If your goal is to originate mortgage loans for a non-depository institution that is not regulated by a federal banking regulator or to become a contract mortgage underwriter or contract mortgage loan processor, you must be state-licensed to do so. Licensees must carry licenses issued by each state where the properties on which they want to originate mortgage loans are located. The licensing candidate must first register through the NMLS, complete a 20-hour pre-licensing education course, complete any state-specific pre-licensing education that may be required by the state(s) in which he or she seeks licensure, and then must pass the 120-question national NMLS exam. Once everything has been successfully completed, he or she may apply for licensure.