License Renewal and Continuing Education Relief During COVID-19 Emergency

Uncategorized  |  March 31, 2020

On Friday, March, 27, 2020 Governor DeWine signed House Bill (HB) 197 which includes many provisions intended to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  This Bill includes relief to insurance license-holders whose license expires during the state of emergency declared by the Governor through Executive Order 2020-01D, issued March 9, 2020.

In order to implement this provision, the following applies to any individual or business entity that holds an active license with the Ohio Department of Insurance.  This includes:  major lines agents; limited line agents; title agents; title insurance marketing representatives; managing general agents; public insurance adjusters and agents; reinsurance intermediary brokers and managers; surety bail bond agents; surplus lines brokers; third party administrators; and viatical settlement brokers.

  • License Expiration Date.  If a license expires during the state of emergency, it will remain valid and may be renewed until no later than 90 days after the state of emergency ends or December 1, 2020, whichever comes first.  All late fees will be waived and license-holders do not need to take any actions to receive the extension.

    In order to ensure that licenses are able to be renewed during the state of emergency (and after), the Department will periodically adjust expiration dates within the Department’s computer system and the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR).  While the adjusted expiration dates may appear to be sooner than the time period given thru HB 197, that is only to ensure that your access to NIPR is continuously available.  The Department will continuously adjust the license expiration dates of affected licenses until the extension granted through HB 197 ends.

  • Continuing Education Requirements.  Due to the extension of expiration dates during the state of emergency, the deadline for completing continuing education requirements is also extended.  During the state of emergency, continuing education providers are still offering courses, both online and in other distance learning formats, and agents are encouraged to complete as much as possible during the state of emergency to prevent the system from being overwhelmed once the state of emergency ends.
  • Examination for Initial License. In addition to the extension granted through HB 197, the Department understands that the closure of examination centers has impeded the ability to obtain an initial license.  As a result, any person whose pre-license education course completion certificate expired during the examination center closings and for a period of two weeks after the examination centers reopen will have their pre-licensing course completion certificate deadline extended for thirty days after the exam centers reopen.  This will allow a student to sit for an examination past the 180-day expiration of the certificate.

Only current license-holders whose license expires during the state of emergency are affected by this recent legislation; unless specifically ordered otherwise, there is no change to the legal requirement to obtain a license or to comply with all other applicable laws and regulations during the state of emergency.

Additionally, while license-holders will have extra time to renew their licenses, the Department encourages renewals to be completed during the state of emergency to ensure timely processing once the state of emergency ends.  Continuing education courses will continue to be offered, NIPR will accept electronic applications and the Department will still be processing applications.  When it is safe and possible, taking action during the state of emergency is encouraged.

If you have any questions please contact the Licensing Division at licensing@insurance.ohio.gov.

Thank you,

Ohio Department of Insurance