FAQs: State Licensing Requirements

Find answers to common questions about your real estate license and Real Estate Express.

California State Requirements: Broker

California State Required Education Hours: 225 hours + 135 Initial Salesperson Pre-license Hours

Real Estate Express California Course Hours Offered: 225 hours + 135 Initial Salesperson Pre-license Hours
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Step 1. Meet the general California real estate license requirements as outlined on the California Department of Real Estate website:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • 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.
  • Have a minimum of two (2) years of full-time licensed salesperson experience within the last five (5) years or the equivalent

Step 2. Complete the required 225 hours of broker education courses.

Step 3. Apply for the broker examination.

Step 4. Submit fingerprints for a criminal background check.

Step 5. Successfully pass the California broker licensing exam by earning a score of at least 75%.

Step 6. Complete the California Broker License application.

How long does it take to get a California broker license?

After successfully practicing as a salesperson for two years, it varies on how long it takes to get a California broker license depending on the pace in which you complete the 225 hours of education and pass your licensing examination, the time it takes you to complete the application process, and application and background check processing times. 

What kind of information will I learn to help me get a broker license in California?

California Department of Real Estate

All Real Estate Express Courses are approved by California Department of Real Estate. Once completed, you are eligible to sit for the California Broker Exam. Approval # S0410

Per Real Estate Express policy, the 225-hour licensing coursework for brokers must be completed within six (6) months of the start date. Applicants for a real estate broker license examination must have successfully completed the following eight statutorily required college-level courses:

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

    • Real Estate Principles
    • Business Law
    • Property Management
    • Escrow
    • 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

*If both Real Estate Economics and Accounting are taken, only two courses from the above group are required.

Note: If you are a member of the California State Bar, you are exempt from the college-level course requirements. Evidence of admission to practice Law in California must be furnished, such as a photocopy of both sides of a California State Bar membership card.
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How do I apply for and take the California broker licensing exam?

You will need to complete a Broker Examination Application and submit it along with the required fee and transcripts showing successful completion of the statutory college-level real estate courses and degrees. Once qualified, an Examination Schedule Notice or an authorization to self schedule will be sent to you. Use the eLicensing online system to check your exam date or to self schedule. 

Applicants must document experience requirements for the broker examination through one of the following methods:

  • Obtaining a transcript to verify a degree earned from an accredited four year college or university which included a major or minor in real estate
  • Completing Employment Verification forms to verify licensed salesperson experience
  • Completing Equivalent Experience Verification forms to verify non-licensed real estate-related experience

If you are not qualified at the time you submit your application and fee, you will be notified in writing and you will have two (2) years from the date of receipt of the application in which to complete the qualifications and take the examination. If you do not qualify for and pass the examination during the two-year period, the application will expire and you will need to submit a new application, fee and other required documents. The broker examination must be taken through the California Department of Real Estate. The state requires that you achieve a score of 75% or higher to pass.

How do I submit my fingerprints for the background check?

An applicant for any real estate license must submit one set of classifiable fingerprints, acceptable to the State Department of Justice (DOJ). An applicant may be fingerprinted after applying for examination or after passing the examination. Fingerprint processing fees are not refunded if applicants do not pass the examination. Social security numbers are required on examination applications to ensure fingerprint reports are received by the DRE.

Fingerprints must be submitted electronically through the DOJ’s Live Scan Program which takes and transmits fingerprints to the DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). An original license will not be issued until a report from the DOJ and the FBI is received stating that there is no criminal history, or disclosing criminal history information which then must be reviewed and evaluated. To be fingerprinted, take the Live Scan Service Request Form to a live scan service provider. There is a $49 fingerprint processing fee and also a live scan service fee which should be paid directly to the live scan provider (not to the DRE).

How do I submit my California Broker application?

Those who pass the examination will be sent a Broker License Application. This form must be completed and returned along with the appropriate fee within one (1) year after passing the examination. The completed Live Scan Service Request must be submitted with the application. A license cannot be issued until DRE receives fingerprint response information.

Does California offer reciprocity?

California has no reciprocity with any other state to allow a waiver of any of the requirements to obtain a license. Brokers must maintain a California business address if engaging in business in California. If not engaging in business in California, brokers must also file an Out-of-State Broker Acknowledgement.

In applying for the real estate broker examination, evidence of completion (i.e. transcripts) of the statutory courses in out-of-state institutions is acceptable if the institution is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or a comparable regional accrediting entity, and each course provided for three semester-units credit or four quarter-units credit.

Out-of-state residents must:

  • File a Consent to Service of Process with the DRE. This form must be completed, signed, notarized, and submitted to the DRE with the original or renewal application.
  • Must submit their fingerprints directly to the DRE. A fingerprint card will be provided with the original license application. It should be taken to a local law enforcement agency for completion.
  • Submit the appropriate fingerprint fee with the completed fingerprint card, original license application, and license fee to the DRE.

Regulatory Notes:

Obtaining Certificate of Course Completion: Upon completion of the course, Real Estate Express will provide you an electronic certificate of completion in your account dashboard.  You may need to submit your certificate of completion with your license request, please refer to your license application to determine if this is necessary.  Course completion dates are recorded using Central Standard Time, therefore that will be the time reflected on your certificate.

California Department Of Real Estate
Website: http://www.dre.ca.gov/
Phone: 877-373-4542
Fax: 916-263-8943
Address: 1651 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95815
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