Getting your North Carolina life insurance license is the first step toward becoming a life insurance agent. If you want to market and sell life insurance policies, follow this step-by-step guide for obtaining life insurance licensing in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) requires you to complete a five-step process to obtain your life insurance license — from taking the life insurance exam to applying for a license.
How To Get Your North Carolina Life Insurance License – Quick Version
- Complete a North Carolina Insurance Pre-license Course (ExamFX – $189+)
- Complete a North Carolina Life Insurance License Application (National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) – $100 application fee + $5.60 transaction fee)
- Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check (NIPR – $38)
- Take the North Carolina Life Insurance Licensing Exam (Pearson VUE – $45)
- Watch for Your Application Results
Steps To Get a North Carolina Life Insurance License
Obtaining your North Carolina life insurance license isn’t difficult. Just follow these five steps to start your journey toward becoming a life insurance agent. Once you earn this license, check out our guide on how to get your North Carolina property and casualty (P&C) license as well.
Step 1: Complete a North Carolina Insurance Pre-license Course
Before you take the North Carolina life insurance licensing exam, it’s important to make time to acquire the knowledge you’ll need to pass this exam on your first attempt. Completing a pre-license education course will equip you with the necessary information and tools you’ll need to prepare for your exam.
In North Carolina, you must take a 20-hour, pre-license course on life insurance. After completing the course, you’ll need to present a valid photo ID and an original certificate of completion from the approved prelicensing education provider when you arrive to take your exam. Your pre-license course certificate will remain valid for 12 months.
A pre-license education course provides very specific industry knowledge that will be tested during the exam. There is very little information on the test that could be considered “common sense.” Pre-license education courses are self-paced and include study materials like practice exams and flashcards.
Beyond helping you effectively prepare for and pass the life insurance licensing exam on your first try, taking a pre-license education course also will give you a solid understanding of your duties as a life insurance agent.
Step 2: Complete a North Carolina Life Insurance License Application
Once you complete your prelicensing education course, you can apply for your North Carolina life insurance license. The fee for an online application submitted via the NIPR is $50 per line of authority plus a $44 application fee, the $38 fingerprinting fee, and a $5.60 NIPR transaction fee for a total cost of $137.60.
The NCDOI will issue a life insurance license to individuals who are at least 18 years old and have passed the proper licensing exam.
To apply for a life insurance license in North Carolina, make sure you comply with the insurance licensing requirements as defined under the North Carolina Insurance Code and North Carolina Administrative Code.
Send any questions or supporting documents to ASD@ncdoi.gov.
Step 3: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check
After you apply for your North Carolina life insurance license, you must get a fingerprint-based background check packet from the NIPR. Schedule your fingerprinting appointment with any of the approved vendors in this list of North Carolina Electronic Fingerprint Submission Locations. Please read the instructions on this document carefully because some of the locations may not provide your fingerprinting results directly to the NCDOI, which means you’ll have to do so manually. The fee for fingerprinting is $38, which you should have already paid to the NIPR when you submitted your application.
At your fingerprinting appointment, you’ll receive a receipt. Don’t throw it away! Keep the original receipt for your records.
After completing your fingerprint-based background check, you must pass your licensing exam within one year. If you fail to do so, you’ll need to retake the exam.
Step 4: Take the North Carolina Life Insurance Licensing Exam
After you submit your application and complete your fingerprint-based background check, it’s time to take the North Carolina life insurance exam.
North Carolina uses Pearson VUE as its official testing service for delivering licensure exams.
The North Carolina life insurance exam outline contains a total of 55 scored questions that cover five sections:
- Types of Individual Life Insurance
- Policy Provisions, Options, and Other Features
- Other Life Topics
- North Carolina Statutes and Regulations Pertinent to Life
You’ll have 75 minutes to complete the exam. The North Carolina life insurance exam fee is $45, which you must pay at the time of reservation by credit card, debit card, or voucher. The exam is a proctored test, meaning an official proctor will closely monitor you in a controlled environment.
If you happen to fail the North Carolina life insurance exam, you can schedule a time to retake it as soon as 24 hours after your first attempt. A North Carolina Examination Admission Ticket is valid for 90 days or five examination attempts during that 90-day period — whichever comes first.
Tip:Check out our in-depth insurance exam guide for tips to help you pass on the first attempt.
Step 5: Watch for Your Application Results
After you complete the previous four steps, the NCDOI will review your application and background check. It reviews applications in the order it receives them, and this process usually takes two to three business days.
Once the NCDOI finishes reviewing your application, it’ll email you with its decision or ask you to provide more information.
You can print your license from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) State Based Systems (SBS) website. There’s no charge to create an account or print a license. If you don’t remember your license number, you can find it by using the NAIC SBS Lookup tool.
You’re now ready to get started as a life insurance agent in North Carolina.
Next Steps After Securing Your North Carolina Life Insurance License
Once you complete the above steps and have your North Carolina life insurance license, here’s what you should pursue next.
Get Your FINRA Securities Licenses
Individuals planning to market and sell market-based life insurance products also must obtain the proper securities licenses. As a securities license holder, you can offer securities as part of your services. That’ll make you a credible authority in addressing all of your clients’ financial needs.
To obtain these licenses, you’ll first need to take and pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. Professionals in the securities industry are required to take the SIE and a series of examinations administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
The SIE exam ensures every life insurance professional has a basic understanding of securities. While taking the SIE exam isn’t a requirement for all insurance professionals, those who don’t obtain at least one securities license limit their ability to work with clients. With a securities license, you can give your clients the option to invest in securities-related products as part of their life insurance plans.
