License Requirements

How to Get a California Insurance License

How to Get a California Insurance License

Updated: November 9, 2021

A.D. Banker Provider #: 20090

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On this page, you'll find a comprehensive guide for getting your insurance license. We'll walk you through the process, and we'll be here to answer any questions you have along the way.

California requires each person selling insurance in the state to hold an insurance license. You will choose which line of authority you want to be licensed in: health insurance, life insurance, property and casualty insurance, or any combination of those lines.

Once you know which license you need, you're ready to begin. In California, there are 4 steps to getting your insurance license.

1. Complete a Prelicensing Course

The first step is to complete a prelicensing course. A.D. Banker offers prelicensing courses that will prepare you to successfully pass the state exam on your first attempt. We offer online courses that can be supplemented with web classes, in-person classes, or learning tools like flashcards and study manuals.

California requires potential agents to complete 20 hours of prelicensing education for each line of authority before attempting the state exam. In addition, 12 hours of Ethics & Code must be completed. The specific hour requirements are as follows:

  • 20 hours - Life Only Agent
  • 20 hours - Accident & Health Agent
  • 40 hours - Life, Accident and Health Agent
  • 40 hours - Property/Casualty Broker-Agent
  • 20 hours - Personal Lines Broker-Agent
  • 20 hours - Limited Line Automobile Agent

Upon the completion of the prelicensing course, you will be issued a Certificate of Completion to submit to the California Department of Insurance with the license application. This certificate is valid for 3 years.

2. Get Fingerprinted

California requires fingerprint impressions from all unlicensed applicants. You can complete this requirement before the exam to ensure there is no delay in your license issuance. The exam site also offers fingerprint impressions on the day of the exam.

3. Pass a Licensing Exam

After you finish your prelicensing course, you are now ready to take the state licensing exam. You must score 60% or higher to pass your state licensing exam.

Where can I take the state exam? 

Remote exams are available to ensure accessibility and safety. These exams require you to have a computer or laptop that is compatible with the PSI Bridge remote testing platform. If you do not have a compatible computer, you must schedule an in-person exam.

Exams may also be taken in-person at a PSI testing site or the California Department of Insurance location in Los Angeles. Exams taken at a PSI location may include an additional provider fee. 

How do I schedule my state exam?

Every insurance licensing exam is accompanied by an exam fee that must be paid at the time of reservation by a credit or debit card, voucher, or electronic check. You can schedule your state exam through PSI.

How should I prepare for my remote state exam?

Before scheduling your remote licensing exam, test the compatibility of your computer, webcam, and microphone. PSI Bridge requires a Google Chrome Browser. Exams must be scheduled at least two days in advance, and you are allowed to cancel or reschedule your exam up to 48 hours before your reservation time. 

Next, download PSI Bridge. Please note that the download can take up to 30 minutes, so we recommend you do this before the day of your test to prevent any last-minute technical problems.

Login to the testing platform 30 minutes before your exam reservation time. A state or government ID is required to be presented to verify your identity. For remote exams, a military ID is not accepted as a valid form of identification.

Your remote test requires you to be alone in a private room for the duration of the exam. The surface you have your computer on must be clear of all objects. You cannot have a phone, headphones, or a wristwatch on while you are taking the exam. Food and drink are also prohibited.

All exams are monitored by a third-party to ensure all testing requirements are followed. The monitors are able to answer questions that do not pertain to the content of the exam via live chat. 

If you experience any technical issues while downloading PSI Bridge or during your exam, you can call PSI's Technical Support at (844) 267-1017.

How should I prepare for my in-person state exam?

Report to the testing center 30 minutes before your exam time for the check-in process. You will be required to present a valid government ID. If you arrive late, you will not be admitted to the test center and will forfeit the exam fee.

No personal items are allowed to be taken into the testing center. All personal items, including bags and wallets, will have to remain in your vehicle or be checked into provided storage space. Cell phones, calculators, electronic devices, and wrist watches are not allowed into the testing center. Food and drink are also prohibited. You must stay in the testing center for the duration of the exam. No breaks are allowed.

If you have any questions about the exam process, testing locations, or security measures, please contact PSI or California's Department of Insurance. 

California Department of Insurance

Testing Provider (PSI)

(800) 967-9331

(833) 518-7456

What is the format of the state exam?

All licensing exams are taken on a computer and are multiple choice. The exam will cover both a general section with basic insurance product knowledge and a state section with specific insurance laws, rules, regulations, and practices that are unique to California. Good news! Both of these sections are covered in our prelicensing courses, and we remain knowledgeable and up to date on California-specific information and changes in exam procedures.

How long is the state exam?

Depending on which line of insurance you are testing on, the amount of time and number of questions on the exam vary. Exams will last 1.5 to 3.5 hours and can have 60 to 150 questions

  • Accident and Health Agent exam is 1.5 hours with 75 questions
  • Casualty Broker-Agent exam is 1.5 hours with 75 questions
  • Commercial Insurance Agent exam is 1.5 hours with 60 questions
  • Insurance Adjuster exam is 2.5 hours with 100 questions
  • Life and Disability Analyst exam is 3.5 hours with 125 questions
  • Life Limited to Burial and Funeral Expense exam is 2 hours with 90 questions
  • Life, Accident, and Health Agent exam is 3 hours with 150 questions
  • Life-Only Agent exam is 1.5 hours with 75 questions
  • Personal Lines Broker-Agent exam is 2 hours with 90 questions
  • Property Broker-Agent and Casualty Broker-Agent exam is 3 hours with 150 questions
  • Property Broker-Agent exam is 1.5 hours with 75 questions

What score do I need to pass my state exam?

For all insurance exams, you need a score of 60% or higher to pass. Immediately after your exam, you will receive a pass or fail notification.

What happens if I fail my state exam?

You will receive a diagnostic report indicating your strengths and weaknesses on the exam. You can send up a copy of your score report to for our team to review and respond with personalized feedback.

You are able to immediately reschedule a new exam without a waiting period. If you would like more detailed information, or if you have any questions about the exam process, please visit PSI's website.

4. Apply for License

After passing the exam, you are ready to apply for your license. The status of your submitted license application can be checked at any time with the California Department of Insurance. Once the application is approved, you will receive a link to print or download your license. 

We're Here to Help

Our goal is to prepare you for your insurance licensing exam, and then guide you through your career as a licensed professional. Once you pass your exam and successfully apply for a license, your license will need to be renewed every 2 years. Learn more about how to renew a California insurance license by visiting our California CE requirements page.

Once you begin the process of becoming a licensed insurance professional, we're here to help you every step of the way. Get started today by reviewing our prelicensing course catalog.


A.D. Banker Prelicensing Course Free Trial

A.D. Banker & Company provides licensing information as a courtesy to our students. While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, licensees are ultimately responsible for ensuring that they are in compliance with the requirements set forth by their state licensing entity. A.D. Banker & Company offers no guarantee of the accuracy of this information and will not be held liable in case of noncompliance with the license requirements.