NU Online News Service, Aug. 16, 10:45 a.m. – The California Department of Insurance says it is increasing insurance agent licensing application and other filing fees by 5% Nov. 1. The increase is needed due to rent increases for the California department’s offices and recent legislation that shifted about $1.7 million from the general fund to the insurance fund for the department’s tax collection and audit program, the department says.

The department also announced that it will begin a new method for insurance agents to renew their licenses through the Internet by paying with a credit card, beginning in October. Licenses will be printed and sent out within 72 hours of payment.

In addition, the department will soon offer on-line examination scheduling to applicants, while its Web site will permit searches for education providers and courses.

Other recent changes include a new and, the department says, “more professional looking” license with a pocket identification card.

The fee increases will generate an additional $2 million per year, the department says.