As we previously noted, on April 1, 2013, 20 state agencies will begin to accept the Uniform State Test (UST) in connection with the licensing of mortgage loan originators. The UST will supplant the various state-specific testing requirements of those state agencies.

A new national test with a UST section will replace the existing national test for MLOs, regardless of whether a state has adopted the new test. The new test will be available to MLOs nationwide. Additionally, a 25-question "stand-alone" UST will be made available on April 1, 2013. This stand-alone test will allow currently licensed MLOs who have passed the old national test to meet the testing requirements of states that have adopted or will adopt the UST. The stand-alone test will only be available until March 31, 2014.

State agencies that have not yet adopted the UST will continue to require applicants to take and pass the current state-specific test components in addition to the national test, notwithstanding the inclusion of the UST in the national test. However, candidates who pass either the stand-alone or new national test will satisfy the testing requirements for any state agency that adopts the UST in the future.

If candidates already have enrolled to take the national test component before April 1, 2013, they must continue with their plans to take the national test in order to become eligible to take the new national test with the UST. Additionally, people who have already enrolled to take a state test component cannot cancel that enrollment. However, so long as they have successfully passed the national test component, they can enroll to take the stand-alone UST regardless of any open enrollments they may have for any state test components.

Once the national test component with the UST is launched, the old national component will no longer be available. At that time, candidates will be required to take and pass the new national test with the UST component, regardless of the state in which they intend to be licensed.

Any candidates who have taken and failed the national test component three times will be unable to enroll and take the national test component with the UST on April 1, unless they have satisfied their current wait period (whether it is 30 or 180 days). Candidates who have passed the national test but failed a state test can enroll to take the stand-alone UST as soon as it is launched and adopted by the state. In instances where a state has not yet adopted the UST, candidates must wait for the current wait period to expire if they have failed the state test.

Note that individuals still must satisfy state specific education requirements regardless of whether a state has adopted the UST.

The NMLS has provided examples concerning various enrollment scenarios to better guide candidates as to what test to take, and when.