHRR”. After creating an account, you’ll be able to find the closest testing site to you using the “Our Locations” button.

It’s important to be aware that In order to be valid for the sake of this application, you’ll need to make sure the fingerprints are no older than 90 days.

Note: Any misdemeanors or felonies may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. If you’re worried about this, you can contact the Virginia Bureau of Insurance by phone or email for more guidance on this topic.

Step 6: Application Review

And that’s it! After satisfying all the other requirements and submitting a license application to the Virginia Bureau 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 15 and 30 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: You can keep an eye on the status of your application by heading over to the Virginia State Corporation Commission’s License Search.

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 Virginia Insurance License

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

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 Virginia, you’ll be required to complete between 16 and 24 credit hours of continuing education every two years, with a minimum of three hours spent on ethics courses.

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

Virginia State Corporation Commission Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Bureau of Insurance
P.O. Box 1157
Richmond, Virginia 23218-1157

Physical Address:
Bureau of Insurance
3rd floor 1300 E. Main St.
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Phone: (804) 371-9631

Email: AgentLicensing@scc.virginia.gov

Website: https://www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/index.aspx

License Search: Virginia Insurance License Search and Lookup

Virginia Insurance License FAQ

Will I need to renew my insurance license in Virginia?

Yes, Virginia insurance licenses expire every two years and must be renewed by completing either 16 or 24 credit hours of continuing education (including three hours of ethics courses) as well as paying a license renewal fee $10 per line of authority. Failing to renew by your license expiration date may result in you needing to pay a penalty fine or your license being suspended.

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

The time it takes to obtain an insurance license in Virginia varies depending on several factors, including the type of license you want and whether you’ve been convicted of any misdemeanors or felonies. Once you submit your application to the Bureau of Insurance, it will typically be processed within 15 to 30 days.

How much does the Virginia insurance license cost?

In Virginia, it costs $15 (plus processing fees) to submit an insurance licensing application to the Bureau of Insurance and $34.95 to request a criminal history record report through Fieldprint. However, the total cost of obtaining your insurance resident license will also include a $35 Virginia insurance exam fee as well as your pre-licensing education course, which can vary in price depending on the provider you select.

Is the Virginia insurance license exam hard?

The difficulty of the Virginia insurance license exam will ultimately depend on your individual preparation, insurance line (e.g., the property and casualty license), and knowledge of the material. To ensure you pass this exam on your first attempt, check out our Virginia Insurance License article.

How do I get my insurance license in Virginia?

After choosing the insurance lines you want and passing the relevant state licensing exam, you’ll need to request a background check, submit an application to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Bureau of Insurance. While not required in most lines, we also recommend our readers to complete pre-licensing education as well.

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