The Ultimate Guide to Series 63

By Julie Mendel, SILA-A, CDEI
Sep 22, 2022


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Guide to Series 63 License

FINRA's Series 63 license exam, or Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, is meant to ensure security agents understand and follow state laws and regulations. Passing the Series 63 exam helps qualify candidates to work as security agents. The Series 63 license is typically earned in conjunction with other licenses, such as the Series 7 license, for General Securities Representatives, or the Series 6 license, for Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representatives.

All details regarding the Series 63 license, including all requirements and tips for passing the Series 63 exam the first time, can be found below.

What is the Series 63 License?

The Series 63 license allows states to certify a security agents’ knowledge of state laws and regulations governing the sale of securities—but only in states where it is required.

The following states do not require a Series 63 license:

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Ohio
  • District of Columbia

All 44 other states require a Series 63 license to legally practice as a security agent—but often more licenses are required for full registration in the securities industry.

A Series 63 license does not allow individuals to conduct securities business without additional licenses. As a result, a Series 63 exam is typically earned in conjunction with other Series exams. Passing the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and the Series 63 exam, for example, allows candidates to solicit, purchase, and sell mutual funds, variable annuities, variable life insurance, unit investment trusts (UITs), and municipal fund securities (additional insurance licenses may be required). A Series 63 combined with the SIE and Series 7 (for General Securities Representatives) offers another avenue in corporate securities, municipal fund securities, options, direct participation programs, investment company products, and variable contracts.

How to Get the Series 63 License

The Uniform Securities Agent State Law (Series 63) Exam is a qualification exam required to receive registration. It is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on behalf of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

Schedule the Series 63 Exam

Prior to scheduling your exam, you will need to enroll for the Series 63 exam with FINRA. Once enrolled, FINRA grants the candidate a 120-day window to schedule their Series 63 exam. As of April 2022, Series 63 exams are no longer available online. Instead, candidates must schedule a Series 63 exam with FINRA at one of their Prometric testing sites to take the exam in person. This same restriction also applies to the Series 65 and 66 exams.

Pass the Series 63 Exam

The Series 63 exam is a 75-minute, 60 question multiple-choice test that covers regulations and ethics requirements all security agents must follow. Passing the Series 63 exam requires a 72%, or 43 correct answers out of 60. Once passed, however, the Series 63 exam does not alone allow for the sale of securities. Typically, securities professionals obtain a Series 63 license in conjunction with a Series 6 or Series 7 license.

Maintain Your Series 63 License

The Series 63 license lasts for two or three years, a duration set individually by each state.  This window determines how long a licensee has to become licensed or registered with the state without their Series 63 license expiring. Once registered, the Series 63 license does not expire so long as the Series 63 license holder remains employed in the industry. Once a Series 63 licensee is terminated from their position or otherwise becomes inactive, the expiration countdown for their Series 63 license begins again.

What is on the Series 63 Exam?

There are no requirements to complete an exam prep course, however, taking a course can provide candidates with an in-depth review of the exam’s general content and format, optional practice exams, and other study tools.

Topic Weight Number of Questions
1. Regulation of Investment Advisers, Including State-Registered and Federal Covered Advisers5%3
2. Regulation of Investment Representatives5%3
3. Regulation of Broker-Dealers15%9
4. Regulation of Agents of Broker-Dealers15%9
5. Regulation of Securities and Issuers5%3
6. Remedies and Administrative Provisions10%6
7. Communication with Customers and Prospects20%12
8. Ethical Practices and Obligations25%15
TOTAL: 100%60

NASAA's Series 63 exam content outline gives a detailed breakdown of what to expect in each section.

Passing the Series 63 exam requires a 72% score or better—or, 43 of 60 correct. Test takers have 75 minutes (one hour and 15 minutes) to complete the exam. Exam results are displayed immediately after completing the exam. Those who fail the Series 63 exam must wait 30 calendar days for another attempt. Three failing scores within a two-year window stretches the waiting period between exams to 180 calendar days.

Online Series 63 Exam Prep Tips to Pass the First Time

Series 63 exam prep is never required, but always recommended—especially if you want to pass the first time. After all, keep in mind the 30-day delay between retakes, which could delay your career goals by a month before even getting started.

For the highest chance of passing the Series 63 exam the first time, prepare with online securities exam prep. Exam prep programs, like WebCE’s Series 63 Complete Exam Prep Package, offer essential exam prep tools and features, including:

  1. Exam Tutor exam simulator for unlimited online Series 63 practice exams—even build custom Series 63 practice exams to test and improve specific knowledge areas
  2. Read-It-To-Me text-to-speech audio for all course content
  3. Flash Tutor online flashcards, a mobile-friendly approach to staying fresh on key terms and concepts on the go
  4. Study Guide Workbook course companion to make notes and complete exercises
  5. My Study Planner to customize a learning plan that fits your daily schedule

Mastering and familiarizing yourself with the Series 63 exam content and testing topics are vital to confident test taking practices that can drastically increase your chances of passing the Series 63 exam the first time.

WebCE offers an entire catalog of Securities Exam Prep courses, which also includes a combination SIE, Series 6 + Series 63 Complete Exam Prep Package or SIE, Series 7 + Series 63 Complete Exam Prep Package to help you prepare for every co-requisite exam at the same time. Get the most out of your time and money with WebCE’s securities exam prep.