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Division Director

Greg Thomas


Insurance Agent and Agency Services
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0318
Bureau of Licensing
(850) 413-3137
Bureau of Investigation
(850) 413-3136
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Agent and Adjuster General Licensing and Compliance
  1. What license do I need?
    Use our online tutorial to help you be sure you select the correct license.
  2. What is the definition of transacting insurance?
    Pursuant to section 624.10, Florida Statutes, transacting with respect to insurance includes any of the following:
    1. Solicitation or inducement
    2. Preliminary negotiations
    3. Effectuation of a contract of insurance
    4. Transaction of matters subsequent to effectuation of a contract of insurance and arising out of it
  3. What are the fees for obtaining a license?
    It depends on the type of license. Click here for the Fees list.
  4. I'm a member or veteran of the US Armed Forces or their spouse. Am I exempted from the license application filing fee?
    Yes. Members of the United States Armed Forces, their spouses, and veterans who have retired within 24 months are exempted from the application filing fee for licenses. You will need to send a copy of your DD Form 214 to AgentLicensing@MyFloridaCFO.com and request a refund of the application filing fee.
  5. What payment methods are there?

    Credit Cards:
    We currently accept credit cards from:
    • VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover for applications for licensure;
    • MasterCard, American Express, and Discover for appointments; and
    • VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover for education course providers.

    Note: When entering the credit card information, the addresses must match the cardholder’s billing address. An additional convenience fee is charged by the credit card companies. Convenience fees are $2.45 for applications for licensure and education course providers, and 3% of the transaction for appointments.

    eCheck: We only accept eCheck payments for appointments.
  6. How does eCheck work?
    eCheck works similar to paper checks and does not incur a convenience fee. A check’s routing and account number are entered, then withdrawn much like using an account’s debit card.

    Note: Some financial institutions require an ACH ID number before allowing an eCheck transaction. If your financial institution requires an ACH ID number, or if you are unsure, you must contact your financial institution prior to selecting the eCheck payment method and provide the following ACH ID numbers:

    ACH ID numbers: W596001874 and Z596001874

    After providing the ACH ID numbers to your financial institution you will not be required to provide them for future payments made with us. Failure to provide the required ACH ID numbers may result in rejection of payment by your financial institution. If your payment is rejected you will be assessed a service fee of 5% of the face value of the amount, with a minimum of $15, not to exceed $150.
  7. Do all licenses require a prelicensing course, prior to taking the examination or applying for a license?
    Not all licenses require a prelicensing course. Click here for a list of licenses and their requirement.
  8. How do I find a prelicensing course?
    Click here to search for Prelicensing courses.
  9. I submitted paperwork the last time I applied. Do I need to resubmit the same paperwork?
    Any documentation sent to the department is retained in the applicant's file. In some cases the documents may need to be resubmitted or new documents may be required.
  10. Can I apply for a license if I have any prior criminal history?
    The department looks at all background information on a case-by-case basis. Please click here for more specific guidance.
  11. How do I get consent under 18 U.S.C. 1033 from Florida to conduct insurance business?
    The Florida Department of Financial Services does not issue consents under 18 U.S.C. 1033. Please click here for more information about criminal histories and 1033 consents/waivers.
  12. I've been approved for an examination but now I have a designation. What do I need to do?
    You will need to send the designation to the department. If your authorization for examination has not expired, you will need to call the department to get the application corrected for approval. If the authorization for examination has expired, you will need to reapply for the license.
  13. Do all licenses need appointments?
    Section 626.112, Florida Statutes, states that no person may be, act as, or advertise or hold himself or herself out to be an insurance agent, insurance adjuster, customer representative, service representative, or managing general agent unless he or she is currently licensed by the department and appointed by an appropriate appointing entity or person.
    All licenses require an appointment with the exception of insurance agency licenses and registrations.
  14. I've submitted fingerprints to the department for another license. Do I need to do it again?
    Fingerprint results are good for 12 months.
  15. I've submitted fingerprints to another department (outside the Division of Agent & Agency Services). Are those fingerprints acceptable?
    No. We can not accept fingerprints outside of the Division of Agent and Agency Services.
  16. I have a bad credit score. Will this prevent me from getting a license?
    No. The department does not look at credit scores.
  17. If my license application is denied and I request a hearing, what do I need to know if I'm going represent myself (pro se)?
    Detailed information can be found on the Compliance portion of this website, which particularly addresses informal hearings versus formal hearings.
  18. How do I print my official license or obtain proof of my licensure?
    Once you've met all license qualifications, the department will send your approval by email. You may then go to your MyProfile account and print your license. You will not be able to print your license until the department has received a passing result from the testing vendor. Exception: Bail bond agents will be mailed their license card in the mail due to specific legal requirements.
  19. Do I have to renew my Florida license?
    No. Florida agent and adjuster licenses are perpetual, BUT will expire if it goes for more than 48 months without an appointment. *Note: Insurance agencies must renew their license every 3 years.
  20. How is my Florida license perpetual?
    Florida agent and adjuster licenses are perpetual, which means there is no license renewal. However, perpetual license statuses only apply to licenses that either require and hold a current appointment or do not require an appointment. Failure to complete continuing education requirements may result in cancellation of an appointment that could lead to termination of the license.
  21. When does my license expire?
    Licenses will expire if more than 48 months elapse without an appointment. Failure to complete continuing education may result in cancellation of appointment(s).
  22. What do I have to do to get my license back if it expired?
    You must re-qualify as a first-time applicant.
  23. How do I check the status of my application?
    The status of applications and licenses can be checked by logging in to MyProfile.
  24. How do I change or update my address?
    You must update and/or verify your addresses and other information through your MyProfile account. If you have another license, such as an agency license, you will need to verify and update the addresses on file for that license via its separate MyProfile account.

    *NOTE: Most licensees have 30 days from the change in your information, to notify the Department or be subject to administrative action (s. 626.551, F.S.); however, bail bond agents have 10 working days to do so (s. 648.421, F.S.).
  25. I need to update my name, date of birth, or social security number. How do I update that on my license or with the Department?
    You must mail or email the request to change your name, date of birth, or social security number. You must attach LEGIBLE supporting documentation (marriage certificate, articles of incorporation, driver's license, social security card, etc.) to one of the locations below.

    Florida Department of Financial Services
    Bureau of Agent and Agency Licensing
    200 E. Gaines Street, Room 419
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0319

    Email: AgentLicensing@MyFloridaCFO.com

    Please allow 7 - 10 business days after receipt for processing. You will receive an email from "FloridaAgentLicensing@MyFloridaCFO.com" once your file has been updated. After your name has been updated, you may download a copy of your license by logging in to your MyProfile account. Bail bond agents must apply for a duplicate license in their MyProfile account and pay a $5 fee.
  26. What is an appointment?
    A formal work authorization made by an insurance company to the State. It authorizes the licensee to write business for that insurance company or conduct business for that employer. Please see the eAppoint and Appointments section on this page for more detailed information.
  27. What is the continuing education requirement? When is it due?
    The number of continuing education hours required depend on the license type you hold and number of years you've held it. Continuing education is due every 2 years, for most licenses types. You can check your continuing education requirement by logging in to MyProfile. Contact the department (850-413-3137) if you have questions regarding your requirement.
  28. Where can I find the forms?
    All forms can be found throughout this website or by clicking here.
  29. To sell viaticals, what do I need to do?
    First, you must hold a life license. Then you must self appoint yourself as a viatical settlement broker through your MyProfile account. Please review our eAppoint and Appointments FAQs further down on this page for step-by-step assistance.
  30. Is the examination available in Spanish?
    Yes, some exams are available in Spanish. The exams available in Spanish are General Lines Agent [2-20], Health Agent [2-40], Health and Life and Annuity (incl. Variable Contracts) Agent [2-15], and Life and Annuity (incl. Variable Contracts) [2-14].
  31. If I'm licensed in another state, can I use my license in Florida?
    No. You are required to have a license with Florida.
  32. I am licensed as a non-resident of Florida. Do I need county appointments?
    You only need county appointments if you are physically coming to Florida to conduct business. The insurer must appoint you for every county where you will be transacting insurance, while in Florida. Contact the insurer for this.
  33. Can a life agent be an insurance agent and a part-time funeral director?
    No. Per Florida Statute 626.785, the agent can not be an insurance agent and a funeral director unless the only product being sold is for pre-need.

    However, per Florida Statute 626.785(1)(d), a life insurance agent that is not affiliated with a funeral establishment may obtain a preneed license with the Bureau of Funeral and Cemetery and may contract with a funeral establishment to sell a preneed contract, limited policies of insurance covering the expense of final disposition or burial of an insured in an amount not to exceed $12,500.
  34. Can an agent pay a fee to an unlicensed person for referrals of potential clients?
    Yes. As long as it complies with Florida Statute 626.112(8) which states "No insurance agent, insurance agency, or other person licensed under the Insurance Code may pay any fee or other consideration to an unlicensed person other than an insurance agency for the referral of prospective purchasers to an insurance agent which is in any way dependent upon whether the referral results in the purchase of an insurance product."

    To summarize, it is OK to pay an unlicensed person for every referral. If you only pay that unlicensed person for referrals that result in the sale of an insurance product, it violates the law.

    Read a Declaratory Statement from the Department regarding this subject.
  35. If a credit card company charges a fee for payments of policies/premiums, can the agency charge the consumer that fee for reimbursement?
    No. Pursuant to Section 501.0117, F.S., a seller in a sales transaction may not impose a surcharge on the buyer for electing to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means, if the seller accepts payment by credit card.
  36. Can an agent/agency charge a fee in addition to commission for servicing accounts?
    In specific circumstances, yes. Florida Statute 627.7295(5) permits an agent to charge a $10 per policy fee for PIP/PD policies only. The statute reads "A licensed general lines agent may charge a per-policy fee not to exceed $10 to cover the administrative costs of the agent associated with selling the motor vehicle insurance policy if the policy covers only personal injury protection coverage as provided by s. 627.736 and property damage liability coverage as provided by s. 627.7275 and if no other insurance is sold or issued in conjunction with or collateral to the policy. The fee is not considered part of the premium."
    Florida Statute 626.593 applies to group health insurance coverage and states as follows: "No person licensed as an insurance agent may receive any fee or commission or any other thing of value in addition to the rates filed pursuant to chapter 627 for examining any group health insurance or any group health benefit plan for the purpose of giving or offering advice, counsel, recommendation, or information in respect to terms, conditions, benefits, coverage, or premium of any such policy or contract unless such compensation is based upon a written contract signed by the party to be charged and specifying or clearly defining the amount or extent of such compensation and informing the party to be charged that any commission received from an insurer will be rebated to the party in accordance with subsection (3). In addition, all compensation to be paid to the insurance agent must be disclosed in the contract." Any other charge would be considered illegal dealings in premiums and would be a violation of Florida Statute 626.9541(1)(o) and 627.403.

    A consulting fee CAN NOT be charged where the fee is part of the consideration for insurance coverage, as that fee would be considered additional premium. HOWEVER, a consulting fee can be charged for services not related to placing the coverage if there is a SEPARATE consulting contract between the agent and the insured. If a consulting fee is charged, the insured must fully understand that he is entering into a separate contract and paying a separate consideration in advance of the performance or consulting service. The services rendered must be other than those normally provided by an insurance agent in connection with the solicitation or effectuation of the insurance coverage.
  37. What is an unaffiliated insurance agent?
    An "unaffiliated insurance agent" means a licensed insurance agent, except a limited lines agent, who is self-appointed and who practices as an independent consultant in the business of analyzing or abstracting insurance policies, providing insurance advice or counseling, or making specific recommendations or comparisons of insurance products for a fee established in advance by written contract signed by the parties. An unaffiliated insurance agent may not be affiliated with an insurer, insurer-appointed insurance agent, or insurance agency contracted with or employing insurer-appointed insurance agents. [See subsection 626.015(18), F.S.]
  38. How does a licensed agent become an unaffiliated insurance agent?
    An agent who appoints his or her license as an unaffiliated insurance agent may not hold an appointment from an insurer for any license he or she holds; transact, solicit, or service an insurance contract on behalf of an insurer; interfere with commissions received or to be received by an insurer-appointed insurance agent or an insurance agency contracted with or employing insurer-appointed insurance agents; or receive compensation or any other thing of value from an insurer, an insurer-appointed insurance agent, or an insurance agency contracted with or employing insurer-appointed insurance agents for any transaction or referral occurring after the date of appointment as an unaffiliated insurance agent. An unaffiliated insurance agent may continue to receive commissions on sales that occurred before the date of appointment as an unaffiliated insurance agent if the receipt of such commissions is disclosed when making recommendations or evaluating products for a client that involve products of the entity from which the commissions are received. [See subsection 626.311(6), F.S.]
  39. How long must I maintain records?
    Florida Statute 626.561(2) states "The licensee shall keep and make available to the department or office books, accounts, and records as will enable the department or office to determine whether such licensee is complying with the provisions of this code. Every licensee shall preserve books, accounts, and records pertaining to a premium payment for at least 3 years after payment; provided, however, the preservation of records by computer or photographic reproductions or records in photographic form shall constitute compliance with this requirement." All other records shall be maintained in accordance with Florida Statute 626.748 which states: "Every agent transacting any insurance policy must maintain in his or her office, or have readily accessible by electronic or photographic means, such records of policies transacted by him or her as to enable the policyholders and department to obtain all necessary information, including daily reports, applications, change endorsements, or documents signed or initialed by the insured concerning such policies." The 3-year requirement shall not apply to insurance binders when no policy is ultimately issued and no premium is collected.

    Viatical settlement brokers must maintain records in accordance with Florida Statute 626.9922(2), which states "All accounts, books and records, documents, files, contracts, and other information relating to all transactions of viatical settlement contracts, life expectancies, or viatical settlement purchase agreements made before July 1, 2005, must be maintained by the licensee for a period of at least 3 years after the death of the insured and must be available to the office or department for inspection during reasonable business hours."
Agency Licensing, Registration, and Compliance
  1. I'm opening an insurance agency. Do you have any tips to help me out?
    Click here for guidance on opening an insurance agency.
  2. What license do I need?
    Use our online tutorial to help you be sure you select the correct license.
  3. Where is the application for an agency license found?
    The agency application can be found by logging in to the agency's account in MyProfile. If an account has not yet been created for the agency, they will need to create one first in MyProfile.
  4. What is the cost of an agency license?
    There are no application fees for an agency license. However, fingerprints may be required for some individuals and require a processing fee.
  5. What is the difference between agency registration and agency licensure?
    Registration - A registration is offered to agencies that qualify as one of the following:

    • An incorporated agency whose voting shares are traded on a securities exchange
    • An agency whose primary function is offering insurance as a service or member benefit to members of a nonprofit organization
    • An agency subject to supervision and inspection as a branch office under the rules of the NASD
    A registration is perpetual (not renewed). A registered agency is not subject to compulsory or discretionary refusal, suspension, or revocation as described in Florida Statutes 626.6115 and 626.6215. However, if any of the principals of the registered agency are found to have violated any part of the insurance code, the agency must obtain an agency license.

    Licensure - A license is required for agencies that do not meet the criteria listed above for registration. A licensed agency is subject to compulsory or discretionary refusal, suspension, or revocation as described in Florida Statutes 626.6115 and 626.6215. An agency license must be renewed three years from the original issue date. There is no application fee associated with the issuance or renewal of the agency license.
  6. What is the definition of transacting insurance?
    Pursuant to section 624.10, Florida Statutes, transacting with respect to insurance includes any of the following:
    1. Solicitation or inducement
    2. Preliminary negotiations
    3. Effectuation of a contract of insurance
    4. Transaction of matters subsequent to effectuation of a contract of insurance and arising out of it.
  7. If an agency fails to apply for registration or licensure, can the department take action against the agency?
    Yes. If an agency qualifies for registration and fails to file an application, the department may impose an administrative penalty on the agency in an amount of up to $5,000.00. If an agency does not qualify for registration and fails to file an application for licensure, the department may impose an administrative penalty on the agency in an amount of up to $10,000.00.
  8. Which type(s) of license(s) must an individual hold to be the agent-in-charge of an agency?
    The agent-in-charge must have at least one of the following license types:
    • General Lines (2-20)
    • Life (2-16)
    • Life including Variable Annuity (2-14)
    • Health (2-40)
    • Health and Life (2-18)
    • Health and Life including Variable Annuity (2-15)
    Note: To be the agent-in-charge for an agency, an individual must be both licensed AND appointed for the required agent licenses to transact the lines of insurance being handled at the location. Individuals with only a limited-lines license, or any other license type not listed above, are not eligible to be the agent-in-charge of an agency.
  9. If an agency registers and then decides it would be more beneficial to be licensed, how would the agency make this change?
    The agency can submit an online application to the department at our homepage at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents and logging in to the agency's account in MyProfile and select "Insurance Agency". The registration will be canceled once the license is approved.
  10. When applications are submitted for licensure, are there exemptions for filing fingerprints?
    Yes. The exemptions are as follows:

    • The individual has been fingerprinted with this Division in the past 12 months.
    • The individual is currently licensed and appointed as a Florida insurance agent.
    • The directors or officers of a corporation whose voting shares are traded on a securities exchange.
  11. Does a corporate insurance agency have to submit fingerprints for every corporate officer even if the officer has nothing to do with the corporation's insurance operations?
    No. The application limits the number of people who must submit fingerprints to the president, secretary, treasurer and any officer or other person who directs or participates, directly or indirectly, in the control or management of the agency.
  12. Do you issue agency licenses outside of the US?
    Only for Puerto Rico.
  13. What are the duties and responsibilities of the agent-in-charge?
    An agent-in-charge is the licensed and appointed agent who is responsible for the supervision of all individuals within an insurance agency location, regardless of whether the agent in charge handles a specific transaction or deals with the general public in the solicitation or negotiation of insurance contracts or the collection or accounting of moneys. The agent in charge is accountable for misconduct or violations of the Florida Insurance Code committed by the licensee or agent or by any person under his or her supervision while acting on behalf of the agency. (Effective January 1, 2015)
  14. Will the applicant know immediately if the application is approved?
    No. When an application is filed through the application system, the applicant will not be immediately advised of approval or disapproval of the agency registration or licensure. However, the applicant will be advised by the application system that the application filing was successful.
  15. Do agencies require appointments?
    No. Insurance agencies are not appointed. However, individuals who transact insurance business within the agency must be licensed and appointed.
  16. Are adjusting firms now required to obtain a license?
    No. Only an adjusting firm that has been directed to obtain licensure through a disciplinary action by the Department is required to be licensed.
  17. Does each branch of an insurance agency, bank or securities firm that engages in the transaction of insurance have to be licensed or registered?
    Yes. Florida Statute 626.112(7)(a) provides, in pertinent part, that "no individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or any other entity shall act … as an insurance agency, unless it complies with Florida Statute 626.172 with respect to possessing an insurance agency license for each place of business at which it engages in any activity which may be performed only by a licensed insurance agent. "Insurance agency is defined, in pertinent part, in Florida Statute 626.015(8) as: "Insurance agency" means "a business location at which an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other entity … engages in any activity or employs individuals to engage in any activity, which by law may be performed only by a licensed insurance agent."
  18. If a life or health insurance agent "works" out of his/her home, is the agent's home an insurance agency that must be licensed?
    It depends. If the agent does not hold the home out as being a business location at which consumers can purchase or inquire about insurance products and all insurance transactions by the agent occur at other locations where the agent arranges to meet customers, no. However, if the agent does hold the home out as being a business location at which consumers can purchase or inquire about insurance products and all insurance transactions by the agent occur at this location, yes and must comply with Florida Statute 626.749.
  19. How will the department determine whether the agent is holding out his home as a place that is engaged in the insurance business or not?
    The department will consider factors such as whether the agent advertises his/her services in newspapers, phone books or in other ways and includes his home address in the ad; whether there is a sign on the house indicating that there is an insurance agent or agency there; and whether the agent meets clients in the home as a practice.
  20. Does a marketing service have to be licensed or registered as an insurance agency if it receives "override commissions" from an insurance company in exchange for recruiting insurance agents to write insurance through the insurance company?
    No. Recruitment of agents for insurance companies is not an activity that may be performed only by insurance agents. The fact that the insurance company pays a so-called "override commission" to the marketing service does not mean that the service is acting as an insurance agency. Therefore, the office of a marketing service is not an insurance agency.
  21. May agencies that are wholly owned subsidiary corporations of a publicly traded company listed on a securities exchange be treated the same as the parent and apply for registration rather than licensing?
    No. Florida Statute 626.112(7)(a) provides that "each incorporated agency whose voting shares are traded on a securities exchange ... may file an application for registration in lieu of licensure." It is the agency itself, which must have shares, traded on a securities exchange. An agency that is a wholly owned subsidiary of another company that is traded on a securities exchange can not register by virtue of its status as a subsidiary.
  22. How can a company that is publicly traded on the securities exchange that owns many, perhaps hundreds of agencies, comply with the application requirement for submitting information with regard to every judgment against all of these entities?
    A company that owns many subsidiary companies that are required to be licensed or registered may submit written copies of documents summarizing Legal Proceedings that the company submits to other regulatory authorities such as the appropriate pages from a Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10K filing. Current application should be supplemented by the annual 10K filing and quarterly 10Q filings. Only the pages containing the summary of Legal Proceedings should be filed with the Department.
  23. The owners of the agency are both licensed and appointed and have owned an agency since January 1993. However, one owner is selling his share of the business to an unlicensed person. Since the agency has already received the registration, can the agency retain this registration?
    No. The law is specific that the registered agency must remain wholly owned by licensed and appointed agents. Therefore, the registered agency must apply for an agency license. (This does not apply to publicly traded companies.)
  24. What is the timeline required to obtain the agency license once the agency loses its qualification for registration?
    The agency must apply for a license within 30 days.
  25. What is the department's procedure if an agency's application for registration is not approved?
    The department will advise the agency that the application for registration was not approved. The agency will have 30 days from receipt of the notification to submit an application for licensure.
  26. Since the primary agent law has been repealed, is it necessary for an agency to have a designated licensed and appointed agent-in-charge of each location?
    Yes. Florida Statute 626.747 states each agency must have a licensed and appointed agent in full-time charge of each location. It is no longer required for the agency to file the primary agent form with the department.
  27. May a licensed Florida agent be the agent-in-charge at more than one agency location?
    Yes, if insurance activities requiring licensure as an insurance agent do not occur at any location when the agent is not physically present and unlicensed employees at the location do not engage in any insurance activities requiring licensure as an insurance agent or customer representative.
  28. If a branch location does not hold its self out as being a location where insurance is being transacted but only to serve as a place for the agent (from a licensed or registered location) to meet with consumers with whom the agent has made a prior appointment, does the branch have to be licensed or registered?
    If the location is not a business, or is a business that engages in commerce other than the business of insurance (such as a restaurant) and does not hold itself out as being a place where a consumer can go to purchase insurance but may serve as a place for an agent to meet with consumers with whom the agent has made a prior appointment, the location is not an insurance agency and would not be required to have an agency license or registration.

    If the location is a branch office of a business that is required to be licensed or registered but for whatever reason the branch office is not licensed or registered, the branch office can not advertise or contain signage or other indicia of being a business that engages in activity as an insurance agency. In addition, an agent from the licensed or registered agency could not have an office in the unlicensed location or be available to solicit or otherwise transact insurance at the unlicensed location with anyone other than an individual with a prior appointment with the agent. The agent can not transact any other insurance at the location that is unrelated to the customer with the prior appointment.
  29. What if each branch place of business is only open to the public on certain days or at certain times of the day when the agent-in-charge is physically at the office? Could one agent-in-charge be in charge of each location under these circumstances?
    Yes. Each location would need an agency license or registration.
  30. What if each location of a business is open for other activity during normal business hours (9:00 to 5:00, Monday through Friday) such as banking or securities dealing? If it is clear that insurance transactions will only be available at each location during certain designated hours of the day, may one agent be the agent-in-charge of each location?
    Yes. However, insurance can only be transacted by a licensed and appointed agent and each location would need an agency license or registration.
  31. If the agent-in-charge of an insurance agency changes, must the department be notified of the change?
    Yes. The agency must terminate the previous agent-in-charge and add the new agent-in-charge through the agency's MyProfile account within thirty 30-days of the change.

    Note: After an agent-in-charge has been terminated through the agency's MyProfile account, the agency must wait until the following business day to add a new agent-in-charge the MyProfile account.
  32. May one agent be the agent-in-charge of multiple agencies operating in the same location?
    Yes. For example, an entity may for tax or accounting reasons incorporate separate agencies for different lines of insurance but have one agent in one location handling the business. Each corporation would obtain an agency license and the agent would be agent-in-charge of each.
  33. If an agent-in-charge resigns his position, can the agency operate without an agent-in-charge?
    No. An agent-in-charge will need to be assigned to agency within 30 days. If an agent-in-charge is not assigned, the agency can not perform duties where a licensed insurance agent would be required.
  34. Will the agency appoint the agents working for that agency?
    An agency may not appoint its agents. Agents must be appointed by an insurer or Insurers. However, customer representatives (4-40) and limited customer representatives (4-42) can be appointed through the agency, rather than a general lines agent (2-20), as long as there is a general lines agent in the office full time.
  35. Will agencies be issued lines of authority such as "Life?"
    No. Agencies will not be issued lines of authority. However, agencies may transact business only for the lines of authority for which their agents are licensed and appointed.
  36. What criteria will be used to disapprove the name of an agency?
    An agency name will be disapproved if it appears that use of the proposed name may mislead or cause harm to the public in any way. Some reasons that will be used to disapprove a name will be terms in a name such as: senior citizen, insurance company, motor club, hospital service plan, state or federal agency, charitable organization, or a name indicating an entity that provides advice and counsel rather than solicits and sells insurance.
  37. If the agency has a name that does not meet the department's criteria for approval, but the agency has had the name for many years, will the department approve the name?
    The department will evaluate the severity of name infraction and make a determination regarding the approval of the name. If the name is disapproved, the agency will be contacted and provided an opportunity to change the name.
  38. How can an agency update its license if the agency's name has changed?
    You must first follow your state's procedures for properly changing the agency's business name. After the agency's name has been officially changed with your state, provide copies of this documentation (e.g. articles of incorporations, etc.) to the below address or fax number with a cover letter requesting that the agency name be updated. It will take 5-7 business days for the agency's name to be updated. The agency's updated name will be reflected in its MyProfile account and the agency certificate will be printable with the new agency name.

