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 65

    The Series 65 is an exam and securities license required by most ...
  2. Series 27

    The Series 27 is a securities license entitling the holder to ...
  3. Series 42

    The Series 42 is an exam and license for financial professionals ...
  4. Series 55

    The Series 55 is an exam and license that entitles the holder ...
  5. Series 4

    The Series 4 is an exam and securities license entitling the ...
  6. Series 3

    The Series 3 is a securities license entitling the holder to ...
Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    Introduction to the Series 65 exam

    The Series 65 is required in many states in order to be a fee-based advisor. Find out what it is and whether you need it.
  2. Financial Advisor

    How Hard are the CFA Exams?

    Learn about the difficulty of the CFA exams with a description of the tests, some statistics on pass rates and suggestions that can help you pass the exams.
  3. Financial Advisor

    Series 63, Series 65 Or Series 66?

    When joining the world of investment professionals, you must take the right exams.
  4. Personal Finance

    Prepare For Your CFA Exams

    Find out how to get yourself ready for these lengthy and often daunting exams.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Series 65 Exam Prep: The Investment Advisor

    Before you take the series 65, you need to understand who is an investment advisor as defined by the exam.
  6. Financial Advisor

    Pass Your CFA Exams on the First Try

    Less than 20% of those who begin the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation reach the end. Become one of the elite who pass on the first try by using these simple study methods.
  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. Investing

    Getting Your Real Estate License

    Each state has its own rules, regulations and examination for obtaining a real estate license. Find out what you need to know.
  9. Personal Finance

    An Introduction To The CFA Designation

    The CFA designation is seen as the key certification for investment professionals. Find out what the CFA signifies for candidates and investors.
  10. Personal Finance

    Studying For The CFP Exam

    Learn the tips and tricks of the trade before heading into this test.
  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. How many people fail the series 63 exam every year?

    How many stock brokers failed the Series 63 exam before they passed successfully? Here is what you need to know before taking ... Read Answer >>
  3. Do financial advisors have to be licensed?

    Understand why all financial advisors have to be licensed, and identify the specific licenses you must obtain to carry out ... Read Answer >>
  4. 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 >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Diversification

    Diversification is the strategy of investing in a variety of securities in order to lower the risk involved with putting ...
  2. Intrinsic Value

    Intrinsic value is the perceived or calculated value of a company, including tangible and intangible factors, and may differ ...
  3. Current Assets

    Current assets is a balance sheet item that represents the value of all assets that can reasonably expected to be converted ...
  4. Volatility

    Volatility measures how much the price of a security, derivative, or index fluctuates.
  5. Money Market

    The money market is a segment of the financial market in which financial instruments with high liquidity and very short maturities ...
  6. Cost of Debt

    Cost of debt is the effective rate that a company pays on its current debt as part of its capital structure.
Trading Center