Mortgage Licensing can be a very arduous process. Any time we deal with the government, the likelyhood of getting great customer service is very slim. The reason being that the state or federal government employees are not compensated with bonuses or commissions for processing more applications each month. Most government employees that I have worked with are just doing the minimum needed to stay employed so that they can receive their check each month and their retirement at the end of their career. There are some exceptions though. A few states have great management and helpful licensing analysts. New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Delaware, Tennessee, and Wyoming are few examples.
With that being said, processing times for new license applications can greatly differ. If you apply for a New Mexico license on a Monday, it is possible to have it approved by Friday. However, if you apply for a New York license on January 1st, it is possible that you won't have the license by the following year. They are just very unorganized and the red tape can stop you in your tracks at times. Generally though, most states take about 2 month to process a license application, because the state regulations require them to provide you with a response within 60 days. As long as you submit everything correctly the first time, you can expect to have your license in that time frame. If items are missing, the time can easily double to 4 or more months.
Having a complete application is one of the most important steps to reducing the time for the state to process the application. For example, when you submit a loan to a processor, if the file is missing half of the documentation, the processor can easily get frustrated and confused on what is needed. The processor will likely put your file on the bottom of the stack and work on it later. It can go back and forth for a long time. The same situation occurs with licensing. If the file is missing major items, then the state analyst has to request those items, and your application is put on the bottom of the pile. Again, a process that should take a couple months turns into 4 or 5 months very easily.
Another very important aspect of how long it will take to get a mortgage license is the time to prepare the application. I have seen applications completed in a few days, and I have also seen applications take numerous months to be completed. When I prepare mortgage license applications, I will send a list of needed items to the mortgage company. If the company does not provide me the items, I cannot complete the application. Usually the needed items are simple such as resumes, credit reports, and financials on the owners or formation documents, financials, and reference letters on the company, however, if they are not provided, the application will just sit and the timeframe for the state to process the application will never start.
Usually most companies are able to provide the needed documentation within 2 to 4 weeks. And the states take 8 to 12 weeks to process the application. So the average time to obtain a mortgage license from start to finish is between 10 to 16 weeks. But remember, you need to make sure the application is complete and to provide the needed documentation right away or it could easily turn in to a 9 to 12 month process.