What are the Real Estate Agent Licensing Requirements in Every State?

69 thoughts on “What are the Real Estate Agent Licensing Requirements in Every State?”

  1. Hi Mark, It’s been a couple of months since this article was published but I’m just now reading it. I realize this may seem petty of me to want to point this out, but being a REALTOR in Ohio, I want to make it clear that getting licensed in Ohio is not as simple as your article suggests. In fact, assuming the info you present about the other states is correct, Ohio is one of the most stringent in terms of the pre-licensing requirements. Per the Ohio Division of Real Estate:
    Requirements for an Ohio Real Estate Salesperson’s License

    1. Be honest, truthful and of good reputation.
    2. Be at least 18 years old.
    3. Be sponsored by an Ohio Broker.
    4. Not have been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude. Not have violated any civil rights laws regarding real estate within the past two years as determined by a court of law or violated any rules of the Ohio Division of Real Estate. In some circumstances, it is possible to have a conviction or violation disregarded, which would allow you to sit for the exam. The
    Division may only make a determination with respect to a conviction or violation if you file an application.
    5. Have a high school diploma or its equivalent as recognized by the Ohio Department of Education if you were born after 1950.
    6. Complete the following education requirements:
    * Real Estate Principles and Practices (40 hours)
    * Ohio Real Estate Law, including instruction in civil rights, housing discrimination and desegregation problems (40 hours)
    * Real Estate Appraisal (20 hours)
    * Real Estate Finance (20 hours)
    Thank you for letting me correct this.

  2. Hi, Mark. I’ve been researching many online schools (local and national) and have been really concerned about which school to choose. You mentioned Real Estate Express above and that’s the school I am highly considering. Just wanted to verify your thoughs on this school. Some of these schools seem cheesy. Thank you for your time.

    • I have never taken classes from them, but it has also been 15 years since I took classes. Two people on my team liked them and their support.

  3. Mark,

    I am in Ohio and have been interviewing for a job with a real estate company doing business development. I need to get licensed due to the laws in Ohio to work there. Now is it possible to get licensed in Ohio if you have a violent felony conviction from 16 years ago?.

    • That all depends on how strict Ohio is with their real estate laws. You may be able to call the real estate commission there and ask them ahead of time.

  4. Thanks Mark for your emails, support, & guidance. I really appreciate your informative essays, as well as your articles on maintaining a positive mental attitude.

  5. Hi mark I was wondering if in pa you are able to obtain a license if you have a prior marijuana conviction from 8+years prior

  6. Hi Mark
    I have an Illinois Brokers lic, and an Illinois Appraisers lic, but will be moving to Michigan in 2016. Will Michigan make me start all over to obtain a Michigan lic?

  7. It’s 90 hours in Indiana. And you do have to have a HS diploma or GED. And you have to do 30 post education within 2 years of getting your license. And then 36 hours every 3 years after that. I did pass the state exam the first time but I studies a lot. It’s about 4 hours long.

  8. Hi…I am currently licensed as a sales associate in California…..I am thinking of moving to Texas….
    what are my requirements to get a license in Texas?? Thank you…
    Mindy Sierra

  9. We are moving to Florida. I have had a MA license for 13 years. I do not have a GED or diploma and will be selling timeshare. It sounds like because of this I can not get one?

  10. Real Estate Salesperson License Requirement: 135 hours salesperson + 225 hours additional for broker license = 360 hours minimum. I think it trumps Colorado in my opinion. And I know Colorado Realtors. They call themselves brokers, but actually broker associate is just another name for salesperson as they are still required to work under an employing broker for a period of time. Easier, because there are no more requirements after becoming a broker associate (salesperson). They automatically become full employing brokers over time. Not a bad deal!
    Requirements to Obtain a Salesperson License:
    Be at least 18 years of age
    Provide proof of completion in 135 hours of required education (45 credit hours in Real Estate Principles; 45 credit hours in Real Estate Practice course; and 45 credit hours in one additional state approved course).
    Pass the salespersons exam.
    After passing the examination, you will be sent a Salesperson License Application. Within one year of the examination date this form must be completed and returned along with the licensing fee. Also submit your Live Scan Request form (for submitting fingerprints).
    We recommend completing a combo licensing/exam application, get fingerprinted, and submit all fees right away. This will speed up your application process.
    A salesperson is licensed to act on behalf of a broker, and may not act as a real estate agent independently. A salesperson may only work for one broker in California at a time. California does not require an applicant for a salesperson’s license to have a high school diploma or college degree. There is also no state residency requirement.
    For more information about the exam and state application please visit: https://www.dre.ca.gov

    After which, a sales person can apply for broker license after working two years full time under a broker.
    Real Estate Broker License Requirements in California:

    Age: You must be 18 years of age or older to be issued a license.
    Residence: If you are not a California resident, see Out-of-State Applicants.
    Honesty: Applicants must be honest and truthful. Conviction of a crime may result in the denial of a license. Failure to disclose any criminal violation or disciplinary action in an applicant’s entire history may also result in the denial of a license. For further information, see Avoid Potential Denial of Your License Application (RE 229) Denotes a PDF document and Application Eligibility Information (RE 222) Denotes a PDF document.
    Experience: A minimum of two years full-time licensed salesperson experience within the last five years or the equivalent is required. For further information, see Documenting Experience Requirements for the Broker Examination.

    Applicants for a real estate broker license examination must have successfully completed the following eight statutorily required college-level courses:

    Real Estate Practice; and
    Legal Aspects of Real Estate; and
    Real Estate Finance; and
    Real Estate Appraisal; and
    Real Estate Economics or Accounting*; and
    Three courses from the following list:

    Real Estate Principles
    Business Law
    Property Management
    Real Estate Office Administration
    Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
    Advanced Legal Aspects of Real Estate
    Advanced Real Estate Finance
    Advanced Real Estate Appraisal
    Computer Applications in Real Estate
    Common Interest Developments

    • You do not automatically become an employing broker over time in COlorado. You have to take more classes and tests. You can be a broker only for yourself with less classes.

  11. Good day, i have been a property sales Consultant for 6 years in South Africa with a great record, am looking at relocating to the USA, I have been in touch with some schools in Texas who offer’s real estate courses and preparation for the license .
    My question 1st is ” Will i be able to write the license exam been a foreigner ? I was told i have to be in the USA but need to know if license if given to Non-citizen of United State of America .

    2nd question, is there any state that is more foreigner friendly in regards to the license?

    I do not want to pay for the course and then find out i cannot write the license exams.

    Please help me .

  12. Hi Mark,
    Did you need to be and USA Citizen or leave in USA in order to apply for a real estate license from California?
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  13. hi what if i had all of my real estate licensing in ontario canada and wanted to relocate to florida or california…what would have to happen? ty

  14. Hello, can I become a real estate agent with work authorization, I can legally work in US? I need to find out before I take all classes needed. Thanks in advance!

  15. “Not have been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude. Not have violated any civil rights laws regarding real estate within the past two years as determined by a court of law or violated any rules of the Ohio Division of Real Estate. In some circumstances, it is possible to have a conviction or violation disregarded, which would allow you to sit for the exam. The
    Division may only make a determination with respect to a conviction or violation if you file an application.”

    Do states verify all of this or do they just take the word of all the applicants and renewals? If they do verify how does the state go about doing this? They would need the consent of the applicant to do a background check. I point this out because there seems to be a lot of trust in just checking a box. Real Estate agents are entrusted by clients to help them to buy, sell or educate them about the process.

  16. Hi mark,
    This is Sudhakar from India, I think you don’t have services in India.

    But it is really a good article.

  17. Hi Mark,

    I was in Colorado where I, after completing 172ish hours of education and passing both the state and unified national exams, received my Broker license. All agents in Colorado are required to be Brokers and are held to a higher standard than salespersons in every aspect. The term “Broker Associate” refers to all agents who work with a company, ie: RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, etc., regardless of how long one has been licensed. A licensee who has worked with a company for 1, 5, 10 or 25 years, is still a Broker Associate. The difference between a Broker and Broker Associate in Colorado is that a licensee who has been licensed for at least two years, may open their own company at which time they would be known as a Broker – Owner/Operator. All Brokers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education per year, including 2 hours of mandatory update class.

    Since I had not been licensed for at least 2 years in Colorado, upon moving back to Wisconsin, which has reciprocation with Illinois and Indiana, I did not need to complete the entire 68 hours of education, but did need to complete a 13 hour course and take the state exam to become a licensed sales person. After 2 years, I may complete the Broker training and take the Wisconsin Broker exam, if I choose to.

    Thank you for this forum providing helpful info for the Real Estate Entrepreneur.

    • That is correct, except you need 8 hours a year in continuing education not 12 in Colorado. 24 total over 3 years. I think the update class is 4 hours as well. I just took mine!

  18. What about transferring you License from another country? Say from Australia. Could this be converted or starting from scratch?

  19. Actually Washington takes two courses – one 60 hours and another 30 hours. As well as fingerprinting and a background check.

  20. Hello Mark,

    Is there a way that I can get a Real Estate license in the state of Arkansas for example if don’t live there?

    Do I need to have a physical address in the state of Arkansas to become a Real Estate agent?

    Thanks in advance!

  21. Really interesting. Just finished required courses for Texas yesterday. A couple updates if you’re so inclined: Real Estate salesperson requirements are 18 yrs old, 180 hrs (6 classes), background check & fingerprinting. Broker: 900 hrs plus 4 yrs out of the prior 5 as an agent.
    I’d love to see which states have everyone becoming a broker, and which states require attorneys in the transaction. Neither of those are the norm in Texas.

  22. Mark,
    I live in pa, I am moving to Florida in a year. Can I take the pre real estate coursesfor Florida and the state license test while I’m still living in pa. Thanks

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