October 28, 2021

How to Get a Life Insurance License in Ohio

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

    Getting your Ohio 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 Ohio.

    The Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) 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.

    These steps will take a few weeks to complete so we recommend you bookmark this page so you can use it as a reference throughout the process.



    How To Get Your Ohio Life Insurance License – Quick Version

    1. Complete an Ohio Insurance Prelicense Course (ExamFX – $189+)
    2. Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check (Ohio Attorney General Webcheck Portal – $72.25)
    3. Take the Ohio Life Insurance Licensing Exam (PSI – $42)
    4. Complete an Ohio Life Insurance License Application (National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) – $15 application fee)
    5. Watch for Your Application Results



    Steps To Get an Ohio Life Insurance License

    Obtaining your Ohio 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 Ohio property and casualty (P&C) license as well.


    Step 1: Complete an Ohio Insurance Prelicense Course

    Before you take the Ohio 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 Ohio, 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 pre-license 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.” Prelicense 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.

    Recommended Course

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    Step 2: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check

    After you complete the required pre-license education hours, you must get a fingerprint-based background check from the Ohio Attorney General Webcheck PortalThe fee for fingerprinting services is $72.25 to cover the cost of comparing your prints against criminal history records. 

    Schedule your fingerprinting appointment through any of the vendors listed on the Ohio Attorney General Webcheck Portal.

    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 submit your license application within one year of passing the licensing exam. If you fail to do so, you’ll need to retake the exam.



    Step 3: Take the Ohio Life Insurance Licensing Exam

    After you complete a prep course and the fingerprint-based background check, it’s time to take the Ohio life insurance exam.

    Ohio uses PSI as its official testing service for delivering licensure exams.

    The Ohio life insurance exam outline contains a total of 100 scored questions that covers two sections: general and state-specific knowledge. The general section deals with basic life insurance product knowledge. The state-specific section covers insurance concepts and terms, rules, regulations, and practices specific to Ohio.

    You’ll have 120 minutes to complete the examThe Ohio life insurance exam fee is $42, 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 Ohio life insurance exam, you can schedule a time to retake it as soon as 24 hours after your first attempt. There’s no limit to the number of attempts you can make on the same exam.


    Check out our in-depth insurance exam guide for tips to help you pass on the first attempt.


    Step 4: Complete an Ohio Life Insurance License Application

    Once you pass the life insurance exam, you can apply for your Ohio life insurance license. The application fee is $15, and you must apply online via the NIPR.

    The ODI will issue a life insurance license to individuals who are at least 18 years old and have passed the proper licensing exam. You should submit your completed license application within 12 months of passing the exam.

    To apply for a life insurance license in Ohio, make sure you comply with the insurance licensing requirements as defined under the Ohio Insurance Code and the Ohio Administrative Code.

    Send any questions or supporting documents to licensing@insurance.ohio.gov.


    Step 5: Watch for Your Application Results

    After you complete the previous four steps, the ODI will review your application and background check. It reviews applications in the order it receives them, and this process usually takes seven to 10 business days from the date you submit your application.

    Once the ODI 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 ODI website. There’s no charge to print a license. If you don’t remember your license number, you can find it by using this NIPR tool.



    You’re now ready to get started as a life insurance agent in Ohio.

    Next Steps After Securing Your Ohio Life Insurance License

    Once you complete the above steps and have your Ohio 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 learn more, check out our Securities Licensing guide.



    SIE Exam

    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.


    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 Ohio, by visiting the Sircon website. You may need to submit this letter along with your job applications.



    Complete Continuing Education and Renew Your License

    In Ohio, you must take 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to maintain your license in good standing. Two of those hours must focus on ethics/consumer protection. 

    If you have a non-resident license with good standing in your home state, you don’t need to take CE courses in Ohio. 

    You can’t renew your license until you complete your continuing education hours and pay any outstanding fines.

    In Ohio, 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 90 days before your license expires. Your CE provider will report your successful completion of the course to the ODI. There is no renewal fee, but the late fee is $50.

    Learn how to renew your license with our Ohio insurance license renewal guide.

    Ohio Department of Insurance Contact Information

    Mailing Address:

    Ohio Department of Insurance
    50 West Town Street, Suite 300
    Columbus, OH 43215

    Phone: (614) 644-2665

    Email: licensing@insurance.ohio.gov

    Website: https://www.insurance.ohio.gov/

    License Search: Ohio Insurance License Lookup

    Ohio Life Insurance License FAQ

    How much does it cost to get a life insurance license in Ohio?

    Obtaining a life insurance license in Ohio requires these fees: 



    How long does it take to process a life insurance license application in Ohio?

    This process typically takes seven to 10 business days. You’ll receive an email once the Ohio Department of Insurance reviews your application.



    Can I get a temporary life insurance agent license in Ohio?

    Yes. Ohio provides a 180-day temporary life insurance license. To apply, go to the National Insurance Producer Registration (NIPR) website and pay the appropriate fee upon submission.



    Can I get an emergency life insurance agent license in Ohio?

    No. An emergency license isn’t available for life insurance agents in Ohio.



    Do I need to get my securities license on top of a life insurance license in Ohio?

    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 Ohio?

    With an Ohio 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 Ohio? 

    According to ZipRecruiter, life insurance agents earn an average of $79,730 per year.



    What are the limitations of an Ohio 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 an Ohio 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 Ohio?

    Yes. To cancel your license, submit a completed Individual Agent License Surrender Form to the Ohio Department of Insurance, License Division, 50 W. Town St., 3rd Fl., Suite 300, Columbus, OH 43215.



    How hard is it to get a life insurance license in Ohio?

    The process is quite simple! Follow the steps above and get started today!

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    Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in October 2021.

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