How to Get a Alabama Real Estate License

man studying for licensing examWelcome to ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ where you can sell homes in the center of southern hospitality. Alabama has some of the best food. First, it is the peanut capital of the world, and royal red is known as being some of the best shrimp. You can also find beautiful white sands and green waters here, just head to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, or Dauphin Island and you’ll be impressed. Yeah baby, people also have amazing fun here. If you care for a cigar and a relaxing game of golf, well, Alabama has some of the most pristine private golf courses in the country.

Alabama is also home to some greats like Channing Tatum, Lionel Richie, Helen Keller, and Rosa Parks. The state has been growing thanks to the booming iron and steel natural resources industries that attract investors from all over the country.

From Tuskegee to Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa, there are properties to be sold, bought, and rented. The market is rewarding. Research says that the average real estate salary in Alabama is  $50,300 a year, but there’s much more to be made in this market.

Meet the Alabama Real Estate Commission (AREC)  

women studying for licensing examAREC is the organization the state of Alabama entrusted with regulating, and overseeing real estate in the state. They maintain high standards, issue licenses to salespeople and brokers, and discipline offenders. These smart commissioners ensure that nobody is damaging the market with shady practices. Simply, they make the rules that you have to follow to ensure your license stays active.

Step 1: What Are The Requirements for Salesperson Pre Licensing Education?

Let’s clear the basics, to qualify for a real estate salesperson’s license in Alabama, you need to meet these categories.

  • You must be at least nineteen (19) years or older (*Note- this is different in other states)
  • You must hold a high school diploma (GED) or equivalent
  • Be lawfully eligible to work in the United States
  • Pass a background check that involves you submitting your fingerprints.
  • You must first be a U.S. citizen, permanent, or legal resident alien.
  • You must show proof of residency in any state in the U.S.
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
  • You must not have had a real estate application or license rejected or revoked in any state within the past two years.


small group of students studyingAlabama allows reciprocity for those who hold a real estate license in another state. You just need to confirm the following before you can apply for a reciprocal license

  • You must pay the salesperson license fee 💸
  • Provide your current Certificate of licensure (the Certificate must have been issued within 120 days of submitting your reciprocal license application to AREC).
  • Complete a six‐hour course in Alabama real estate law and take and pass the corresponding Alabama portion of the licensing examination
  • You must provide a copy of your state ID showing proof of residency
  • You must provide a copy of your social security card, notarized verification of lawful presence, a certification of licensure history from the state Real Estate Commission, and any other jurisdiction where you have held a license
  • You must provide a criminal history explanation form.


If you are one of those folks with a license in another state, you don’t need to take the national portion of the Alabama real estate license exam.

  • You must have a residency in Alabama
  • You must take the Alabama portion of the state real estate licensee exam
  • You must provide your license from other states
  • The license must be active within four (4) months of submitting the Alabama application

Step 2: Complete The 60 Hours Of Approved Pre-licensing Education And Pass The Proctored Course Final Exam

studying for licensing examBack to Class, Back To Reality.

To qualify for the license, you must successfully complete an approved 60 – hours Pre-Licensing course. The course is designed for you to learn the rudiments of real estate laws, principles, and policies. The course has to be taken in a college or with an accredited education provider. The course can be taken online or in a physical classroom setting. Make sure the school you choose is accredited by the state. Online courses can be started immediately, while classroom courses are on a set schedule.

The course topics include:

  • Contract law
  • Listing agreements
  • Real estate finance
  • Closings
  • Alabama laws

This course requires you to take a proctored final exam. You have to schedule an appointment with a proctor in advance. You must pass this exam with at least 70%. Upon completion of the course and final exams, you will be issued a Certificate of Completion. You will register for a license with this Certificate, so it’s important that you keep up with it.

Step 3: Apply, Take And  Pass The Alabama State Real Estate Licensing Exams 

Students studying in group settingNow, it’s really time to unleash your brainpower.

