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Consumer Finance Sections


The Division’s Licensing Section is responsible for the administration of 15 different company licenses, certificates of registration and letters of exemption as well as individual licenses issued across 10 different statutes.  Licensing is responsible for application examinations and review, license issuance, license transfer, and surrender/withdraw of licenses and applications.  Application and Licensure information is housed in either the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (“NMLS”) and/or the CAVU eLicense System (“CAVU”).  During periods of peak volume, such as during the renewal period, the section may experience larger workloads and therefore public or renewal inquiries may take longer than expected.  

Licensing recognizes the need to maintain Confidential Personal Information (“CPI”) and understands the sensitive nature of CPI.  All Licensing employees must maintain the confidentiality of CPI as well as company proprietary data to which they may have access and understand that such CPI is to be restricted to only those with a business need to know, and retains such CPI only in accordance with the Division’s records retention policy. 

Application Examination

In examining applications, licensing examiners determine if the requirements of the respective statute have been met, including the submission of applicable documentation, document samples, fees, civil & criminal background information, credit check, and financial responsibility of those individuals identified in the application who will maintain a control position within the company.  Applications are generally reviewed and deficiency notifications are sent to applicants within one week to ten days of application receipt.  During peak work volume periods, such as end of calendar year renewals, processing time may be longer.  Once reviewed and deficiencies have been conveyed to applicants, the time it takes applicants to respond varies.  

Licensing staff not only examine initial applications and renewal requests, but also review applications and submissions involving corporate restructuring, changes in control personnel, relocations, approximately one thousand license transfers annually for originators, and surrenders of licenses & certificates.  Thousands of amendments and sponsorship requests are submitted via the NMLS annually.  The Licensing Section is responsible for attaching alerts to records, and cross referencing examination, investigatory, and enforcement actions.   

Yearly Renewal

NMLS filers renew annually on a calendar year basis starting November 1.  Pawnbrokers renew bi-annually on the even-numbered year beginning June 1.  Processing time and response immediacy may be prolonged during this period of high work-load.

Physical Licenses

Physical licenses must be displayed at all licensed locations as required by the respective statute. 

Licensed Mortgage Loan Originators are not required to display a license and therefore will not receive a license from the Division as explained on the MLO License Certificates Guidance page.  

Regulated Statutes

Consumer Lending

  • Consumer Installment Loan Act Lenders
  • General Loan Law Lenders
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Short-Term Lenders
  • Small Loan Lenders

Financial Services 

  • Check Cashers
  • Credit Service Organizations
  • Insurance Premium Finance Lenders
  • Precious Metals Dealers

Mortgage Lending and Services

  • Residential Mortgage Lending, Brokering and Servicing
  • Mortgage Loan Originators

Compliance Examinations

The Consumer Finance Section includes field Examiners responsible for completing examinations of licensees for compliance with the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code. In addition to state laws, companies must comply with a variety of federal laws including Regulation B, Regulation Z, the Federal Trade Commission Credit Practices Rule, and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). While each type of lender has unique statutory requirements, there are several common threads. For example, credit insurance, financial calculations, Uniform Commercial Code, and Truth-in-Lending requirements apply to all lenders. The scope of the examination includes an analysis of the activities of the licensee/registrant to determine whether (1) the company is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, (2) the practices and policies of the company have a potentially adverse impact on prospective borrowers, and (3) the business is being operated efficiently, fairly, and in the public interest. 

The Consumer Finance Section is Accredited by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and field examination staff members are Certified Mortgage Examiners.

Examination information is provided for general reference only.  Examinations may vary by company size, license type, etc.

Examination Frequency

Examination frequency can vary and is subject to statutory requirements, risk profiling, company size, complaints received, and newly registered companies. These factors also determine which examinations should be conducted on-site versus off-site. Statute requirements can be found online for State-specific laws and rules regarding specific license types. Federal rules and regulations may be found on the electronic code for federal regulations website.

Examination General Structure

Each examination focuses on a review of general business practices, advertisements and company records, including a representative sample of all business conducted to determine the level of compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations. Each examination has an examiner-in-charge who is responsible for all aspects of the examination process and will coordinate and delegate duties if the examination calls for multiple examiners.  At the conclusion of an examination, a report of its findings is forwarded to management.

An examination may include:

  • The exam might be scheduled or unscheduled, and the exam may be conducted on-site, off-site, or a combination of both. 
  • The Examiner-In-Charge may contact the company and outline the upcoming process.

  • A formal Information Request (“IR”) or Records Request may be provided as part of most examinations.

    • The Division may require that companies submit information via a secure third-party server as part of the examination process. If so, instructions will be provided.

  • Exit interview may be conducted at the conclusion of the examiner's review.

  • A Report of Examination (“ROE”) may be issued once an examination has been completed.  The ROE is a written outcome of the exam, and any further discussion about the exam is in written response to the ROE.

    • ROEs will be issued electronically whenever possible.
    • Company response (if required) is due within thirty (30) days.
    • For ROEs where a response is required, a closing letter may be issued to the Company once all issues have been addressed.


Under Ohio law, the Division’s Superintendent is granted the authority to seek specific remedies and take enforcement action as necessary under the provisions of the statutes administered by the Consumer Finance Section.  The various forms of enforcement actions provide the Division with flexibility in selecting an appropriate corrective action relative to the severity of problems identified with respect to a License.  

If you have received correspondence/notification from an attorney at the Division, please contact that individual directly for assistance, or contact DFILegal@com.ohio.gov

Potential Unlicensed Activity and/or Concerns & Complaints

If potential misconduct is suspected by a company and/or an individual, this may be reported to the Division through the Office of Consumer Affairs and/or submitted directly to the Division’s exam team at DFICFExam@com.ohio.gov.