    Mail to:
    Florida Department of Financial Services
    Bureau of Agent and Agency Licensing
    200 East Gaines Street, Room 419
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0319

    Fax to:
    (850) 413-3291
  39. If an agency violates any part of the insurance code and the violation results in administrative action by the department, will the department take action against all of that agency's locations?
    No. The administrative action will be taken only against the location where the violation occurred.
  40. Does an insurance company that has a Certificate of Authority in Florida have to get registered or licensed as an insurance agency if they have employee agents at their headquarters?
    No. The definition of insurance agency in Florida Statute 626.015(8) excludes insurers.
  41. If an insurance company owns or operates branch locations where employees of the insurer work as insurance agents to sell and service the company's policies, do these locations have to be licensed or registered?
    It depends. If the branch location only houses employee agents who are transacting insurance with the general public, it is an insurance agency that must be licensed or registered. If it is an insurance company branch that houses employee agents as well as non-agent employees who handle traditional insurance company operations such as underwriting, adjusting, claims payment, actuarial services, policy form and rate filings, asset management, etc, it would fall within the exception of insurers from the definition of insurance agency and would not be required to obtain an agency license or registration.
  42. Will a carrier be required to have a copy of the agency's license or registration on file in order to pay them commissions?
    No, however, carriers are reminded that they must continue to comply with long-standing provisions of the Florida Insurance Code regarding the payment and sharing of commissions. Those provisions can be found at Florida Statutes 626.753, 626.794 and 626.838.
  43. Can an agent receive commissions from or share with an unlicensed or unregistered agency?
    Yes. The law does not prohibit agents from receiving commissions from or sharing commissions with an agency they work for that has not obtained a license or registration.
  44. In general, does the insurer have the responsibility to insure that the agencies they do business with in Florida have a valid agency license or registration?
    No. Compliance with the insurance agency licensure law currently rests with individuals, firms, partnerships, corporations, associations or other entities engaging in insurance agency activities.
  45. Does an insurance agency that is licensed and located in another state have to be licensed or registered as an agency in Florida if it transacts insurance in Florida?
    Yes.
  46. If an agency has locations in more than one state, could the agency hold both a resident and non-resident agency license?
    Yes. Since each agency location is being licensed, the resident or non-resident license will be determined by the specific location. Therefore, an agency could hold both a resident license if it has a physical location in Florida, and a non-resident license for an out of state location that is conducting business with Florida consumers in this state.
  47. If a non-resident Florida agent spends winter months in Florida, will the agent have to obtain an agency license in Florida if the agent sells any insurance while living in Florida?
    It depends. If an agent rents office space and advertises that it is an agency, yes. The agent would have to have a resident insurance agency license for that location. If people in the non-resident agent's condominium and community know that he or she is an agent and seek assistance, the agent would not have to have a license or registration. There are many variations of how an agent may actually engage in business as an insurance agent while in Florida and these will have to be handled on a case-by-case basis. Contact the department's Help Line at 850-413-3137 for further assistance.
  48. If a non-resident agent lives temporarily in Florida, can the agent be the agent-in-charge of the Florida agency and the agent-in-charge of the non-resident agency also?
    Yes.
  49. If a funeral director or direct disposer, or an employee of a funeral establishment that holds a certificate of authority under Florida Statute 497.058 is licensed to sell life insurance policies covering the expense of funeral services and products, does the funeral establishment have to be licensed or registered as an insurance agency?
    Yes. Every location where an insurance agent engages in the business of insurance is an insurance agency and every insurance agency is required under Florida Statute 626.112 (7) (a), to obtain an insurance agency license or registration. There is no exemption for agents that work at funeral establishments or for agents that work for any other business that primarily engages in business transactions unrelated to insurance such as banks and securities broker-deals.

    However, per Florida Statute 626.785(1)(d), a life insurance agent that is not affiliated with a funeral establishment may obtain a preneed license with the Bureau of Funeral and Cemetery and may contract with a funeral establishment to sell a preneed contract, "…limited policies of insurance covering the expense of final disposition or burial of an insured in the amount of $12,500..." Therefore, per Florida Statute 626.112(7)(a), the life insurance agent would be required to obtain an insurance agency license or registration, there are no exemptions for agents that contract with funeral establishments.
  50. Can an agent pay a fee to an unlicensed person for referrals of potential clients?
    Yes. As long as it complies with Florida Statute 626.112(8) which states "No insurance agent, insurance agency, or other person licensed under the Insurance Code may pay any fee or other consideration to an unlicensed person other than an insurance agency for the referral of prospective purchasers to an insurance agent which is in any way dependent upon whether the referral results in the purchase of an insurance product."

    To summarize, it is OK to pay an unlicensed person for every referral. If you only pay that unlicensed person for referrals that result in the sale of an insurance product, it violates the law.

    Read a Declaratory Statement from the Department regarding this subject.
  51. If a credit card company charges a fee for payments of policies/premiums, can the agency charge the consumer that fee for reimbursement?
    No. Pursuant to Section 501.0117, F.S., a seller in a sales transaction may not impose a surcharge on the buyer for electing to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means, if the seller accepts payment by credit card.
  52. Can an agent/agency charge a fee in addition to commission for servicing accounts.
    In specific circumstances, yes. Florida Statute 627.7295(5) permits an agent to charge a $10 per policy fee for PIP/PD policies only. The statute reads "A licensed general lines agent may charge a per-policy fee not to exceed $10 to cover the administrative costs of the agent associated with selling the motor vehicle insurance policy if the policy covers only personal injury protection coverage as provided by s. 627.736 and property damage liability coverage as provided by s. 627.7275 and if no other insurance is sold or issued in conjunction with or collateral to the policy. The fee is not considered part of the premium."

    Florida Statute 626.593 applies to group health insurance coverage and states as follows: "No person licensed as an insurance agent may receive any fee or commission or any other thing of value in addition to the rates filed pursuant to chapter 627 for examining any group health insurance or any group health benefit plan for the purpose of giving or offering advice, counsel, recommendation, or information in respect to terms, conditions, benefits, coverage, or premium of any such policy or contract unless such compensation is based upon a written contract signed by the party to be charged and specifying or clearly defining the amount or extent of such compensation and informing the party to be charged that any commission received from an insurer will be rebated to the party in accordance with subsection (3). In addition, all compensation to be paid to the insurance agent must be disclosed in the contract." Any other charge would be considered illegal dealings in premiums and would be a violation of Florida Statute 626.9541(1)(o) and 627.403.

    A consulting fee CAN NOT be charged where the fee is part of the consideration for insurance coverage, as that fee would be considered additional premium. HOWEVER, a consulting fee can be charged for services not related to placing the coverage if there is a SEPARATE consulting contract between the agent and the insured. If a consulting fee is charged, the insured must fully understand that he is entering into a separate contract and paying a separate consideration in advance of the performance or consulting service. The services rendered must be other than those normally provided by an insurance agent in connection with the solicitation or effectuation of the insurance coverage.
  53. How long do I have to maintain records?
    Florida Statute 626.561(2) states "The licensee shall keep and make available to the department or office books, accounts, and records as will enable the department or office to determine whether such licensee is complying with the provisions of this code. Every licensee shall preserve books, accounts, and records pertaining to a premium payment for at least 3 years after payment; provided, however, the preservation of records by computer or photographic reproductions or records in photographic form shall constitute compliance with this requirement. All other records shall be maintained in accordance with Florida Statute 626.748 which states: "Every agent transacting any insurance policy must maintain in his or her office, or have readily accessible by electronic or photographic means, such records of policies transacted by him or her as to enable the policyholders and department to obtain all necessary information, including daily reports, applications, change endorsements, or documents signed or initialed by the insured concerning such policies." The 3-year requirement shall not apply to insurance binders when no policy is ultimately issued and no premium is collected."

    Viatical settlement brokers must maintain records in accordance with Florida Statute 626.9922(2), which states "All accounts, books and records, documents, files, contracts, and other information relating to all transactions of viatical settlement contracts, life expectancies, or viatical settlement purchase agreements made before July 1, 2005, must be maintained by the licensee for a period of at least 3 years after the death of the insured and must be available to the office or department for inspection during reasonable business hours."
Bail Bond Agents
  1. What Florida laws regulate bail bond agents?
    Chapter 648, Florida Statutes and Chapter 69B-221, Florida Administrative Code.
  2. What is a limited surety agent?
    The official title of the license issued to bail bond agents in Florida is a limited surety agent license.
  3. What are the requirements to be a bail bond agent?
    Prior to becoming licensed as a bail bond agent, you must have obtained a temporary bail bond license and completed the provisions of that license before applying for a limited surety agent license. For more information, refer to the bail bond qualification page.
  4. Is a background check required?
    Yes. Please refer to our Fingerprinting Information page for more information.
  5. I was convicted of a felony, but I have had my civil rights restored. Can I be a bail bond agent in Florida?
    No. Florida Statutes §648.34 states you may not be a bail bond agent if you have ever been convicted of a felony. The restoration of your civil rights does not alter this requirement.
  6. Will it be necessary for me to make an appointment with PearsonVUE to get my photo taken for my license card?
    No. It is not necessary to make an appointment to get your photo taken. Your license card will be mailed to you via 2nd day mail.
  7. I am a former certified law enforcement officer. Am I exempt from taking the correspondence course for the bail bond license?
    The Florida Statutes do not provide any exemptions from taking the course, regardless of occupation. However, the Florida Statutes §648.355 does provide that if you have completed a basic certification course in the criminal justice system of not less than 120 hours within the last 4 years, then you may substitute that course for the required 120-hour course as long as you scored at least a grade of 80% or higher in the course. A degree in criminal justice does not provide an exemption to the 120-hour course requirement.
  8. Can a law enforcement officer also be a bail bond agent?
    No. Florida Statutes §648.44 prohibits law enforcement officers, jailers, attorneys, employees of any jail, judges, or anyone having custody or control over prisoners from being a bail bond agent.
  9. What is a professional bail bond agent?
    A professional bail bond agent uses his/her own money to post bail for defendants by pledging United States currency, United States postal money orders, or cashier's checks as security for the bail bond in connection with a judicial proceeding and receives or is promised money or other things of value for doing so. Professional bail bond agents must be licensed and appointed and complete the same continuing education requirements as a limited surety (bail bond) agent.
  10. What are the qualifications to be a professional bail bond agent?
    A professional bail bond agent must meet the same eligibility requirements listed for a bail bond agent, plus file a detailed financial statement under oath with each application, renewal or continuation of appointment, and file with the Office of Insurance Regulation the premium rates to be used for bail bonds to be written. These filings must be made before the professional bail bond agent writes any bail bonds in Florida.
  11. How do I become a temporary bail bond agent?
    In order to obtain a temporary bail bond agent license, the applicant must:

    • Be at least age 18 and hold a high school diploma or equivalent.
    • Be a United States citizen or be a legal alien and a resident of this state.
    • The applicant was never convicted of a felony, or a crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or more.
    • Successfully completed with a grade of 80% or better, a basic certification course in the criminal justice system of not less than 120 hours of classroom instruction.
    • Successfully completed a correspondence course approved by the department.
    • The applicant is vouched for by at least 3 reputable citizens who are residents of the same counties where the temporary bail bond agent will work.
    • Application must be accompanied by an affidavit from the proposed bail bond agent employer verifying employment and attesting to the applicant's integrity and moral character.
    • All licensing fees must be paid prior to issuance of the license.
  12. How long is a temporary bail bond agent license valid?
    The temporary bail bond agent license is effective for a maximum of 18 months.
  13. When can a temporary bail bond agent apply for a permanent bail bond agent license?
    A temporary bail bond agent may apply for a limited surety agent (bail bond) license after 12 months and the completion of at least 1,540 hours as a temporary bail bond agent.
  14. How does a temporary bail bond agent show completion of the required hours?
    Each month the Temporary Bail Bond Agent Employment Report (DFS-H2-1543) should be notarized and submitted to the department for the hours worked for the previous month.
  15. What can a temporary bail bond agent do?
    The temporary bail bond agent has the same authority as a bail bond agent as long as the supervising agent is present at the time.
  16. Can a temporary bail bond agent interview inmates at the jail?
    Only if the temporary bail bond agent is accompanied in the interview by the supervising bail bond agent. This would be a part of the training by the supervising bail bond agent to show the temporary bail bond agent the proper way to interview an inmate. The temporary bail bond agent can not conduct this interview alone.
  17. What can a temporary bail bond agent NOT do?
    The temporary bail bond agent may not:

    • Execute or sign bonds
    • Handle collateral receipts
    • Deliver bonds to the jail
    • Operate a bail bond agency away from the supervising bail bond agent.
  18. Can I sign the bail bonds in advance for use by my employees?
    No. Florida Statutes §648.441 prohibits any bail bond agent, MGA, or insurer from furnishing any blank forms, applications, stationery, business cards, or other supplies to any person that is not licensed and appointed as a bail bond agent.
  19. Can I pass the fee I am charged by the credit card companies on to the indemnitors obtaining bail bonds?
    The fees charged by a credit card company may be passed on to the indemnitor when collateral is obtained through a credit card, if the fees are posted in the agency and on the collateral receipt. These fees cannot be passed on to the customer for premiums paid using a credit card.
  20. When am I required to return the collateral on a bail bond?
    Within 21 days after receiving the notice of discharge from the court, the bail bond agent must return the collateral to the proper party. (F.S. §648.571)
  21. What if I do not receive a discharge notice from the court?
    The statutes do provide that the bail bond agent will make a written request of the clerk of the court for the county where the bond was posted for the discharge notice on the bond when the bail bond agent has reason to believe the bail bond has or should have been discharged. The clerk of the court then has 7 days to respond to the bail bond agent's request or the bail bond is automatically considered discharged. (F.S. §648.571)
  22. What is considered to be a valid reason for making the request for proof of discharge to the clerk of the court?
    There are several occurrences that would be considered reasons for the bail bond agent to make a request to the clerk of the court to verify the discharge of a bond. These instances should be well documented and include:

    • When the bail bond agent knows that the defendant has been recommitted to the custody of the court,
    • The defendant has died and the death certificate has been filed with the court, or
    • The agent knows that the case has been resolved and the bond is no longer needed.
    In each of these cases it is the bail bond agent's responsibility to obtain the documentation that supports the agent's position that the bond should be discharged by the court.
  23. Can a bail bond agent require the indemnitor to obtain a certified copy of the discharge prior to the collateral being returned? No. It is the bail bond agent's responsibility to monitor the case and return the collateral to the proper party in a timely manner. The bail bond agent may not impose additional restrictions or requirements on the collateral.
  24. Can I accept cash for collateral on a bail bond?
    Yes, but the funds used as collateral must be kept separate from the other funds of the agent and assets of the agency.
  25. Can I accept cash over $50,000 as collateral on a bail bond?
    Yes, but cash that is accepted in an amount over $50,000 must be made payable to the insurer and received in the form of a cashier's check, United States postal money order, certificate of deposit, or money wire.
  26. Can I take real estate as collateral on a bail bond?
    Yes, but the mortgage/lien must be in the name of the insurer issuing the bail bond.
  27. How do I account for the collateral accepted on a bail bond?
    When a bail bond agent accepts collateral, a written, numbered receipt shall be given, and this receipt shall give in detail a full account of the collateral received.
  28. How must I return the collateral?
    The collateral must be returned to the person that provided it for use on the bail bond in the same manner and condition that it was received by the bail bond agent.
  29. What if the bail bond goes into forfeiture and I need to convert the collateral to cash?
    When a bond forfeits the bail bond agent must provide the indemnitor and the principal on the bond with 10 days advance notice of the agent's intent to convert the collateral deposit to cash to satisfy the forfeiture.
  30. What if the collateral I am holding is worth more than the amount of the bond that forfeited?
    The bail bond agent or insurer is required to refund the excess amount of money received from the conversion of the collateral.
  31. How long must I keep my records?
    Records must be kept for at least 3 years after the liability on the bond has been terminated.
  32. How much can I pay an attorney for referring business to me?
    Nothing. Florida Statutes §648.44(1) prohibits paying an attorney to refer business to you or your agency. This statute also prohibits a bail bond agent from advising defendants to use a particular attorney or law firm.
  33. What can I do to compensate an inmate for referring business to me?
    Nothing. Florida Statutes §648.44(1)(b) prohibits indirectly soliciting defendants on the grounds of the jail.
  34. What are the laws regarding the types of badges I can use?
    The only statute that addresses this is §648.44(1)(d), which limits the identification a limited surety agent may wear on the grounds of a jail, courthouse, or any other area where prisoners are confined to the identification issued by the Department of Financial Services. In addition, the use of a badge by a bail bond agent is regulated the same as any other Florida citizen in Chapter 843, F.S. Specifically, §843.085 speaks to the use of badges or any other indicia of authority.
  35. May I meet with the indemnitor at the jail to write the bail bond paperwork?
    No. You may only conduct bail bond business with the defendant on the grounds of the jail or courthouse for the purpose of executing a bail bond. [See Florida Statutes §648.44(1)(p)]
  36. Can I use an outside bail bond agent to assist with performing apprehensions or pick-ups?
    Yes. However, the agent you select must be a licensed and appointed bail bond agent.
  37. When you talk about the appointed bail bond agent, do they have to be appointed with the same insurance company?
    Yes. The power to arrest comes from the bail bond that was written to release a person from jail. The company that issued the bond is the one with the power to make the arrest. The company contracts with their own agents to act on the company's behalf. If the bail bond agent is not appointed to represent the company that issued the bail bond, then the bail bond agent may not be authorized by that company to pick-up their defendant. There is an exception in that the company may provide written permission to a law enforcement officer or any licensed bail bond agent who is appointed to represent at least one company in Florida.
  38. How about out of state bail bond agents making an arrest in Florida for an out of state case?
    Out of state agents have very limited powers in Florida, which are granted by the very old (1872) Supreme Court Case, Taylor v. Taintor (83 U.S. 366), and not by Florida law. This law provides that a bail bond agent may enter another state to locate a defendant who was released on a bail bond written by that bail bond agent. If the bail bond agent did not write the bail bond, then they are not authorized to make an arrest. In addition, the bail bond agent must comply with other laws governing the transporting of prisoners across state lines. You are probably more familiar with these laws than us.
  39. Can I use a bounty hunter to assist with performing apprehensions or pick-ups?
    No. Bounty hunters are not permitted in Florida. (See Florida Statutes §648.30)
  40. How do I update my addresses?
    There are currently two ways. Visit "MyProfile" to access your personal license record with the department, or submit the change of address form (#DFS-H2-1564) located on the forms page of our website by mailing it to:
    Florida Department of Financial Services
    Division of Agent & Agency Services
    Bureau of Licensing
    200 E. Gaines Street
    Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0318
  41. How much of the bail bond premium goes to my build-up fund account?
    This will depend on your contract with your MGA or surety company. The Florida Statutes do state the maximum amount to be 40% of the premium.
  42. Can a bail bond agent carry a weapon when conducting an apprehension?
    Neither the temporary bail bond agent license nor the limited surety (bail bond) agent license authorize a person to carry a weapon. The Florida Statutes do not specifically address bail bond agents using weapons while working.

    Weapon permits are issued through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. These permits are issued to qualifying citizens of the state of Florida. You will need to follow the laws related to the issuance of your permits, which include not carrying your weapon in certain locations [See Section 790.06(12), Florida Statutes for a complete listing]. You may want to direct any questions you have regarding your permits to them. Their web site is http://www.doacs.state.fl.us.
  43. Do the Florida Statutes prohibit an attorney from owning a bail bond agency, since an attorney cannot be a bail bond agent?
    Yes. Florida Statutes §648.285 specifies the requirements to own a bail bond agency. This statute requires the owner to be a licensed and appointed bail bond agent. Since an attorney cannot be a licensed bail bond agent they would not be allowed to be a bail bond agency owner.
  44. Do the Florida Statutes prohibit a bail bond agent from referring customers to attorneys?
    Yes. Subsection §648.44(1)(a), Florida Statutes, states bail bond agents and temporary bail bond agents are prohibited from suggesting or advising the use of any particular attorney to represent his or her principal. Any bail bond agent violating this prohibition is subject to suspension or revocation of their license and commits a first-degree misdemeanor subject to applicable criminal penalties.
  45. What if I have other questions not listed above?
    Questions may be emailed to BailBond@MyFloridaCFO.com.
Bail Bond Agency
  1. Are paper appointments accepted?
    Yes, only for bail bond appointments.
  2. What are the requirements to be a bail bond agency?
    Bail bond agencies must be owned only by licensed and appointed bail bond agents and the agency must file the name of the agency with the department, along with the name and license number of the bail bond agent designated as the primary bail bond agent. In addition, the agency must be open and accessible to the public for at least 8 hours during the normal work day, which is defined as 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.
  3. I'm opening a bail bond agency. Do you have any tips to help me out?
    Click here for guidance on opening a bail bond agency.
  4. Do I need a sign for my agency?
    Yes. The sign must be visible from the street to identify the location of your agency to the public. If your agency is located in a corporate office building, the agency must be listed in the building's business directory.
  5. Does my agency address need to be in my advertisement?
    Yes. Florida Statutes §648.44 requires the full street address of the bail bond agency to be in every advertisement for that agency, including the business cards for bail bond agents working with the agency. This address must be the same address that is on file with the department.
  6. Can I use the word "FREE" in my agency name?
    No. Florida Statutes §648.44 prohibits the use of the word "free" in any bail bond agency name. It also prohibits the agency from using any wording that implies a reduced premium rate.
  7. Do I need a different primary bail bond agent for each agency I own?
    Yes.
  8. Do I need a different primary bail bond agent for each location of my bail bond agency?
    Yes.
  9. Where can I find the primary bail bond agent designation form?
    On the forms page. The "Designation or Deletion of Primary Bail Bond Agent" form is #DFS-H2-1541.
  10. What are the requirements for a primary bail bond agent?
    The primary bail bond agent designated at an agency must be a licensed and appointed bail bond agent working at the same address as the named agency. A bail bond agent may be designated as the primary bail bond agent for only one bail bond agency.
  11. How do I change the address of my agency?
    The agency address must be corrected using the "Designation or Deletion of Primary Bail Bond Agent" form (#DFS-H2-1541), which is located on the forms page.
  12. Can I use an outside bail bond agent to assist with performing apprehensions or pick-ups for my agency?
    Yes. However, the agent you select must be a licensed and appointed bail bond agent.
  13. Can I use a bounty hunter to assist with performing apprehensions or pick-ups for my agency?
    No. Bounty hunters are not permitted in Florida. (See Florida Statutes §648.30)
  14. How long must the agency keep records?
    Records must be kept for at least 3 years after the liability on the bond has been terminated.
  15. Do the Florida Statutes prohibit an attorney from owning a bail bond agency, since an attorney cannot be a bail bond agent?
    Yes. Florida Statutes §648.285 specifies the requirements to own a bail bond agency. This statute requires the owner to be a licensed and appointed bail bond agent. Since an attorney cannot be a licensed bail bond agent they would not be allowed to be a bail bond agency owner.
  16. Do the Florida Statutes prohibit a bail bond agent from referring customers to attorneys?
    Yes. Subsection §648.44(1)(a), Florida Statutes, states bail bond agents and temporary bail bond agents are prohibited from suggesting or advising the use of any particular attorney to represent his or her principal. Any bail bond agent violating this prohibition is subject to suspension or revocation of their license and commits a first-degree misdemeanor subject to applicable criminal penalties.
  17. How do I close my bail bond agency?
    To close your bail bond agency, you must first contact all insurers you represent. Advise them of your decision and ask them for guidance on the proper handling of the records for the bonds issued for their company. Then send a letter to the department advising of the date your agency will close and the location of your agency's records. This letter must also advise the department of the location of the collateral accepted by your agency and how consumers will receive the return of their collateral at the conclusion of their cases. The letter of termination should be mailed to:

    Florida Department of Financial Services
    Bureau of Investigation, Bail Bond Section
    200 East Gaines Street
    Tallahassee FL 32399-0320

    Click here for more guidance on closing a bail bond agency.
  18. What happens if the bail bond agency owner dies?
    The personal representative or legal guardian may be issued a temporary permit to manage the affairs of the bail bond agency for up to a maximum of 24 months. The person receiving the permit may not act as a bail bond agent, and they must file a revised designation of primary bail bond agent form to identify the bail bond agent in charge of that agency.
  19. What if I have other questions not listed above?
    Questions may be emailed to BailBond@MyFloridaCFO.com.
Continuing Education (CE)
  1. I'm a new agent. When are my continuing education hours due?
    Your compliance period is determined by the date you were licensed and your birth month. Your continuing education hours are due the last day of your birth month, after you have held the license for 24 months. [Rule 69B-228.220(1)(a), F.A.C.]

    Examples:
    • Licensed - July 11, 2012
      Birth Month - June
      Compliance start date - July 1, 2013
      Due date - June 30, 2015
    • Licensed - July 11, 2013
      Birth Month - November
      Compliance start date - December 1, 2013
      Due date - November 30, 2015
    • Licensed - July 11, 2013
      Birth Month - July
      Compliance start date - August 1, 2013
      Due date - July 31, 2015
  2. What is the continuing education requirement? When is it due?
    The number of continuing education hours required depend on the license type you hold and number of years you've held it. Continuing education is due every 2 years, for most license types.
  3. Where do I go to check my continuing education requirement and status?
    Go MyProfile, log in, and click on CE Status. Contact the department at 850-413-3137 if you have questions regarding your requirement.
  4. Can I take the same continuing education course next year?
    No. You can not repeat the same course within three (3) years and receive continuing education credit.
  5. I'm a non-resident major lines licensee and I'm showing out of compliance. What do I do?
    We will verify your home state license and update your continuing education compliance status in our system. If requested by us, you will need to obtain a letter of certification from your home state, or a copy of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' database showing your active resident license status, and send it to our department. Please include your Florida license number on your documentation. Note: Major lines are Life, Health, Property & Casualty. Non-residents are not considered noncompliant until 45 days after their Florida compliance date. Please do not send the letter before your Florida compliance cycle has ended.

