NY Uses Technology to Keep their Licensees Safe

by Kacie Goff on 2020-04-02 9:08am


New York has been one of the hardest-hit states during the coronavirus pandemic. Officials across the state have had to respond quickly, making sweeping changes to try to flatten the curve and encourage people to stay safe at home. Those changes have affected virtually every individual and industry, including those who need continuing education to maintain their professional licenses. Fortunately, across the state of New York, state officials are leveraging technology and taking action to keep licensees safe. 

In fact, the New York Office of the Professions (OP) issued a statement explaining, “In response to the evolving situation with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and for those licensees whose registrations are due to renew March 1-June 1, 2020, the Department will grant an adjustment to all licensees to complete up to 100% of the continuing education as self-study, so long as it is taken from a Department-approved provider and is in an acceptable subject area for the specific profession.”

In light of that update, here’s the latest information available for insurance, real estate, and mortgage licensees. 

In-person exams cancelled due to coronavirus

To enforce social distancing practices, the state’s Department of Licensing Services has cancelled all in-person practical and written exams through April 17, a date that will likely be extended in the coming weeks. If you had an exam scheduled in the first half of this month, keep an eye out for an email with cancellation and rescheduling information.

New York mortgage and real estate continuing education COVID-19 changes

Fortunately for both mortgage lenders and real estate agents, the state allows you to complete your 11 and 22.5 hours, respectively, of continuing education online. While you’re staying safe at home, you can use the downtime to complete the continuing education hours you’re required during your current renewal period. 

Just make sure you complete your CE hours from an approved education provider. Mortgage lenders, your MLO online education needs approval from the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS), while real estate agent online education has to be approved by the New York Division of Licensing Services. 

New York insurance continuing education COVID-19 changes

The state Department of Financial Services (DFS), which oversees insurance licenses, says, “Effective immediately:

  • Providers offering classroom courses can now offer these courses via webinar or teleconferencing without additional approvals
  • The requirement for a monitor to be present when taking a self-study course final exam is temporarily waived”


That said, if you want to avoid having to sit at your computer at a time dictated by an education provider’s classroom schedule, you can also complete your DFS-approved continuing education online at your pace. Take advantage of your time at home to knock your 15 hours out now.

While you’d normally need a monitor to oversee your self-study course final exam, that requirement is voided during this current coronavirus crisis. That means you can complete your exam now without the added hassle and expense of searching for an approved New York State Monitor.

It’s important that we all stay at home as much as possible during the coming weeks. Make productive use of your time while practicing social distancing by completing the continuing education required for your New York license online. 

And if you want to stay informed through this quickly evolving time, you can sign up for updates from the state. Complete the simple form on this webpage to get coronavirus updates from New York State officials.