New York’s top cop for financial firms is touting systemic improvements to its licensing procedures.

Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo has announced that the Department of Financial Services’ transition to the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry for money transmitters began on July 1, 2017. 

In this transition, DFS will manage the license application and ongoing regulation of all nondepository financial institutions doing business in New York through NMLS, which was created by the State Conference of Bank Supervisors and began operations in January 2008.  

DFS, which currently uses NMLS to manage and regulate mortgage providers licensed in New York, is expanding usage, in stages, to all nondepository institutions, now by adding money transmitters.

“The Department joins CSBS in the continual modernization of state regulation, enhancing the strong regulatory framework created by states, and supporting industry innovation,” Vullo said. 

NMLS is a secure, web-based, nationwide licensing system that allows companies to apply for, update, and renew their licenses in one or more states online. It allows DFS “to provide enhanced supervision of the money transmitter industry by linking with other states to protect consumers,” Vullo said. Currently, 62 state agencies use NMLS to accept and process license applications and registrations.

As of July 1, financial services companies holding New York money transmitter licenses will have the opportunity to transition those licenses to NMLS and companies applying for new licenses will be able to apply through NMLS.  

DFS has sent letters to each licensee with detailed instructions for transitioning their company and branches onto NMLS and licensees will also be provided with training on NMLS use.

More information about can be found at the online NMLS Resource Center.

Earlier this month, DFS also launched online re-licensing for agents and brokers seeking to return to insurance businesses in the state.

The new online application process is intended to speed the re-licensing of agents and brokers whose original licenses have been expired for more than two years. The re-licensing process is available to property/casualty and life and/or accident/health agents and brokers, as well as life and general consultants and life settlement brokers.

“The DFS re-licensing process is now significantly more efficient compared to the old paper-based system. DFS will continue to modernize its processes to better serve consumers across New York State,” Vullo said in a statement”

The next business day turnaround applies to applicants with no disqualifying conditions, such as disciplinary actions in other states.  Applicants will be required to attest to the completion of pre-qualifying courses and furnish course numbers.

Lapses in individual licenses may occur for various reasons, such as the result of career changes or for personal reasons. More than 1,200 agents and brokers were re-licensed in 2016.

New York residents seeking re-licensing must have completed a re-licensing exam within the last two years or hold another license with the same lines of authority being applied for in the re-licensing application.

Non-residents must be in good standing and currently licensed in their declared home state with the same lines of authority being applied for in their New York re-licensing application.

Licenses, which will no longer be mailed upon issuance, can now be printed by licensees through the online system.

The re-licensing of individuals whose licensing expired is one of a number of licensing transactions which may be accomplished using the DFS website. Other online licensee transactions include, but are not limited to, filing an original application to act as an individual agent or broker, renewing an individual license, or changing individual licensee address information.

Additional information, as well as a link to the re-licensing application, can be found at the location on the DFS website.