Qualification Exam Waivers and Exemptions

FINRA may grant waivers, in exceptional cases, or exemptions for qualification exams, pursuant to FINRA Rule 1210.3, FINRA Rule 1220 and Rule 9600 Series, and accept other standards as evidence of an applicant’s qualification for registration, such as experience in the securities industry,  educational achievement, or qualification by a specified foreign entity. FINRA may also consider an applicant’s experience in a field ancillary to the investment banking or securities business as grounds to waive an exam. FINRA exercises its waiver authority where good cause is shown by the sponsoring firm requesting a waiver for one of its associated persons.

Starting October 1, 2018, in addition to the current qualification exam waiver categories, firms will be able to request a waiver or an exemption for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and the appropriate top-off exams. Firms are permitted to request an SIE-only waiver on behalf of an individual only in conjunction with a representative-level exam request. Waivers can be requested for one or a combination of the following exams: SIE, representative-level and principal-level.


Individuals who have questions regarding the waiver and exemption process should contact the registration and licensing group in their firm.

Firms that have questions regarding the waiver process should contact the FINRA Call Center at (301) 590-6500 .