FAQ

for Title Examiner and Title Settlement Agent Certifications

VCTE and VCTSA registration is open to both members and non-members. Call our office today about discounts on class enrollments for new members. 

Complete information on the Certification Continuing Education program (CCE) is available in the CCE Guidebook. PLEASE NOTE that the deadline for continuing education has been extended to December 31, 2016 for all certification holders. Future biennia will end in even-numbered years.

For information about Title Insurance Agent licensing, please refer to Title Insurance Licensing. The VCTSA program does NOT qualify for pre-licensing education in Virginia.

  1. I have been in the title industry for many years. Will I still need to take the class as a prerequisite to taking the certification exam? Yes.
  2. What is the cost of the class? The course costs are advertised on the main Certification Courses (VCTE & VCTSA) page.
  3. When and where will classes be held? The VCTE is an online course, available 24/7. VCTSA classes are also now online!
  4. What is the cost of the exam? The exam is included in the purchase of your course.
  5. Will I need continuing education classes to keep my certification current? Yes. Complete rules for Certification Continuing Education are available in the CCE Guidebook.
  6. What are the intervals for certification renewal? Renewal is required by December 31st on a biennium basis on even numbered years.
  7. Does my certification expire? Yes, at the end of the biennium.
  8. I only do title construction draw updates, rundowns and recordings. Does the Title Examiner Certification apply to me? Yes, every aspect of the title search process including draw updates, rundowns, and recordings is encompassed in the certification course.
  9. Will there be different levels of certification? No, not at this time.
  10. I only work with out of state clients. Does the Title Examiner Certification encompass this type of search as well? Yes, as long as the property is located in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  11. I own a title insurance agency and hire freelance title examiners. Can I take the exam and certify their work without each of them being certified? No.
  12. If I have questions about the process or exam, whom do I contact? www.vlta.org or 800.929.8730.
  13. Will there be a way to access a database of certified title examiners available to those who need title examiner services? Yes. You can view the List of Certified Professionals online or search our online database using the terms "Certified Title Examiner" or "Certified Title Settlement Agent". 
  14. I am employed by a Virginia law firm as a title examiner and/or as a paralegal that was trained by the law firm to examine titles. As an employee of the law firm, does Title Examination Certification apply to me? Yes, the certification program is recommended for anyone who conducts any aspect of a title examination.
  15. After going through a course and passing the VCTE or VCTSA Exam, will the VLTA be able to help me obtain E&O insurance with a premium discount? Yes. At this time, the provider is working with VLTA to develop the program.
  16. Will the course and test be made available for home study? Both the VCTE & VCTSA courses are now fully online. 
  17. I perform my title examinations via “on-line” records or remote access for several jurisdictions in Virginia. I am located outside of Virginia and examine these titles for non-resident agents and offices. Does the Title Examination Certification apply to me? Yes, as long as the searches you perform are on property located in Virginia.
  18. What are the anticipated penalties for failure to comply with taking the class and passing the test? None. Certification is strictly voluntary.
  19. If the class is not mandatory, why take it and incur the expense? Certification elevates and sets you apart from your competition; certification empowers you to stay on top of changes in the industry; certification enhances your ability to market your services; certification identifies you as a title industry professional; certification commands the respect that has been missing for title examiners and title settlement agents, and certification demonstrates you are invested in your professional development. Certification will meet the recommendations set by title insurance underwriters.
  20. If I am already a licensed title insurance agent, does this class qualify as continuing education credits? Yes. Both the VCTE & VCTSA courses are approved for continuing education in Virginia. Check the course descriptions online for more information.
  21. How soon after successful completion of the VCTE or VCTSA class do I have to take the Exam? The Exam must be taken within 90 days of completing the course; extensions may be granted upon request.
  22. How many classes do I have to take? One 16-hour course followed by continuing education courses required to maintain certification.
  23. Are continuing educations classes required after certification? Yes.
  24. Who will be teaching the VCTE course? Julie Rutledge-Pugh, VCTE
  25. Who will be teaching the VCTSA course? Kevin Pogoda, Esq., VCTE, VCTSA
  26. What will the VCTE and VCTSA Exams consist of? Both Exams cover all the material contained in the online course and/or course textbook.
  27. Is each participant required to purchase a book or can two or more share one book? Textbooks are not required for any course.
  28. Is the VCTE [Title Examiner] certification class a beginning, intermediate or advanced course? The course is designed to provide knowledge, skills and procedures necessary to complete a basic title examination. While some topics are at a basic level, others are at an intermediate level.
  29. What is the reason the Title Examination Certification was developed? More than 60% of title insurance claims in the Commonwealth of Virginia are the result of errors in the title search. For this reason, title insurance underwriters have identified the need for training of title examiners.
  30. Is the VCTSA [Title Settlement Agent] certification class a beginning, intermediate or advanced course? The course is designed to enhance the knowledge, skill and expertise necessary to competently process, close, and post-close a settlement transaction. In addition, the course focuses on escrow, fiduciary, and risk management procedures that must be implemented in the Title Settlement Office of the future. While some topics are at a basic level, others are at an intermediate level. The Unit on FIRPTA is particularly challenging.
  31. Who is responsible for making us become certified as Title Settlement Agents? As you may be aware, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released its Integrative TILA-RESPA Proposed Rule which includes replacing the current Initial TIL and GFE with a new Loan Disclosure and replacing the current HUD-1 and Final TIL disclosure with a new Closing Disclosure. Regardless of which entity [Lender, Settlement Agent, or both] will be required to provide the Closing Disclosure three business days in advance of settlement, the Integrative Rule will change the face of the settlement industry as we now know it. In addition, on April 13, 2012, the CFPB issued a Bulletin to Lenders [http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201204_cfpb_bulletin_service-providers.pdf]. Although initially intended to address Lenders’ relationships with mortgage servicing providers, its reach extends to ALL service providers with whom Lenders do business, including title settlement agents, title examiners, and title insurers. The one-two punch of the April 13, 2012 Bulletin and the Integrative TILA-RESPA Proposed Rule puts title settlement agents front and center under the regulatory microscope. Failure to have proper internal controls – e.g., employee training and oversight, quality control and audit procedures, and a full risk management program – in place may cause Lenders to cease doing business with your company. 
  32. Where do we go to take the VCTE or VCTSA Exam? The Exam is administered by on VLTA's fully integrated online learning platform.
  33. Is the Exam open book? No. The Online Exam is a Closed Book Exam.
  34. How do we know what to study? The online course offers practice questions to prepare you for the exam.
  35. Will the Course Instructors “prep” us to pass the Exam? Yes.
  36. Is TSA Certification the same thing as TSA Registration?  No. Taking this course is not required for registration as a settlement agent, and it will not effect registration. 
  37. What do I need to do to become LICENSED as a TITLE AGENT, so that I may REGISTER with the BOI as a Title Settlement Agent?  You must first complete the 16-Hour Pre-licensing Course and pass the State Exam. Once LICENSED, you must be appointed by a Title Insurance Underwriter as an Agent and REGISTER with the BOI as a Title Settlement Agent.
  38. Do I have to be LICENSED in order to attend the VCTSA Course? No - this is a CHANGE. VLTA firmly believes that anyone who feels that the VCTSA course will benefit their professional pursuits should be able to take the course.
  39. If I choose NOT to become licensed, may I act as a Title Settlement Agent [TSA] if I complete the VCTSA Course and pass the Online VCTSA Exam? It depends on your specific situation. You can consult with an underwriter or the VA Bureau of Insurance for more detailed information.