The South Carolina Attorney General is the Commissioner over certain money services businesses in South Carolina, as provided in the South Carolina Anti-Money Laundering Act, S.C. Code Ann. § 35-11-100 et seq. (the “Act”). The Money Services Division licenses money transmitters and currency exchanges through these license types:
Money Transmitter License
This license is required for any company or person engaging in the business of money transmission or advertising, soliciting, or holding itself out as providing money transmission. Money transmission means selling or issuing payment instruments or stored value, or receiving money or monetary value for transmission. Money transmission does not include the provision solely of delivery, online or telecommunications services, or network access. This license type authorizes the following activities:
- Electronic Money Transmitting
- Issuing and/or Selling Traveler’s Checks
- Issuing and/or Selling Money Orders
- Bill Paying
- Issuing and/or Selling Drafts
- Issuing and/or Selling Prepaid Access/Stored Value
- Foreign Currency Dealing or Exchanging
- Other- Money Services
Statutory References: S.C. Code Ann. § 35-11-200(A)(1) – (3) and § 35-11-105(12).
Currency Exchange License
This license is required for any company or person engaging in the business of currency exchange or advertising, soliciting, or holding itself out as providing currency exchange for which the person receives revenues equal to or greater than five percent of total revenues. Currency exchange means receipt of revenues from the exchange of money of one government for money of another government. This license authorizes foreign currency dealing or exchanging.
Statutory References: S. C. Code Ann. § 35-11-300(A)(1) – (4) and § 35-11-105(6).
Information for Licensees
All licensing applications must be submitted through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing & Registry System (“NMLS”). NMLS is a secure web-based system created by state regulators to provide efficiencies in the processing of state licenses and to improve the supervision of state-regulated industries. Through NMLS, companies maintain a single record which they use to apply for, maintain, renew, and surrender license authorities in one or more states. NMLS also contains functionality for the submission of financial statements, credit reports, and criminal background checks as required for Money Transmission and Currency Exchange licenses.
The NMLS Resource Center provides step-by-step instructions on how to access the system, guides on how to complete the forms, each state’s transition plans and requirements, tutorials, current and future participating agencies, system alerts, system processing fees, and general background information. Training opportunities are also available in the News & Events section and from the home page.
The NMLS Call Center provides user support for navigating NMLS, performing essential functions within the system, submitting documentation, and using the resources available on the NMLS Resource Center. The telephone number for the NMLS Call Center is 1-855-665-7123.
Request for written interpretations regarding the Act, the regulations, or any order issued thereunder, must be submitted in writing, as described in S.C. Code Regs. §13-2801.
Office of the Attorney General
Attention: Money Services Division
PO Box 11549
Columbia, SC 29211-1549
Links to Helpful Resources
NMLS Consumer Access
NMLS Consumer Access is a free service for consumers to confirm that the financial services company or professional with whom they wish to conduct business is authorized to conduct business in their state.
Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network (FINCEN)
FINCEN is a bureau of the US Department of the Treasury that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions in order to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
The CFPB is an agency of the US government responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector, and is a good source for information about consumer rights in financial transactions.