does being a licensed title agent qualify me to do?
definition of a title insurance agent is: an individual affiliated
with a title agency who is authorized on behalf of a title insurer
to issue a title insurance report or title insurance policy.
A “person” includes any natural person, or any partnership,
association, cooperative, corporation, firm, trust, limited liability
company, or other legal entity.
I be licensed only as an issuing agent or as a signing agent?
is only one Arkansas Title Insurance Agent license. The title agent
license is a comprehensive license. With some exceptions, anyone
who “sells,” “solicits,” or
“negotiates” insurance must be licensed as an agent.
Use the chart below as a guide to determine which activities require a
Dispense brochures and other
general information (so long as no conversation relating to the terms
of a title insurance commitment and/or policy)
Performs marketing duties under
the supervision of a title insurance agent
Gathering and receiving
information from a potential policyholder to give to an agent
Scheduling appointments with a
Quoting title insurance rates
including references to a published or printed list or computer data
base of standard rates prepared by a licensed title insurance agent
Anyone other than a licensed title agent
(including mortgage brokers, realtors and consumers) using any
published or printed lists or computer based rate calculators should be
made aware that these can only be used to calculate estimates
of buyers and sellers closing costs and these rates could be subject to
change upon final assessment by a licensed title insurance agent
Calculating title insurance
rates subject to reissue rates, enhancements to coverage, endorsements
or any deviation from any licensed title insurance agency’s
standard published rates
Communicating with the
policyholder or prospective policyholder in order to obtain factual
information necessary to complete a title search of all matters of
Explain, discuss or interpret
coverage, analyze exposures or policies, or give opinions or
recommendations as to coverage
Counsel, urge or advise any
prospective buyer or seller to purchase a particular policy or to
insure with a particular company (insurer)
Conducting a title search
Examination of title to
determine marketability and insurability of title in accordance with
the title insurer’s underwriting practices
Guaranteeing, warranting, or
otherwise insuring the status of title, liens, encumbrances, or other
matters of record
Production, issuance and
execution of a title insurance commitment or policy
Indicate that requested coverage
is or will be bound or issued
An individual performing escrow
and real estate closing or settlement services and who does not
solicit, sell or negotiate title insurance.
Providing the document and
obtaining purchasers’ and/or borrowers’ signatures on the
written notice required by A.C.A. § 23-103-413(b)(1)
A closing agent that provides
closing services but does not otherwise engage in title insurance
A closing agent who explains,
discusses or interprets coverage, analyzes exposures or policies, or
gives opinions or recommendations as to coverage
Ark. Code Ann. §
23-64-502(11) "Negotiate" means the act of conferring directly
with or offering advice directly to a purchaser or prospective
purchaser of a
particular contract of insurance concerning any of the substantive
terms, or conditions of the contract, provided that the person engaged
act either sells insurance or obtains insurance from insurers for
Ark. Code Ann. § 23-64-502(13) "Sell" means to exchange a contract of
insurance by any means, for money or its equivalent, on behalf of an
Ark. Code Ann. § 23-64-502(14) "Solicit" means attempting to sell
asking or urging a person to apply for a particular kind of insurance
and how do I apply for licensing?
1, 2008, if you desire a title agent or agency license, you may apply
to the License Division of the Arkansas Insurance Department
(“Department”). Information can be found online at http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/License/forms.htm.
Scroll down to Title, then follow instructions on the page.
are the basic steps in the licensing process?
check the instructions provided by the Department, as information will
be updated from time to time. That said, here are the basic steps
during the licensing process:
applicants must complete application AID-LI-TA and mail completed
application and proper fees to the Department’s exam vendor, Pearson
Vue, at 1123 South University, Suite 915, Little Rock, AR 72204.
Applicant must complete the correct application and include the proper
fee of $66.00 made payable to “Pearson Vue.” Payment
must be business check, money order or cashier’s check---no
personal checks will be accepted.
completed Affidavit of Prior Title Work Experience AID-LI-TA-Aff must
be attached to the application. This form must be completed by
former or current employer who can verify completion of the required
experience. This form must be notarized.
ASP-122 Criminal Background Report and submit your business check,
money order or cashier’s check in the amount of $22.00
made payable to the Arkansas Insurance Department Trust Fund.
No personal checks will be accepted. Attach
the ASP-122 and ASP fee to the application and mail all the forms and
fees to Pearson Vue at 1123 South University, Suite 915, Little
Rock, AR 72204. There are no exemptions to the
criminal background report; all applicants must complete and submit
this form and fee.
examination permit is good for only 90 days. If the applicant has
not taken the examination in that period of time, a new application and
new fees will be required.
applicant has received an examination permit, the applicant must
contact Pearson Vue at 1-888-204-6259 to schedule a test date. The
test date cannot be scheduled until the applicant has the permit in
experience must I have to become licensed?
sit for the exam based on experience, you must have two thousand (2000)
hours of prior title work experience. Prior title work experience
includes work such as searching, examination, issuing commitments,
preparing a policy for issuance, etc. This information must be
verified by current or former employers through submission of a
notarized copy of Form AID-LI-TA-Aff, Affidavit of Prior Title Work
Experience along with the license application. Additionally, the
Department may allow other forms of experience, such as closing or
escrow work, depending on the evidence submitted.
a nonresident get a License?
may be eligible for licensure if he/she is employed by a resident
licensee and meets the other eligibility requirements of Rule 87,
Section 5. Rule 87 is available at http://insurance.arkansas.gov/index_htm_files/Rule87.pdf.
Application for licensure must be accompanied by a completed Affidavit
of Employment by Resident Licensee. With respect to the licensed
resident employer, an individual resident licensee is one whose
residence is in or who may vote in this state. A resident title
agency licensee must show residence by establishing a physical presence
in the state, commonly referred to as “bricks and mortar,”
accessible to the public wherein the licensee principally conducts
transactions, and must be an Arkansas partnership,
limited liability partnership, corporation, or limited liability
company, filed or registered with the Arkansas Secretary of
State’s Office (or in the case of an Arkansas partnership, if
required by Ark. Code Ann. § 4-70-203, filed in the office of the
county clerk of the counties in which the partnership conducts or
transacts or intends to conduct the business).
happens if I fail the exam?
exam, you must wait thirty (30) days before you can retake the
examination. Contact Pearson Vue at 1-888-204-6259 for more
instructions. If the 30 day waiting period exceeds the 90 day
valid permit period, you must submit new applications and fees.
Q. I am an attorney. Am I required to take the
current law no longer has exemptions for attorneys; thus, attorneys
must meet the examination requirement in order to obtain a title
license. Attorneys currently licensed as title insurance agents
need only meet the title agent renewal requirements, including
residency requirements, to maintain a title agent’s license.
qualify to sit for the state exam based on my experience, but need help
in preparing. What study materials are available?
contains Content Outlines to help you prepare for the exam.
study book for Title Insurance, however, look to the
Arkansas Title Insurance Act, codified at Ark. Code Ann. §
23-103-401, et seq., and Rules 87 and 88 for Licensing and Producer
Responsibility information. For the general insurance information
contained in the Exam Content Outline, look at the Department website
The Property and Casualty Division page at http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/PandC/pclaws.htm,
provides links to the insurance code. Specifically, for
information on the Insurance Commissioner, look at Title 23, Chapter
61, Subchapter 1, codified as Ark. Code Ann. § 23-61-101, et seq.
if my name changes or my address changes?
Annotated § 23-64-507(f) provides that the failure to inform the
Commissioner of a change in legal name or address shall result in a
penalty pursuant to § 23-64-216.
changes due to marriage, divorce, or court order, you must notify the
Department in writing and attach copies of the legal documents which
reflect the name change within 30 days of the change.
or e-mail address changes you must notify the Department within 30 days
by using the address change form at http://insurance.arkansas.gov/License/forms.htm.
have not received any Renewal forms, how can I renew?
agent and agency renewal forms are available on the Department’s
website at: http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/License/forms.htm.
does my license expire?
2009, the expiration/renewal dates of title insurance agent licenses
are the agent’s birth date. You must renew annually to maintain
I want to
agency, do I have to keep my individual license? Why do I need
necessarily. You are not required to have a license merely as the
owner of the agency unless you remain actively involved or perform the
actions of a licensed agent. However, every title agency must
have a qualified or active title insurance agent affiliated with the
a title insurance agency license remain active if there are no licensed
agents affiliated with the agency?
license is automatically terminated if there are no licensed title
agents affiliated with the agency. The active designee does not
have to be an owner or officer of the agency.
Q. Can an agent be affiliated with more than one
agency or appointed to more than one insurer at a time?
I need an appointment by an insurer in order to hold a license?
Do I need an appointment by an insurer in order for the first time
license to be issued?
both questions is no. You can hold a license without being
appointed by an insurer. As long as you complete your continuing
education and renew on time, you can hold an insurance license;
however, you must be appointed by an insurer in order to write any
Q. How can I find out if a company is licensed?
licensing information on the Department’s website. Simply
go to http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/License/divpage.htm,
scroll down to the yellow box in the lower left corner. Choose
the link for the license information you want and enter the required
information. Available license information includes companies,
agencies, and agents.
do I file a complaint against a licensee?
your written complaints to Sarah Harper Gray, Title Insurance
1200 West Third Street, Little Rock, AR 72201, or e-mail to email@example.com.
Once your complaint is received, an investigation
will be opened, and necessary steps will be taken to resolve the
matter. As part of the investigation, a copy of the complaint
will be provided to the person being complained about in order to
obtain their response. Upon conclusion of the investigation, both
parties will be notified as to the outcome and the complaint will then
be subject to Freedom of Information (“FOI”) requests.
licensed, what do I have to do to keep my license?
be appointed by an insurer as an agent. The Arkansas Code provides that
no person acting in the capacity of a title insurance agent shall place
business with a title insurer unless a written contract exists between
the title insurer and the title insurance agent. Those who are
licensed, but not appointed, are prohibited from transacting title
insurance business (e.g., countersigning title commitments, policies,
you must earn the requisite CE hours every year in order to renew your
license. Currently, you must have six CE hours per year, one hour of
which must be on the topic of Ethics.
CONTINUING EDUCATION (CE)
are my CE requirements?
Every title insurance agent must complete six
(6) CE hours per year, including one (1) hour of ethics.
I get credit for being a member of a title insurance organization?
Yes, you can receive a credit for two (2) annual
hours of CE instruction if you hold an active annual membership in a
local, state, or national professional insurance organization or
association. The organization or association must file the
membership roster with the Department in order for you to receive the
many hours can I carry over from one year to the next?
over the number of hours needed for the next year’s requirement;
any hours above the hours needed for the next requirement will be lost;
however, the one Ethics hour does not carry over.
a Licensee become exempt from Continuing Education?
courses can I take to meet my continuing education
must take a title insurance course approved by the Department and
offered by an approved continuing education provider. You cannot
use courses approved in other states but not approved in
Arkansas. If the course is not approved or the provider is
not approved, the continuing education hours will not count.
Verify that the Provider and the Provider’s courses are approved
for Arkansas before you purchase the course.
I get an extension on my continuing education?
If you have been unable to complete continuing
education because of ill health, medical disability or immediate family
member illness, you may request an extension for the due date of the
continuing education. You need to document the request with
medical statements from the doctor or hospital.
have completed my hours, what do I do now?
Rule 50, the CE provider is required to post the hours earned
electronically and file appendix H, the reporting
roster of CE completion with the Department. You may request the
appendix E certification of completion for your records. Title
agents pay the $10.00 filing fee with the license renewal fee.
