Become a CFP® Professional



The July 2014 CFP® Certification Examination will be the final paper-based administration of the exam. Beginning in November 2014, the CFP® exam will transition to a new computer-based format. Learn more.

The CFP® Certification Examination is designed to assess your ability to apply financial planning knowledge to real-life financial planning situations. By passing this exam, you demonstrate to the public that you are at the appropriate level of competency required to practice financial planning.

You can register for the CFP® Certification Examination after you have successfully met eligibility requirements by fulfilling the educational coursework requirement. The coursework requirement can be met in several ways, including completing a CFP Board-Registered Program, completing equivalent coursework subject to CFP Board's Transcript Review process, or having one of the designations, credentials or degrees pre-approved by CFP Board.

To complete the online exam application, you will need to:

  • Set up a secure online account with CFP Board.
  • Log in to your account.
  • Provide or update your contact information.
  • Verify successful completion of the education requirement (including information such as the name of the educational institution and program you completed, the date you completed an educational program, or information about your professional license or credential).
  • Choose the date and location of the exam you wish to take.
  • Provide your electronic signature and acknowledge CFP Board's right to investigate the statements made in your online exam application.
  • Pay the $595 exam fee by credit card* (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover).

If you have any questions about registering for the CFP® Certification Examination, please contact CFP Board at 800-487-1497 or

After completing the online exam registration, you will receive an email confirming your registration status.  Please verify that your selected city and exam dates are correct.  Approximately two weeks prior to the exam, you will receive via email your Admission Ticket with your exact exam site location and reporting times.

Examinee Agreement

Please familiarize yourself with the Examinee Agreement. Examinees are required to sign this agreement before the start of each exam session. Signing this agreement is a commitment to behaving ethically before, during and after the exam.

Exam Logistics

The exam is offered three times a year. The next exam dates will be:

The CFP® Certification Examination is a 10-hour examination, divided into one four-hour session (Friday afternoon) and two three-hour sessions (Saturday).  (Beginning in November 2014, the CFP® exam will transition to a new computer-based format. Learn more.)

A complete exam registration consists of: 

  • A completed online registration
  • Payment of exam fee
  • Documentation of education coursework requirement. (Individuals reporting Registered Program completion will have documentation submitted to CFP Board by their program. Individuals reporting Challenge Status, Multiple Registered Programs or Transcript Reviews will need to submit appropriate qualifying documents, such as a transcript, certificate, diploma or license, as well as proof of having completeda capstone course, if applicable.)
If you are unable to take the CFP® Certification Examination for which you are registered, you have the following options before the Withdrawal Deadline: 
  • Immediately re-register for a later exam,
  • Request a refund, or
  • Maintain a credit with CFP Board of the refundable portion of your exam fee.                 

      All withdrawals are subject to a $50 non-refundable fee

In order to use this credit you must re-register or request a refund within 24 months from the date of the exam for which you last were registered. If you fail to re-register or request a refund within this 24-month period, the entire credited amount will be forfeited.  Please contact CFP Board at 800-487-1497 or to process your withdrawal and refund or credit.

Medical or Other Emergencies
CFP Board will consider waiving the fee forfeiture in the case of a medical or other emergency. Your request for such a waiver must be made in writing and supported by verifying documentation from a third party. For example, in the case of a medical emergency, a written statement from your physician which clearly states that you were physically unable to appear for the exam due to personal or immediate family medical issues is required. If another type of emergency, then you must provide third party verification as to the reason you were unable to sit for the scheduled exam.

Your request must be received within 10 business days after the exam dates. Requests received after the 10 business day timeframe, or not supported by verifying documentation, will not be reviewed.

Exam Locations

The March and July 2014 administrations of the CFP® Certification Examination are offered in the following cities across the United States. (Beginning in November 2014, the CFP exam will transition to a new computer-based format, administered at more than 250 testing centers across the country. Learn more.) International sites can be established on a case by case basis for a fee of $1,475 in addition to the $595 exam fee.

Eagle River (Anchorage area), AK
Birmingham, AL
Phoenix, AZ
Oakland, CA
Mission Viejo (Irvine area), CA
San Diego, CA
Los Angeles, CA area
San Jose, CA
Aurora (Denver area), CO
New Haven, CT
Rockville (DC Metro area), MD
Pembroke Pines (Ft. Lauderdale area), FL
Tampa, FL
Jacksonville, FL
Orlando, FL
Atlanta, GA
Honolulu, HI
Chicago, IL
Naperville, IL
Indianapolis, IN
Hammond (Baton Rouge area), LA
Waltham (Boston area), MA
Columbia (Baltimore area), MD
Warren (Detroit area), MI
St. Louis Park (Minn/St.Paul area), MN
St. Louis, MO
Kansas City, MO
Charlotte, NC
Raleigh, NC
Concord (Manchester area), NH
Montclair, NJ
Ewing (Princeton area), NJ
New York, NY
Buffalo, NY
Albany, NY
Melville (Long Island area), NY
Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland, OH
Portland, OR
Villanova (Philadelphia area), PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Nashville, TN
Memphis, TN
Houston, TX
Fort Worth (Dallas area), TX
San Antonio, TX
Salt Lake City, UT
Richmond, VA
Shoreline (Seattle area), WA
Milwaukee, WI

Recorded Webinar: The CFP® Exam: What to Expect on Exam Day

On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, CFP Board presented a webinar to review what you can expect during the CFP® Certification Examination. View the webinar

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 95KB)

Exam Review Courses

Though it is not required, many candidates find that taking a review course is helpful in preparing for the CFP® certification exam. For the convenience of those pursuing certification, CFP Board has compiled a list of exam review course providers. These courses and their providers are not endorsed or recommended by CFP Board. Additional exam review course providers can be found by searching online.

Exam Dates



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