California Department of Insurance Website
Comment: This website has detailed information about everything you would ever want to know about insurance regulation in California. Unfortunately, most of this information will be of much more interest AFTER you pass the exam and begin your career in insurance.
This website is useful for getting information necessary to reach specific individuals you may need to contact within the Department of Insurance before obtaining your license. For example, if you have previously held an insurance license in another state or in California, you should contact the department’s licensing personnel to see if any particular rules apply to you. Also, if you have a significant criminal record such as a felony, a prior bankruptcy, or child support payment issues, you may have a delay in obtaining your insurance license. On this website, you can find the people who know the answers to those kinds of questions. At 180 Licensing, we have found the staff members at the California Department of Insurance to be very friendly and helpful.
When in doubt about any technical licensing or regulatory issue, the California Department of Insurance is the authoritative administrative agency to contact. Their phone number is 334-269-3550
California Statutes and Regulations
Comment: These are exact copies of California’s state statutes and regulations. The detail is overwhelming. Our recommendation is to not visit these two state sites unless you have a very specific issue you want to research.
California Testing Service Website (PSI)
Comment: Working with the state of California, PSI has the contract to write and administer the insurance exams in California.
There are a lot of useful resources on this site, including:
- Test Registration Services. Online Registration
- The California’s Department of Insurance Producer Licensing Website
Examination Outlines. There are Examination Outlines for each insurance exam administered by the state. But, the outlines are very broad and do not supply adequate detail. It is critical that any materials you use in your studies not only cover the key points in the Examination Outlines, but also expand on them to provide the comprehensive information needed to pass the exam. That’s where 180 Licensing comes in with solid exam prep materials.
Candidate Information Bulletin. PSI’s website does have detailed information in the Candidate Information Bulletin that will be very useful if you have unique issues. For example, the Candidate Information Bulletin covers I.D. problems, such as if you are in the process of changing your name and your I.D. does not match the name you are currently using. You will also find all of the helpful details regarding getting a refund of your test fee, rescheduling your exam date, making special arrangements if you have a testing disability issue, or determining whether the exam is offered in a language other than English. Dig into this handbook to get most of your questions answered.
Online Practice Questions. The testing company has online practice exams available. While these exams will give you a feel for how a test question is structured, the testing company cannot ethically sell you test questions. 180 Licensing has one of the largest practice test banks that we know of included as part of our exam prep packages.
California Approved Prelicensing Education
Comment: The state of California requires prelicensing education from a California approved provider prior to you being able to take your insurance exam. You must take the required course and receive a certificate of completion and must pass your insurance exam within a 12 month period.
Find a provider here.
Fingerprinting Service Website (Accurate Biometrics)
Comment: You obtain your fingerprints through Accurate Biometrics, the fingerprint service company contracted by California. Preregistration is required before visiting a Accurate Biometrics location in California. Get fingerprinted after passing your exam and immediately before applying for your license.
Online Licensing Service Website (Sircon)
Comment: The state of California has contracted with Sircon to provide you with an online license application portal. In most states for most major insurance licenses, the online licensing process has largely replaced the old paper application system. Check with the California Insurance Department if you have the need to apply by paper.
National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s (NAIC) Website
Comment: All of the state insurance regulators belong to this organization. The government regulators use NAIC to share information and create model legislation as guidance for the individual states.
Since this website is primarily oriented toward insurance regulators, we have not found the site to be as beneficial for someone preparing for the exam. But, a visit to this site can be instructive in a few ways. First, you will gain an appreciation for how complex the insurance industry is. Second, you will see the vast array of issues facing the insurance industry on any given day. And, last, you will find a number of the NAIC Consumer Guides very informative (such as the Shopper’s Guide for Buying Life Insurance, the guide on Deferred Annuities with Equity Index Features, etc.).
Disclaimer: 180 Licensing Exam Prep, Inc. makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, information is subject to change. The final authority for the latest insurance licensing information is your state’s department of insurance.
Must Read: Our National online, self-paced, exam prep courses offered in California do not meet your state’s prelicensing education requirement. They contain national insurance and general state law rules, but do not contain your exam’s specific state law content (about 15-20% of your exam). If you have taken an approved prelicensing education course, have a valid certificate, and still need a passing score, use our materials and supplement with the state law material from your prelicensing provider. Designed by award winning Professor Jerry Furniss, our interactive exam prep materials are excellent for getting you over the finish line the fastest and easiest way possible. Go here for more information.