Real Estate License Reciprocity Guide – 2021 Updated

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How Do I Transfer My Real Estate License When I Move Out of State?

Real estate is a great career. One of the nice things about it is, you can do it no matter where you are located. However, if you move out of the state you live in, you will need to update your license, so it meets the regulations of the state you are moving to.

The requirements for transferring a real estate license will vary from state to state. This article will cover what you will need to transfer your license so you can work in some of the hot property states in America.

What is Real Estate Reciprocity?

Real estate license reciprocity is an agreement between states that allows the holders of a real estate license in one state to get their license easily by skipping pre-licensing requirements and just taking the exam. This exists in order to facilitate easier licensing – and is essentially a method where states will “vouch” for the legitimately of the education and licensing process of other states. Some states offer reciprocity, while some do not. Some only offer it to certain states.

US map

Arizonaarizona department of real estate logo

Arizona is known to be a very strict state and does not offer any real estate license reciprocity with other states. To get a real estate license in Arizona, you must meet all state education requirements before re-taking the national exam and passing the state portion of the pre-licensing exam. 

 

Californiacalifornia department of real estate logo

If you have previous real estate education from an accredited school, a transcript will be accepted in lieu of pre-licensing coursework.

Additionally, you will also need to meet the following requirements:

  • Show proof that you have at least two years of real estate experience within the last five years
  • Pass the California state licensing exam
  • Submit the application along with the fees, fingerprints, a background check and a consent to service of process

You must also be at least 18 years of age. If you are not a California resident, there are tests available for out of state applicants.

Applicants must also be honest and truthful. A criminal conviction may result in denial of the license. Denial of the license may also occur if the applicant does not disclose any prior convictions. 

 

Coloradocolorado division of real estate logo

Colorado offers real estate license reciprocity from all states. Therefore, you won’t need to retake all your exams. You will only need to take the portion of the exam that shows you are familiar with the laws specific to Colorado.

The steps you will must take will vary according to how long you were practicing in the other state.

If you have two or more years of experience in another state, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Pass the state portion of the Colorado Real Estate Broker’s Exam
  • Provide fingerprints for a background check
  • Provide a certified license history from the state you were previously licensed

If you have less than two years of experience in the state you are applying from you will need:

  • A total of 120 hours of education requirements
  • You will need to pass both the national and state portion of the Colorado Real Estate Broker’s exam
  • Provide fingerprints for a background check
  • Provide a certified license history from the state you were previously licensed

 

FloridaFlorida seal

Florida does not offer real estate reciprocity with other states, but it does acknowledge the experience of agents that have practiced in states that have a mutual agreement in Florida. These states include:

States exempt from taking Florida pre-licensing exam
Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
Georgia
Illinois
Mississippi
Nebraska
Rhode Island

If your state has a mutual agreement in place, you will be exempt from taking the 63-hour pre-license education requirement and you will only need to take the 40 question Florida state exam.

To qualify, you must have at least two years of experience within the last five years prior to applying. Additionally, realtors must provide a Certification of License History.

If you do not live in one of the above states, you will be required to start from scratch and must go through all of the steps to get a Florida real estate license.

 

 

georgia real estate commission logo

Georgia

If you are moving to Georgia or looking to practice real estate there, you will be eligible to apply for a real estate license if:

  • You passed the state exam in the state you are currently licensed in
  • You hold a real estate license that is in good standing and has not lapsed or expired

If you meet these requirements, you can submit an application for reciprocity along with the following:

  • A notarized Lawful Presence Verification Form
  • A non-refundable $170 payment
  • A copy of your licensing history from your home state’s State License Board
  • A criminal history report
  • A certified copy of any disciplinary actions taken against your license

You will be required to take a 25-hour post-license course within a year of getting your license. You must also take 36 hours of approved continuing education within the four-year renewal period. If you don’t meet these requirements, your license will be considered lapsed. 

 

Illinoisillinois licensing logo

The state of Illinois offers real estate license reciprocity to real estate agents in the following states:

States Illinois offers reciprocity to
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Indiana
Iowa
Nebraska
Wisconsin

If you are from one of these states, you will also need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • You must hold an active license from the state you are applying from
  • You must pass the Illinois portion of the licensing exam
  • You must be sponsored by an active or managing broker. If you are a broker, you can self-sponsor.
  • Your broker’s license must have been active for at least two years previous to your application.

