Job Aid: Your First Examination in SES

This job aid serves as a guide for company users to complete the setup process for their company (i.e., company enrollment) and respond to an exam in the State Examination System (SES).

It highlights the basic workflow for completing an exam in SES and points out important information along the way. Since the workflow in SES is not specific to any industry or business type, this job aid is relevant for any exam worked in SES.

Figure 1. Basic Flow for Processing an Exam in SES
Basic Flow for Processing an Exam in SES

1. Agency Communicates with Company

As each new state agency comes onto SES, they will likely communicate with their regulated industries about their intent to use SES to conduct supervisory activities, including exams and investigations.

Remember: Your company may receive notifications from multiple state agencies regarding their anticipated use of SES. If the notifications looked similar, it’s because CSBS has provided agencies with communication templates to assist with their transition to SES.

2. Agency Initiates SES Company Enrollment

The SES company enrollment process requires the agency to enroll the first user of the company as they likely know who is best suited to handle the exam on behalf of the company.

Tip: SES displays the NMLS Contact Person and the NMLS Complaints Contact if provided by the company in NMLS. To help ensure the right individuals are identified as the appropriate company contacts by the agency, it is recommended that you make sure your contacts in NMLS are correct and regularly updated as needed.

3. Company Completes SES Company Enrollment

After the agency enrolls the appropriate individual, the company user is notified via email. The notification provides the steps the company user must take to access the system.

Figure 2. SES - Quick Learning Opportunity
Watch the Company Enrollment video (6:30 mins) to learn more, including:
  • How agencies initiate enrollment;
  • How to ensure your information is captured in SES if your company is not regulated on NMLS;
  • Information about Okta and how to set up your multi-factor authentication tool;
  • A guided demonstration of all system pages completed during the enrollment process;
  • Information on account management, including assigning contacts, user account creation, and roles;
  • And, outstanding tasks – what to look for once you’ve completed enrollment!

4. SES Supervisory Activity Contact Assigns the Company Lead

The SES Supervisory Activity Contact is responsible for assigning a Company Lead for each exam received in SES. In turn, the Company Lead oversees the exam and is responsible for responding to the agency using SES. If the Company Lead would like assistance with the exam, they may add additional participants to the supervisory activity in the Contributor, Coordinator and Third-Party User roles. Consult the video about user roles in SES Company User Roles Matrix for more information about the different supervisory activity roles.

5. Company Lead Responds to Information Request (IR)

Although participants can assist with drafting IR responses, only the Company Lead can submit the responses to the agency. Responses can be saved in draft and can also be marked for restricted access to limit who from the company can view the response. Once the response has been sent, your job is done until you receive an update from SES. The agency is automatically notified of the submission and the status is updated to ‘Sent’ in SES.

Figure 3. What does an Information Request Response look like in SES?
In SES, responses can be sent via:
  • On-screen text
    • 4,000 characters limit
  • Document upload
    Please note the following restrictions with with regard to file uploads in SES. It is recommended to use a ZIP folder or File Sharing Links when uploading large files or more than 25 files at a time.
    • File formats supported: SES will accept all file formats, but the following commonly supported file types are recommended: PDF, Word®, Excel®, CSV, ZIP
    • Max file size: 1 GB
    • For files larger than 1 GB1:
      • Use ZIP compression to reduce file to less than 1 GB1
      • Split the file into multiple smaller files
      • Use File Sharing Links.
    • Max no. characters per file name: 200
    • Max no. files per upload: 25, for uploads larger than 25 total files:
      1. Upload first 25.
      2. Select the Save Draft option in Available Next Actions then click the Save Draft button.
        Note: You may need to refresh the screen to see that the files have uploaded to the system.
      3. Return to the response screen to upload the next 25 files and repeat.
    • Total no. files: unlimited
  • External file sharing link
    • For files that exceed 1GB

If additional information is needed, the agency can send the response back to the company for updates or create a new IR for your company to respond to in SES. Also, if you have a very large file to share, consider using an external file sharing link to share files in SES.

6. Company Lead Responds to Loan Request (if applicable)

Similar to the IR process, mortgage or consumer finance industries may also receive requests for loan files in SES. A Company Lead can assign loan requests to Contributors, in bulk or individually by loan file, to draft responses if desired. Once the responses are complete, the exam participants can then return to SES and send them to the agency. And, just like IRs, only the Company Lead can send the responses to the agency.

Figure 4. System Update
system update notice

7. Company Lead Responds to Report (if required/allowed by agency)

The company receives the report through the system and is able to respond if required or allowed by the agency.

Figure 5. How does report response work in SES?

In SES, each agency determines the response settings by exam. See below for the available options and how they appear for the company in SES.

Flowchart: Agency Decisions

8. Company Lead Responds to Matters Requiring Attention (if applicable)

The Company Lead is also responsible for responding to matters requiring attention (MRA), if sent by the agency at the conclusion of the exam. The MRA functionality in SES refers to the state agencies’ ability to track issues and concerns that the agency expects a company to address at the conclusion of an exam.

Similar to the IR process, by selecting Restrict View, only the Company Lead and the participant that drafted the response to the MRA can see the response and supporting documentation. Also, with the MRA feature, companies can send their MRA responses at any time, even after the exam has been closed.

That concludes the exam process in SES! For a general overview of SES, please watch the A Tour of SES video to get started. For more information about SES policies, such as the document and data retention policy, download the SES Policies guide.

SES Company Resources

Be sure to check out the SES Quick Start Guide for Companies. If you have any additional questions, please contact the NMLS and SES Call Center by telephone (1-800-269-6189) for assistance.

Table 1. State Examination System (SES) Hours of Operation
Day of the Week Full Access Limited Access2
All Times Eastern
Monday through Friday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM 6:00 PM – 9:00 AM
Saturday & Sunday All Day

New Year's Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

President's Day

Memorial Day


Independence Day

Labor Day

Thanksgiving Day

Christmas Day.

All Day
1 For documents uploaded to the Interactions tab, the maximum file size is 25 MB.
2 During periods of Limited Availability, the System will be operational, but availability may not be guaranteed. The system may experience periods of planned or emergency maintenance.