Insurance License California

The world of insurance can be vast and overwhelming, but California offers a beacon of hope for those who want to pursue a career in this industry. To kickstart a rewarding and dynamic career path, one needs to obtain an insurance license in California.

However, the process can be a bit daunting as it involves navigating through a series of exams, regulations, and applications. Fear not, as understanding the nuances of this process is crucial to succeed in the competitive California insurance market. So, let’s dive in and explore the exciting world of California insurance.

Insurance License California

Obtaining an insurance license is a crucial step towards building a career in the insurance industry. It is a testament to an individual’s credibility and trustworthiness, indicating that they have fulfilled the state’s requirements and possess the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in insurance transactions ethically and effectively. California, known for its diverse and thriving insurance market, recognizes the strategic advantage of holding a license, making it not just a legal obligation but a valuable asset for professionals in the field.

Types of Insurance Licenses in California

California offers several types of insurance licenses, each tailored to specific lines of insurance. These include:

  • Life-Only Agent License
  • Accident and Health Agent License
  • Property Broker-Agent License
  • Casualty Broker-Agent License
  • Personal Lines Broker-Agent License
  • Limited Lines Automobile Insurance Agent License
  • Surplus Line Broker License
  • Life Settlement Broker License

How to Get an Insurance License in California

If you’re looking to start a career in the insurance industry in California, obtaining an insurance license is a crucial step. Here’s a guide on how to get an insurance license in California:

Step 1: Determine the Type of Insurance License You Need

There are various types of insurance licenses available in California, each allowing you to sell different insurance products:

  • Life, Accident & Health (L&H) License: For selling life insurance, annuities, and health-related policies.
  • Property & Casualty (P&C) License: For selling insurance related to property (homes, cars) and casualty (liability).
  • Personal Lines License: For selling personal lines of insurance to individuals.
  • Limited Lines License: For selling specific types of insurance like credit or travel.
  • Surplus Lines License: For selling insurance from non-admitted insurers not licensed in California.

Step 2: Complete Pre-Licensing Education

Before taking the licensing exam, you must complete a pre-licensing education course. California requires:

  • 20 hours of general insurance education.
  • 12 hours of ethics and California Insurance Code education1.

Step 3: Pass the California Insurance License Exam

After completing your pre-licensing education, you’ll need to pass the state insurance licensing exam for your specific line of authority.

Step 4: Fingerprinting and Background Check

California requires all insurance license applicants to undergo a fingerprinting and background check to ensure the integrity of the industry.

Step 5: Submit Your Insurance License Application

Once you’ve completed the above steps, you can submit your insurance license application to the California Department of Insurance.

Continuing Education and License Renewal

After obtaining your license, you’ll need to complete continuing education (CE) to keep your knowledge up-to-date and renew your license periodically.

The Application Process

Once the prerequisites are met, aspiring insurance professionals can initiate the application process:

  • Submit Application: Complete and submit the license application through the CDI’s online portal, providing accurate information and supporting documentation.
  • Pay Fees: Pay the required application and examination fees, which vary depending on the license type.
  • Schedule Examination: Upon application approval, schedule the licensing examination through the CDI’s approved vendor.
  • Pass Examination: Successfully pass the examination within the specified timeframe.

Are there any age requirements to get licensed?

When it comes to obtaining an insurance license in California, age requirements play a significant role. Let’s break it down:

Pre-Licensing Education Course:

Before taking the state licensing exam, you’ll need to complete a pre-licensing education course. The California Department of Insurance mandates specific hours for different types of insurance licenses:

  • Ethics and California Insurance Code: 12 hours
  • Life: 20 hours
  • Accident and Health: 20 hours
  • Property: 20 hours
  • Casualty: 20 hours
  • Property and Casualty: 40 hours
  • Personal Lines: 20 hours
  • Adjuster: No pre-licensing education requirement

Note that if you’re applying for more than one license, the 12-hour Ethics and California Insurance Code requirement need not be repeated.

Age Exemptions for Continuing Education:

Agents who have been licensed consecutively for 30 years or more without any disciplinary action and are 70 years of age or older (originally licensed before January 1, 2010) are exempt from the continuing education requirement.

In summary, while there are no specific age restrictions for obtaining an insurance license in California, age does impact the continuing education requirements. Aspiring agents should focus on completing the necessary education and passing the licensing exam to kickstart their rewarding careers in the insurance industry.

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

Obtaining an insurance license in California involves several steps, and the timeline can vary based on individual factors. However, here’s a general overview of the process and estimated timeframes:

Pre-Licensing Education Course:

  • Time Required: Approximately 32 hours.
  • You’ll need to complete a pre-licensing education course, including 20 hours focused on general insurance topics and 12 hours dedicated to ethics training.

Passing the California Insurance License Exam:

  • Time Required: Varies based on your study pace and exam availability.
  • After completing the pre-licensing course, you’ll need to pass the relevant state insurance licensing exam(s). The Department typically takes about 4 weeks to process and approve your license once they receive the required documentation.

Fingerprinting and Background Check:

  • Time Required: A few days to schedule and complete.
  • As part of the licensing process, you’ll undergo a fingerprinting and background check.

Submitting Your Insurance License Application:

  • Time Required: Once all requirements are met, you can submit your application.
  • Upon approval, you’ll receive your insurance license, which allows you to legally operate as an insurance agent in California.

Remember that individual circumstances, study habits, and exam availability can impact the overall timeline. It’s advisable to plan, complete your pre-licensing education promptly, and prepare thoroughly for the licensing exam.

Obtaining your California insurance license within 12 months of passing the exam is essential. Best of luck on your journey to becoming a licensed insurance professional!

Requirements for Licensure

Before applying for an insurance license in California, candidates must fulfill certain prerequisites, including:

  • Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Pre-Licensing Education: Completion of state-approved pre-licensing courses relevant to the desired license type.
  • Experience: A certain amount of supervised professional experience is often required.
  • Background Check: Clearing a criminal background check conducted by the CDI.
  • Examination: Passing the appropriate licensing examination administered by the CDI or a designated third-party vendor.

How much is an insurance license in California?

The cost of obtaining an insurance license in California can vary based on several factors. Let’s break down the process and associated costs:

Pre-Licensing Education Course: Before you can apply for an insurance license, you’ll need to complete a pre-licensing education course. In California, this course consists of 32 hours of training, with 20 hours focused on general insurance topics and 12 hours dedicated to ethics training. The cost of these courses can vary depending on the provider, but it’s essential to invest in quality education to increase your chances of passing the licensing exam.

Licensing Exam Fee: Once you’ve completed the pre-licensing education, you’ll need to pass the relevant California insurance license exam(s). The cost of the exam depends on the number of examinations you take. Additionally, there is a $33 convenience fee for in-person exams. Focusing on one exam at a time is recommended to streamline your preparation.

Application Fee: When you’re ready to apply for your insurance license, there is an application fee. As of now, the registration fee for obtaining an insurance license in California is $503.

License Type: The type of insurance license you choose will also impact the overall cost. Common license types include:

  • Life, Accident & Health (L&H): Allows you to sell life insurance, annuities, health, and disability policies.
  • Property & Casualty (P&C): Enables you to sell auto, home, or business insurance.
  • Personal Lines: Focuses on personal insurance products.
  • Limited Lines: Specializes in specific types of insurance.
  • Surplus Lines: Deals with non-standard or hard-to-place risks.
  • Funeral Insurance: Pertains to funeral-related policies.

Renewal Fees: Keep in mind that insurance licenses need to be renewed periodically. The renewal fees will vary based on the license type and any additional lines you choose to add.


Obtaining an insurance license in California is a crucial milestone for individuals aspiring to thrive in the insurance industry. By understanding the licensure process, fulfilling prerequisites, and embracing post-licensure obligations, professionals can embark on a rewarding journey of protecting clients, managing risks, and contributing to the resilience of California’s insurance landscape. With diligence, continuous learning, and a commitment to ethical practice, licensed professionals can forge a prosperous career path in this dynamic field.

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