If you meet these requirements, you will need to submit a reciprocity application along with the following:

  • Personal history and non-resident consent
  • Certification of Licensure
  • A pass notice for the Illinois portion of the application
  • A $125 broker fee ($150 if you are applying as a managing broker)

 

Marylandmaryland department of labor logo

Maryland offers license reciprocity to agents from Pennsylvania and Oakland only. If you have an active license in either of these states and can show certification and license history from that state, you will be able to take the Maryland portion of the PSI exam to become fully licensed.

Agents from any other state must start from scratch.

 

MassachusettsMassachusetts state seal

Massachusetts offers real estate reciprocity to certain states. These include:

States Massachusetts offers reciprocity to
Colorado
Connecticut
Georgia
Iowa
Maine (partial reciprocity)
Mississippi
Nebraska
Nevada (partial reciprocity)
New Hampshire (partial reciprocity)
New Mexico
New York (partial reciprocity)
Oklahoma (partial reciprocity)
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Tennessee
West Virginia

The terms of reciprocity vary from state to state. Brokers from certain states will need to take the Massachusetts portion of the real estate exam while others will not.

In addition to the exam, applicants will need to:

  • Provide Certified Record of License History
  • Submit a Reciprocal Application along with a fee

If you are applying from a state that is not offered reciprocity, you must:

  • Apply for an education waiver that allows you to take the Real Estate Exam without the pre-licensing courses
  • Provide a Certified Record of License History

Once the information is reviewed and the application is approved, you will have the opportunity to take the real estate exam. If you pass, you will be licensed in the state of Massachusetts.

 

Michiganmichigan licensing logo

The state of Michigan does not offer real estate reciprocity. In order to apply for a license you must meet all state requirements and take re-take the pre-licensing exam in order to practice real estate. 

 

Minnesotaminnesota commerce department logo

Minnesota offers real estate license reciprocity to agents applying from Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

For most of the states listed above, applicants will need to contact a primary broker to submit an application for licensure. A Minnesota licensed broker will need to submit the application on behalf of the nonresident agent.

The applicant will also need to provide a $130 license fee and a Letter of Certification.

Special rules apply to agents from Wisconsin. These agents will need to meet education requirements consisting of a 13-hour Wisconsin to Minnesota Reciprocal Pre-License course. Then they must pass the state portion of the Real Estate Exam.

Once that is complete, they can contact a primary broker to submit an application for licensure and provide the fee and a Letter of Certification.

 

 

MissouriMissouri state seal

Missouri offers real estate reciprocity to all states. Agents may apply for a license in Missouri if they hold a current license with the state they are applying from and have at least two years of experience in the last 30 months.

They must also:

  • Complete the Missouri Real Estate Practice Course
  • Pass the state portion of the Missouri Real Estate Exam
  • Submit an application within 6 months of passing the exam.
  • Submit a license history less than three months old

 

NevadaNevada real estate division logo

Nevada does not offer real estate license reciprocity for other states. However, it may waive educational requirements for certain states.

For example, if you are coming from California and hold a salesman license, you will only need to take the Nevada Real Estate class. If you hold a real estate license, you will not need to take any classes.

Agents coming from certain other states will not need to take educational courses in Nevada if they hold a real estate or broker’s license. These states include:

States where educational requirements are waived
Arizona
Colorado
Delaware
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Louisiana
Minnesota
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Texas
Utah
Washington
West Virginia

However, even if you live in a state where educational courses are not required, you will still need to take the licensing exam, provide fingerprints and background information and apply for a license.

If you are not applying from one of the states listed above, you will need to meet all the requirements listed above and you must also complete a 90-hour Nevada pre-licensing course.

 

New Jerseynew jersey state seal

New Jersey does not offer real estate reciprocity with any other states. In order to get a license you must meet all state requirements and complete the pre-licensing education before passing the exam. 

 

 

new york real estate board logoNew York

New York has real estate license reciprocity agreements in place with the following states:

States New York offers reciprocity to
Arkansas
Colorado
Connecticut
Georgia
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
West Virginia

The terms vary from state to state but, basically, agents applying from states listed above may not be required to take the 75-hour salesperson qualifying education course and/or the 45-hour real estate salesperson course.

However, regardless of where you come from, you will need to provide the state with the following:

  • A certification from your current real estate agency that is no more than six months old showing your license is in good standing
  • An application for a real estate license
  • An irrevocable consent form
  • The application fee

If you are an associate broker or a salesperson, you will also need a sponsoring broker to back your application.

