Broker Banker recently asked Ginger Bell about the Uniform State Test (UST), for which you must apply by March 31, 2014.
Broker Banker—What is the UST?
Ginger Bell—The Stand-alone Uniform State Test is a short- term version of the newly adopted National Test Component of the NMLS. So far 39 states have adopted it. The UST will now be included in the new National Test. This short version is available for a limited time to those who previously passed the retired National Test and wish to complete the UST.
Broker Banker—What is the focus?
Bell—The test has 25 questions on uniform state content, all of which are scored (all questions used to calculate your test score). The National Test Component with Uniform State Content now has a total of 125 questions. The new UST material tests applicants on their knowledge of high level state-related content that is based on the SAFE Act and the CSBS/AARMR Model State Law (MSL), which many states used to implement the SAFE Act. The content outline for the new National Test Component with Uniform State Content, and the Stand-alone UST including references is covered in detail in courses offered by OnlineEd, Mortgage Educators and others.
BB—Is this an annual test?
Bell—No, once you pass the UST, you won’t have to take it again. The UST replaces the state-specific test components for the states that adopt it. Therefore, by passing the National with Uniform State Content or the Stand-alone UST, a candidate can satisfy the testing requirements for licensure in those adopting states, and any states that adopt in the future.
BB—Who should take the test?
Bell—Any loan originator who plans to do business in another state. Currently, in addition to the NMLS test, loan officers are required to take a test for each state in which they intend to do business. For example, a Colorado originator who wants to do business in Arizona, California and Utah, must pass the NMLS plus four state tests (primary state and three others). Once you pass the UST, you’ll be able to do business in any of the 39 states now covered. In addition, when other states adopt the test, you’ll be grandfathered in.
BB—What is the time frame?
Bell—You must enroll for the UST by March 31, 2014 and take it within six months of that date.
BB—What if you miss the deadline?
Bell— If you miss the deadline and want to get licensed in another state in the future you will either have to re-take the 125 question National Test that includes the new UST questions for the states that have adopted the new UST, or take the state-specific test for those states that have not yet adopted it. The bottom line is this; if you are considering getting licensed in another state at some time in the future, then you should take the test. If not, then don’t worry about it.
BB—Any other details?
Bell—It takes up to 45 minutes to complete the test and costs $33.
BB—Where can readers find more information?
Bell: Instructions on how to enroll for the test may be found at the NMLS site.
Link to Test Enrollment Guide:
Ginger Bell is a best-selling author and the Director of Business Development and Training for C3Compliance Solutions, Inc. (C3CS). Her expertise is in developing and implementing training programs and speaking on mortgage-related topics. Ginger recently joined forces with best-selling author and speaker, Brian Tracy, to publish Cracking the Success Code. Bell has more than 25 years’ experience leading workshops in public speaking, leadership, customer service, sales and mortgage and regulatory compliance. Bell is an NMLS and California BRE approved instructor and has received several major professional awards. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.