California Real Estate License Requirements

What you need to get and keep your license


The information contained below is designed to provide a summary of the minimum education, experience and examination requirements established by the California Bureau of Real Estate. The information provided below can be found on the Bureau’s website. However, we recommend you contact the Bureau for more detailed information and for any changes which may have occurred.

Salesperson Pre-License Requirements

Age: You must be 18 years of age or older to be issued a license.

Residence: Proof of Legal Presence in the United States is required. 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 Help Avoid Denial of Your License Application and Application Eligibility Information (RE 222) .

Successful completion of three college-level courses is required to qualify for a real estate salesperson examination:

A) Real Estate Principles

B) Real Estate Practice

C) 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

You may apply for the salesperson examination by mail following the instructions below:

1 ) Complete a Salesperson Examination Application (RE 400A) or a Combined Salesperson Examination and License Application. (RE435).

Be sure to read all instructions and information before completing the application.

NOTE: You may not apply to take the examination if you have a license that can still be renewed (see License Renewal).

2 ) Include the applicable fee for the application.

Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Bureau of Real Estate. Do not send cash.

The CalBRE accepts credit card payment for examination scheduling if the application

3 ) Obtain transcripts showing successful completion of the statutory college-level real estate courses and degrees. For more information, see Education Requirements.

An applicant for any real estate license must submit one set of classifiable fingerprints, acceptable to the State Department of Justice (DOJ), unless the applicant is currently licensed by CalBRE or has held a real estate license which expired less than two years ago.

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 CalBRE.

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) using the Live Scan Service Request (RE 237) form. 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. See Help Avoid DENIAL of Your License Application for further information.

Broker Pre-License Requirements

You may apply for the broker examination by mail following the instructions below:

Complete a Broker Examination Application (RE 400B) or a Combined Broker Examination and License Application (RE 436).

Be sure to read all instructions and information before completing the application.

NOTE: You may not apply to take the examination if you have a license that can still be renewed (see License Renewal).

Include the applicable fee for the application.

Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Bureau of Real Estate. Do not send cash.

The CalBRE accepts credit card payment for examination scheduling if the application is submitted by mail. (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, debit cards bearing the VISA or MasterCard logo)

Obtain transcripts showing successful completion of the statutory college-level real estate courses and degrees. For more information, see Education Requirements.

Document experience requirements for the broker examination by:

Completing Employment Verification (RE 226) forms to verify licensed salesperson experience;

Obtaining a copy of diploma or transcript to verify a 4-year college degree earned through a regionally accredited college; or

Completing Equivalent Experience Verification (RE 227) forms to verify non-licensed real estate-related experience.

For more information, see Documenting Experience Requirements for the Broker Examination.

An applicant for any real estate license must submit one set of classifiable fingerprints, acceptable to the State Department of Justice (DOJ), unless the applicant is currently licensed by CalBRE or has held a real estate license which expired less than two years ago.

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 CalBRE.

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) using the Live Scan Service Request (RE 237) form. 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. See Help Avoid DENIAL of Your License Application for further information.

To be fingerprinted, take the Live Scan Service Request (RE 237) to a participating live scan service provider. A list of live scan service providers is available at http://caag.state.ca.us/fingerprints/publications/contact.htm.

There is a $51 fingerprint processing fee and also a live scan service fee which should be paid directly to the live scan provider (not to the CalBRE).

After the live scan service provider takes the fingerprints, submit a copy of the Live Scan Service Request (RE 237) with Part 3 completed to the CalBRE.

Continuing Education Requirements

Real estate salespersons who were licensed prior to 10/1/2007, and are renewing an original license for the first time, must complete five separate three-hour CalBRE-approved continuing education courses in Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing and Risk Management.

Those licensees who were licensed on or after 10/1/2007, and were required to have all three statutory/pre-licenses courses (RE Principles, RE Practice, and one additional course), must complete 45 clock hours of CalBRE-approved continuing education consisting of:

Five separate three-hour courses in the following subjects: Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing, and Risk Management;

A minimum of 18 clock hours of consumer protection courses; and

The remaining clock hours required to complete the 45 hours of continuing education may be related to either consumer service or consumer protection courses.

Real estate brokers renewing an original license for the first time must complete 45 clock hours of CalBRE-approved continuing education consisting of:

Five separate three-hour courses in the following subjects: Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing, and Risk Management;

A minimum of 18 clock hours of consumer protection courses; and

The remaining clock hours required to complete the 45 hours of continuing education may be related to either consumer service or consumer protection courses.

For subsequent renewals effective on or after 7/1/2011, all real estate brokers and salespersons must complete 45 clock hours of CalBRE-approved continuing education consisting of:

Either 15 hours of continuing education courses in the following subjects: Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing, and Risk Management OR one eight-hour survey course that covers the five mandatory subjects (Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing, and Risk Management);

At least 18 clock hours of consumer protection courses; and

The remaining clock hours required to complete the 45 hours of continuing education may be related to either consumer service or consumer protection courses.

Reciprocal Broker License Requirements

California has no reciprocity with any other state to allow a waiver of any of the requirements to obtain a license.