    Email: AgentLicensing@MyFloridaCFO.com
    Fax: 850-413-3291

  6. What happens if I do not get my continuing education hours done by the end of my compliance period?
    You will be assessed a $250 fine and you will be required to complete your remaining continuing education hours. You will first receive a Preliminary Notice of Non-Compliance and a Settlement Stipulation in your MyProfile account approximately 45 days from the end of your compliance period. The Settlement Stipulation must be signed and returned to the department at the address listed on the form. Once the department receives your signed Settlement Stipulation, a Consent Order with an Invoice will be added to your MyProfile account. The invoice should be returned to the department at the address listed on the form within 30 days after it is issued with the $250 fine paid in full. You will have 60 days to complete your remaining continuing education hours.
  7. What will happen if I do not sign my Stipulation Agreement and/or do not pay my fine?
    Your appointments will be cancelled.
  8. Can I take my continuing education hours online?
    Yes. Required hours can be taken online or in a classroom. (Note: There may be some exceptions.)
  9. When can I take a basic level continuing education course?
    You can only take basic level classes within your first 6 years of being licensed. When you have been licensed for 6 years or more, you can no longer receive credit for basic classes and must take intermediate or advanced level courses to receive continuing education credit.
  10. I took a course and don't see it on my transcript. What do I do?
    Contact the provider of the course. They are responsible for submitting your course credit to the department. The provider has 20 days after the completion of your course to submit your course credit.
  11. I see a course in my transcript but I'm not receiving credit for it. What do I do?
    Call the department at AgentLicensing@MyFloridaCFO.com or 850-413-3137.
  12. I'm canceling my license before the end of my continuing education compliance period. Do I have to do the continuing education?
    No. There is no continuing education requirement once the license is cancelled.
  13. Where do I get a list of examination proctors/monitors?
    Contact the provider of your course. Providers maintain a list of their approved proctors/monitors in your area.
eAppoint and Appointments
  1. What is eAppoint?
    eAppoint is an electronic appointment system for submitting original appointments, appointment terminations and the renewal of appointments. eAppoint can be found at https://iportal.fldfs.com/eappoint/.
  2. What payment methods are there and how does eCheck work?
    Credit Cards: We currently accept credit cards from:
    • VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover for applications for licensure;
    • MasterCard, American Express, and Discover for appointments; and
    • VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover for education course providers.

    Note: When entering the credit card information, the addresses must match the cardholder’s billing address. An additional convenience fee is charged by the credit card companies. Convenience fees are $2.45 for applications for licensure and education course providers, and 3% of the transaction for appointments.

    eCheck: eCheck works similar to paper checks and does not incur a convenience fee. A check’s routing and account number are entered, then withdrawn much like using an account’s debit card.

    Note: Some financial institutions require an ACH ID number before allowing an eCheck transaction. If your financial institution requires an ACH ID number, or if you are unsure, you must contact your financial institution prior to selecting the eCheck payment method and provide the following ACH ID numbers:

    ACH ID numbers: W596001874 and Z596001874

    After providing the ACH ID numbers to your financial institution you will not be required to provide them for future payments made with us. Failure to provide the required ACH ID numbers may result in rejection of payment by your financial institution. If your payment is rejected you will be assessed a service fee of 5% of the face value of the amount, with a minimum of $15, not to exceed $150.
  3. Are appointment fees paid online?
    Yes. Online payments must be made by MasterCard, American Express, and Discover or by eCheck. Please note that payments via eCheck do not incur a convenience fee.
  4. Can we mail a check for payment?
    No. eCheck is available online and works similar to paper checks. Please note that payments via eCheck do not incur a convenience fee; this payment option is only available through eAppoint.
  5. Are paper appointments accepted?
    No. The department will not accept paper appointments, with the exception of bail bond appointments.
  6. I am licensed as a non-resident of Florida. Do I need county appointments?
    You only need county appointments if you are physically coming to Florida to conduct business. The insurer must appoint you for every county where you will be transacting insurance, while in Florida. Contact the insurer for this.
  7. What is an unaffiliated insurance agent?
    An "unaffiliated insurance agent" means a licensed insurance agent, except a limited lines agent, who is self-appointed and who practices as an independent consultant in the business of analyzing or abstracting insurance policies, providing insurance advice or counseling, or making specific recommendations or comparisons of insurance products for a fee established in advance by written contract signed by the parties. An unaffiliated insurance agent may not be affiliated with an insurer, insurer-appointed insurance agent, or insurance agency contracted with or employing insurer-appointed insurance agents. [See subsection 626.015(18), F.S.]
  8. How does a licensed agent become an unaffiliated insurance agent?
    An agent who appoints his or her license as an unaffiliated insurance agent may not hold an appointment from an insurer for any license he or she holds; transact, solicit, or service an insurance contract on behalf of an insurer; interfere with commissions received or to be received by an insurer-appointed insurance agent or an insurance agency contracted with or employing insurer-appointed insurance agents; or receive compensation or any other thing of value from an insurer, an insurer-appointed insurance agent, or an insurance agency contracted with or employing insurer-appointed insurance agents for any transaction or referral occurring after the date of appointment as an unaffiliated insurance agent. An unaffiliated insurance agent may continue to receive commissions on sales that occurred before the date of appointment as an unaffiliated insurance agent if the receipt of such commissions is disclosed when making recommendations or evaluating products for a client that involve products of the entity from which the commissions are received. [See subsection 626.311(6), F.S.]
  9. I need to appoint someone or myself, how do I do that?
    Appointments must be completed online (except bail bond agents).  Depending on the type of license and appointment, the steps to complete the appointment may be different. Please view the appropriate category below for instructions:
    • Customer Representative: Customer representatives (4-40) must be appointed through the MyProfile account of the supervising general lines agent (2-20) OR the licensed/registered insurance agency where the customer representative works. To do this:

      • Go to MyProfile and log in to the supervising general lines agent's or the agency's account.
      • Select the "Access eAppoint" link under "Apply". If you have never used eAppoint, you must first register and will need to select "Register to become an appointing entity".
      • Once in the eAppoint Workbench, select the required tab (New Appointment, Renew Appointment, or Terminate Appointment) and follow the instructions on the page. You will need to remit the appropriate appointment fee(s). Appointments must be renewed every 24 months during the birth month for the appointee.
    • Self-Appointing Surplus Lines Agent, Unaffiliated Insurance Agent, Viatical Settlement Broker, Public or All-Lines Adjuster: Self-appointing surplus lines agents, viatical settlement brokers, public or all-lines adjusters must log in to their own MyProfile account and complete an appointment. To do this:

      • Go to MyProfile and log in to your account.
      • Select the "Access eAppoint" button under "Apply". If you have never used eAppoint, you must first register and will need to select "Register to become an appointing entity".
      • Once in the eAppoint Workbench, select the required tab (New Appointment, Renew Appointment, or Terminate Appointment) and follow the instructions on the page. You will need to remit the appropriate appointment fee(s). Appointments must be renewed every 24 months during the birth month for the appointee.
    • Adjusting Firm Appointing a Public or All-Lines Adjuster: Adjusting firms that are attempting to appoint a public or all-lines adjuster will use eAppoint by logging in with an email address and password. To do this:

      • Go to eAppoint at https://iportal.fldfs.com/eappoint. If you are having a problem logging in, try clicking the "Retrieve lost password" link on the left side of the screen. If this does not resolve the issue, please contact our Licensing Help Line at (850) 413-3137.
      • Once in the eAppoint Workbench, select the required tab (New Appointment, Renew Appointment, or Terminate Appointment) and follow the instructions on the page. You will need to remit the appropriate appointment fee(s).  Appointments must be renewed every 24 months during the birth month for the appointee.
    • All Other Entities: All other entities will use eAppoint and will log in using an e-mail address and password. To do this:

      • Go to eAppoint at https://iportal.fldfs.com/eappoint. If you are having a problem logging in, try clicking the "Retrieve lost password" link on the left side of the screen. If this does not resolve the issue, please contact our Licensing Help Line at (850) 413-3137.
      • Once in the eAppoint Workbench, select the required tab (New Appointment, Renew Appointment, or Terminate Appointment) and follow the instructions on the page. You will need to remit the appropriate appointment fee(s). Appointments must be renewed every 24 months during the birth month of the appointee.
  10. During the eAppoint process, will a license number be required?
    Yes. eAppoint requires you to provide the licensee's Florida license identification number for each appointment. In the event that the type of appointment requires a supervising licensee, the license number of the supervising licensee must be provided also.
  11. I have entered a license number and eAppoint states that there is an error, that the license number doesn't exist. How do I proceed?
    Verify that the license number you have listed is one letter followed by six (6) numbers. Example: A123456. If you continue to experience this error, please contact the department at (850) 413-3137 for further assistance.
  12. I have entered a license number and eAppoint states that there is an error, that the licensee has a bad email, home, business, and/or mailing address on file. How can this be corrected?
    Please contact the licensee to update his or her addresses on file with the department. The licensee will need to access their MyProfile account and perform an address change, this address change will update immediately. Once the address change has been completed by the licensee, you can then access your In Progress Transactions in eAppoint and complete the appointment.
  13. What is considered a late appointment?
    A late original appointment is any new appointment that has a requested effective date more than 45 days before the submittal date.

    For example, if on March 1, 2012, an appointing entity submits a new appointment with an effective date of January 2, 2012 (more than 45 days from the submittal date) for a licensee, the appointment will be late.
  14. What is the penalty for submitting a late original appointment?
    A statutory late fee of $250 in addition to the statutory $60 appointment fee for each original appointment filed late.

    For example, if on March 1, 2012, an appointing entity submits a new appointment with an effective date of January 2, 2012 (more than 45 days from the submittal date) for a licensee, the appointing entity will be required to pay the $60 original appointment fee and the statutory $250 late fee. The fee cannot be charged back to the appointee, if different than the appointing entity. Appointment fees are non-refundable. [See 626.331(4), 626.371, and 648.382, F.S.]
  15. I'm renewing an appointment invoice, why are some appointees listed in red on the renewal invoice?
    These appointees have an invalid email or mailing address on file. At the time the invoice is paid, any appointee listed in red will not be renewed and you will not be charged for these.
  16. Will the appointees listed in red be renewed on the appointment invoice?
    No.
  17. If the appointment invoice has already been renewed, can the appointees be renewed later when his or her address has been updated?
    No. Once the invoice has been paid and submitted, any appointees that were not renewed because of a bad address must have a new appointment submitted.
  18. If appointees are listed in red on the appointment invoice, does the invoice get updated when the appointee updates his or her information?
    Yes. When an appointee performs an address change under his or her MyProfile, the licensee will be added back to the appointment invoice for renewal. Once the address change has been completed by the licensee, the invoice will reflect the changes immediately.
  19. What is a late renewal appointment?
    A late renewal appointment is one that is paid after the renewal month and prior to it being cancelled for non-payment/non-renewal.
  20. What is the penalty for submitting a late renewal appointment?
    A statutory $25 late fee in addition to the statutory $60 appointment fee for each appointment renewed late. The late fees must be paid by the appointing entity and cannot be charged back to the appointee. The fee cannot be charged back to the appointee, if different than the appointing entity. Appointment fees are non-refundable. [See 624.501, 626.331(4), 626.381, and 648.383, F.S.]

    For example, if an appointment expiration date were March 31, 2012, the invoice would become available for payment on March 1, 2012, without late fees being assessed. On April 1, 2012, late fees are assessed at $25 per appointment and the invoice remains available for payment until May 15, 2012. On May 16, 2012, if payment has not been received, the appointment is cancelled.

    If the appointing entity wishes to reinstate an appointment after it has been cancelled for non-renewal, and no lapse in appointment coverage is desired, the appointing entity will be required to process a new appointment submission and enter the requested effective date. If the new appointment’s requested effective date is more than 45 days from the submittal date, then the statutory $250 late fee described above will be assessed. [See 626.331(4), 626.371, and 648.382, F.S.]
  21. I didn't complete an appointment renewal invoice in the renewal month. How long will the invoice be available to renew?
    The invoice will be available 45 days from the start of the following month. If the invoice is not renewed after this 45-day period, the appointments will be cancelled for non-renewal and an email notification will be sent to the appointing entity and the licensee.
  22. Why can't I pay and submit my renewal invoice prior to the renewal month?
    Renewal invoices cannot be paid and submitted until the 1st day of the renewal month.
  23. What appointment notifications are sent to the appointing entities and/or licensees?
    A renewal email notification will be sent 90 days before a renewal month to insurer and firm appointing entities, this does not include self appointees or insurance agencies. Also, the renewal invoice will be posted 90 days before the renewal month for all appointing entities to view in their eAppoint account.

