Date:September 27, 2006
To:All Insurers
From:Jorge Gomez, Commissioner of Insurance
Subject:Agent Licensing and Continuing Education Rule Changes

Administrative rules were recently promulgated and will officially become effective November 1, 2006. These rules relate to the adoption of national uniformity standards regarding agent licensing and continuing education, as well as mandating more electronic processes for original licensing and renewals. No existing fees were increased, and no new fees were added. A complete copy of the rule changes is available at oci.wi.gov. Highlights of the rule and procedure changes include:

Section Ins 6.63, Wis. Adm. Code

  • Expiration dates were moved to the end of the licensee's birth month, in the odd or even license issue year.
  • Licensees billed in 2007 will pay 50% of the standard renewal fee.
  • Licensees billed in 2008 will pay a full renewal fee.
  • All future renewals must be paid by credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Paper checks, money orders, or cash will not be accepted. Specific information will be included with the renewal notices that will be mailed to individuals and business entities 60 days prior to their due date.
  • Implementation of a streamlined reapplication process for residents who reapply within 12 months of a license being cancelled for nonpayment of renewal fees, noncompliance with continuing education, or failing to pay delinquent taxes. All previous continuing education requirements or any outstanding tax obligation would need to be met prior to reapplying.

Section Ins 6.59, Wis. Adm. Code

  • Nonresident applicants are no longer required to provide a paper letter of certification to confirm license status.

Section Ins 26.04, Wis. Adm. Code

  • New resident applicants who hold certain professional designations can qualify for an exemption from the prelicensing education requirements.
  • New Wisconsin residents who were previously licensed as a resident of another state within the previous 12 months will be able to apply without completing prelicensing education or passing an examination.

Section Ins 26.05, Wis. Adm. Code

  • Electronic posting of prelicensing education completion information by providers and online background checks by Promissor with the Department of Justice, Crime Information Bureau will allow implementation of a paperless resident licensing process.

Section Ins 28.04, Wis. Adm. Code

  • Continuing education compliance is now due at the same time renewal fees are collected.
  • Continuing education compliance must be met before a licensee is able to physically renew their license. Transcripts will be mailed to licensees who have yet to achieve compliance 90 days prior to their expiration date. Under this new system, it is imperative that agents do not wait until the last few weeks of the reporting period to complete their continuing education for the biennium. By rule, continuing education providers have ten days to electronically bank credits, and paper confirmation is not acceptable.
  • For those licensees who must comply with continuing education in 2008 or after, three of the required continuing education hours must be devoted to the ethics of insurance. Approved ethics courses will be specifically identified on Promissor's and Sircon's respective Web sites after November 1. Each individual's transcript will be updated to identify any ethics courses already completed after November 1 as well. A link to those sites is available at oci.wi.gov.
  • Persons who were licensed prior to May 5, 2006, whose license dates were converted to 2008 must complete 36 hours of continuing education to accommodate the extra year.

Section Ins 28.08, Wis. Adm. Code

  • Correspondence, self-study, and on-line continuing education courses will now be available as long as they are approved and include successful completion of a certified proctored examination.

Questions regarding the rule changes should be directed to Laurna Landphier at (608) 267-1238, or by e-mail at laurna.landphier@wisconsin.gov.