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Licensing: The Importance of Using Your Legal Name

Christy Gass
Licensing &

Do you want your carrier appointments and new business to be processed as quickly as possible? If so, be sure to use your legal name on your paperwork. Many people have nicknames with their family, friends, and clients. It can be a derivative of your given name (such as Bob for Robert), a middle name, or just a name you have gone by for years. However, if you are one of the many that use a nickname, do not forget to use your legal name on your appointment paperwork, new business application, and other legal documents.

When you registered with the State Department of Insurance, you most likely provided them with your legal name and SSN. Therefore you are registered under that name and SSN. If you start using a different name, those companies, the other State Department of Insurance Departments, and the appointment carriers will not be able to find you or your license.

Using your nickname may delay obtaining carrier appointments. If your paperwork doesn’t match it is harder to find you. You will also be required to correct your paperwork before Licensing can process your appointments.

Using your nickname can also delay your new business. The carriers’ new business department looks for an appointment and licenses that matches the name on the application. When it is not found, they put your application on hold until they can reach out to First Heartland for your appointment paperwork. First Heartland’s Licensing Department will need to respond with your legal name and other identifying information so the carrier can find your appointment and license information. This process slows down your application and may cause stress for you and your clients.


(State License: Robert Smith) + (SureLC Paperwork and/or New Business: Bob Smith) = Unnecessary Delay

Bob Smith passed his insurance test and obtained a state license under his legal name, Robert Smith. He was excited to get appointed and write new business quickly for a large policy he was working on.

He sent First Heartland’s Licensing Department his SureLC paperwork to get appointed using his nickname, Bob. Once Licensing tried to add him to the system, NIPR (National Insurance Producer Registry) advised that his legal name was Robert. Licensing returned the paperwork to Bob to correct his name on all the pages. Once Licensing received the paperwork, Bob’s carrier appointments moved forward.

Bob submitted his new business and signed as Bob, not Robert. The carrier’s new business department searched for Bob Smith but could not find his appointment or pending appointment paperwork. The file was sent to a specialist who sent a request for appointment paperwork to First Heartland. Licensing knew Bob’s legal name was Robert and looked up his file. He had been appointed for 2 weeks. So Licensing responded to the appointment paperwork request with the Bob’s legal name, appointment code, and SSN. After a day or so (since the request went back to the bottom of their queue), the carrier sees the information with the Bob’s legal name and finds his appointment and licenses in their system. Only then can the carrier’s New Business Department can move forward and process the new business.

Don’t let this happen to you. Use your legal name on legal documents.


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