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Currency Exchange and Money Transmitters

The Currency Exchange Section administers the Currency Exchange Act, which charges DFI with the regulation of the currency exchange industry. DFI currently licenses over 375 community currency exchanges and 9 ambulatory currency exchanges. The licensing procedure together with the mandated annual examinations guarantees that all Illinois currency exchanges adhere to the high standards established by the State. These currency exchanges not only cash checks but also provide a number of other services.

A Currency Exchange License is required for businesses that offer as their primary service the cashing of checks and selling money orders for a fee as well as engaging in similar activities. Licenses are issued on the basis of a "Need of Community" investigation. The Department will assess whether the community needs the proposed currency exchange and the effect it will have on the financial stability of existing currency exchanges. Licenses are valid for one year and may be renewed. A separate license is required for each exchange.


Beginning November 1, 2017 Money Transmitters will report Authorized Agents into the NMLS system.  During this transition, the following processes will be affected:

  • Licensees will no longer report into the IDFPR on-line system
  • The 2018 Renewal report and Authorized Agent upload process into NMLS will satisfy the Fourth Quarter Report requirement for Licencees.  The next required quarterly report will be in NMLS.
  • The current authorized agent lookup system on the IDFPR website is offline until the transition is complete, scheduled to return January 2018

Important Notices & Information

Currency Exchange License Application

Currency Exchange Renewal/License Information Update

Currency Exchange Annual Report Filing

Currency Exchange Additional Services

TOMA Online Services

Transmitters of Money (TOMA)

Currency Exchange Act and Rules