The Minnesota Department of Commerce licenses collection agencies and debt collectors. Our efforts provide regulatory oversight of the industry to help protect consumers and promote a competitive marketplace.
Go to PulsePortal, select "Minnesota Department of Commerce" as the program, and "Debt" as the board. Then click on "Submit License Application" and follow the instructions from there.
Fees are paid via the online portal: The initial registration fee is $1,000 state fee. The online system vendor also charges a $9.95 application fee and a credit card processing fee.
Each branch of a Collection Agency must obtain a separate license. The fee for a branch location is $500.00.
After you submit your Agency/Branch application, you should do an application status inquiry onPulsePortal to see when the license is issued. After the license is issued, you can print a copy of it.
A State ID and PIN number will be printed on page 2 of the license. That number must be used to set up an account on PulsePortal. Once the account is set up for your agency, you will be able to submit individual debt collector registration applications and perform other functions on the system.
After the Minnesota Department of Commerce approves your agency license, at least one Minnesota-licensed Debt Collector must be affiliated with your agency within 30 days, or the department reserves the right to cancel or terminate the agency license. This requirement does not apply to a 'Letter Service Only' licensee.
The original Minnesota Surety Bond and Power of Attorney for each licensed place of business must be mailed to the Minnesota Department of Commerce along with a copy of the application confirmation page from PulsePortal.
The address is:
Minnesota Department of Commerce
85 7th Place East, Suite 500
Saint Paul, MN 55101
A collection agency shall be exempt from the licensing and registration requirements of this chapter if all of the following conditions are met:
the agency is located in another state that regulates and licenses collection agencies, but does not require a Minnesota collection agency to obtain a license to collect debts in their state if the agency's collection activities are limited in the same manner;
the agency's collection activities are limited to collecting debts not incurred in this state from consumers located in this state; and
the agency's collection activities in Minnesota are conducted by means of
interstate communications, including telephone, mail, electronic mail, or facsimile transmission.
Debt Collector Registration
Details on how to apply for individual Debt Collector registration.
A collection agency/branch representative must go to Pulse Portal, log into the agency's user account, click on "Minnesota Department of Commerce" for the program and "Debt" for the board, and click on "Submit License Application" and "Begin an Individual License Application."
Fees are paid via PULSE Portal. The initial registration fee is $10.00. The online system vendor also charges a $9.95 application fee and a credit card processing fee.
After you submit an individual debt collector registration application, you should do an application status inquiry on Pulse Portal to see when the registration is issued.
The debt collector must be employed by a collection agency that holds a Minnesota license for the physical location where the debt collector conducts business.
Debt Collector License Renewal
Renewing debt collector registrations and collection agency licenses is done through the Collection Agency and Debt Collector Mass License Renewals service described below. The renewal period ends June 30 at 4:30 PM CDT.
If you have not already done so, create an account with Pearson VUE. To create an account, go to Pulse Portal. From the "Choose a state to begin" drop-down menu, select "Minnesota." From the "Choose a board to continue" drop-down menu, select "Debt." Under "Licensing Services," click on "Register for an Account." Enter your State ID and PIN and follow the instructions on the screen that appears. If you don't remember your State ID and PIN, click on “Home.” From the "Choose a state to begin" drop-down menu, select "Minnesota." From the "Choose a board to continue" drop-down menu, select “Debt.” Under “Print Licenses/Documents,” click on “Print Your License,” go through the process, and retrieve your state ID and PIN from page 2.
Do not use your browser's "Back" button at any point in the process, or you will lose all of the data that you have entered to that point and will need to start over from the beginning.
From the "Choose a state to begin" drop-down menu, select "Minnesota."
From the "Choose a board to continue" drop-down menu, select "Debt."
Under "License Renewals," click on "Mass License Renewals." This will call up the "Login" screen.
Enter your User Name and Password and click the "Login" button.
Next to "License Type," click the "Collection Agency" radio button, then click the "Submit" button.
You will be presented with a list of all the collectors associated with your company whose registrations are up for renewal. Click the checkbox next to each collector whose registration you would like to renew, then click the "Submit" button.
The "Attestation" screen will appear. Read the instructions carefully and note the following:
If you have changed bonding companies or have changes to your existing surety bond, mail a copy of the confirmation page with the completed original Minnesota surety bond or original surety bond rider and power of attorney form to:
State of Minnesota
Department of Commerce
85 – 7th Place East, Suite 500
St. Paul, MN 55101
The surety must notify the Commissioner within 10 days of any notification, change, or claim on the bond.
The Department of Commerce recommends revisiting the “Mass License Renewals” service regularly throughout the renewal period to ensure that you have completed all of your renewals. The renewal period ends June 30 at 4:30 PM CDT.
Click the “I Agree” button.
The list of renewed registrations will appear. Click the "Submit" button.
The Credit Card Information screen will appear. Enter all requested information. (Note: If your mailing address is in the United States, you do not need to enter anything in the "Country" field.) Click the "Continue" button.
Verify your information on the next screen. If something needs to be added or corrected, click the "Back" button (the one on the page, not the one for your browser). If everything is correct, click the "Submit Credit Card Info" button.
The confirmation page will appear. Please write down the Confirmation ID number and print the page for your records. The Confirmation ID number can be used to check the status of your renewal.
Renewal Screening Requirements
Each collection agency must establish procedures to screen each of its debt collectors prior to submitting the renewal payment. The screening process for the renewal of a debt collector registration must include a national criminal history record search, and a county criminal history search for all counties where the individual has resided for the immediate preceding year. Screening for renewal of individual collector registrations must take place no more than 60 days before the registration expiration or renewal date. A renewal screening is not required if an individual collector has been subjected to an initial background screening within 12 months of the first registration renewal date. A renewal screening is required for all subsequent annual registration renewals.
If this screening process reveals an incident that was not previously reported to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, please email a copy of the legal documents to the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.