Money Transmitter Division

The Money Transmitter Division of DFPI licenses and regulates money transmitters, which includes issuers of payment instruments (money orders), travelers checks and stored value. The California money transmission laws are found in the California Financial Code, Division 1.2, commencing with section 2000.

The Department is a member of the Money Transmitter Regulators Association (MTRA).

How to reach us:

Department of Financial Protection and Innovation
Division of Corporations and Financial Institutions
One Sansome Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94104-4428

Phone: (415) 263-8500

Money Transmission Act

Chapter 1. General Provisions2000-2003
Chapter 2. Exemptions2010-2011
Chapter 3. Licenses2030-2043
Chapter 4. Agents2060-2063
Chapter 5. Eligible Securities2081-2089
Chapter 6. Consumer Disclosures2100-2107
Chapter 7. Examinations, Special Reports, and Records2120-2127
Chapter 8. Additional Enforcement Provisions2148-2153
Chapter 9. Miscellaneous Provisions2170-2176

Applying for a License (or Acquisition of Control)

The DFPI uses the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) to manage money transmitter licenses. Through NMLS, companies will have the option to apply for, or amend, its license conveniently and safely online. 

Prospective applicants for a new money transmitter license or an acquisition of control should review and understand the laws and regulations that govern money transmission in California.  Applicants should then arrange for a pre-filing meeting with the Money Transmitter Division staff. The prospective applicant should contact to arrange for a copy of pre-filing materials and make an appointment. Prospective applicants whose business relates to crypto assets should contact the DFPI Crypto Unit at

The purpose of the pre-filing meeting is to answer the prospective applicant’s questions about the process and regulatory requirements, and to help the DFPI process the application in a timely manner. The meeting also helps prospective applicants prepare an application that meets all the requirements of California and federal law. The pre-filing meeting should be conducted before the applicant files any application through NMLS. The meeting may occur in-person or virtually, depending on the availability of applicant and DFPI participants.

Applications may be filed via the NMLS, instructions for which can be found on the New Application Checklist for new license applications and the Amendment Checklist for acquisition of control applications.

The filing fee is five thousand dollars ($5,000) for a new license and is not refundable in the event an application is incomplete or inadequate. 

A successful applicant will be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of the laws and regulations that govern money transmitters and be ready to present a proposed business plan.

DFPI Portfolio Managers are available to confer with you to discuss questions in advance of conducting a pre-filing meeting or filing an application. However, no application will be decided in advance of filing. You may contact DFPI Portfolio Management via you are a prospective applicant whose business relates to crypto assets, please contact the DFPI Crypto Unit at

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Last updated: Jan 19, 2024 @ 11:01 am