    On the first day of the renewal month, an email notification will be sent to all appointing entities informing them that they can now access the appointment(s) that need to be renewed and paid through eAppoint.

    If a renewal invoice is paid which lists an appointee that has a bad email address, the appointee's appointment will be terminated at the end of the renewal month. The payment would not include a charge for the appointee with the bad email address.

    On the first day of the month following the renewal month, an email notification will be sent to the appointing entity advising payment was not received, late fees have been assessed, and the invoice will continue to be available for 45 more days for payment, otherwise the appointment will be cancelled.

    If the appointment is not renewed after this 45-day period, the appointment will be cancelled for non-renewal and an email notification will be sent to the appointing entity and the licensee notifying them of the appointment cancellation along with information on the process for reappointment.
  24. What email address will eAppoint email notifications go to?
    If you access eAppoint through MyProfile, email notifications will be sent to the email address listed with your license. Your email address can be updated through MyProfile.

    If you access eAppoint directly through https://iportal.fldfs.com/eappoint, email notifications will be sent to the email address used to log into the eAppoint account. Your email address can be updated through the "My Account" tab after logging in to eAppoint.
  25. If I forget my eAppoint password, how can I retrieve or change it?
    If you have forgotten or lost your password, click "My Account", and then click "Retrieve lost password" link located in the Common Tasks Menu. Upon entering your user name and clicking Submit, eAppoint will send you an email containing your user name and password.
Examinations

Passing the state examination does NOT guarantee licensure. You must also submit an application for licensure and meet all the requirements, including the background requirements and the pre-licensing requirements. You cannot take an examination for a license type more than five (5) times in a rolling 12-month period.

  1. If I pass an examination prior to applying for licensure, how long do I have to apply to request the state's review and approval for that license?
    You have one (1) year from the passing date to apply for that license via MyProfile. After one year, the examination result becomes void and you will need to retest if you still wish to be considered to obtain that license.
  2. What if I miss my appointment to take the exam?
    You must schedule another examination with PearsonVUE via their website or by telephone at 888-274-2020. You will be charged by PearsonVUE every time this is done.
  3. I failed my examination with PearsonVUE, when can I take a re-examination?
    You will need to schedule another examination on PearsonVUE's website or by calling PearsonVUE toll-free at 888-274-2020. You cannot take an examination for a license type more than five (5) times in a rolling 12-month period
  4. If I have taken the examination and passed, what do I do next?
    If more than one (1) year has NOT elapsed since you passed the examination, you must apply at MyProfile for the same type/class of license as the examination. License qualifications can be found at http://www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents/Licensure/General.
  5. How can I find a list of PearsonVUE's test sites?
    The test sites and times of operation are listed on PearsonVUE's website or you may obtain information by calling Pearson VUE toll free at 888-274-2020.
  6. What type of identification do I need to take to the test center?
    One form of current unexpired photo-bearing government issued identification, bearing a valid signature.
  7. How often are examinations given?
    Examinations are administered six (6) days each week at most sites. Visit PearsonVUE's website, or call PearsonVUE toll free at 888-274-2020 to verify dates and times that test sites are open.
  8. If I'm in another state, can I take my Florida examination in that state?
    Yes, PearsonVUE has a test site in most states. You may check PearsonVUE's website for that information or by calling PearsonVUE toll-fee at 888-274-2020.
  9. Will there be special consideration given to an applicant with a disability?
    Yes. An applicant with a disability must contact PearsonVUE directly for assistance. You may contact PearsonVUE via their website or by telephone at 888-274-2020.
  10. Can I take the examination in a language other than English?
    Yes, some exams are available in Spanish. The exams available in Spanish are General Lines Agent [2-20], Health Agent [2-40], Health and Life and Annuity (incl. Variable Contracts) Agent [2-15], and Life and Annuity (incl. Variable Contracts) [2-14].
  11. Where can I find more about Florida insurance license examinations?
    If you would like more information relating to insurance examinations you may go to PearsonVUE's website or by calling them toll-free at 888-274-2020.

    PearsonVUE's website includes a list of test centers that an applicant may utilize in their area for scheduling an examination date and time. The candidate handbook also contains pertinent information relating to examination requirements. The candidate handbook is free of charge.

    Any person interested in obtaining a Florida insurance license should obtain a candidate handbook from PearsonVUE first. If you would like to view the breakdown of an examination, you may view the examination content outline. Other exam information is provided by PearsonVUE on their website.
Navigators

For the specific Florida Statutes regarding Navigators, go to Part XIII of Chapter 626.

  1. What is a navigator?
    "Navigator" means an individual authorized by an exchange to serve as a navigator, or who works on behalf of an entity authorized by an exchange to serve as a navigator, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. s. 18031(i)(1), who facilitates the selection of a qualified health plan through the exchange and performs any other duties specified under 42 U.S.C. s. 18031(i)(3).
  2. What are the requirements to be registered in Florida as a navigator?
    To be registered as a navigator, the individual must:
    • Be a natural person at least 18 years of age.
    • Be United States citizen or legal alien who possesses work authorization from the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
    • Submit the application for registration by answering all of the questions and paying the fees to complete the online application.
    • Provide official certification that he or she has successfully completed all required training by the federal government and has been certified by them as a Marketplace Navigator. The certificate of completion that states it is "not an official certification record" is not sufficient. Please provide the official certificate that has the navigator's unique ID number assigned by HHS and the organization they are employed.
    • Submit fingerprints for a criminal background check.
    • Certain crimes would either permanently bar an individual from registration or disqualify an applicant for specified periods.
    • More information can be found on the qualifications page by clicking here.
  3. What are navigators prohibited from doing?
    • Soliciting, negotiating, or selling health insurance;
    • Recommending the purchase of a particular health plan or represent that one health plan is preferable over any other;
    • Recommending or assisting with the cancellation of insurance coverage purchased outside the Exchange;
    • Receiving compensation or anything of value from an insurer, health plan, business, or consumer in connection with performing activities as a navigator, other than from the Exchange or an entity or individual who has received a navigator grant under the PPACA.
  4. Can you be a non-resident and apply as a navigator?
    Yes, there is nothing in the law that prevents non-residents of Florida from applying to be a navigator.
  5. How do I apply to become registered as a navigator?
    To apply for registration as a navigator, you must go to MyProfile and apply. If you do not already have a MyProfile account, you will need to create one first.
  6. I'm a certified application counselor. Do I need to register with the Florida Department of Financial Services as a navigator?
    Certified Marketplace Application Counselors are not required to be registered as a navigator by the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) as they are not regulated by DFS. If you are a certified Marketplace Application Counselor, please do not apply for registration as a Florida navigator.
  7. If I'm interested in becoming a navigator, who should I contact?
    You should contact the Navigator entities that are awarded grants by the federal government.
  8. If I'm already registered as a navigator in Florida, do I need to re-apply?
    No, you do not need to re-apply, re-qualify, or re-register with us. Please be sure to check your registration status via your MyProfile account.
Providers (Education)

To find the specific Rule go to the Florida Administrative code site and search by rule number: https://www.flrules.org/. As most of the rules listed below are given in sentence form, be careful not to search for a rule with a period after it. Once you find the Rule, click on the Microsoft Word icon to open it on your computer.

  1. What are the requirements to become a pre-licensing provider?
    The requirements to become a pre-licensing provider are found in Florida Administrative Code 69B-227.140.
  2. What are the requirements to become a continuing education provider?
    The requirements to become a continuing education provider are found in Florida Administrative Code 69B-228.040.
  3. Can you be a non-resident and apply as a provider?
    Yes, for both pre-licensing and continuing education courses.
  4. How do I apply to become a provider?
    To apply to become a provider, you must first go to MyProfile and create an account if you have not already. You will need to select Provider. You must enter your social security number and your date of birth on this page. Log in and follow the prompts to complete your online application. The department will send you an e-mail requesting that you check your MyProfile Inbox, which will notify you of your status.
  5. What are the requirements to become a pre-licensing instructor?
    The requirements to become a pre-licensing instructor are found in Florida Administrative Code 69B-227.160.
  6. What are the requirements to become a continuing education instructor?
    The requirements to become a continuing education instructor are found in Florida Administrative Code 69B-228.060.
  7. How do I apply to become an instructor?
    To apply to become an instructor, you must first go to MyProfile and log in to your "Instructor" account using your username and password. If you do not have an account created, you must create one. Log in and follow the prompts to complete your online application.
  8. Is there a fee to become a provider or an instructor?
    No.
  9. Does the Department charge the provider any fees?
    Only for continuing education course applications; currently there is no charge for pre-licensing course applications. The fee for continuing education course applications is $100, and an additional processing fee of $2.45 is charged by the credit card companies. VISA, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover are accepted.
  10. What are the requirements to have a prelicensing course approved?
    Requirements for a prelicensing course are found in Florida Administrative Code 69B-227.170
  11. What are the requirements to have a continuing education course approved?
    Requirements for continuing education are found in Florida Administrative Code 69B-228.080
  12. What are the requirements to have an on-line self study continuing education course approved?
    Contact the provider of your course. General course requirements are found in Florida Administrative Code 69B-228.080. Additional requirements for an on-line self study continuing education course are found in Florida Administrative Code 69B-228.080(11).
  13. How do I submit a course for approval?
    To submit a course for approval, you must first go to MyProfile then log in to your "Provider" account with your username and password. Log in and click on the "Apply" tab. Select "Course" and follow the prompts to complete your online application. The department will send you an email requesting that you check your MyProfile Inbox, which will notify you of the status of your course.
  14. Do classroom and self study courses expire?
    Approval of courses which have not been offered for a period of 5 years will expire. See Florida Administrative Code 69B-228.080(8)(a).
  15. Do seminar courses expire?
    Seminar courses expire 12 months from their approval date. See Florida Administrative Code 69B-228.080(10)(h)
Public Adjusters
  1. I have a 3-44 Public Adjuster Property and Casualty License, can a 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprentice work under me?
    No
  2. Can my public adjusting firm appoint the 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprentice?
    Yes
  3. How many 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprentices can work under a 3-20 Public Adjuster?
    A 3-20 Public Adjuster can appoint up to 3 Public Adjuster Apprentices. A public adjusting firm can appoint up to 12 Public Adjuster Apprentices
  4. If I do not complete the 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprenticeship, how long must I wait to reapply for the Apprentice license?
    Two years after expiration, surrender, termination, revocation or cancellation of the apprentice license.
  5. What are the apprenticeship requirements for the 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprenticeship?
    Find all requirements for it on it License Qualifications page, linked here.
  6. Once I have completed the 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprenticeship, am I required to apply for the 3-20 Public Adjuster Examination Immediately?
    No
  7. I have a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation, do I have to take the 3-20 Public Adjuster Exam?
    Yes
  8. Does the 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprentice have to disclose that he is an apprentice to the client?
    No
  9. Does the supervising Public Adjuster's name need to be on the Apprentice's Business Card?
    No
  10. Can a 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprentice act as a Public Adjuster (in other words there are no restrictions on what we do) but ultimately the supervising Public Adjuster is responsible?
    No
  11. When I apply for the 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprentice License do I need a bond?
    Yes. You must file an original fifty thousand dollar ($50,000) surety bond, along with a bond form provided by the Department. [Click here for Bond Form]
  12. How long is the 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprentice License good for?
    Eighteen (18) months
  13. Can a 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprentice work in the field on hurricane disasters?
    Yes
  14. What are the requirements for opening a Public Adjusting Firm?
    They must have a licensed and appointed all-line public adjuster and complete the Designation/Deletion of Primary Adjuster for Adjusting Firm (DFS-H2-63/64)
  15. Can a Public Adjuster Apprentice sign their contracts?
    No
  16. Can a non-resident All Lines Public Adjuster supervise a 31-20 Public Adjuster Apprentice?
    No
  17. I obtained a 3-20 All Lines Public Adjuster License in 2004 with an Accredited Claims Adjuster (ACA) designation but currently hold a 5-20 Independent All Lines Adjuster License. Can I apply for the 3-20 Public Adjuster All Lines License without examination?
    No, you are required to pass the new Public Adjuster examination.
  18. Which designation can qualify me to apply for the public adjuster apprentice license?
    The Accredited Claims Adjuster (ACA), Certified Adjuster (CA), or Certified Claims Adjuster (CCA). designation is acceptable.
  19. Is Saturday considered a business day for the purposes of rescinding a contract with a public adjuster?
    No. Saturday is not considered a business day for the purposes of rescinding a contract with a public adjuster, pursuant to section 626.854(7), Florida Statutes.
  20. If my license is suspended, terminated, or revoked will I have to take an exam once the action is complete?
    Yes. Florida Statute 626.865(3) states "The department may not issue a license as a public adjuster to any individual who has not passed the examination for a public adjuster’s license. Any individual who is applying for reinstatement of a license after completion of a period of suspension and any individual who is applying for a new license after termination, cancellation, revocation, or expiration of a prior license as a public adjuster must pass the examination required for licensure as a public adjuster after approval of the application for reinstatement or for a new license regardless of whether the applicant passed an examination prior to issuance of the license that was suspended, terminated, canceled, revoked, or expired."

