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Rick Marsland By Rick Marsland • June 21, 2017

How To Get An Illinois Check Cashing (Currency Exchange) License

illinois currency exchange license 

Check cashing stores and similar businesses have gained a poor reputation over the years.  In order to help regulate these businesses, the state of Illinois requires money exchangers to be licensed and bonded.

A Currency Exchange License is required for businesses that cash checks, sell or cash money orders, and/or make wire transfers.

This license is issued by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.

 

How to get an Illinois Check Cashing (Currency Exchange) License 

 

Step #1: Complete the Illinois Currency Exchange License Application

This includes the following:

For a complete list of requirements for the application and license, view the Application Checklist.

 

Step #2: Submit credit report

Because of the Currency Exchange Act, all applicants for new licenses must submit narrative personal credit reports from a recognized credit bureau. 

Have the credit bureau send your report directly to the Currency Exchange Section at the following address:

Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Currency Exchange Section
100 West Randolph Street, 9th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

The easiest way to complete this step is to use Western Cook Credit Services. They are familiar with the license requirements. Their number is 773-777-5557.

 

Step #3: Purchase surety bond

An Illinois Currency Exchange Bond is a type of surety bond required before you can get licensed. This bond protects your customers. Your customers are free to make a claim on your bond if they feel you have not fulfilled your duties.

With the passing of Senate Bill 1882, professionals must post a $25,000 bond per licensed location, up to $350,000.

You will not pay the full $25,000 to get bonded. You will pay anywhere from 1-15% of the bond amount ($250 - $3,750) based on your personal credit.

The best way to see what you'd pay is to get a free quote.

 

Get a Currency Exchange Bond Quote

 
Note: You do not need to get individually bonded if you are covered by a blanket bond that covers multiple licensees who are members of a statewide association. 

 

Step #4: Submit

Submit the above paperwork and a $1,000 check/money order (made payable to the "Department of Financial Institutions") to the following address:

Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Currency Exchange Section
100 West Randolph Street, 9th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

Failure to provide the necessary information can delay the processing of your application.

You will be notified in writing if items are missing or if clarification is needed. If you have any questions, please call the Department at 312-814-5153.

 

 

License Expiration and Renewal

 

Illinois Currency Exchange Licenses are valid for one year.

Licenses may be renewed. View Currency Exchange License Renewal Form.

 

Related Links:

Currency Exchange Section Brochure

Currency Exchange Licensee Search

Currency Exchange Enforcement Acts