Filing Applications in NFA's Online Registration System (ORS) FAQs

Firms must electronically file their applications (Form 7-R) and the applications for their Associated Persons and principals (Form 8-R) using ORS. NFA no longer accepts any hard copy applications except applications for Broker-Dealers that are eligible for notice registration as an FCM or IB (Notice Form 7-R); and for FCMs and IBs that are eligible for notice registration as Broker-Dealers (Notice Form BD-N).  

The firm authorizes an individual to file applications on the firm's behalf when the firm's Security Manager establishes the person as a file security level user.  

View education and training resources for additional information on how to file firm and individual applications.

Before assigning an NFA ID, be sure to conduct a thorough search by name and social security number to guarantee that the individual does not already have an NFA ID. If an NFA ID does not exist, you will need to assign one to the individual, which requires that you know the individual's Social Security Number. If the individual does not have a Social Security Number, you must validate on date and place of birth. To assign an NFA ID, click on the Apply for Registration menu link on the NFA Dashboard—the entryway to ORS—and then click on the Assign an NFA ID link from the Individual section.

Individuals who wish to apply for registration as a Floor Broker or Floor Trader must electronically file their applications (Form 8-R) using ORS. A non-natural person floor trader must electronically file its application (Form 7-R) and the applications for its principals (Form 8-R) using ORS and file the applications for its order enterers (floor trader order enterer Form 8-R) in hardcopy.

No. Applicants for registration as floor brokers (FB) or individual floor traders (FT) must file their own applications.

No. Your sponsor must file your application for registration as an AP or as a principal.

Yes. After the firm starts an application for you in ORS, a temporary User ID and password will be displayed online for the firm to give to you. You may use this to access your application and fill it out, but you will not be able to file it. After you have completed your application you may inform your sponsor that you are finished by clicking "I am finished. Send my application to my sponsor", which is located on the Confirmation screen.

Yes. After your sponsor files the application, you will need to electronically file a verification of the information contained in the application. Your sponsor will provide you with the temporary User ID and password that you will need to access your application in ORS. If your firm already gave you a Temporary User ID and password to fill out the application, you will use them again to access the application, review the information and, if everything is correct, file the verification.

No. By verifying the application, you certify that the information is correct.

No. You must tell your sponsor what information is not accurate and your sponsor must correct it by filing an update. After the sponsor has corrected any inaccuracies someone at the firm will notify you that you can access the application again and file the verification.

No. You must file the verification. Even if someone else files the verification for you using your User ID and password, you are responsible for any inaccurate information. As a result, you may be disqualified from becoming registered because the application contains false information or omits information.

Yes. If the applicant or individual principal is already pending, temporarily licensed, registered or approved, there are short application paths that will only request any additional information needed to file the new application. The most common of these short path applications are registered associated persons applying as a principal or to be dually registered with another sponsor and principals applying to become an AP. Individuals filing short path applications do not need to submit fingerprint cards, pay fees or file a verification.

Yes. The only time that this will happen is the first application you file in ORS. For example, if you have been registered continuously as an AP with your current firm since before May 2002 (when NFA adopted the electronic requiring requirements) and are now adding a principal status with that firm, you will need to file a complete application.

Applicants for registration as an AP or designation as a branch office manager or Principal must file a verification of the information contained in the application and submit a fingerprint card. It may also be necessary for NFA to receive evidence from FINRA that the applicant has passed a proficiency examination. FB and FT applicants must file a fingerprint card. AP, FB and FT applicants, Branch Office Managers and principals who are already pending, temporarily licensed, registered or approved are not required to file the fingerprint card if NFA has fingerprint card results on file within the last ninety days.

Fingerprint cards are sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to determine if the applicant has a criminal record. To match a fingerprint card with an individual FBI file the FBI must be able to analyze the print pattern of all 10 fingers. If the pattern of any one finger is not legible and the match cannot be made, the FBI will return the fingerprint card to NFA and NFA will have to delay processing until a new fingerprint card is obtained. For this reason it is very important that you have your fingerprints taken by a person properly trained in rolling fingerprints.  

Applicants are encouraged to submit more than one set of fingerprints with their application to avoid delays in obtaining additional sets if necessary for processing.

Yes. Applicants must supply complete explanations and certified copies of the actual official papers relating to yes answers, since registration cannot be granted unless the nature of the potential disqualification is fully understood and is supported by the appropriate documents.   

Yes. However, AP, FB and FT applicants and principals who are already pending, temporarily licensed, registered or approved are not required to pay a fee.