Title Agents
  1. What are the requirements to be licensed as a title agent?
    Resident agents / Non-resident agents
  2. Will a background check be performed?
    Yes. Please refer to our Fingerprinting Information page for more information.
  3. How do I print my official license or obtain proof of my licensure?
    Once you've met all license qualifications, the department will send your approval by email. You may then go to your MyProfile account and print your license. You will not be able to print your license until the department has received a passing result from the testing vendor.
  4. What are the requirements to be an agent-in-charge?
    The agent-in-charge for a title agency must be a licensed and appointed title agent or an attorney in good standing with the Florida Bar.
  5. Can I pay real estate agents, brokers or others for each piece of business they send to me?
    No. The Florida Statutes prohibit title insurance agents and agencies from paying, allowing, giving, or offering to pay, allow or give a direct or indirect inducement for the purchase of title insurance. Paying someone for each piece of business they send to you would be considered an inducement, which would be a violation of the statutes. [Florida Statutes §626.9541(1)(h)3.a.]
  6. Is there a Florida Statute that requires a title agent to have E&O and fidelity?
    No. It's not required for an individual 4-10 license.
  7. Can I arrange for my bank to sweep my escrow account at night to earn a higher interest rate, which will allow me to offset my overhead expenses?
    The Florida Statutes provide detailed directions as to the types of accounts and investments that may be used for escrow accounts. These requirements are the same for the entire day, not just during business hours. Florida Statutes §626.8473(3) states the funds must be immediately placed in a financial institution that is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). This means the funds may be invested in any type of investment that meets the requirements of Florida Statute §17.57 as long as it is an account that is maintained with a member of the FDIC or the NCUSIF.

    Florida Administrative Code 69O-186.008 prohibits a title insurance agent or title insurer from endangering the funds entrusted to them through the escrow process. In addition, this section of the code sets forth the procedures for accepting escrow funds and disbursing against the funds collected. A title insurance agent or insurer may only disburse on funds that are in the escrow at the time of the closing, or it is reasonable to expect the money is in the account at that time.

    Florida Administrative Code 69O-186.008(4) adds that funds received in excess of the insured amount must be deposited in a financial institution that has a rating not less than the minimum standards established by the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA). Basically these requirements state the funds must be invested in an account at an institution that is a member of an Automated Clearing House (ACH) or a correspondent of a member. It also must be rated by a suitable rating agency and receive an acceptable rating.

    A title insurance agent, agency, or title insurer could allow for escrow funds to be "swept" into another investment account provided:

    The funds are still maintained in an account that meets investment guidelines of the Florida Statutes and the Florida Administrative Code.

    • The buyer and the seller have both agreed at the time of deposit to allow the title insurance agent, agency or title insurer to earn interest on the escrow funds.
    • The buyer and the seller have agreed to the terms and the provisions of the investment agreement that transfers the funds from the escrow into any other acceptable account.
    • The investment grade of the account being used meets the Federal and State guidelines.
    • The funds will be available for disbursement at the time of closing.

    Any deviation from the Florida Statutes and the Florida Administrative Code could be considered as grounds for administrative action against the agent, the agency, or the insurer. A person engaging in this type of investment strategy would need to be very careful not to violate the multitude of provisions in the Florida Statutes, the Florida Administrative Code, and possibly some federal regulations.

    Unless advance permission has otherwise been granted by the escrow depositor, it has always been the position of this Department that escrow accounts utilized in moving the funds to various other investments, such as sweep accounts, are not in compliance with the Florida Insurance Code, particularly Section 626.8473(3), Florida Statutes, which requires escrow funds to at all times be maintained under protection of the FDIC or NCUSIF. Accordingly, we will pursue action against any licensee that we discover is engaging in this practice.
  8. What if I have other questions that are not addressed here?
    You can send your specific question or concern via email at TITLE@MYFLORIDACFO.COM. You can also mail or fax your request to:

    Department of Financial Services
    Bureau of Investigation - Title Section
    200 East Gaines Street
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0320
    (850) 488-5951 (Fax)
Title Agency
  1. What should I know to open a title agency?
    Read our tips and guidance on opening a title agency by clicking here.
  2. Are there any restrictions for the name of my title agency?
    Yes. Florida Statutes §626.8413 states a title agency "…shall not adopt a name which contains the words "title insurance," "title guaranty," or "title guarantee," unless such words are followed by the word "agent" or "agency" in the same size and type as the words preceding them…"
  3. Will a background check be performed?
    Yes. Please refer to our Fingerprinting Information page for more information.

    In addition, insurers appointing a title agency for the first time will secure on the officers of the agency a detailed credit and character report for the 5-year period immediately prior to the date of application for appointment. Information contained in credit and character reports furnished to the department are confidential and exempt from the public disclosure requirements. [s. 626.842, Florida Statutes]
  4. What are the requirements for an agent-in-charge?
    The agent-in-charge for a title agency must be a licensed and appointed title agent or an attorney in good standing with the Florida Bar.
  5. How do I license a branch location for a title agency?
    Title agencies do not require branch licenses. The license of the main office may be used for each branch location, which means that a violation discovered at one branch could affect all the locations. In addition, each branch location that does title insurance work must designate an agent-in-charge and notify the department of the identity of the person designated.

    Offices that perform closings only do not need to be licensed and do not need a licensed agent at that location.
  6. What fees may I charge on the settlement statement form?
    The only amounts that may be charged by a title agency for issuing the title Insurance and completing the closing are:

    • Closing Services - "Closing services" means services performed by a licensed title insurer, title Insurance agent or agency, or attorney agent in the agent's or agency's capacity as such, including, but not limited to, preparing documents necessary to close the transaction, conducting the closing, or handling the disbursing of funds related to the closing in a real estate closing transaction in which a title insurance commitment or policy is to be issued.
    • Title Search - "Title search" means the compiling of title information from official or public records.
    • Premium - "Premium" means the charge, as specified by rule of the commission that is made by a title insurer for a title insurance policy including the charge for performance of primary title services by a title insurer or title insurance agent or agency.
    No other charges are authorized by the Florida Statutes to be charged by a title insurance agent or agency for these services.
  7. Can I use an outside notary to assist with performing closings for my title agency?
    Yes. However, this would be an expense of the title agency and not an expense of the closing file. The cost for this service should be calculated in the closing services fee recorded on line 1100 of the settlement statement form. The notary service is conducting the closing which is clearly defined in Florida Statute §627.7711(1)(a) as being part of the closing services. By hiring an outside vendor to assist your title agency, you are assuming the responsibility for that vendor as if they were your employee. The title agency will be held responsible for the closing transaction performed by the outside vendor.
  8. Are there any fees I must pay each year for my title agency?
    Each licensed title insurance agency must pay $200 as an administrative surcharge by the end of January in the current year. Failure to pay this amount can result in administrative action and/or a fine being assessed against the license of the title agency.
  9. Where do I send surcharge payments?
    Surcharge payments must be paid via the title agency's MyProfile account.
  10. What if I forget to pay the surcharge?
    Fines for failing to pay the surcharge start at $500 for the first occurrence and increase the more times the agency fails to make the payment by the January 30 deadline. Agencies that fail to pay the surcharge may have their license and appointments suspended until the surcharge and fines are paid.
  11. How do I close my title agency?
    To close your title agency, you must first contact all title insurers of your title agency is appointed to represent. Advise them of your decision and ask them for guidance on the proper handling of the records for the policies issued for their company. The Florida Statutes require the title agent or insurer to maintain records pertinent to the issuance of the title policies. If your title agency will be closed, the insurer may need to make arrangements for maintaining your files. The title agency escrow account needs to remain open until all outstanding checks have cleared. Checks outstanding for more than 5 years can be turned over to the Bureau of Unclaimed Funds. Please visit the Bureau's website for more information: http://www.fltreasurehunt.org/

    The surety bond for the title agency is required to be maintained for a period of one year after the agency loses its last appointment to represent a title insurer, per Florida statute 626.8418(2). Once you have made the arrangements noted above, send a letter on your title agency letterhead to the Department of Financial Services, along with your license. The letter must indicate you want the title agency's license terminated and must include the last day business was conducted by the title agency.

    The letter of termination can be mailed to:
    Florida Department of Financial Services
    Bureau of Licensing
    200 East Gaines Street
    Tallahassee FL 32399
  12. Does a title agency need to have a surety bond?
    A title insurance agency must have obtained a surety bond in an amount not less than $35,000 made payable to the title insurer or title insurers appointing the agency. The surety bond must be for the benefit of any appointing title insurer damaged by a violation by the title insurance agency of its contract with the appointing title insurer. If the surety bond is payable to multiple title insurers, the surety bond must provide that each title insurer is to be notified in the event a claim is made upon the surety bond or the bond is terminated. The surety bond must remain in effect and unimpaired as long as the agency is appointed by a title insurer. The agency must provide written proof to the appointing title insurer or insurers on an annual basis evidencing that the surety bond is still in effect and unimpaired.[ss. 626.8419(1)(c), F.S.] Please do not send your bond to the Department.
  13. Is there a Florida Statute that requires a title agency to have E&O insurance?
    Yes. The title insurance agency is required to carry errors and omissions insurance in an amount acceptable to the insurer appointing the agency. The amount of coverage may not be less than $250,000 per claim with a deductible no greater than $10,000. [Florida Statutes §626.8419(1)(b)]
  14. Does a title agency need to have a fidelity bond?
    Yes. Title insurance agencies must obtain a fidelity bond in an amount not less than $50,000 and acceptable to the insurer appointing the agency. [Florida Statutes §626.8419(1)(a)]
  15. How long must I maintain records?
    Title agents must maintain records for seven (7) years pursuant to Florida Statute 627.7845(2) which state:

    "The title insurer shall cause the evidence of the determination of insurability and the reasonable title search or search of the records of a Uniform Commercial Code filing office to be preserved and retained in its files or in the files of Its title insurance agent or agency for a period of not less than 7 years after the title insurance commitment, title insurance policy, or guarantee of title was issued. The title insurer or agent or agency must produce the evidence required to be maintained by this subsection at its offices upon the demand of the office. Instead of retaining the original evidence, the title insurer or the title insurance agent or agency may, in the regular course of business, establish a system under which all or part of the evidence is recorded, copied, or reproduced by any photographic, photo static, microfilm, micro card, miniature photographic, or other process which accurately reproduces or forms a durable medium for reproducing the original."
  16. How long must I maintain escrow records?
    Escrow Account records must be maintained in accordance with Florida Administrative Code 690-186.009 which states "Every licensed title insurance agent shall maintain a monthly reconciliation of every escrow account required to be maintained pursuant to Florida Statute 626.8473 and shall, on a monthly basis, report such reconciliation together with appropriate supporting documentation to each title insurer which licensed the agent during the reconciliation period. The reconciliation shall be supported by appropriate documentation, including a monthly bank statement, a list of all outstanding checks as of the date of the reconciliation which is not shown on the monthly bank statement, and a trial balance of the escrow ledger records required to be maintained by subsection (2). Licensed title insurance agents and title insurers shall provide a copy of the monthly escrow account reconciliation to the Office upon Its request. Such records shall be maintained by the title insurer for a period of five years." Also part (2) states, "Every licensed title insurance agent shall maintain a separate ledger card for each real estate closing transaction for which funds are received in escrow. The ledger card shall contain chronological entries of dates and amounts of moneys received and disbursed including the name of the remitter and payee and each check number issued on such escrow account. Such records shall be maintained by the title insurance agent for a period of three years. The ledger card required by this rule may be maintained in computer storage with a print-out available upon request of a title insurer or the Office.
  17. Can our agency pay real estate agents, brokers or others for each piece of business they send to us?
    No. The Florida Statutes prohibit title insurance agents and agencies from paying, allowing, giving, or offering to pay, allow or give a direct or indirect inducement for the purchase of title insurance. Paying someone for each piece of business they send to you would be considered an inducement, which would be a violation of the statutes. [Florida Statutes §626.9541(1)(h)3.a.]
  18. Who selects the title agency to be used to issue the title insurance?
    The person paying the premium.
  19. Can I help the brokers that send me business by holding open houses for them?
    No. While we understand your desire to assist the people that are assisting you to increase your business, holding open houses for brokers would be viewed as an unfair trade practice and an inducement for the future sale of title insurance.
  20. Can a title agency advertise?
    Yes. The ad must be honest and accurate. It should promote the title agency and not any other business. If the title agency places an ad that solicits customers for any other business, it may be viewed as an unfair trade practice and an inducement for the future purchase of insurance.
  21. Can the agency advertise they offer rebates?
    Yes. Again the advertisement must be truthful and not be misleading. The advertisement cannot say the agency is discounting the title insurance premium, as that is misleading and inaccurate. The agency must charge the promulgated rate for title insurance and then the agency may rebate any portion of their share of the premium.
    Some examples: Advertising that your agency charges the lowest rates is misleading in that everyone must charge the same rates in Florida. Stating your agency reduces the title insurance premium by 20% is deceptive. You must charge the same rate, but you could provide a rebate of your portion of the premium that equates to 20% of the full premium.
  22. Who can act as an Escrow agent in Florida?
    Only a Licensed Title Agent; Attorney; Financial Institution; or Licensed Real Estate Agent.
  23. Can I arrange for my bank to sweep my escrow account at night to earn a higher interest rate, which will allow me to offset my overhead expenses?
    The Florida Statutes provide detailed directions as to the types of accounts and investments that may be used for escrow accounts. These requirements are the same for the entire day, not just during business hours. Florida Statutes §626.8473(3) states the funds must be immediately placed in a financial institution that is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). This means the funds may be invested in any type of investment that meets the requirements of Florida Statute §17.57 as long as it is an account that is maintained with a member of the FDIC or the NCUSIF.

