Posted by Barb Gavitt, ITP, SILA-F ● September 17, 2019
How to get a Series 63 License
The Series 63 is the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination (USASLE). In most states, passing this exam is a pre-requisite for being licensed by a state as an agent for a broker-dealer and working with investors. This is a NASAA (North American Securities Administrators Association) exam that is administered by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).
The Series 63 exam is intended to determine an applicant’s knowledge and understanding of state securities laws and regulations. The knowledge required to pass the exam includes the basic principles of the Uniform Securities Act (USA), rules prohibiting dishonest and unethical business practices, the NASAA Statements of Policy, and Model Rules adopted by NASAA.
NASAA Series 63 Exam Structure and Breakdown
The Series 63 examination consists of 60 multiple-choice questions covering the topics listed in the NASAA Series 63 content outline. To ensure that new questions meet acceptable testing standards prior to use, this examination includes 5 additional unidentified “pre-test” questions that do not contribute towards the candidate’s score. The 5 questions are randomly distributed throughout the examination. Each candidate takes a total of 65 questions, of which 60 are scored. Candidates will be allowed 75 minutes to complete the examination. A candidate must correctly answer 43/60 scorable questions (72%) to receive a passing grade.
The breakdown of the Series 63 exam is as follows:
|Exam Topics||% of Exam||# of Questions|
|Regulation of Investment Advisers||5%||3|
|Regulation of Investment Adviser Representatives||5%||3|
|Regulation of Broker-Dealers||15%||9|
|Regulation of Agents of Broker-Dealers||15%||9|
|Regulation of Securities and Issuers||5%||3|
|Communication with Customers and Prospects||20%||12|
|Ethical Practices and Obligations||25%||15|
The Content Outline for the Series 63 exam can be found on NASAA's website.
Register with FINRA
In order to become licensed as a registered representative, your firm must file a Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (U4) on your behalf via FINRA’s CRD system. Individuals working for a non-FINRA firm will file Form U10.
You will also be required to provide your Social Security number and fingerprints. You can submit your prints electronically via FINRA’s Electronic Fingerprint Submission Program or via hard-copy by mail. For additional information about fingerprinting, visit FINRA's website or call the FINRA Gateway Call Center at (301) 869-6699.
Once your application has been approved, you will be issued a CRD number and will have a 120-day window in which to take and pass your exam.
Complete an Examination Preparation Course
To prepare for the Series 63 exam, you should take a preparation course. A.D. Banker & Company offers online courses, web classes, practice exams, and self-study books for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), Series 6, Series 63, and Series 65 exams. You can view the educational packages that we have available on our website.
Scheduling Your Exam
From FINRA's enrollment page, you will access a direct link to the Prometric appointment scheduling page. You must provide the following information when scheduling:
- Your name and FINRA ID#
- The exam name or identifying series ID (Series 63 USASLE)
- A telephone number for you or your employer
- An email address where they can send the appointment confirmation
The fee for the Series 63 exam is $135. Once you have scheduled your exam, you will receive an email from Prometric with the schedule date and time, the test center location, and the test-day procedures.
Candidates who are not yet sponsored or affiliated with a firm (and have not filed a Form U4 or U10) can still take the Series 63 exam. They must first open an exam enrollment window via FINRA, pay for the exam, and request a test date.
Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment time to allow time for check-in procedures. If a seat is available, you may be allowed to begin your exam early. You will not be allowed to test if you arrive later than 30 minutes after your appointment start time, and a seat is unavailable to accommodate your full testing time. If you are not permitted to test due to your late arrival, FINRA will charge your firm a late cancellation fee. If you are not sponsored by a firm, you will be required to pay for a new test enrollment to reschedule your exam.
Upon arrival, you can expect the following:
- You must provide a government-issued photo ID with a signature to be admitted to the exam, such as an unexpired driver’s license, military ID, or passport.
- You will be required to sign the center’s sign-in log and agree to abide by the FINRA Exam Center Rules of Conduct and the Testing Center Security Guidelines.
- The test center proctor will take a photo and/or biometric information (thumb/palm print).
- All personal items must be placed in a locker while testing.
- The testing center will provide you with a four-function calculator, and 2 dry-erase boards and pens.
Visit Prometric's website for more information on what to expect at the testing.
- Read each question twice before looking at the answer choices. Reading carefully is key in making sure you understand exactly what the question is asking. Look at all answer choices, the exam is looking for the BEST answer, the most complete fit.
- Questions written with double negative can be challenging, for example all are true except: This question is looking for the false answer. Take your time to make sure you know if the question is looking for a true or false answer.
- When questions ask you to put items in sequential order, pay attention to the order asked.
- One word can make a difference in the correct answer, watch for words like: all, none, never, if, except.
- If you have a question that seems completely foreign to you, it’s likely that you can still answer the question if you have completed the study program. If you don’t recognize a term, use your common sense and knowledge of the English language to help understand what the question is asking.
- Don’t “add” anything to the question. If an answer choice requires a qualifier to be correct, and the question did not include the qualifier- that is not the best answer. If you are torn between two answers, and you feel comfortable that one choice fits, and the other choice CAN fit, IF… that is not the best answer. Don’t try to make the answer fit.
Once you have completed your exam, you will receive a printout of the score report as you sign out with the testing center. Upon passing, your results will show the word PASS, and not include the score. If unsuccessful, the score report will show the actual score. You can also view the results in the enrollment system. Your results are final. The exam and individual exam questions will not be available for review after the exam.
Once you have passed the exam, Prometric will submit the results to FINRA. Your state will contact your firm within 30 days to notify them of the completion of your registration. If the firm does not hear back from the within 30 days, the registration is considered complete.
In the event of an unsuccessful attempt, a candidate must wait a minimum of 30 days after failing the first exam before scheduling the second attempt. There is another 30-day waiting period after failing the second attempt before scheduling the third attempt. If the exam has been failed 3 times, there is a 180-day waiting period before the next attempt can be scheduled. There is no limit to the number of exams that can be taken, as long as the waiting period requirements have been met.
An individual does not become licensed by a state just by passing the required exam. Once all requirements relating to licensing have been met, the Administrator will issue the license.
How to Become a Registered Representative
A candidate must pass both the SIE exam and the appropriate representative level exam, such as the Series 6 or Series 7, to be registered with a member firm. There is no required order to take these exams and they can be taken on the same day.
Each of the securities representative-level exams qualifies representatives to engage in a specific set of securities transactions and activities.
You may need to take one or more exams to meet your goals or the requirements of your position. Start by reviewing the Registered Representatives Brochure.
Please visit FINRA's website for information on other securities exams.
- 1. Register with FINRA by completing and submitting U4, background check, fingerprinting through CRD
- 2. Study for required examinations (SIE, Representative-level, Series 63)
- 3. Schedule for each required exam through FINRA.org
- 3. Pass required examinations
- 4. Meet requirements to become licensed by the state securities administrator (if required)
- 5. Meet all requirements to become registered by FINRA and employed by a Broker-Dealer
- 6. Maintain registration by complying with FINRA rules, federal and state securities regulations, the firm’s requirements, and completing continuing education
FINRA Gateway Call Center: (301) 869-6699
Prometric: (800) 578-6273