Frequently asked Questions about Title Search licensing
Beware of internet books that say title searching is an easy business; one you can learn practically overnight from a book; and that you can make your money back on your first search! Competent title searching is an art form that requires a significant amount of legal knowledge of real estate law, state and federal law and local public records.Girl On Stairs

Title Searchers would be well advised to apprentice for experience, and in the author’s opinion, should carry insurance for errors and omissions.


Does a title agent need a title insurance agent’s license?
Generally, yes.
In most states, a title agent must be licensed. Title Insurance Underwriters often assist their Agents with the paperwork. In some states, there is a licensing exam, but other states have none. Generally, you can obtain license information on your State Department of Commerce web site, or Insurance Commissioner web site.

Is a person/company that searches land titles required to have an Abstractor’s license?

This varies by state.
Some states have no requirements at all. Others, including ND, AR, MN, SD, FL, OK, NE, IA, NC, KS, AL have some requirements for licensing tests; required bonds; errors and omissions insurance requirements; or require collaboration with an attorney under an “attorney approved system.”

Does each separate abstract/ title searching office need a licensed abstractor? This varies by state.
Some states have no requirements at all. Others have: licensing tests; required bonds; Errors and Omissions insurance requirements; or require co-operation with an attorney. Check your state’s law. In MN, for example, a licensed abstractor is required for each office. (MN Rules, CHAPTER 2830.0060)


Is there a requirement for pre-license training or continuing education for abstractors or title searchers?

This varies by state.
MN has no requirement for any classroom training. The only requirement is to pass the state Licensing Examination and maintain all requirements outlined in MN Statutes 386.61- 386.76

Who is in charge of Licensing Abstractors and where do I get information?
Generally, you can obtain license information on your State’s Department of Commerce web site, or your Insurance Commissioner web site.

In some states, the State has a professional “board of Abstractors” that administer testing. In other states, outside testing companies are used.

In MN, as of July 1, 2009, actual testing for Minnesota Abstractor Licensing is done through PSI Services, LLC. They can be reached at www.psiexams.com or by calling 1-800-733-9267.

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