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How to obtain a California Real Estate
Salesperson License

A California Real Estate Salesperson License is required of individuals who are to be employed as salespersons under the 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. (Information on what constitutes licensed real estate activity can be found in the Real Estate Law Book.)
Minimum Requirements to Apply for the Salesperson Examination and Licenseage
To apply for a license, you must be 18 years of age or older.
Residence: License applicants must provide Proof of Legal Presence in U.S. If not a California resident, refer to Out-of-State Applicants.
Honesty: License applicants must be honest and truthful. Conviction of a crime may result in the denial of a license. The failure to reveal a criminal conviction on an original license application may also result in the denial of a license. For further information regarding the license issuance process when an applicant has a prior criminal conviction, see RE 222, Applicant Eligibility Information.
Education: Exam applicants must provide evidence of successful completion of a three semester-unit or four quarter-unit college-level course in Real Estate Principles is required. See note below. Either with the examination or license application or within 18 months after the issuance of a license, the licensee must furnish official transcripts or certification with school seal confirming successful completion of two additional three semester-unit or four quarter-unit college-level courses selected from among the following:
  1. Real Estate Principles
  2. Real Estate Practice
  3. One course from the following list:
    • Real Estate Appraisal
    • Property Management
    • Real Estate Finance
    • Real Estate Economics
    • Legal Aspects of Real Estate
    • Real Estate Office Administration
    • General Accounting
    • Business Law
    • Escrows
    • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
    • Computer Applications in Real Estate
    • Common Interest Developments
Computer Applications in Real Estate Experience: None required.
EXEMPTION: Members of the bar of any state in the United States or graduates of law schools recognized by the California State Bar will generally qualify on the basis of their education, and as such are exempt from the college-level course requirements. Evidence of admission to practice law, such as a photocopy of both sides of a current State Bar membership card, or of an LL.B. or J.D. Degree should accompany the application.
Also: Applicants who submit evidence of having completed the eight statutory college-level courses required for the broker examination are eligible to take the salesperson examination without providing further evidence of education or experience.
If you have completed all three of the required courses at the time you apply for the examination, you should submit all three course transcripts with the initial examination application and fee. If only the Real Estate Principles course has been completed, the other two course transcripts may be submitted: When submitting the license application and fee, or
Within the 18-month period following the issuance of the original license.
If transcripts for the additional courses are submitted with the original license application, the standard license fee will apply. If the transcripts are not submitted along with the original license application, an additional fee for processing an 18-month conditional license will be required. (See License Fees.) Allow sufficient processing time (at least three weeks) to receive the non-conditional license certificate that is issued if the transcripts for the two additional courses are acceptable. Failure to submit transcripts of the two additional required courses within the initial 18-month license period will result in the automatic suspension of the conditional license. The suspension shall be effective 18 months after issuance, and shall not be lifted until evidence of course completion has been submitted and DRE has mailed notification that the suspension has been lifted. If the transcripts for the two additional courses are not submitted within four years of the license issuance date, the license will not be renewed and it will be necessary to requalify through the examination process if you wish to be licensed as a salesperson again.
NOTE: Each college-level course must be a minimum of three semester-units or four quarter-units. The Real Estate Principles course must be completed prior to being scheduled for an examination. Copies of official transcripts are generally acceptable evidence of completed courses. Transcripts of equivalent courses, submitted in lieu of the statutory college-level courses, must be supported by an official course or catalog description in order to be evaluated for equivalency.
Courses must be completed at an institution of higher learning accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or by a comparable regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Office of Education, or by a private real estate school which has had its courses approved by the California Real Estate Commissioner.
Courses completed through foreign institutions of higher learning must be evaluated by a foreign credentials evaluation service approved by the Department of Real Estate. (Form RE 223)
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