Same sex female couple with broker.

What Is NMLS?

April 26, 2024 3 minute read

Author: Victoria Araj


When you get a mortgage, it’s a complicated financial transaction. You want to know that the loan officer giving you advice and walking you through the transaction has had the proper training and licensing. You can be sure of this by looking up their NMLS unique identifier.

But what is the NMLS and what is it used for?

NMLS Meaning

The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) is a centralized online database that mortgage and finance regulatory agencies use to maintain state licensing programs. The database then creates their NMLS numbers, assigning unique identifiers to mortgage loan originators and lending companies.

For example, a mortgage loan originator (MLO) is someone who has completed the professional certification required to originate mortgages and provide home loan advice in at least one state. This certification would be included in the NMLS for you to review and look up by the mortgage loan originator’s NMLS ID. Both mortgage lending companies and individual MLOs must stay in compliance, which means they must renew their state licenses annually and add them to the NMLS.

See What You Qualify For


Type of Loan

Home Description

Property Use

Your Credit Profile

When do you plan to purchase your home?

Do you have a second mortgage?

Are you a first time homebuyer?

Your email address () will be your Username.
Contains 1 Uppercase Letter
Contains 1 Lowercase Letter
Contains 1 Number
At Least 8 Characters Long
Go Back


By submitting your contact information you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy, which includes using arbitration to resolve claims related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.!

NMLS #3030
Rocket Mortgage Logo

Congratulations! Based on the information you have provided, you are eligible to continue your home loan process online with Rocket Mortgage.

If a sign-in page does not automatically pop up in a new tab, click here

Rocket Mortgage Logo

NMLS Requirements

When Congress passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (“SAFE Act”), it required states to pass legislation mandating that MLOs be licensed. In addition, the SAFE Act required state agencies to participate in and share licensing information through NMLS.

MLOs must complete 20 hours of educational training, pass a national mortgage test, credit report review and pass an FBI criminal background check to get their license through NMLS. In addition, MLOs must complete 8 hours of continuing education annually to maintain their state license(s).

What Is The Purpose Of The NMLS?

NMLS is a comprehensive licensing system for all state-licensed mortgage companies and MLOs. It’s also a registration system for MLOs working in all depository institutions, including banks and credit unions. Nearly 640,000 companies and individuals use NMLS annually to manage their business licensing or registration, including consumer finance, debt and money services industries.

NMLS also has a free, public facing portal ( where anyone can look up any licensed MLO to check their status and credentials. You can see their licenses and where they’re authorized to do business.

How Does The NMLS Work?

Any applications for state licenses, documentation, or other required forms for licensing are filed through the NMLS, whether you’re an MLO or a lender. Each loan officer or lender receives a unique identification number to associate the records with that individual or company. As an example, Rocket Mortgage® has NMLS #3030.

All new applications, changes or renewals to licensing are processed through the NMLS. This allows for a quick lookup of individual licenses and allows the license to persist even if they switch company affiliations. NMLS makes maintaining licensing possible within the mortgage industry.

How Does The NMLS Protect Clients?

From a home buyer's perspective or someone looking to refinance, NMLS Consumer Access allows you to vet the person you’re working with and check licensing requirements no matter which lender or mortgage broker they work with.

You can start by searching the NMLS ID number for your lender or MLO. The information that comes up can help you make an informed decision about who you work with.

The type of information that can come up in an NMLS search will vary a bit based on where the banker is licensed. States often have slightly different requirements. However, at a minimum, you’ll be able to see their licensing information in one or more states. Additionally, you can file a complaint to the relevant regulatory agencies. You can also see if they have dealt with regulatory action in the past.

The Bottom Line: Take Advantage Of The NMLS

The NMLS is a one-stop database for state licensing information for both mortgage lenders and the mortgage loan officers who are part of their team. NMLS maintains licensing information and allows lenders and consumers to check the credential of loan officers they work with. Home buyers and refinancers can use this system to evaluate the lenders and loan officers they work with.

Now that you’ve been given the tools to gain confidence in the mortgage professionals you work with, feel free to apply online or give us a call at (833) 326-6018. If you would rather work with someone in your community, feel free to search for mortgage brokers through our database.

Get approved to refinance.

See expert-recommended refinance options and customize them to fit your budget.

Victoria Araj

Victoria Araj is a Section Editor for Rocket Mortgage and held roles in mortgage banking, public relations and more in her 15+ years with the company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in political science from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan.