Student Loan Servicers – Frequently Asked Questions

As of July 1, 2018, the Department of Business Oversight (DBO) began licensing and regulate Student Loan Servicers engaged in business in California. As part of this program, the DBO fields complaints from borrowers and enforces violations of the underlying law, the Student Loan Servicing Act. The Legislature approved the program in Assembly Bill 2251, which was signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2016. The statute established state standards to ensure consistent, fair, and quality servicing for the more than 4 million Californians who have student loans.

  1. How do I securely transfer electronic information or forms to the DBO?
  2. While most material will be submitted through NMLS, information can also be sent to using a secure email system. If your company does not already have access to a secure email system please send a request to establish a secure link to

    For large files and examination information, a secure portal has been set up using Microsoft 365 One Drive. Please use the above email address to request a link be opened. This does require a Microsoft account. If you do not already have one, instructions on how to establish an account will be sent with the link. 

  3. What is the examination process?
  4. Each licensee is subject to a regulatory examination by the Department, whether or not any business has been conducted under the license. Examinations will be conducted as often as the Commissioner deems necessary and appropriate, but at least once every 36 months. The licensee is responsible for the cost, including travel expenses, of the examination. Licensees will receive a written request for information to be transmitted to the DBO through a secure portal prior to the start of the examination.

  5. If I already have a California DBO license with a different program, do I need a Student Loan Servicing License as well?
  6. Yes, you will need a separate Student Loan Servicing License. 

  7. How long does it take to process a background check? 
  8. The time needed to complete a background check depends on where the fingerprinting process is completed. California allows live scan electronic fingerprinting within the state. Background checks using this process take less time. 

    See below for estimated times:

    • In state – Five business days after the live scan is completed. 
    • Out of state – Up to 60 days from the date fingerprints are received by DOJ.       
    • Out of country – Undeterminable, time frame will vary based on the country.