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CA RML License
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What is RML License

CA RML License

Residential Mortgage Lender (RML) license is issued by the California Department of Business Oversight under California Residential Mortgage Lender Law (CRMLA) allowing a licensed entity to engage in the business of residential mortgage lending in the State of California. The license is also known as California Residential Mortgage Lenders Law (CRMLA) License.

RML Allows Residential Mortgage Brokering and Lending

CRMLA license is required by any entity that is engaged in the business of conducting residential mortgage brokering, banking, or servicing in the state of California. In addition to RML license, you will be required to complete the NMLS registration and licensing requirements to originate mortgage loans.

A key requirement for obtaining RML license is for you to be approved as a lender or servicer by any of the following: FHA, VA, FmHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae. If you do not have approval from any one of these entities and you intend to engage in residential mortgages then you many want to obtain the CFL license or a license issued by Bureau of Real Estate (BRE).


Entities that Can Obtain the License

The license can be obtained by any form of organization. It can be a proprietorship, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, association, trust, joint venture, unincorporated organization, joint stock company, government, or political subdivisions of government, or and any other entity.

RML License is an Alternate to CFL and BRE Licenses

If you are licensed under CA BRE as a broker or corporation or have a CFL license then you are not required to obtain RML license for conducting residential mortgage license. BRE and CFL licensees are considered as an exemption under the CRMLA. See licensing exemptions section below.


Licensing Exemptions

The following entities are exempt from licensing:

  1. Banks, trust companies, insurance companies, and industrial loan companies
  2. Federally chartered savings and loan associations, federal savings banks, and federal credit unions
  3. Savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions authorized to conduct business in California
  4. Persons engaged solely in business, commercial, or agricultural mortgage lending
  5. Wholly owned service corporations of savings and loan associations or savings banks
  6. Federal, state and municipal governments
  7. Pension plans making residential mortgage loans to their participants
  8. Persons acting in a fiduciary capacity conferred by the authority of a court
  9. Licensed California real estate brokers
  10. California finance lenders
  11. Trustees in a foreclosure proceeding

Essential Facts - RML License

Validity/License Term:
Valid until cancelled
Activities Allowed:
Residential real estate brokerage, lending, and servicing
Educational Requirements:
Experience Requirements:
Other Requirements:
Obtain Federal Agency Approval
Available To:
Any entity such as Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Partnership, LLC, LLP, Corporations, Trust, Association
The entity need not be resident in California
Issuing Agency:
Department of Corporation. Applications are filed and processed through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System.
Annual reporting requirements apply
Branch License:
Each branch needs to be licensed

Eligibility Requirements for Obtaining a License

Key Requirements

  1. Agency Lender: You must be approved as a lender or servicer by any of the following agencies:
    1. Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
    2. Veterans Administration (VA)
    3. Farmers Home Administration (FmHA)
    4. Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), also known as Ginnie Mae
    5. Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), also known as Fannie Mae
    6. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), also known as Freddie Mac
  2. Net Worth: Your minimum tangible net worth of at least $250,000 demonstrated through audited financial statements prepared by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  3. Surety Bond: A surety bond in the amount of $50,000 is required. The bond must be issued by a company authorized to conduct business in California.

Other Requirements

In addition to eligibility requirements, you need to keep the following in mind when applying for RML License.

  1. Trade Name Registration: All trade names or fictitious business names must be registered with the county clerk.
  2. Qualifying Individual: You must designate a person a person who will act as a supervisor for all mortgage loan origination activities and be answerable for all license activities to the Department of Business Oversight. Such person will be responsible for implementing the policies and procedures, supervising the main office, provide oversight of the branch offices, and perform reviews and audits.
  3. Business Plan: You need to prepare a business plan which describes the type of business to be conducted.
  4. Fidelity Bond: You need to be covered by a fidelity bond prior to applying for a license.

Updated: Sep 14, 2013


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RML license allows an entity to engage in the business of residential mortgage lending in the State of California
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