Governor Brown Signs Law to Expand Access to Insurance Licenses

October 04, 2017

Senate Bill 788 opens the state’s second-most-enrolled profession and creates economic opportunity

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 788, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), which removes barriers to access the insurance agent and insurance broker licenses, the second most enrolled profession in California.

The California Department of Insurance licenses insurance agents and brokers who sell auto, health, home, life, and other forms of insurance. SB 788 authorizes the Department of Insurance to accept an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) in lieu of a Social Security Number from a person who applies for or renews an insurance agent or insurance broker license.

ITINs are issued by the Internal Revenue Service to people who are ineligible for a Social Security Number so that they can file federal and state taxes.

SB 788 builds on a recent law also authored by Senator Lara (SB 1159, 2014), which opened licensing in 40 professions to applicants using an ITIN, including barbers, engineers, pharmacists, and veterinarians.

“California’s insurance industry is constantly growing and in need of agents and brokers capable of serving our diverse communities,” said Senator Ricardo Lara. “Just as we have in many other professions, SB 788 will create economic opportunity for immigrant communities and help California build our professional workforce to meet the increasing demand for licensed insurance agents and brokers. Expanding the pool of culturally competent and licensed agents and brokers helps protect immigrant communities from scams and increases access to auto, health, home and life insurance.”

SB 788 will also protect insurance license applicants’ information from unlawful disclosure.

SB 788 is supported by insurance and civil rights groups including the Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Personal Insurance Federation of California