License Requirements

How to Get a Series 63 License

How to Get a Series 63 License

Securities industry professionals seeking to transact business with residents in most states as securities agents on behalf of broker-dealers are required to obtain a Series 63  license. The Series 63 exam, formally the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination (USASLE), is developed and maintained by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Although individuals living or working only in CO, D.C., FL, LA, MD, or Puerto Rico are not required by those jurisdictions to obtain a Series 63 license, most broker-dealer firms may still require these agents to obtain a Series 63 license in case they have customers in any other states.

In addition to passing the Series 63 exam, you must also pass the FINRA SIE exam and the appropriate representative level exam, such as the Series 6 or Series 7, before you can apply to register with a state as a broker-dealer agent. You will not become a securities agent or a registered representative with a member firm until all exams are passed and any other requirements relating to registration have been satisfied. 

If you already have a sponsoring firm, talk to your firm to help determine which representative level exam you should take. You are required to have a sponsoring firm to be eligible to take the Series 6 or Series 7 exam. 

You are not required to have a sponsoring firm to take the Series 63 exam. For additional help in determining the registration that you need, you can consult the Permitted Activities of Registered Representative’s page.

1. Complete an Exam Prep Course

To prepare for the Series 63 exam, we recommend you take a prelicensing exam preparation course. A.D. Banker offers prelicensing courses that will prepare you to successfully pass your licensing exam on your first attempt. Online courses include videos, practice exams, audio, activities, and key facts. They can be supplemented with flashcards, study manuals, and web classes.

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Series 63 Testable Topics

The knowledge required to pass the Series 63 exam includes the basic principles of the Uniform Securities Act (USA), the NASAA Statements of Policy and Model Rules, state registration and regulation of nonexempt persons, state registration of nonexempt securities, unethical and prohibited practices, handling of client funds and securities, and administrative procedures. The A.D. Banker Series 63 Training Course covers all the information you need to study to pass the exam.

The NASAA Series 63 content outline provides a comprehensive list of testable topics.

2. Schedule Your Licensing Exam

In order to enroll for the Series 63 exam through a sponsoring FINRA member firm, your firm must file a Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer, also known as the U4, via FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD) system. You will also be required to provide your Social Security number and submit fingerprints.

Once you are enrolled and eligible to take the exam, FINRA will issue a CRD number and open a 120-day window in which to schedule an appointment with Prometric to take and pass your exam.

If you are not sponsored by a FINRA firm, you must follow the self-enrollment procedures as an individual. This will require you to create an account with FINRA, enroll, and pay for the Series 63 exam.The cost of the Series 63 exam is $147.  

You will schedule an appointment to take the exam at a local test center through Prometric or by calling (800) 578-6273. Online exams will only be available for candidates requiring testing accommodations.

Upon scheduling your exam, you will need to provide:

  • Your name and FINRA ID # or assigned unique ID number
  • The exam name or identifying series ID (USASLE)
  • A telephone number for you or your employer
  • An email address where they can send the appointment confirmation

Once you have scheduled your exam, you will receive an email from the testing provider with the schedule date and time, the test center location, and the test-day procedures.

3. Pass a Licensing Exam

The Series 63 exam consists of 65 multiple-choice questions, of which 60 questions are scorable. These 5 additional questions are “pretest” questions that are randomly distributed throughout the exam and do not count for or against your score. Once these questions have sufficient statistics to be considered valid questions, they will be added to the testing provider’s pool of scored questions. As a test taker, you will never know which questions are pretest and must answer all questions to complete the exam, so you should treat every question as if it counts. Candidates will be given 75 minutes to complete the exam and must correctly answer at least 43 of the 60 scorable questions to achieve a passing score of 72%.

Testing Procedures 

On the day of the exam, you will be required to provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID to be admitted to the exam.

Information about taking your exam at a test center:

  • Arrive 30 minutes before your appointment
  • You will be required to sign in and agree to the NASAA Qualification Examinations Rules of Conduct  
  • The center takes a photo of you and/or collects your biometric info (thumb/palm print)
  • At the beginning of your appointment, you will have 30-minutes to take a tutorial to familiarize yourself with the exam format
  • No personal items will be allowed in the testing area. All personal items must be placed in the center-provided storage prior to entrance.
  • Personal calculators are not allowed; the testing center will provide a calculator for you to use

Exam Results

Upon completing your exam at a test center, you will receive your results on the computer screen after you complete your exam, and you will also receive a printed copy of your pass/fail results report.

Candidates must wait 30 days after a first failed exam attempt and 30 days after a second failed attempt before retaking the exam. After a third failed attempt, as well as any attempts after that, the waiting period is 180 days. These waiting periods mirror the FINRA-sponsored exams.

Passing the exam is a prerequisite to obtaining a license by a state. However, there are other requirements, such as filing an application (usually done by a firm using the Form U4), passing the background check, bonding, and paying a fee, that a state may impose before granting a license. Contact your state regulator for more information.

We’re Here to Help

Our goal is to prepare you for your licensing exam, and then guide you through your career as a financial services professional. After you become a registered representative in the securities industry, you may decide to further your career by obtaining one or more insurance or securities licenses.

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

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