What is the Series 65 License
Updated: March 23, 2021|
Updated: March 23, 2021|
If you plan to sell securities, you will need to get a license through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The exact type of license that you need to get depends on your role and what securities-based products you would like to sell.
Securities licenses can be grouped into two categories: federal licenses offered through FINRA and state licenses offered through the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). The Series 65 license covers state-based information for investment advisor representatives.
The Series 65 license is a state-specific securities license that allows individuals to market and sell securities and give financial advice related to securities. The Series 65 is a NASAA exam but is administered by FINRA. Preparing for this exam with a study course is often the first step to getting your Series 65 license.
You will also need to pass one of the federal FINRA exams to become fully licensed to market and sell securities. The two most common FINRA licenses for financial services industry professionals are the Series 6 and Series 7.
Also known as the Uniform Investment Adviser Law license or exam, the Series 65 is commonly held by financial advisors and some insurance agents. Once you have a Series 65 license and other required FINRA licenses, you can market and sell securities to your clients as well as give advice about what clients should purchase and their overall financial strategy.
The NASAA Series 65 license is also known as the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination because it allows licensees to provide financial investment advice.
The Series 65 exam covers a variety of investment vehicles and allows license holders to charge a fee for their financial advice and services including securities-based products. The Series 65 was designed to make sure that professionals offering financial advice were licensed to do so and knew about the products and regulations.
Keep in mind that you must have another FINRA license (usually the Series 6 or Series 7) to be able to market and sell securities. The Series 65 alone does not allow you to sell securities.
You will need to get other FINRA licenses to market and sell securities. The most popular securities licenses include:
You do not need to be sponsored by a FINRA-member firm, company, or organization to take the Series 65 exam. Other securities licenses, including the Series 6 and Series 7, do require sponsorship, however.
If you are sponsored, you will submit a Form U-4 through your employer to open your Series 65 exam registration. If you are not sponsored, you will open your exam registration as an individual directly with FINRA. You will receive a 120-day window during which you can take the Series 65 exam.
The Series 65 exam costs $175. If you have a sponsoring firm, they may cover the exam registration and test prep course fees for you.
After you pass the Series 65 test, you will complete your license application with a background check and paying state fees. During the licensing process, you can check the status of your license through FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD). FINRA also updates the active/inactive status of licensees in the CRD when they change employment.
The Series 65 license does not expire, as long as you continue to work for a sponsoring firm in the financial services industry. If you leave your sponsoring employer, you must find a new sponsor within two years to keep your license current.
Series 65 license holders do need to meet continuing education requirements to show that their knowledge and proficiency includes new standards, regulations, and information. Continuing education for securities licenses includes a regulatory element training through FINRA and a firm element program through the employer.
The Series 65 exam includes 130 scored questions and 10 unscored pretest questions. The exam is broken into four main sections of content.
You have three hours to complete the test at an individual testing station. If you are unfamiliar with the format or have never taken a computer-based exam at a testing center before, a Series 65 exam prep course and practice test can help you prepare.
You must answer at least 72% of the Series 65 exam questions correct to pass. This means that you have to answer at least 94 questions, although they can be from any of the sections. The Series 65 exam content outline covers all of the testable information. A test prep course can help you maximize your chances of exam success on the first attempt.
The Series 66 license allows licensees to perform all of the functions covered under the Series 63 and Series 65 exams. At 100 scored questions and $165 per attempt, the Series 66 test is shorter and less expensive than the Series 65. The biggest factor to consider when registering for a securities exam is what your career path may look like after becoming licensed.
If you want to conduct transactions as well as offer financial advice, getting the Series 66 license that covers both can save you time and money. If you only need to perform one of these functions for your position, you may need to get the Series 63 or Series 65 instead.
Once you are ready to begin or advance your career in the financial services industry, getting your securities licenses in an important step. The Series 65 license will allow you to provide valuable financial advice about securities-based products to your clients.
Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated on October 2020.
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