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How Do I Obtain a Money Transmitter Surety Bond?

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A money transmitter or money transfer service, according to Wikipedia, is "a business entity that provides money transfer services or payment instruments. Money transmitters in the US are part of a larger group of entities called Money Service Businesses or MSBs. Under federal law 18 UCS 1960, businesses are required to register for a Money Transmitter license where their activity falls within the state definition of a money transmitter." Some states broaden the money transmitter term to include seller of checks, money transmission services, currency exchange services, and bill payer services.

Some examples of money transmitters would be Western Union, PayPal, American Express, check cashing store, and cash advance payday loan companies. 

Each money services business (MSB) must register with the Department of the Treasury. US Federal registration is completed through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the United States Department of the Treasury (FinCEN) and is relatively a quick process. Contact information is below:

Tel: 800-767-2825   Email: frc@fincen.gov    Website: www.fincen.gov

Most states require money service businesses operating within their territory to be licensed with the state banking department. And while laws vary from state to state, almost all regulate money transmitters, and most states require a surety bond to receive a money services business license.

State application processes differ. Most states use the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) for processing of money transmitter applications, and other states handle the applications directly. Most states require a surety bond for licensure regardless of which method of application is involved (as of January 2017, Montana is the only state that does not require a license). States' surety bond requirements are as follows:

Alabama Sale of Checks Bond: License requirement - $10,000 surety bond for main location and $5,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $50,000. (Apply through the Securities Commission)

Alaska Money Transmitter and/or Currency Exchange Bond: License requirement - $25,000 surety bond for main location and $5,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $150,000. (Apply through the Commerce and Securities Division of Banking and Securities)

Arizona Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $25,000 surety bond for main location and $5,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $500,000. (Apply through the Department of Financial Institutions)

Arkansas Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $50,000 surety bond for main location and $10,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $300,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

California Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - the surety bond amount will be determined by the CA Department of Business Oversight (Apply through the NMLS and State)

Colorado Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $250,000 surety bond up to $1,000,000 or more if the business does not meet Rule MO-2. (Apply through the Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Banking)

Connecticut Money Transmission Bond: License requirement - $300,000 bond or more based on the weekly amount of money transmission, less investments. (Apply through the NMLS)

Delaware Sale of Checks or Transmission of Money Bond: License requirement - $25,000 surety bond for main location and $10,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $250,000. (Apply through the Office of the State Bank Commissioner)

District of Columbia Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $50,000 surety bond for main location and $10,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $250,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Florida Money Services Business Bond: License requirement - $50,000 surety bond up to $2,000,000 for each based on the volume of money transmissions. (Apply through the Florida Office of Financial Regulation)

Georgia Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $100,000 surety bond. (Apply through the NMLS)

Hawaii Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $10,000 surety bond up to a maximum of $500,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Idaho Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $10,000 surety bond for main location and $5,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $500,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Illinois Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement- $100,000 surety bond up to a maximum of $2,000,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Indiana Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $300,000 surety bond. (Apply through the NMLS)

Iowa Money Services Bond: License requirement - $50,000 surety bond for main location and $10,000 for each additional location. A $300,000 bond is required if there are no locations in the state. (Apply through the Division of Banking)

Kansas Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $200,000 surety bond or more based on the volume of money transmissions times 0.25%. (Apply through the NMLS)

Kentucky Money Transmission Business Bond: License requirement- $500,000 surety bond up to a maximum of $500,000 based on the transaction volume and net worth of the business. (Apply through the NMLS)

Louisiana Sale of Checks and Money Transmission Bond: License requirement- $25,000 surety bond up to a maximum of $500,000 based on the business financial condition. (Apply through the NMLS)

Maine Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $100,000 surety bond. (Apply through the NMLS)

Maryland Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - a minimum $150,000 surety bond. (Apply through the NMLS)

Massachusetts Check Seller Bond: License requirement -$100,000 surety bond. (Apply through the NMLS)

Michigan Money Transmission Services Provider Bond: License requirement-$500,000 surety bond for main location and $10,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $1,500,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Minnesota Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $25,000 surety bond up to 3 locations, $50,000 for 3 to 6 locations, $50,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $250,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Mississippi Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $25,000 surety bond and increases based on the volume of money transmissions up to a maximum of $500,000. (Apply through the Department of Banking and Consumer Finance)

Missouri Sale of Checks Company Bond: License requirement - $100,000 surety bond and increases based on the volume of money transmissions up to a maximum of $1,000,000. (Apply through the Department of Insurance Financial Institutions and Professional Registration, Division of Finance)

Montana Department of Administration, Banking and Financial Institutions does not require money transmitters to have a license or bond.