 

North Carolinanorth carolina real estate commission logo

North Carolina used to offer real estate license reciprocity to certain states only, but it updated its policies in 2012. Now, anyone who  wants to transfer their license from another state will be exempt from taking the North Carolina pre-licensing course or passing the National section of the North Carolina real estate exam. However, they will still have to pass the state section of the examination.

Agents will also need to submit an application along with the following:

  • A recent color photograph of themselves
  • A list of previous places of residence and employment
  • Information pertaining to character
  • The $200 application fee

Note: If you have been convicted of a crime, your application may not be approved.

 

Ohioohio real estate commission logo

Ohio offers real estate reciprocity to the following states:

States Ohio offers reciprocity to
Arkansas
Connecticut
Kentucky
Mississippi
Nebraska
Oklahoma
West Virginia
Wyoming

If you live in one of these states and have held an active salesperson’s license in the state for at least one year, you may take the Ohio Real Estate Law Course at a higher education institution to become a broker. You must also be affiliated with an Ohio licensed broker to get your license.

In addition to taking the test, you must also submit an application along with the following:

  • An $81 application fee
  • A consent to service of process form
  • A letter of good standing from the state you are applying from
  • Proof that you completed the pre-license course

 

Pennsylvaniapennsylvania real estate commission logo

Pennsylvania offers license reciprocity to the following states:

States Pennsylvania offers reciprocity to
Arkansas
Georgia
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
New York

If you are applying from a state that is offered reciprocity, you will not need to take any exams or educational courses. However, you will need to submit an application along with the following:

  • A copy of your current license
  • A verified statement that you have not been convicted of a crime
  • A verified statement that you are familiar with Pennsylvania real estate law
  • A consent to services a process
  • The application fee

If you are not applying from any of the states listed above, you will need to take 75 hours of pre-license education and pass three exams. Two of the exams will be on the course content and you must score a grade of 70 or above to pass. The other is a state administered license exam that you must pass with a grade of 75 or above.

 

 

south carolina real estate commission logoSouth Carolina

South Carolina recognizes the qualifications of all other states. However, applicants must still take the South Carolina portion of the real estate examination. They must also provide the following when submitting their application.

  • Certification of licensure from other jurisdictions showing that you have been licensed at least six months within the last five years (you must have at least three months experience if you are applying to become a broker
  • Pre-licensing education certificates
  • Criminal background check

You must also pass the following exams:

  • Salesperson exam and/or Broker exam

 

Tennesseetennessee state seal

Tennessee does not offer real estate license reciprocity to any other states. However, if you submit proof of your real estate coursework and the passage of the national portion of the exam, you will not have to retake the national part of the test.

In the state of Tennessee, a real estate license is known as an affiliate brokers license. You may apply for the license if you hold a real estate license in your state of residency and if the firm and principle broker you work for holds an active Tennessee real estate license.

You will also need to submit a nonresident application along with the following:

  • Irrevocable consent form
  • A picture of yourself
  • Proof of errors and omissions insurance policy
  • A $91 application fee
  • Electronic fingerprinting

 

Texastexas real estate commission logo

Texas does not offer real estate reciprocity to other states. But if you are licensed in another state, you may be excused from taking some of the pre-licensing courses.

However, this is usually pretty rare because Texas requires more pre-licensing education than other states.

You will also need to submit an application along with the following:

  • Proof that you meet the Texas Real Estate Commission’s qualifications for honesty, trustworthiness and integrity
  • Must get your fingerprints taken and pass your background check
  • Proof of 180 classroom hours of pre-licensing education
  • Proof you passed the exam
  • For your license to become active, you must be sponsored by a Texas licensed broker

 

Virginiavirginia licensing logo

Virginia offers real estate reciprocity for applicants from all other U.S. states. To get your license, you must meet all state requirements and pay the application fees. 

 

Washingtonwashington licensing logo

Washington offers real estate reciprocity for all states. Agents can apply if they hold a license that is in good standing and if they were active in the real estate industry for the past six months. They will not need to complete the national portion of the real estate test, but they will need to pass the law portion. Agents will need to be licensed under a designated broker and affiliated with a broker licensed in Washington to become licensed.

Individuals will need to submit the application along with the following documentation:

  • Fingerprints and a background check
  • A $146.25 application fee
  • Proof of prior education
  • Proof of previous license in good standing

Transferring a real estate license from one state to another is doable and, in many instances, you will not need to retake the national real estate courses and exams. This makes it easy to take your experience with you when you move.

However, you will have to research every state’s requirements to make sure you are submitting the proper forms and taking the necessary courses and exams. Good luck continuing your career no matter where your road might lead.