Keep in mind that the CE provider has 10 business days to post the
hours earned when you are scheduling your courses. Also remember, as
stated in Rule 50, if you don't sign the appendix H, you will not
receive credit for that course.
are the requirements for ethics education?
required to complete one (1) hour of ethics education annually.
The one hour is not in addition to your regular continuing education
requirements, but one hour of the six hours must be an approved ethics
course. Ethics hours cannot be carried over from one year to the
next. The year should be considered from one birthday to the
next, not a calendar year of Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.
are the fines if I fail to complete my CE on time?
Fines begin the first day after the due date
(your birthday). See Chart:
1 to 30 days---license will not renew and will
31 to 60 days—license inactive and $50.00
61-90 days –license inactive and $100.00
91 days to 365 days—license inactive and
After 365 days—the license is terminated
and you must start over as if you were never licensed, including
applications and license exams.
If the license is inactive due to non-compliance
with continuing education, you cannot write business until the
requirements are filed and the license is reactivated.
I take the same course over for continuing education credit?
The same course cannot be repeated within
a two (2) year period. A course should not be repeated unless there has
been a substantial change in the course. If the course has been
revised and updated, the Department will issue a new course number for
the course. The purpose of continuing education is to educate you;
repeating a course does not meet this standard.
can I check to see how many CE hours I have already earned?
continuing education records will be available on the
Department’s website at: http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/License/CEProducerSearch/ProducerCESearch.asp.
there a minimum search requirement?
insurance report or policy must be based upon a search covering of
least 30 years that examine all matters of record affecting title
that may impair the marketability to or limit the full
Q. What matters must be disclosed in title
commitments and title insurance policies?
The Department views this matter as an
and will only provide statutory guidance. Please
be advised that the Department interprets the minimum search
requirements of Ark. Code Ann. § 23-103-408, the policyholder
disclosures of Ark. Code Ann. § 23-103-413, and Rule 87 to provide
guidelines but not limitations of policy disclosures.
The disclosure of defects in title must be in
accordance with the insurance code. Specifically,
in making a determination, agents and insurers must ensure
compliance with Ark. Code Ann. § 23-103-413(a)(2) which provides
that the title
commitment and title policy are meant to be a written representation of
all liens, defects, and
encumbrances affecting title
to the land that are filed of record; and Ark. Code Ann. §
states that “[n]o title insurance
policy shall be issued until the title insurer or title
agent has caused to be made a determination of insurability of title in
accordance with the title insurer's underwriting practices.”
I have to conduct a search from a licensed abstract or title plant?
Section 15 of Rule 87 provides that the source of title evidence may
include a prior title insurance policy, abstracts of title, title plant
records, county records of the ex-officio recorder, or any combination
thereof, provided that any title insurance report derived from the
search discloses “all liens, defects, and encumbrances affecting
title to the land that are filed of record.” Only a search
of the immediately preceding thirty years is required by the Arkansas
Title Insurance Act and Section 15 of Rule 87. The required
disclosure of matters affecting title to the land in a title insurance
report or policy is limited to those which are filed of record within
the thirty year period.
happens if I don’t conduct the minimum 30-year search?
conduct the minimum search, as required by Ark. Code Ann. §
23-103-408, is a violation of insurance law. Under Ark. Code Ann.
§ 23-64-216, the Commissioner may suspend or revoke your license,
place you on probation, or impose an administrative penalty on your
license for the violation of any insurance law, rule, or order of the
Q. How will anyone know if I do not conduct the
minimum 30-year search?
be filed against title agents or agencies suspected of not conducting
the minimum searches. All complaints received by the Department
will be thoroughly investigated for violations. It is a
licensee’s duty to report any known violation of the insurance
code. The minimum search requirement will not only be enforced
through individual title agent and agency licenses, but also through
title insurers. In accordance with Ark. Code Ann. §
23-103-411 and Rule 87, the title insurer is required to conduct a
yearly on-site audit of appointed title insurance agencies. The
obligation is for the title insurer to either obtain or cause its agent
to obtain the minimum search in order to prepare a title policy.
