The Debt Collection Licensing Act (Fin. Code § 100000 et seq.) (DCLA), which is operative starting on January 1, 2022, requires any person engaging in the business of debt collection in California to be licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI). (Fin. Code § 100001(a)). If you are a debt collector collecting debt in the state of California you must submit an application on or before Friday, December 31, 2021. Once you have submitted your application, you may continue operating as a debt collector in California while your application is pending. If you submit an application after this date, you will be required to wait for the issuance of a license before you can operate in California. (Fin. Code § 100000.5(c)).

The California DFPI has made a number of modifications to its licensing requirements since the initial announcement was made. The most recent modifications were proposed on November 15, 2021, which included a clarification of the definitions of the terms "branch office," and "debt collector."

A complete list of requirements, as well as the applications, can be found here.

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