Tip:To help you start preparing for the SIE exam, check out our full guide on How to Pass the SIE Exam.
Obtaining a license to sell securities also requires sponsorship from a firm, company, or organization regulated by FINRA. The sponsor will pay the testing fees required for your SIE exams and submit your personal information to FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD). The Series 6 and Series 7 licenses require a FINRA exam sponsorship before you can take the exam. The exam for a Series 63 license doesn’t require any sponsoring entity.
Once you get your securities license(s), FINRA will list you as a “registered representative.” By achieving the securities licensee designation, you’ll become a highly sought-after professional and set yourself up for a successful career in the insurance industry.
Series 6, 7, and 63 Licenses
Some of the most common securities licenses for insurance agents include the Series 6, 7, and 63 licenses because they allow licensees to sell almost every type of individual security.
The Series 6 (Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative) Securities License is the primary license sought by insurance sales professionals and financial advisors, allowing them to sell grouped securities related to insurance products.
Series 6 works together with Series 63 because they are the two partner licenses required to sell insurance policies tied to investments. The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) oversees regulation of the Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) license.
The Series 7 license allows you to buy and sell securities (e.g., stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) as part of an investment plan for your clients. To get a Series 7 license, you will first need to register as a new candidate with FINRA and pass the Series 7 exam. The Series 7 exam is commonly known as the General Securities Representative Qualification Exam, but is sometimes referred to as the “Series 7 Top-Off Exam.”
Get a Job in the Insurance Field
Once you earn your license, you can start applying for jobs in the insurance field. With a life insurance license, you can provide advice and recommend insurance products to clients, sell life insurance policies that pay a beneficiary upon an insured person’s death, and sell annuities that pay a set income at retirement.
Find life insurance job postings on our Insurance Jobs Board.
When applying for an insurance-related job, potential employers will request your license number and National Producer Number (NPN). You can request a letter of certification, which proves you have a life insurance license in North Carolina, by contacting NCDOI representative Tamla Dunson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 807-6164. You may need to submit this letter along with your job applications.
Complete Continuing Education and Renew Your License
In North Carolina, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to maintain your license in good standing. Three of those hours must focus on ethics. To find these courses, visit the Sircon website and click on the “Approved Courses Inquiry” option.
If you have a non-resident license with good standing in your home state, you don’t need to take CE courses in North Carolina. To find out if you need to take North Carolina courses, visit the Sircon website and click on the “Continuing Education Transcript Inquiry” option.
You can’t renew your license until you complete your continuing education hours and pay any outstanding fines.
In North Carolina, you also must renew and manage your life insurance license every two years. To avoid delays in renewing your license, you must complete the required CE hours at least 60 days before your license expires. Your CE provider will report your successful completion of the course to the NCDOI. The renewal fee is $84.
North Carolina Department of Insurance Contact Information
North Carolina Department of Insurance
1201 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1201
Phone: (919) 807-6800
License Search: North Carolina Insurance License Lookup
North Carolina Life Insurance License FAQ
How much does it cost to get a life insurance license in North Carolina?
Obtaining a life insurance license in North Carolina requires these fees:
- Insurance Pre-license Education Course Fee: $189+ via ExamFX
- Application Fee: $100 + $5.60 transaction fee via the NIPR
- Fingerprint-Based Background Check Fee: $38 via the NIPR (paid along with the application fee)
- Exam Fee: $45 via Pearson VUE
How long does it take to process a life insurance license application in North Carolina?
This process typically takes two to three business days. You’ll receive an email once the NCDOI finishes reviewing your application.
Can I get a temporary life insurance agent license in North Carolina?
No. North Carolina doesn’t provide a temporary life insurance license.
Can I get an emergency life insurance agent license in North Carolina?
No. An emergency license isn’t available for life insurance agents in North Carolina.
Do I need to get my securities license on top of a life insurance license in North Carolina?
Probably. While you can sell certain basic life insurance products with just a life insurance license, a securities license removes the limits on what you can sell and puts you in a much better career position. As a securities license holder, you can provide your clients with products tied to the securities market as part of their retirement and life insurance plans. But, you’ll need FINRA accreditation to obtain your securities license.
What can I sell with a life insurance license in North Carolina?
With a North Carolina life insurance license, you can sell life insurance policies that pay a designated beneficiary when the insured person dies. You also can sell annuities that pay a set income at retirement.
How much can you make with a life insurance license in North Carolina?
According to ZipRecruiter, life insurance agents earn an average of $79,730 per year.
What are the limitations of a North Carolina life insurance license?
Unless you have multiple licenses to sell various types of insurance products (e.g., the combined life and health insurance license), having a North Carolina life insurance license only qualifies you to sell life insurance policies as well as retirement plans and annuities. You can’t sell other types of insurance. A securities license on top of your life insurance license removes that limitation and enables you to offer securities, including stocks and bonds.
Can I cancel my life insurance license in North Carolina?
Yes. Return your license along with a signed, written request to cancel it to the NCDOI at the below address. If you can’t find your license, simply submit a signed statement requesting the cancellation of your North Carolina life insurance license. The statement must include your name, state, National Producer Number (NPN), and the license you want to cancel. The NCDOI’s Agent Services Division accepts third-party license cancellations for company-sponsored licenses only.
North Carolina Department of Insurance
Agent Services Division
1204 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1204
How hard is it to get a life insurance license in North Carolina?
The process is quite simple! Follow the steps above and get started today!
Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in October 2021.
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