Since the title insurer has this obligation, proof of meeting the
minimum search requirements will be required during the
audit. Upon learning of the violation, the Department
can take action against the licensee. The Commissioner may also
conduct an audit of books, records, files, and escrow and operating
accounts related to title insurance reports and policies maintained by
a title insurance agent.
Q. Does the new 30-year search requirement apply
only to transactions where a title insurance report or policy is being
relevant language of Ark. Code Ann. § 23-103-408 and Rule 87
states that “[n]o title insurance report or policy shall be
issued unless” the insurer or agent has made a search of all
matters affecting the title to the property for a continuous period of
not less than the immediately preceding thirty years. Thus, the
minimum search requirement only applies to transactions where a title
insurance report or policy is being issued.
a prior owner’s title insurance policy be used as a starting
point for the search?
the underlying search for the insurance report or policy covers at least the preceding thirty
years. Section 15(C) of Rule 87 provides various evidence the
search may be based upon. Any policy upon which the title
insurance agent is willing to rely, subject to a determination of
insurability of title in accordance with the title insurer’s
underwriting practices may be used as a starting point. However,
agents should be aware that it is not the prior POLICY that provides
compliance with the regulation; it is the underlying EVIDENCE of a
thirty year search. A policy issued prior to the subject Act and Rule
might not have been written from a thirty year chain and may not report
all matters of record within the thirty year search period as
required. Using such a policy as a starter policy would be in violation
of the regulation. Agents should always be able to produce the thirty
year search EVIDENCE, not just a prior policy. Regardless of
whether a prior policy is used as a starting point, any combination of
evidence upon which the search is based, must cover a continuous period
of no less than the immediately preceding thirty years.
there a mandatory fee associated with CPLs?
No, we do
set rates. The form and amount charged by a title insurer for
settlement or closing protection coverage must be filed with the
Commissioner at least twenty (20) days before its first use in the
market in accordance with Ark. Code Ann. § 23-103-405(c)(4).
is responsible for filing CPLs with the Department?
filed only by the title insurer. Title agents and agencies must
use the approved forms provided by the title insurer with whom they
hold an appointment.
Q. In a split closing, am I required to offer a CPL
to all parties?
14(B) of Rules 87 states that “Settlement or Closing Protection
Letters shall, if requested by a party to a closing (buyer, seller, or
lender) handled by the title insurance agent, be issued to the
requesting party…”. If the closing is not handled by
the title insurance agent, there is no requirement to issue a CPL.
do you have to offer a CPL in a refinance transaction?
conducting the closing for the refinance and any part of that closing
requires a title insurance product, the CPL requirement is triggered.
CPL fees that have been filed by the title insurer required to be
disclosed on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement?
transactions, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
(“RESPA”), specifically, Section 3500.8, requires that the
HUD-1 and HUD-1A settlement statements must be completed by the person
conducting the closing and must conspicuously and clearly itemize all
charges related to the transaction. If a charge is made for a
CPL, it should be disclosed on the relevant settlement statement.
If no charge is made, the settlement statement should reflect that a
CPL was provided at no charge.
Q. Can a title agent pay the CPL fees on behalf of
the buyer or seller?
Act or Rule 87 requires a CPL fee to the buyer or seller. The CPL
charge is a fee payable to the title insurer by the title agent for the
issuance of a CPL. It is permissible to charge the CPL fee to the
buyer or seller, but if a title agent chooses to not charge the buyer
or seller the CPL fee, the agent will still be responsible for
remitting the full amount of the CPL fee to the title insurer.
Additionally, title agents who choose to not charge the buyer or seller
should be aware of, and comply with, the RESPA rules on illegal
kickbacks and inducements.