    Florida Administrative Code 69O-186.008 prohibits a title insurance agent or title insurer from endangering the funds entrusted to them through the escrow process. In addition, this section of the code sets forth the procedures for accepting escrow funds and disbursing against the funds collected. A title insurance agent or insurer may only disburse on funds that are in the escrow at the time of the closing, or it is reasonable to expect the money is in the account at that time.

    Florida Administrative Code 69O-186.008(4) adds that funds received in excess of the insured amount must be deposited in a financial institution that has a rating not less than the minimum standards established by the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA). Basically these requirements state the funds must be invested in an account at an institution that is a member of an Automated Clearing House (ACH) or a correspondent of a member. It also must be rated by a suitable rating agency and receive an acceptable rating.

    A title insurance agent, agency, or title insurer could allow for escrow funds to be "swept" into another investment account provided:

    The funds are still maintained in an account that meets investment guidelines of the Florida Statutes and the Florida Administrative Code.

    • The buyer and the seller have both agreed at the time of deposit to allow the title insurance agent, agency or title insurer to earn interest on the escrow funds.
    • The buyer and the seller have agreed to the terms and the provisions of the investment agreement that transfers the funds from the escrow into any other acceptable account.
    • The investment grade of the account being used meets the Federal and State guidelines.
    • The funds will be available for disbursement at the time of closing.

    Any deviation from the Florida Statutes and the Florida Administrative Code could be considered as grounds for administrative action against the agent, the agency, or the insurer. A person engaging in this type of investment strategy would need to be very careful not to violate the multitude of provisions in the Florida Statutes, the Florida Administrative Code, and possibly some federal regulations.

    Unless advance permission has otherwise been granted by the escrow depositor, it has always been the position of this Department that escrow accounts utilized in moving the funds to various other investments, such as sweep accounts, are not in compliance with the Florida Insurance Code, particularly Section 626.8473(3), Florida Statutes, which requires escrow funds to at all times be maintained under protection of the FDIC or NCUSIF. Accordingly, we will pursue action against any licensee that we discover is engaging in this practice.
  24. What if I have other questions that are not addressed here?
    You can send your specific question or concern via email at Title@myfloridacfo.com.

    You can also mail or fax your request to:

    Department of Financial Services
    Bureau of Investigation Title Section
    200 East Gaines Street
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0320
    (850) 488-5951 (Fax)
Title Closings
  1. Where do I record my "related title services" on the HUD-1 form?
    Related title services are now referred to as "Closing Services" under s. 627.7711 (1)(a), Florida Statutes, and should be recorded on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement Line 1101. The examination of records is not a part of closing services; it is considered part of the primary title services. Similarly, the title search is not included in the definition of "Related Title Services" and is defined separately.

    • Closing Services include:
    • Services performed by the licensee
    • Preparing the documents for the closing
    • Conducting the closing
    • Disbursing the funds from the closing
  2. Where do I record the recertification fee?
    The recertification of a title is considered part of the primary title services, which are a component of the premium and a separate fee is not charged to the consumer.
  3. Can I charge a separate fee for postage, mailing, or overnight shipping?
    The Florida Statutes defines "closing services" as including preparing the documents and conducting the closing. Therefore any charges related to these functions should be included in the agency's closing services fee. The definition of "primary title services" includes performing the steps necessary to issue the title insurance policy. The insurer's liability for the gap period does not end until the proper documents are recorded in the county where the property is located. Therefore, the expense incurred by the agency to get these documents should be included in that agency's share of the title insurance premium. In many closings the lender will require certain debts of the buyer to be satisfied as part of the loan process. In order for the title agency to disburse these funds from the escrow account within the payoff deadline, it may be necessary to send the payments to each creditor using overnight or express mail services. While these payoffs are being disbursed from the escrow account, the primary purpose of the payments is to satisfy a lender requirement not a title insurance requirement. The department would not object to separate charges being made to the buyer for this service, as long as the agency did not add an amount to the charges from the provider of these services. The department would not expect these charges to be recorded in the title section of the HUD-1 form.
  4. Can I charge for the examination of the title records?
    The examination or evaluation of records to determine the insurability of a property is considered part of the primary title services, which are a component of the premium and a separate fee is not charged to the consumer.
  5. How do I properly record a rebate my agency is giving?
    To assure proper credit to the appropriate party, any rebate of the agent's share of the premium should be noted on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement form in the 1100 section on any line not assigned to another topic. It is important to note Florida Statutes s. 627.780 requires licensees to "quote, charge, accept, collect or receive" only the promulgated rate (premium), which should be recorded on lines 1108, 1109, and 1110. The same is true of the charges for the other title related services; listing the amount to be charged in the appropriate line will satisfy these requirements. Agencies looking to return part of these charges back to the payer will need to itemize their rebates on one of the blank lines in Section 1100. (Please see example below.)

    Section 1100 directions for Florida HUD-1 Settlement Statements effective October 1, 2007

    1100.

    Title Charges

    1101.

    Settlement or closing fee

    to

    Fee for Closing Services

    1102.

    Abstract or title search

    to

    Fee for title search

    1103.

    Title examination

    to

    No longer valid (part of Premium)

    1104.

    Title insurance binder

    to

    If charged needs credit applied to premium

    1105.

    Document Preparation

    to

    No longer valid (part of Closing Services)

    1106.

    Notary fees

    to

    No longer valid (part of Closing Services)

    1107.

    Attorney's fees

    to

    Fees charged by attorney for services not listed above

    (Includes above items numbers:

    1108.

    Title insurance

    to

    Issuing agency's name, underwriter's name & total premium for all title insurance

    (Includes above items numbers:

    - above may carry over into his section -

    1109.

    Lender's coverage

    $

    Coverage amount & premium for lender's coverage only

    1110.

    Owner's coverage

    $

    Coverage amount & premium for owner's coverage only

    1111.

    Any unassigned line may be used to list any rebate that

    1112.

    applies to this closing transaction.

    1113.

    Also used to record credit for binder previously charged

  6. Can we charge for the storage of the closing records?
    The Florida Statutes require the title insurance agency and the title insurance company to retain copies of the records related to the issuance of the title insurance policy and the funds disbursed from the escrow account. These fees should not be passed on to the consumer as separate line item charges. The title insurance agency may include the cost of storage of these records in the agency's calculations for the closing services fee.
  7. How long do I have after a closing to record the deed and mortgage?
    The liability to the insurance company remains open ended until the deed and the mortgage are properly recorded. Therefore, it is in everyone's best interest to record these documents as soon after the closing as possible. Failing to record the documents could create a claim for the insurer, which could put the agency in violation of the Florida Statutes, as well as jeopardize the agency's contract to represent that title insurer.
Title Escrow Accounts
  1. Can I deposit escrow funds into an interest bearing account?
    You may if the buyer and the seller have given you permission in writing to do so prior to depositing the funds. However, the escrow funds are considered fiduciary funds the agency is holding for benefit of another. Any interest earned on these funds should be addressed in this permission and it should note that the agency may not accept the interest unless both parties have voluntarily released their right to that interest.
  2. Are Sweep accounts allowed for escrow funds?
    As a general rule, no. Most sweep accounts remove funds from an escrow account at the end of the business day to be invested in other investments that are not federally insured as required by §626.8473. In addition, the buyer and the seller must agree in advance to allowing the funds to earn interest.
  3. Is there any way to get a sweep account that is allowed?
    Yes. Every buyer and every seller must agree to allow the escrow funds to earn interest prior to those funds being deposited into the account to be swept. In addition, the sweeping of the account must only result in the funds being transferred into an account that meets the requirements of §626.8473. A separate escrow account must be maintained for escrow funds accepted as part of a closing where the buyer or the seller did not agree to allow the account to earn interest.
  4. What is the penalty of I allow my escrow account to be swept into an account that does not comply with §626.8473?
    If the escrow funds being moved are greater than $300, the transfer may be considered a felony crime and punishable as provided in §775.082, 775.083, or 775.084, depending on the total amount of funds involved.
  5. Can a title agency accept escrow funds for a transaction that does not include the issuance of title insurance?
    The Florida Statutes do not prohibit the acceptance of escrow funds outside a title insurance transaction and Florida Statutes §877.101 specifically identifies licensed title insurance agencies as an entity that may accept escrow funds.
    PLEASE NOTE: Accepting escrow funds for a transaction outside one that results in the issuance of a title insurance policy may not be covered under your agency's surety and fidelity bonds. You should also check your agency's errors and omission coverage, too.
  6. If there is less than $10 in the escrow account, can a check be written to the agency to bring the balance to "0"?
    No. Escrow funds are received by an agency in a fiduciary capacity. All funds must be properly accounted and paid to appropriate party. Failing to disburse any amount from the escrow fund is a violation of Florida Statutes §626.8473.
  7. Is it okay to enter into an agreement where my agency keeps any amount due to the consumer that is less than $25?
    The Florida Statutes defines all funds received by a title insurance agent or agency received from others as escrow funds to be trust funds held in a fiduciary capacity. The title insurance agent or agency is not the owner of these funds. A title insurance agent, title insurance agency or a title insurer is entitled to receive only the amounts listed on the settlement statement form for the services or products that entity provided. Anyone that retains any portion of a fee that the consumer overpaid must refund that overage immediately. The Department of Financial Services does not recognize any waiver of the provisions of the Florida Statutes that relate to funds held in escrow and/or disbursed from escrow by a licensee.

    A title insurance agent or agency must immediately return any amounts that are due to the consumer, regardless of the amount.

    Florida Statutes §626.8473(7):
    A title insurance agent, or any officer, director, or employee thereof, or any person associated therewith as an independent contractor for bookkeeping or similar purposes, who converts or misappropriates funds received or held in escrow or in trust by such title insurance agent, or any person who knowingly receives or conspires to receive such funds, commits:


    1. If the funds converted or misappropriated are $300 or less, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
    2. If the funds converted or misappropriated are more than $300, but less than $20,000, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
    3. If the funds converted or misappropriated are $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
    4. If the funds converted or misappropriated are $100,000 or more, a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  8. How do I handle payment of fees for electronic recording of title documents?
    Section 695.27, Florida Statutes, permits the electronic transmission and recording of real property documents. Electronic filings may require that an electronic payment accompany the documents to be recorded. The consumer should be charged the exact amount of the fee charged to the agency to record the documents pursuant to Section 626.8473, Florida Statutes. There is no statutory prohibition on the electronic payment of title fees directly to a title agency's account, nor do the statutes address how the agency should handle such payments. If a title agency chooses to accept electronic payments for these services, such payments may be made to escrow or other accounts, following the guidelines below. Electronic recording payments are trust funds subject to the provisions of Section 626.8473, Florida Statutes; agencies must hold trust funds in a fiduciary capacity and the funds are at no time the property of the title agency or agent.

    1. Escrow: If an agency chooses to accept payments in this manner, the payment amount should be transferred to a different account to complete the payment. As always, agencies should carefully monitor escrow accounts and allow only authorized signors to access escrow funds. Agencies using an electronic escrow account may deposit these funds using a paper check or electronic transfer and should ensure that the paper check or electronic funds transfer number appears on the escrow disbursement ledger.
    2. Exclusive: If an agency chooses to maintain an account exclusively for the purpose of collecting payments for electronic filings, the agency should still be prepared to provide to the Department an auditing of funds as needed.
    3. Operating: Under Section 626.8473(4), Florida Statutes, agencies may not use their general operating accounts for the deposit of electronic filing payments. The commingling of the funds is prohibited and would impermissibly subject the payment to the debts of the agency.
Warranty Licenses
  1. What are the requirements for a warranty license?
    Home Warranty Sales Representative (2-51)
    Home Warranty Sales Representative FIRM (2-51)
    Service Warranty Sales Representative (2-52)
    Service Warranty Sales Representative FIRM (2-52)
  2. How do I license branch locations for a warranty business license?
    Go to MyProfile and log in to your "Parent" account. Click the "New Location" link. The parent company must have the license before a branch can apply.
  3. Do warranty licenses require fingerprints?
    No.
  4. How do I get an appointment for the warranty license?
    You must contact the insurer that you will be writing warranties through. The insurer will appoint you.
  5. Are the employees of a business and the business itself required to have a license to write/sell warranties?
    No. If a business holds a warranty license, employees of that business are not required to obtain an individual warranty license.

Want to stay up to date on compliance matters?

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