How to Become an Insurance Agent in Washington DC

Written by: Ethan Peyton

Cartoon woman with umbrella pointing to a Washington DC insurance license

    Getting your Washington DC insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in Washington DC. Whether you’re interested in selling property and casualty insurance, life insurance, health insurance, or any combination of those lines of authority, this article has the information you need to get started.

    The Washington District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities & Banking has a 6-step process on how to become an insurance agent in Washington DC. We’ll walk you through step-by-step; from the license application to insurance test prep, to the Washington DC insurance exam, and beyond.

    This guide has everything you need to know to get your DC insurance license quickly and easily.


    How to Get Your Washington DC Insurance License

    Getting your insurance license in Washington DC is easy! Just follow our step-by-step guide. Be sure to bookmark this page so that you can visit it again throughout this process.

    Step 1. Which Insurance Licenses Do You Need?

    The first step to getting your insurance license is choosing which licenses you need. The most common licenses new insurance agents get are the property & casualty license (P&C)life and health insurance license (L&H).

    The types of insurance products and policies you’ll be selling will determine which licenses you need. Here are some examples of the types of policies you can market with each license:

    Most insurance agents and producers choose to get both P&C and L&H licenses, but if you plan on specializing in only one category then you don’t need every license.

    Insurance adjusters require a separate license. You can find more information on becoming an insurance adjuster here: Washington DC Insurance Adjuster License


    If you plan on specializing as a life insurance agent, then you may also need to hold a certain FINRA securities license.


    Step 2. Washington DC Insurance Pre-Exam Education

    After you’ve determined which licenses you need, it’s time to begin studying for the Washington DC insurance exams.

    Washington DC does not require you to take a certain amount of pre-license credits before testing. This means that studying for your exam is 100% up to you.

    Most folks choose to take an insurance pre-license course online. These courses are created specifically to give you the skills you need to pass the test. Others purchase books or other self-study tools to prepare themselves.

    It’s wise to take a week or so to dedicate to your study of this exam. If you don’t feel as though you’re a strong test taker, take a little longer, but don’t let it drag out for long. We want you to pass your test the first time you take it, and we know that you can do it.

    Recommended Course

    For Washington DC insurance pre-license education courses and exam prep, StateRequirement recommends:
    4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company


    Step 3. Washington DC Insurance License Exam

    The next step after completing all of your pre-license coursework or self-study is to take the insurance exam. You will take one exam per line of insurance you wish to carry. Life, Accident & Health, Property, and Casualty are four separate lines in Washington DC, so you will take four exams if you wish to attain all of these lines of authority: Property, Casualty, Life, Accident, Health.

    This is a proctored test, which means that you will be in a controlled environment with a person watching over you. For people who haven’t tested in a situation like this should be aware of this fact, and work on taming their nerves prior to sitting for the exam.

    The fee for each attempt of the exams is $75. When you show up you must have a photo ID any other documents that the testing facility has asked you to bring.

    • The Life Insurance test consists of eighty (80) questions. The test is broken down into two (2) sections: General Knowledge and District of Columbia Specific.
    • The Accident & Health Insurance test consists of seventy-five (75) questions. The test is broken down into two (2) sections: General Knowledge and District of Columbia Specific.
    • The Property Insurance test consists of seventy-five (75) questions. The test is broken down into two (2) sections: General Knowledge and District of Columbia Specific.
    • The Casualty Insurance test consists of eighty (80) questions. The test is broken down into two (2) sections: General Knowledge and District of Columbia Specific.

    Pearson VUE offers a copy of the Washington DC Insurance License Exam Outlines.

    The passing score is 70%. To explain scoring, we will quote the Pearson VUE Washington DC Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook:

    Score Reporting

    When candidates complete the examination, they will receive a score report marked “pass” or “fail”. Candidates who pass the examination will receive a score report that includes information on how to apply for a license. Candidates who fail the examination will receive a score report that includes a numeric score and diagnostic information relating to the general portion of the examination, as well as information about reexamination. Reservations for reexamination are not made at the test center, and candidates must wait 24 hours before
    making one.

    Score Explanation

    The passing score for the examination is determined by the District of Columbia Department of Insurance and Securities Regulation. Through standardization and control, Pearson VUE ensures that no individual has an unfair disadvantage or advantage because of a particular examination format.

