California Insurance Code
Except as provided in Section 1680, the following applicants who have theretofore been licensed under this code are exempt from the requirements of this article:
(a) An applicant for a license to act as a fire and casualty broker-agent who has been licensed as a fire and casualty broker-agent or surplus line broker during any part of the license year in which the application is filed or the immediately preceding license year.
(b) An applicant for a license to act as a life agent who has been licensed as a life agent during any part of the license year in which the application is filed or the immediately preceding license year.
(c) An applicant for a license to act as travel insurance agent.
(d) An applicant specifically exempted from the particular qualifying examination requirement by other provisions of this code.
(a) Except as set forth in Sections 1675 and 1679, the commissioner shall not issue a permanent license pursuant to this chapter to an applicant therefor unless the applicant has within the 12-month period next preceding the date of issue of the license taken and passed the qualifying examination for that license. This section shall not apply to a person licensed as a fire and casualty broker-agent who applies for a license as a personal lines broker-agent.
(b) An applicant for a personal lines license pursuant to Section 1625.5 who has been continually employed by an admitted insurer or licensed fire and casualty broker-agent in a full-time position for at least three years immediately prior to January 1, 2001, shall be exempted, at the discretion of the commissioner, from having to take and pass an examination to obtain a personal lines license. An exempted applicant shall be required to comply with all other provisions of this article pertaining to the issuance and maintenance of a personal lines license. The curriculum board shall establish criteria, which shall be submitted to the commissioner for final approval, to allow experience or prior training to be substituted for prelicensing educational requirements for applicants applying for an exemption pursuant to this subdivision. A licensee exempted from examination pursuant to this subdivision shall remain subject to all continuing education requirements applicable to maintaining a personal lines license.
(c) An application for a personal lines license shall be submitted to the commissioner as provided for in Article 4 (commencing with Section 1652).
(d) The commissioner may deny any application for a personal lines license as provided in Article 6 (commencing with Section 1666).
(e) In addition to the application, any applicant for a personal lines license seeking exemption from the examination provisions of this chapter shall also submit, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, or if a form is not prescribed, in letter or resume form, information that will permit the commissioner to determine whether the previous experience of the applicant for a personal lines license warrants an exemption from having to take an examination to obtain a license.
(f) The commissioner shall require an applicant for a personal lines license to take an examination to obtain a license if the commissioner determines that the applicant has failed to demonstrate that previous experience warrants an exemption from examination. In the absence of making that determination, the request for exemption from examination shall be granted.
(g) This section shall not be applicable to any applicant for a nonresident license pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1639.
(h) This section shall not be applicable to any applicant for a personal lines license who has been refused a license or has had a license suspended or revoked by the commissioner.
(i) An applicant for a personal lines license pursuant to Section 1625.5 who seeks an exemption from an examination to obtain a license shall submit a request to that effect to the commissioner. An applicant who does not submit an application on or before December 31, 2001, shall be required to take an examination to obtain a license.
(j) An applicant for a life agent license pursuant to Section 1626 who is limited by the terms of a written agreement with an insurer which has filed on that life agent's behalf a notice of appointment with the commissioner to transact only specific life insurance policies or annuities having an initial face amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) or less that are designated by the purchaser for the payment of funeral and burial expenses, shall not be required to take the full life agent examination to obtain a license. The applicant shall be required to take an examination developed to test their knowledge of topics relevant to the type of policies that they are restricted to sell.
Every qualifying examination for a license under this chapter shall be in writing and shall be of sufficient scope to satisfy the commissioner that the applicant has sufficient knowledge of and is reasonably familiar with the insurance laws of this State and with the provisions, terms and conditions of the insurance which may be transacted pursuant to the license sought, and has a general and fair understanding of the obligations and duties of the holder of such license.
The commissioner shall, at least once each month, give in each of the cities in which he has an office qualifying examinations under this chapter. He may give such examinations at more frequent intervals or in other places throughout the State.
(a) A nonresident applicant for a license shall be subject to the same qualifying examination as is required of a resident applicant. The examination may be administered to an eligible nonresident applicant through the insurance authority of the state, territory of the United States, or province of Canada of his or her residence; provided, however, that the commissioner may, in his or her discretion, enter into a reciprocal arrangement with the officer having supervision of the insurance business in any other state, territory of the United States, or province of Canada whose qualification standards for the applicant to be examined are substantially the same as or in excess of those of this state, to accept, in lieu of the examination of an applicant residing therein, a certificate of the officer to the effect that the applicant is licensed in that state, territory of the United States, or province of Canada in a capacity similar to that for which a license is sought in this state and has complied with its qualification standards in respect to the following:
(1) Experience or training,
(2) Reasonable familiarity with the broad principles of insurance licensing and regulatory laws and with the provisions, terms and conditions of the insurance which the applicant proposes to transact, and
(3) A fair and general understanding of the obligations and duties of a holder of the license sought.
(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a nonresident applicant who maintains a license in a jurisdiction that grants reciprocity to California residents in accordance with Section 1638.5.
(c) A nonresident applicant for an organizational license must name at least one person from their home state who may exercise the power and perform the duties under their license. Additional persons endorsed to that license may be residents of another state, but may not be residents of California.
If a nonresident secures a license without examination through the filing of a certificate described in Section 1679 and thereafter seeks a license as a resident, he must take and pass the qualifying examination for the license sought.
If an applicant fails the qualifying examination, he may, subject to the provisions of this article and such rules and regulations as may be promulgated hereunder, retake such qualifying examination within the period prescribed in Section 1670 during which he must qualify for the license sought.
(a) No person shall cheat on, subvert, or attempt to subvert, any licensing examination given by the department, including, but not limited to, engaging in, soliciting, or procuring any of the following:
(1) Any communication between one or more examinees and any other person, other than a proctor or examination official, while the examination is in progress.
(2) The taking of all or a part of the examination by a person other than the applicant.
(3) Possession or use at any time during the examination or while the examinee is on the examination premises of any device, material, or document that is not expressly authorized for use by examinees during the examination, including, but not limited to, notes, crib sheets, textbooks, and electronic devices.
(4) Failure to follow any examination instruction or rule related to examination security.
(5) The provision of false, fraudulent, or materially misleading information concerning education, experience, or other qualifications as part of, or in support of, any application for admission to any examination.
(b) Any person who willfully violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year.
(c) The commissioner shall bar any candidate caught willfully cheating under this section from taking any license examination and from holding an active license under any provision of this code for a period of five years.
The commissioner may, in accordance with the procedure set forth in Chapter 4 of Part I of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, promulgate rules setting reasonable time limits within which a person who has twice failed an examination or failed to fulfill examination requirements may not take further examinations.
At a reasonable time before an applicant is required to appear for a qualifying examination, the commissioner shall send him written notice thereof. Such notice shall set forth the time and place of such examination. The commissioner shall not send such notice to an applicant until he has paid the fee required for filing application to take or retake such examination. If an applicant fails to appear at the time and place set for the examination, he shall be deemed to have failed the examination. If the applicant fails the qualifying examination, the commissioner shall give him written notice thereof.
Except as otherwise provided in this article, whenever reference is made in this article to an applicant for a license, such reference includes each natural person who applies to be named on the license of an organization, and wherever reference is made to a person who has been licensed in a specified capacity, such reference shall also apply to a person named to act in such capacity under the license of an organization.