Money Transmitter Division
The Money Transmitter Division of DBO licenses and regulates money transmitters, which includes issuers of payment instruments (money orders), travelers checks and stored value. The California money transmission laws are found in the California Financial Code, Division 1.2, commencing with section 2000. The full Money Transmission Act can be found here:
MONEY TRANSMISSION ACT
|Chapter 1. General Provisions||2000-2003|
|Chapter 2. Exemptions||2010-2011|
|Chapter 3. Licenses||2030-2043|
|Chapter 4. Agents||2060-2063|
|Chapter 5. Eligible Securities||2081-2089|
|Chapter 6. Consumer Disclosures||2100-2106|
|Chapter 7. Examinations, Special Reports, and Records||2120-2124|
|Chapter 8. Additional Enforcement Provisions||2148-2153|
|Chapter 9. Miscellaneous Provisions||2170-2176|
The Department is a member of the Money Transmitter Regulators Association (MTRA).
Once the prospective applicant for a new money transmitter license or acquisition of control understands the laws and regulations that govern money transmission in California, it is highly recommended that the applicant arrange for a pre-filing meeting with the Money Transmitter Division staff. The prospective applicant may contact Mr. Oscar Lumen at (415) 263-8577 or by email at Oscar.email@example.com or Mr. Jonathan Lee at (213) 435-3921 or by email at Jonathan.Lee@dbo.ca.gov to arrange for a copy of pre-filing materials and make an appointment.
The purpose of the pre-filing meeting is to answer the prospective applicant’s questions about the process and regulatory requirements, and to help the DBO process the application in a timely manner. The meeting also helps prospective applicants prepare an application that meets all the requirements of California and federal law. The filing fee is five thousand dollars ($5,000) for a new license and is not refundable in the event an application is incomplete or inadequate. The Department recommends these meetings occur in-person at the San Francisco Office, however other arrangements are acceptable. For acquisition of control applicants, this step is highly recommended, especially if the applicants are not known to the Money Transmitter Division staff.
The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of the laws and regulations that govern money transmitters and be ready to present a proposed business plan.
Completed applications for new money transmitter license, along with the non-refundable fee of five thousand dollars ($5,000) made out to the Department of Business Oversight, should be addressed to Mr. Patrick Carroll, Strategic Support Manager, Department of Business Oversight, Division of Financial Institutions, One Sansome Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94104-4428. You may contact him at (415) 263-8559 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
New for Licensees – NMLS License Management Program
On January 15, 2016 the DBO will begin using the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) to manage money transmitter licenses. Through NMLS, companies will have the option to apply for, or amend, its license conveniently and safely online. Current California-licensed money transmitters may transition their licenses to NMLS at that time. Information on transitioning your license to NMLS.
NMLS will host “CA-DBO Money Transmitter License Transition to NMLS” webinar on January 22, 2016. DBO encourages all California money transmitter licensees to attend. This NMLS training is hosted on a Learning Management System (LMS). Register for the LMS and access information to the “CA-DBO Money Transmitter License Transition to NMLS” webinar.
NEW – NMLS Call Report
Starting with the first quarter call reports for calendar year 2017, licensees that have transitioned to the NMLS for California must file the NMLS MSB Call Report directly through the NMLS. The first quarter call report is due by May 15, 2017. In addition, licensees must continue to submit financial information that is not reported on the NMLS MSB Call Report directly with the DBO through our California Call Report. These forms and directions are available at the following link:
- California Financial Code Reference
- Call Report Forms
- Directory of Money Transmitters
- Federal Laws and Requirements Applicable to Money Transmitters
- Money Transmitters FAQ
- Money Transmitter Forms
- Money Transmitters Receipts
- Orders and Opinions
- Order Regarding Eligible Securities Ratings and Rating Services – Revised – February 23, 2012 (PDF)
- Regulatory and Industry Links
- DBO MTD BCII 8016 – Request for Live Scan and Live Scan process instructions Form