    Check out our Insurance Exam Guide. It’s extremely in-depth, and will hopefully help you pass the first time.

    Looking for a guide to passing the insurance exam in Washington DC? Check out our Washington DC Insurance License Exam article.

    Insurance license tests are intentionally difficult, but not impossible by any means. You should study to the point of comfortability with the information before you attempt the test. Failing the exam isn’t the end of the world, but keep in mind that you will need to pay the fee each time you attempt the test.


    StateRequirement recommends that you study for one exam at a time, then after passing, starting on your next line. The exams are difficult enough on their own without confusing information from one line to another. Check out our review of the Kaplan Insurance Course.

    You may register to take your exams and find more information on the Pearson VUE District of Columbia Insurance Exam Page. When contacting Pearson VUE about the exams, be sure to also ask them about fingerprinting, as it the next step in the licensing process.

    Exam results are valid for one (1) year.


    Step 4. Washington DC Insurance License Application

    After you have completed your exams, the next step is to apply for your license. If you have more than one line of authority that you have passed the exam for, be sure to apply for all of those lines.

    The fee for an online application is $100 per line, plus a $5.60 NIPR fee.

    Apply for your license online on the NIPR Washington DC Insurance page.


    Step 5. Fingerprinting and Background Check

    The District of Columbia requires that all insurance license applications provide fingerprints prior to licensing. Giving your fingerprints will initiate a background check. If you have any prior misdemeanors or felonies, this may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. For more information on this topic, call the Washington DC Department of Insurance at (202) 727-8000 or email the License Department.

    The fee for fingerprint services is $31.50. To set up a fingerprinting appointment, go to the Fieldprint website or call 877-614-4364. At your fingerprinting appointment, you’ll receive a receipt. Don’t throw it away! Keep the original receipt for your records.

    After you turn in your application the folks at the licensing department will send you an email with details on how the fingerprinting process will begin. You will schedule an appointment with the DC Police to have your fingerprints taken.


    Step 6. Application Review

    Once you have submitted your application and have filled all the other requirements, your license application will be reviewed by the state. Your background check will also be reviewed.

    If everything is to acceptable standards your license should be issued quickly. If there are any items from your background check that need to be reviewed, it may slow down the process of issuance. If this is the case, the state may contact you to provide context to the issues that they have run into.

    Once the review has been completed, you should receive an email from the Washington DC Department of Insurance regarding the status of your license. This process normally takes between 3-4 weeks.

    To check and see if your license has been issued, you may look yourself up in the State Based Systems License Look-Up System.



    You’ve done the work, put in the time and effort, and now hold the key to your own success!  We’re proud of you. Take five (5) minutes and celebrate.

    After Getting Your Washington DC Insurance License

    Once you’ve passed your exams and completed the licensing application, you are now a licensed insurance agent in Washington DC. A common question we hear is, “I have my insurance license, now what?” Here are a few things you can do or need to know:

    Washington District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities & Banking Contact Information

    Mailing Address:
    1050 First Street, Northeast, 801
    Washington, District of Columbia 20002

    Phone: (202) 727-8000

    Fax: (202) 671-0650



    License Search: Washington DC Insurance License Search and Lookup


    Washington DC Insurance License FAQ

    How long is the insurance license period in Washington DC?

    Learn how to get an insurance license renewal here: Washington DC Insurance License Renewal


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

    2-8 weeks. The bulk of the time is spent studying for your Washington DC insurance exam. Some people study for as little as one week and feel comfortable taking the exam. We recommend you take whatever amount of time you need to feel comfortable with the material. Check out our guide: How to Pass the Insurance Exam


    How much does the Washington DC insurance license cost?

    The total cost for your insurance course, application, and exam will be about $375. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, add $75 for each subsequent attempt.


    How do I get a life insurance license in Washington DC?

    Follow the steps above. The licensing process is the same for all insurance agent and producer licenses.


    How do I get a property and casualty license in Washington DC?

    Follow the steps above. The licensing process is the same for all insurance agent and producer licenses.


    Do I need business insurance in Washington DC?

    If you are operating a business based in Washington DC, you probably need Washington DC business insurance to protect your assets and operate safely.

    Ready for more?

    Start Studying

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    Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in September 2022.

    Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. StateRequirement is not affiliated with any state, government, or licensing body. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance.

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