Nebraska Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $100,000 surety bond for main location and $5,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $250,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Nevada Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $10,000 surety bond for main location and $5,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $250,000. (Apply through the Financial Institutions Division, Department of Business and Industry)

New Hampshire Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $100,000 surety bond. (Apply through the NMLS)

New Jersey Money Transmitter Bond: a minimum $100,000 surety bond or a $25,000 bond for a Foreign Money Transmitter License. (Apply through the Department of Banking and Insurance Licensing Services Bureau)

New Mexico Money Transmission Bond: License requirement - $300,000 surety bond and increases based on an amount equal to 1% of the yearly volume of money transmissions up to a maximum of $2,000,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

New York Transmitter of Money Bond: License requirement - a minimum $500,000 surety bond and if selling traveler checks a minimum $750,000 bond. Bond amount will be adjusted based on the business financial condition. (Apply through the Department of Financial Services)

North Carolina Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $150,000 surety bond and increases based on the yearly volume of money transmissions up to a maximum of $250,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

North Dakota Money Transmitter Company Bond- License requirement - $150,000 surety bond and increases based on the yearly volume of money transmissions up to a maximum of $500,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Ohio Money Transmitter Bond- License requirement - $300,000 surety bond and increases up to a maximum of $2,000,000. (Apply through the Department of Commerce, Department of Financial Institutions)

Oklahoma Money Transmission Bond- License requirement - $50,000 surety bond for main location and $10,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $500,000, or a $500,000 for money transmission and sale of checks activities, or a $200,000 bond for primarily electronic money transmission services. (Apply through the NMLS)

Oregon Money Transmitter Bond- License requirement - $25,000 surety bond for the main location, $5,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $150,000. (Apply through the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Division of Financial Regulation)

Pennsylvania Money Transmitter Bond- License requirement - $1,000,000 surety bond. (Apply through the NMLS)

Rhode Island Electronic Money Transfer Bond: $50,000 surety bond for 1-3 locations, increasing $10,000 for 4-7 locations, and increases $25,000 for 8 or more locations. Sale of Checks License- $50,000 bond and $5,000 bond for each additional location up to a maximum of $150,000. Check Casher License- no bond required unless checks are accepted with deferred payment. Bond amount is $50,000 for main location, $5,000 bond for each additional location (no maximum). (Apply through the NMLS)

South Carolina Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $50,000 surety bond for main location and $10,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $250,000. (Apply through the Attorney General’s Office)

South Dakota Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $100,000 surety bond. (Apply through the NMLS)

Tennessee Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $50,000 surety bond for main location and $10,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $800,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Texas Money Transmission Bond: License requirement - $300,000 surety bond and increases based on the yearly volume of money transmissions equal to 1%, up to a maximum of $2,000,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Utah Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $50,000 surety bond and can be increased at the discretion of the Commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions. (Apply through the NMLS)

Vermont Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $100,000 surety bond for main location and $10,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $500,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Virginia Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $25,000 surety bond up to a maximum of $500,000. Bond amounts are based on the financial condition of the business, monthly volume of money transmissions, and other factors (Apply through the State Corporation Commission, Bureau of Financial Institutions)

Washington Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $10,000 surety bond and increases based on the yearly volume of money transmissions up to a maximum of $550,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

West Virginia Money Transmitter- Sale of Checks/Currency Exchange Bond: a minimum $100,000 surety bond or a $300,000 bond for a Money Transmission or Currency Transportation License. After the initial year, bond amounts will be determined by annual volume of business transactions up a maximum bond amount of $1,000,000. (Apply through the NMLS)

Wisconsin Seller of Checks Bond: $10,000 surety bond for main location and $5,000 for each additional location up to a maximum of $300,000. Currency Exchange License bond is $50,000 for each location. (Apply through the NMLS)

Wyoming Money Transmitter Bond: License requirement - $10,000 surety bond or increases based on the yearly volume of money transmissions equal to 2.5 times, up to a maximum of $500,000. Business not meeting the net worth or other financial requirements may also be required to carry a larger bond amount set by the Commissioner of the Division of Banking. (Apply through the NMLS)


Some states will accept other financial securities in lieu of a bond or a combination of both.

How Much Will This Bond Cost?

The premium you pay for a Money Transmitter Surety Bond is dependent on credit and the bond amount required. Bond amounts over $50,000 will require personal and business financials.

Related Links:

Read our blog, Why Money Transmitters Need Surety Bonds

Have Questions?

Contact our Surety Bond Specialists at:

Phone: 1‑844‑432‑6637
Emailinfo@suretygroup.com
Fax:     404-351-3237
Hours: 8:00-5:00 CST, Monday through Friday



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