What is 'Series 72'

The Series 72 is an exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to license individuals who want to become government securities limited representatives for registered broker/dealers.


In order to acquire a Series 72 license, potential licensees must take the Series 72 exam. The exam measures candidate’s capability to perform the functions of a government security representative, and it covers a range of topics to test candidates’ knowledge, including:

  • Government securities
  • Mortgage-backed securities
  • Related securities and financial instruments
  • Economic activity, government policy and behavior of interest rates
  • Securities industry regulations and legal considerations
  • Customer considerations

The test consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, and for a candidate to pass the exam he or she must get a score of 70% or better. Exams are closed book, and reference materials are not allowed during testing. Some questions require calculations. Candidates are not permitted to bring their own calculators. Test administrators will provide each candidate with a white board and dry erase markers and a calculator. Candidates have three hours in which to complete the exam.

Anyone can sign up to take the Series 72 exam, and there are no prerequisite exams. Interested candidates can sign up for the test online by filling out the appropriate forms for FINRA-registered or non-FINRA registered firms and scheduling an appointment to take the exam within 120 days. Fees for the exam are assessed either at the time of filing or upon enrollment request.

Candidates outside the US or its territories may still take the exam, though there may be additional requirements, such as a different data processing consent form and international delivery fee.

What does a Series 72 license allow?

Once a candidate has passed the Series 72 exam, he or she becomes licensed. License holders are allowed to solicit and sell government securities, government agency securities and mortgage-backed securities, including government bonds and certain agency bonds such as GNMA securities and Federal Home Loan Mortgage (Freddie Mac) securities.

However, the Series 72 is limited in scope. For example, it does not permit the sale of any type of derivatives on government securities. As a result of these limitations, the licensing exam should only be taken by candidates if they will not need a more expansive or comprehensive registered representative licenses, such as the Series 62 licenses, which permits the candidates to become a corporate securities representative, or Series 7 license, which permits candidates to become a general securities representative.

  1. Series 63

    The Series 63 is a securities exam and license entitling the ...
  2. Series 65

    The Series 65 is an exam and securities license required by most ...
  3. Series 39

    The Series 39 exam tests a person's knowledge of how to perform ...
  4. Series 24

    The Series 24 is an exam and license entitling the holder to ...
  5. Series 28

    The Series 28 is an exam for professionals seeking become licensed ...
  6. Series 79

    The Series 79 exam is an examination to determine whether a registered ...
Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    Series 6 Exam Prep: What Is A Security?

    Before you take the series 6, you need to understand what a security is as defined by the exam.
  2. Personal Finance

    The Series 79 Exam: What It Is And When You Need It

    If you're getting into the field of investment banking, you'll need to know all about the Series 79.
  3. Financial Advisor

    Tips For Passing The Series 6 Exam

    Find out what you can do during the test to make sure you get a passing score.
  4. Financial Advisor

    Series 63, Series 65 Or Series 66?

    When joining the world of investment professionals, you must take the right exams.
  5. Insights

    FINRA Files Plans to Change Series 7 and Other Exams

    New details have emerged on the Securities Industry Essentials Exam required for becoming a registered representative.
  6. Personal Finance

    Becoming A Chartered Market Technician

    The CMT certification involves three tough exams. Find out what you need to do in order to pass.
  7. Financial Advisor

    Should you add a securities license to your qualifications?

    Clients love planners who sell securities, but a securities license takes a lot of work. Learn if the stress and study are worth it.
  8. Personal Finance

    How to Ace the CFA Level I Exam

    Prepare to ace the CFA Level 1 exam by studying systematically.
  9. Personal Finance

    What To Expect On The CFA Level III Exam

    The Level III exam is one of the toughest exams for the CFA. Read this to give yourself a little insight.
  10. Financial Advisor

    Tips on Passing the CFA Level I on Your First Attempt

    Obtain valuable tips and helpful study instructions that can help you pass the Level 1 Chartered Financial Analyst exam on your first attempt.
  1. What Major is Required to take the Series 7 Examination?

    Find out what educational requirements are needed for the Series 7 exam. Learn about the new Securities Industry Essentials ... Read Answer >>
  2. Licenses for hedge fund manager

    Obtain the pertinent information about the various types of licenses a hedge fund manager needs to have to legally operate ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center