Who must be licensed under this Law?
Any individual, partnership, unincorporated association, or corporation that, for compensation, engages, in whole or in part, in the business of cashing checks, drafts, money orders, or other commercial paper serving the same purpose must be licensed.
NOTE: A Check Casher does not mean: (1) an entity that charges no fee to the presenter or payor for the cashing of a check, draft, money order or traveler’s check, or (2) an entity that cashed a check, draft, money order, traveler’s check or other commercial paper if the fee charged is $2.00 or less and the currency exchange is incidental to the person’s primary business.
Who is eligible for a license?
The commissioner shall evaluate the financial responsibility, financial condition, business experience, and the character and general fitness of the applicant. The commissioner may determine whether this qualification has been met.
How long does it take to get licensed?
The processing time for a complete application is approximately six weeks. Incorrect or incomplete applications will delay the approval time.
How much does a license cost?
The initial license cost is $350 plus $50 for each additional location up to a maximum of $3,000 as per R.S. 6:1004.1(A) and is nonrefundable. All fees are to be paid by check or money order payable to the Office of Financial Institutions.
What are the renewal fees and when are they due?
The annual renewal fee is $250 plus $50 for each additional location up to a maximum of $3,000. Renewal fees are due on or before the first day of December of each year. If not paid by the sixteenth day of January, a late payment penalty of $100 will be assessed for the license. If the renewal fees and penalties are not paid by March 31st, the licensee must submit a new application.
May a license operate in more than one location?
Yes, a licensee may operate from additional locations. However, the license must designate on the application form the location of the primary office. A licensee may also operate other locations as long as the licensee has applied for, paid all additional locations fees and received a certificate for each location.
Are there location restrictions?
Yes. No license shall be granted for the operation of a check cashing facility which will be situated within three hundred feet of a designated docking facility of a river boat licensed to conduct gaming activities or the New Orleans land-based casino.
What if a licensee wishes to change its name or business location?
If a licensee changes the name, trade name, assumed name, adds new locations or changes the addresses, the commissioner must be notified in writing thirty days prior to such change and a fee of fifty dollars per certificate, not to exceed three thousand dollars, is to be submitted. The licensee shall surrender the certificates for such changes and apply for a new certificate for any new locations. If approved, the commissioner shall issue new certificates. Failure to notify the commissioner in a timely manner or to remit the required fees within the thirty days, a penalty may be assessed the licensee in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars.
What fees can be charged by a Check Casher licensee?
Please note that state law allows licensees to charge a maximum fee of 2% of the face value for those checks drawn upon the account of a public welfare or public assistance agency of the federal, state, or local government or $5.00 whichever is greater.
For all other checks or for money orders, businesses may charge 10% of the total amount of the checks or $5.00, whichever is greater. Check-cashing fees must be posted at the area where the check-cashing transaction occurs.
All fees charged must be prominently displayed on the premises in such a manner as required by the commissioner. How should the fees be displayed?
All fees must be displayed in a notice no smaller than 8 1/2 x 11 and bold printing. The notice must be displayed so it is readily seen from the location where the transaction occurs.
Does the following language in LSA R.S. 6:1011 prohibit a Check Casher from acting as an agent to collect payment for a utility company?
A person or company may act as agent for a person licensed under the Sale of Checks and Money Transmission Act, Chapter 13, Title 6 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1985 or become licensed themselves.
What documents will the examiners want to inspect for compliance with the Law?
The law requires that licensee maintain sufficient books, accounts, and records in order for OFI to determine compliance with state law. OFI is continuing to look at all options in order to efficiently implement examination procedures which would be most manageable for the licensee, yet allow OFI to fulfill its legislatively mandated duties.
Who are the people with whom I will be interacting?
The Commissioner of Financial Institutions, John Ducrest, is responsible for all the facets of the agency. Chief Examiner Michelle Jeansonne oversees all operations in the Non-Depository Division. Deputy Chief Examiner Kellie Mule handles questions regarding examinations and is in charge of the administrative review of the application. Of course, all employees are willing to assist you in any way possible. If you have any questions, please call Kellie Mule at (225) 925-1985.