The new Unified State Test (UST) is likely to ease the burden of originators who want to do business across different states, but not all of them.
According to the NMLS, 32 states have now adopted the UST, a test that will replace the existing national test as well as state-specific tests for mortgage loan originators.
States like California, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, New York, New Jersey and others have not adopted it.
According to the Department of Corporations, one of California’s MLO regulator, they are “just beginning outreach and consultation on considering its possible use in California.”
State agencies began accepting the UST as the official minimum test requirement for mortgage loan originators on April 1st. New mortgage loan originators can take the 125-question UST to be eligible for licensing in the states that have adopted the test. Existing mortgage loan originators have up until March 14, 2014 to take only a 25-question component that resembles the new additions from the old national test.
“[UTS] certainly makes it easier to meet the minimum requirement for licensing,” across states, said Haydn Richards, senior counsel for financial services regulatory and compliance practice at Dykema, a law firm in Washington D.C.
The industry was concerned at one point that it was difficult to transition licenses from state-to-state, he added.
In Richards view, this could affect bank loan originators in a meaningful way. Bank loan officers only need to be registered, but not licensed.
See below for a listing of all the states who have adopted and not adopted the UST: