To obtain a money transmitter license in the state, one must provide a Washington Money Transmitter Bond. This is a type of surety bond and all states have a similar requirement, depending on your state, this license may be called money remitter, money services business, check cashier, or sales of check license. For specific state information, visit our State-by-State Guide to Money Transmitter Bonds.
In Washington, the license is required of any company (including sole proprietorship) engaged in the business of receiving money or its equivalent value to transmit, deliver, or instruct to be delivered to another location inside or outside the United States; or selling, issuing or acting as an intermediary for open loop stored value devices and payment instruments, or any independent entity that holds or administers a dedicated bank account for fees and payments to creditors, debt collectors, debt adjusters, or debt adjusting agencies in connection with the renegotiation, settlement, reduction, or other alteration of the terms of payment or other terms of a debt. While the license is a requirement of the Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), it is administered via the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS)
Why Do I Need a Washington Money Transmitter Bond?
A surety bond is made to protect the public. In basic terms, it guarantees your business will adhere to all laws and requirements in your industry. In the event your business conducts unlawful acts, a consumer of your services may file a claim on the bond. Nearly any company that offers payment services requires a money transmitter bond. Due to a history of fraudulence and inaccurate money transmissions, state agencies now require this bond to protect consumers. While this bond does not protect the business owner, it offers proof that your business handles clients’ money responsibly. Should the surety company suffer a loss under the bond, it will seek reimbursement for the loss from the bond principal (licensee).
In order to get your money transmitter’s business license, you’ll need a Washington Money Transmitter Bond Required by DFI. The amount of the required surety bond depends on the amount of Washington money transmission and payment instrument dollar volume:
|Previous 12-months’ Money Transmission and Payment
instrument dollar volume.
|Zero – $999,999.00
|$1,000,000.00 – $1,999,999.99
|$2,000,000.00 – $2,999,999.99
|$3,000,000.00 – $3,999,999.99
|Continue calculations per volume… up to
||$10,000 for every $1,000,000 of Washington money transmission and payment instrument dollar volume.
|$54,000,000.00 or more
This bond ensures that the principle will comply with Chapter 19.230 of the Revised Code of Washington. While we cannot provide a firm quote for the bond without an application, most money transmitter bonds are priced are between 1% and 3% of the bond penalty.
The applicant should verify the bond penalty amount with the obligee before applying for the bond to ensure the bond amount is correct.
Money Transmitter License
These are additional details about the licensing process that you should be aware of. (Only the bond is handled at Surety1, but this information will help you get your license.)
- Collect items to be sent to DFI
- Washington Money Transmitter Bond
- Net worth of at least $10,000
- $1,000 license fee + $100 for each additional business location
- Background checks
- Credit reports
All licensing fees are required by the obligee, not the surety company.
See a checklist for new money transmitter license applications from NMLS.
How to Obtain a Washington Money Transmitter Bond?
At surety1.com we make it easy to obtain your required surety bond. For most applicants, our 3 step process is:
- Complete our easy to navigate and secure online application.1
- Review your free, no obligation quote from one of our surety bond professional agents, usually within 1 business day.
- Sign some paperwork and pay the bond premium.
Once these steps have been completed, the Washington Money Transmitter Bond will be filed electronically with the NMLS.
1- The name of the applicant on the surety bond application must match exactly the full legal business name of applicant for the license.
Surety1.com is a service of AssuredPartners one of the largest and fastest growing insurance agencies in the nation. Representing over a dozen surety bond companies, Surety1.com is the premier online provider of surety bonds nationwide since 2003 and is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.