After you have completed all your course materials and exams, it is time to take the Alabama Real Estate Salesperson Exam. You will use your Certificate of Completion to register for the Alabama real estate exams.  You will have 6 months from the time you get your certificate course exam to pass your Alabama Real Estate Salesperson exam. If you miss the deadline, you must retake the entire course.

The Alabama Real Estate Exam has two sections. You will have to answer 140 questions (100 for the National section and 40 for the State section). You will be given 3.5 hours or 210 minutes (60 minutes for the State portion and  50 minutes for the national portion) to complete the entire exam and the minimum passing score is 70% (70/100 on the National section and 28/40 on the State section). You’ll get your score immediately after the exams and you can take it multiple times if you don’t pass on the first try.

On exam day, you’ll need to bring at least two forms of photo ID. They must bear your name and signature. At least one must be a government-issued photo ID (passport or driver’s license) You can also bring along a non-programmable calculator to the exam center.

If you’re worried about passing your test, Agent Advice offers prep courses that will get you ready for the exam. The passing rate for the Alabama Real Estate Salesperson Exam is around 70%. AgentAdvice will help you prepare for the Alabama real estate licensing exam at your own pace. We will give you prep tests based on past questions, and a lot of tips necessary for success in your career.

Step 4: Submit An Application For An Alabama Temporary Salesperson’s License and Complete The Background Check Requirement

Happy woman studying and smilingAfter you’ve successfully passed the Alabama and National portions of the Real Estate Salesperson Exam, you have to start the process of filling out your application to AREC. This must be done within 90 days of passing your exam, or your exam score becomes null and void.

The next step is to complete your fingerprinting and background check. The Alabama Real Estate Commission requires that all applicants have a background check performed before they can become a licensed real estate agent in Alabama. You will need to submit your criminal history record information (CHRI) to AREC. This is to prevent criminals from spoiling the industry.

After submitting your fingerprints by mail or in-person, AREC will begin the background check process. They will review any findings in your background report to ensure your eligibility. During this process, they may reach out to you asking you to provide additional information or documentation to clear up any findings.

For those who have criminal offenses against them, there’s a possibility that you may not be eligible for a real estate license in Alabama.

Step 5: Find A Sponsoring Broker

woman studying with coffeeIn the first years of your career, you are not allowed by the state to work for yourself. You must become associated with a current and active Alabama sponsoring broker. You will be in a brokerage and the broker and the senior agents there will show you the ropes. The real estate field is filled with a lot of laws, policies, unwritten rules, and business secrets. A newbie won’t understand them and the brokerage system will help you settle down. Your broker will be your mentor, employer, and friend if you do the research and find the right fit.

First, What Is A Broker? Why Do I Need A Brokerage?

A “real estate broker” is different from a “real estate agent,” A broker is better educated, and has a higher licensing status, they can also work independently. A broker heads a brokerage and employs agents to work with them. In simple words, a broker is an experienced real estate salesperson who heads a brokerage. A brokerage 🏢 is a company of real estate salespeople headed by a broker. In Alabama, you must be employed (yup, you are paid) by a broker before you can be licensed. Your broker will sponsor your license and you can only start proper work after getting your license.

woman studying on computerYou want a reputable broker with a positive reputation who will let you have hands-on experience.

Alabama wants you to be sponsored by a broker-in-charge and apply for a license within one year of passing the exam. Once you have a sponsoring Broker, you can wait for your license in the mail 🍾.

Congratulations! You Are Now A Licensed Alabama State Real Estate Salesperson.

Step 6: Complete 30-Hour Post-Licensing Course And Get A Permanent License.

Sorry, there’s one last step.

The license you’ve been issued is only a temporary one. To get the permanent license, you have to complete a 30-hour Post-Licensing course within the first 6 months of active licensure. This course also has a proctored course final exam. You will use the registration number on your temporary ID to register for the post-licensing course. if you missed the window to submit an application and recessive the permanent license you need to start the entire process all over.


Chris Heller Headshot


*This article was updated on 1/3/2022

This information was reviewed and approved by Chris Heller. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

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