Once the firm files an electronic Form 7-R for itself or an electronic Form 8-R for an AP or principal, the applicant will have 90 days to clear up any deficiencies in the application. If the deficiencies are not cleared up within 90 days, the application will be withdrawn and a new application will need to be filed. Applications for registration as an FB and FT will be withdrawn if any deficiencies are not cleared up within 180 days. AP Temporary Licenses will be withdrawn if the verification, fingerprint cards, evidence of test passage and the fee are not received by NFA within 20 days.

Outstanding Registration Filings are a list of additional filings and requirements that are still needed before registration and/or membership can be granted. A firm, floor broker, or floor trader may view the additional filings on the Outstanding Registration Filings section of the Dashboard, or by clicking View Registration Information on any page in ORS. An AP or principal applicant should ask the sponsor for the information.

A firm, floor broker (FB) or floor trader (FT) closes an open process by filing the form connected with that process. When you begin a Form 8-R, Form 8-T, Form 7-R or Form 7-W, you begin a process in ORS. While you are entering information into these forms, they are considered open processes. When you file the forms, they are complete processes. You can see all of the application and termination processes that you have started but not filed on the Dashboard in ORS by clicking the Open Registration Processes button, or by clicking Processes Not Complete found in the Internal Processing box under the Update/Withdraw Registration Information Tab, which is at the top of every page in ORS. To close an open process, click on the link under the PROCESS column heading.

Electronic copies (PDFs) of applications can be retrieved by clicking on the Filing History link from the Hardcopies section of the View Registration Information menu in ORS. If you are an AP or principal, ask your sponsor to get it for you.

Yes. A sole proprietor, i.e., an individual who intends to act as an FCM, SD, MSP, RFED, IB, CPO, CTA or FTF, is considered to be a firm, not an individual. Therefore, a sole proprietor applicant must file the electronic Form 7-R for the sole proprietorship and the electronic Form 8-R to list the sole proprietor as a principal or to become an AP of the firm. The sole proprietor must also file the electronic verification of the Form 8-R.

To avoid being disqualified from registration, it is critical to carefully read the instructions and the questions on the application. A question that is answered incorrectly because it was misunderstood or misread can result in severe consequences, including denial or revocation of registration.

If you have any concerns regarding whether a matter must be disclosed, rely only on advice from NFA.

If any information provided by the firm or individual on the application changes or a matter that requires disclosure on the application occurs after the application is filed or registration is granted, the new information must be promptly disclosed to NFA. All individuals should advise the firm of the new information, and the firm must file the update on their behalf.

The failure to promptly update information will result in a $1,000 fee and can also result in the registration being denied or revoked.

Refer to Important Information Regarding Failure to Disclose Disciplinary Information on a Registration Application for more information.

Occasionally we will find out about matters that were not reported on Form 7-R or Form 8-R, and we may need information from you to see if they should have been disclosed. For example, we may require you to provide documentation indicating that no criminal charges were filed after an arrest, in which case a letter from the applicable district attorney or arresting agency or documents from a court search may be sufficient. If we cannot determine from the FBI rap sheet whether a matter was a misdemeanor or a felony, we may require you to provide documentation to make that determination. If you were charged but found "not guilty" after a trial, we may require evidence of that, too.

No. Only findings made by a domestic or foreign governmental body (other than the CFTC) require disclosure under Form 7-R / 8-R Regulatory Disclosure Question E. However, sanctions imposed by an SRO (other than NFA or a domestic futures exchange) or domestic or foreign governmental body (other than the CFTC) may require disclosure under Form 7-R / 8-R Regulatory Disclosure Question G. NFA's Registration Investigations staff is available at (312) 781-1410 or (800) 621-3570 if you've read the Disciplinary Information-Regulatory Disclosure questions and you are not sure whether a regulatory action requires disclosure.

For the definition of SRO and investment-related statutes visit the Instructions and Definitions section of the Form 8-R.

Failure to pay a futures-related arbitration award requires disclosure under Form 8-R, Disciplinary Information — Financial Disclosures, Question J. If any component of the unpaid award is related to futures transactions it requires disclosure regardless of where the case was heard. Otherwise, pending, adjudicated, settled or dismissed arbitration matters do not need to be disclosed.

Unpaid reparations awards require disclosure under Form 8-R, Disciplinary Information-Financial Disclosures, Question J. Otherwise, pending, adjudicated, settled or dismissed reparations matters do not need to be disclosed.

Disclosure of a bankruptcy matter is required only if the bankruptcy trustee filed an adversary action against you. For those cases, you should provide NFA with a copy of the initial complaint and the final disposition of each matter. 

For a definition of adversary action visit the Instructions and Definitions section of the Form 8-R.