Question: Why is ALTA charging for the use forms that have always been free?
Answer: As of 2009, any issuing agent of title insurance is required to hold a license for the continued use of ALTA's policy forms.
Question: What is the difference between a Policy Forms License and a Membership?
Answer: Holding a Policy Forms License with ALTA (at a cost of $195) is a requirement of all issuing agents of title insurance. It grants them the continued use of ALTA's Policy Forms. A membership with ALTA (for which dues are based on a company's gross revenue from title services during the previous year) includes a Policy Forms License for no separate cost, as well as many other benefits (including a public listing in the ALTA Membership Directory, and the homeclosing101.com website; electronic daily news clips; articles; publications; discount programs; PAC ; educational resources; and invitations to meetings and conventions). While a licensee only has online access to Policy Forms, a member has access to news articles, as well as other members-only sections of the website.
Question: What if I do very little title work?
Answer: For agents who, in the previous calendar year, signed policies for 50 or fewer title transactions, an Occasional Use Waiver is available, which, upon approval, grants the agent a Policy Forms License at no cost. A waiver application can be submitted electronically at www.alta.org/waiver.
Question: How do I apply for a Policy Forms License?
Answer: You may apply for a license online by visiting www.alta.org/waiver/waiver-form (you must have a login and password to pay through our online portal). In December of each year, you will receive an invoice prompting you to renew your license for the following year.
Question: I write for a title company (First American, Old Republic, Stewart, Fidelity, etc.) that issues my policies. My title company already has a license. Why do I still have to pay for one?
Question: I am an approved attorney, but not an agent; do I still need a license?
Question: If my law firm has a license under its name, do I still need my own license? If my law firm has a license, do I need to purchase a separate license for a title company that it owns?
Answer: You only need a separate license if there is a separate agency agreement with the underwriter.
Question: If I write title insurance for multiple underwriters/title companies, will I need multiple Policy Forms Licenses?
Answer: No; even if you are signed with more than one underwriter/title company, as long as you only have one agency agreement per underwriter, you only need one Policy Forms License.
Question: What if my company is majority-owned by another company?
Question: How do I access policy forms before or after I've purchased my license?
Answer: You will continue to have access to policy forms through your underwriter, just as you have in the past. Once we have received and processed your license application and payment, you will also have access to forms on the ALTA website (login and password required).
Question: What if I do not use ALTA forms?
Answer: ALTA's policy forms are the industry standard forms. Even if you receive your forms from an underwriter/title company or computer software, they are still considered the intellectual property of ALTA. If you are not sure the forms you use are created by ALTA, please contact your underwriter or software provider for confirmation.
Question: What if I don't pay the license fee?
Answer: Invoices not remitted by April will incur a penalty of $5.00 per policy issued in the license year, in addition to the $195 license fee.