Real Estate Career

How do I become a REALTOR®?

Who must obtain a salesperson license?

This license is required of individuals who are to be employed as salespersons under the control and supervision of a licensed broker. A license may be obtained by a person who does not immediately intend to be employed by a broker. However, in this instance, no licensed real estate activity may be performed. The license authorizes real estate activity only if the salesperson is in the employ of a licensed broker.

For more information on obtaining a real estate license, visit the Department of Real Estate web page.

What are the minimum requirements to apply for the salesperson examination and license?

Age-To apply for a salesperson license, you must be 18 years of age or older.

Proof of Legal Residence-Effective August 1, 1998, the Department of Real Estate will implement the Provisions of the Federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (the Act) which will require all real estate license applicants to submit proof of legal presence in the United States before an original or renewal license can be issued. A few of the acceptable documents for establishing legal presence is a birth certificate, U.S. Certificate of Birth Abroad, or a Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen, U.S. passport or a Certificate of Naturalization. For a more detailed list of acceptable documents click here to visit the Department of Real Estate web page. Residence-Each applicant must qualify for the appropriate written examination in California and meet all other requirements. Residency in the state is not a requirement to become licensed. California has no reciprocity with any other state to allow waiver of any of the requirement to obtain a license.

Honesty-License applicants must be honest and truthful. Conviction of a crime which is either a felony or involves moral turpitude may result in the denial of a license. Failure to reveal a criminal conviction on an original license application may also result in denial of a license.

Education-Evidence of successful completion of a three semester-unit or four quarter-unit college-level course in Real Estate Principles is required to take the salesperson examination.

For more information on applying for a salesperson license, visit the Department of Real Estate web page.

What are the minimum requirements for the examination of a Broker license?

All qualification requirements must be met before you can be scheduled for a broker examination. DRE evaluation of claimed experience or education will not be conducted with applicants in person at any office of the Department of Real Estate or on the telephone.

If you wish an evaluation of your previous college courses, degree or experience, you must submit:
Examination Application
Required Fee
Transcripts of your college courses and/or degree. Because of delays in obtaining college transcripts, a student applicant should make arrangement with the college well in advance.
Copy(s) of catalog description (for the year(s) of attendance) of any courses that you wish to substitute for the statutorily required courses.
Employment Verification Form
Equivalent Experience Verification Form

For more information on obtaining your Brokers license, visit the Department of Real Estate web page.

How do I renew my license?

Both salesperson and broker licenses are issued for a four-year period and may be renewed by submitting the appropriate application, fee and evidence of having successfully completed required continuing education courses.

Every broker and salesperson who renews his or her license on or after January,1996, is required, as part of the continuing education renewal requirement, to successfully complete a three-hour course in each of the following subjects: Agency, Ethics, Trust Fund Handling, and Fair Housing. Except for salespersons who are renewing for the First time after qualifying for their license by completing real estate principles and the two additional courses required by Section 10153.4 of the Business and Professions Code, licensees will also be required to complete a minimum of 18 additional hours of courses related to consumer protection. The remaining hours required to satisfy the 45-hour continuing education requirement may be related to either consumer service or consumer protection, at the option of the licensee.

New salespersons who renew their licenses for the first time on or after January 1, 1996 only have to complete the four courses specified, not the full 45-hour continuing education requirement.

Ethics 3 hours of credit
Agency 3 hours of credit
Trust Fund 3 hours of credit
Fair Housing 3 hours of credit

This year, the Legislature changed the CE requirement for licensees renewing on or after January 1, 2000. The change requires licensees who have taken the aforementioned four courses with respect to their first renewal after January 1, 1996, to complete, on subsequent renewals a six-hour survey course covering agency, ethics, trust fund accounting and handling, and fair housing. The change greatly simplifies what was previously a somewhat complicated set of alternatives for ensuring a licensee’s currency of knowledge about the subjects covered by the four courses.

45-hour home study course

Ethics 3 hours 25 question test
Agency 3 hours 25 question test
Trust Fund Handling 3 hours 25 question test
Fair Housing 3 hours 25 question test
Beyond the Basics 12 hours 45 question test
Keys to a Successful Transaction 21 hours 50 question test

When the course is purchased from the Central Valley Association of REALTORS® the cost will cover the course, and certificates. There is no testing required as of January 1, 1998.

Video classes are available two days a week and are 3 hours each.

For more information on continuing education requirements, visit the Department of Real Estate web page.

Effective August 1, 1998Proof of Legal Residence-the Department of Real Estate will implement the Provisions of the Federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (the Act) which will require all real estate license applicants to submit proof of legal presence in the United States before an original or renewal license can be issued. A few of the acceptable documents for establishing legal presence is a birth certificate, U.S. Certificate of Birth Abroad, or a Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen, U.S. passport or a Certificate of Naturalization. For a more detailed list of acceptable documents click here to visit the Department of Real Estate web page.

 

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