Who must be licensed under this Act?
Those persons who engage in the business of selling checks and/or transmitting money as a service or for a fee. “Person” means any individual, partnership, association joint stock association, trust or corporation but does not include the United States government or the government of this state.
Who is eligible for a license?
The applicant shall meet the following requirements:
- If new applicant, a business plan must be submitted including anticipated volume and number of locations. The commissioner shall determine the required bond for the applicant but in no case shall it be less than $25,000.
- The applicant must have a net worth of $100,000.
- The applicant must exhibit financial responsibility, business experience, character, and general fitness in order to warrant the commissioner to believe that the applicant’s business will be conducted honestly, carefully, and efficiently.
NOTE: Individuals wishing to become agents or subagents of a licensee (sell money orders at their business on behalf of a licensee) must contact the licensee in order to be appointed as such. NO LICENSE is required of any agent or subagent of a licensee. You can request a list of licensed entities from this office to become an agent or subagent.
How long does it take to get licensed?
If all information and documentation are submitted correct at the initial receipt of the application then normal licensure time is approximately 4 to 6 weeks. It is imperative for all applicants to be as thorough and timely in the submission of their application for licensure in order for the office to efficiently expedite the licensing time. Please remember that you the applicant very much control the licensure time frame by your thoroughness and correctness in filing the initial application.
How much does a license cost?
An investigation fee of $300 plus an additional fee of $25 for each location in the state from which the applicant intends to sell checks up to a maximum of $3,000.
What are the bonding requirements?
For the initial year of licensure, a minimum $25,000 bond or higher as deemed appropriate by the commissioner based upon the applicant’s initial business plan.
The bond required by licensees whose license is being renewed shall be one-half of the outstanding checks as shown on the annual report. In no case can the bond be less than $25,000 and in most cases not to exceed a maximum of $500,000.
When are the renewal fees due?
The license granted shall be for the period commencing on April 15 and ending on April 14 of the following year of initial licensure or renewal or a previously issued license. No initial license shall be prorated based upon the number of months the license is in effect.
May an applicant operate while waiting for licensure?
No person shall engage in the business of selling checks or money transmission as a service or for a fee without first having obtained a license from this office.
May a licensee operate in more than one location?
Yes, and a fee of $25 is required for each location up to the cap of $3,000.
Who are the people with whom I will be interacting?
Commissioner of Financial Institutions, John Ducrest, is responsible for all facets of the agency. Chief Examiner Michelle Jeansonne, oversees all operations in the Non-Depository Division. Review Examiner Doug Buras handles examination and virtual currency questions and Deputy Chief Examiner Kellie Mule is in charge of the administrative review of your application. Of course, all OFI employees are willing to assist you in any way possible. If you have any questions, please call Kellie Mule at (225) 925-1985.