The Series 63 exam, also known as the Uniform State Securities Law Exam, is the state test for representatives of stockbrokers. The exam is conducted by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Understanding the Series 63 Exam
Typically, anyone interested in taking the Series 63 exam does so through their employer. The employer must be a FINRA member firm and demonstrate intent for the individual to take the exam.
This same process also applies to the Series 65 and Series 66 exams administered by FINRA. However, individuals who are currently unemployed, in transition, do not work in a FINRA member firm or are not associated with a firm that uses the FINRA CRD Web system can also apply for registration on the FINRA website and open a registration window register.
How long is a Series 63 exam score valid?
Most states accept a Series 63 passing result that is less than two years old. After two years, accepting the score depends on the policy of each specific state and is not guaranteed. As long as a registered individual remains employed at the company that sponsored the initial exam registration, the Series 63 result remains valid. If that person is fired or leaves the company, the state registration for Series 63 also ends.
The individual then has two years to license or re-register by finding another employer that uses the same test score, before the test score expires. Note that if an applicant moves to another state, the requirements around the Series 63 prerequisite may change as well. While most states require Series 63 (along with a Series 6 or 7 license) to sell securities, passing the exam is not required in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, the District of Columbia and Port Rich.
When registrants leave sponsoring companies, the sponsoring company typically files a U5 form to finalize the registration of that employee. The new employer must submit a U4 form to renew the applicant’s registration. The state does not require that some employees obtain registration, but they do so due to an employer’s request.
State regulators may also decide to offer an exemption in some circumstances when registration expires. Exemptions are typically offered to employees who continue to work in the financial services industry, but in a different role that typically does not require state registration. You can learn more about exemptions by contacting your state regulators. NASAA maintains a list of state regulators and provides their contact information.
It is also important to note that some employers require registration above the state minimum requirements. Individual states also differ in the financial careers required to obtain registrations and licenses. Taking securities orders, for example, is enough to require registration in some states. Exam candidates should check with their employers and state regulators to find specific state policies that apply to the financial careers that interest them.