As we approach the four-year anniversary of the SIE on October 1st, 2022, candidates will begin to see their SIE credential expire. A little-known nuance of FINRA’s SIE expiration policy is especially important to those returning to the industry after an absence.
The SIE exam became available for the first time on October 1st, 2018, offering a first step toward securities licensing without sponsorship or association with a FINRA member firm. Since the SIE credential is valid for four years from the date a candidate passes the exam or is terminated on a U5 Form, it may appear as though the earliest expiration date for the SIE license is October 1st, 2022. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. Anyone who imagines they don’t have to think about SIE expiration until October 2nd, 2022, may not have the whole story.
“Anyone who imagines they don’t have to think about SIE expiration until October 2nd, 2022, may not have the whole story.”
SIE License Expiration
If you join a broker dealer within four years of passing the SIE exam, you will complete your registration process by passing a top-off exam, such as the Series 7, and you will not need to take the SIE again. You will only need to pass the Series 7 exam to become registered. If you do not join a firm within four years, your SIE will expire, and you will need to retake the exam to work in the securities industry.
Because the SIE exam launched on October 1st, 2018, the earliest expiration date for candidates who took the SIE exam as soon as they could is October 1st, 2022. However, FINRA gave credit for the SIE to financial professionals who passed a legacy exam and were registered before the October 2018 exam restructuring. All individuals who left the industry within four years prior to the SIE launch were given SIE credit.
For example, a candidate who left the industry on July 1st, 2018, would have their SIE credential expire on July 1st, 2022. In theory, a candidate could have had their SIE credential expire as early as October 2nd, 2018, if they left the industry or saw their employment terminated on October 2nd, 2014 (i.e., the earliest possible termination date that still received SIE credit).
Anyone seeking to return to the industry after receiving back-dated credit for the SIE faces the possibility that their credential will have expired prior to October 2nd, 2022.
How to Renew an Expired License
If you have an active SIE credential and then leave a broker dealer, your SIE exam will expire four years after a termination. To avoid expiration, you would need to join a new broker dealer before the end of the four-year window. The four-year countdown begins on the date you leave the broker dealer.
Firms must file a U5 Form with FINRA within 30 days of a candidate’s departure. The candidate’s employment termination date, indicated by the firm on the U5 Form, will start the clock ticking on the expiration of the SIE license. Take a look at the scenarios below to understand when your SIE credential would expire.
- Assume you hold a Series 7 registration and leave the industry for three years. To become a Series 7 representative again, you must retake your Series 7 exam (expired after two years) but not the SIE.
- Assume you hold a Series 7 registration and leave the industry for five years. To become a Series 7 representative again, you must take both the SIE (expired after four years) and the Series 7 exam (expired after two years).
- Assume you hold a Series 24 registration and leave the industry for three years. To come back to the industry as a Series 24 supervisor, you must take the Series 24 along with any top-off exams that expired but not the SIE.