6 Steps to Get Your Arizona Real Estate License

Step-By-Step Guide to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent

Arizona is known for having great weather and cheap land. What a combo! People from all over travel to enjoy the Grand Canyon and growing wine country.

This desert gem is home to some greats like Emma Stone, Michael Phelps, rock n’ roll legend Alice Cooper, and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. The state has also been growing thanks to the booming aerospace industry that attracts investors from all over the country.

The hot markets in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Mesa, and Scottsdale have seen tremendous growth in the last two years – and new construction continues to attract buyers and sellers. After following these 6 easy steps, you can order a bolo tie and enjoy all the perks of being an Arizona real estate agent.

Step 1: Meet the ADRE Requirements

ADRE, or the Arizona Department Of Real Estate, is the state’s governing body that regulates all aspects of the real estate industry. They are the top dogs of all things real estate, and have laid out the following requirements for all license applicants:

  1. Must be a US citizen.
  2. You must be eighteen or older Note: If you aren’t quite 18, there are some fun TikTok videos on real estate that you should check out
  3. You need to have at least a high school diploma or an equivalent🎓

If you have a prior record, or if your fingerprints have been taken before, first double check that you’ve paid all of your fines.

Step 2: Complete the state required pre-licensing course 

Arizona requires you to take a 96-hour course before you can take the licensing exam.

This course is split into two parts:

  • A 90-Hour Salesperson Pre-Licensing Course
  • A 6-Hour Contract Writing Course

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The topics in the courses include:

  • Property Rights
  • Interest and Ownership
  • Transfer of Title & Title Insurance
  • Liens & Encounters
  • Foreclosure
  • Real Estate Investment and Taxation
  • Residential Financing
  • Math & Equal Opportunity
  • AZ Landlord Tenant Act & Property Management
  • Law of RE: Rules & Regulators of the RE Department
  • Brokerage: Law of Agency and Public Protection
  • Real Estate Contracts
  • Listings of Contract Forms and Procedures
  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • Legal Land Description
  • Escrow and Closing
  • Broker Practices, Legal Procedures & Bankruptcy
  • Disclosures – Warranties, Construction & Development

The courses are designed to help you understand the nuts and bolts of Arizona real estate laws, policies, and procedures. Want to learn more? Check out the best real estate schools in Arizona. These courses can be taken online or in a classroom setting. They can take you from as little as one to three months. It all depends on what pace you’re most comfortable with.

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Step 3: Take and pass the Arizona real estate licensing exam and complete your background check

As soon as you finish the course, you can take the exam. The exam takes about 3 hours to finish. It has 100 multiple-choice questions about national and state real estate laws and practices. To pass, you must earn at least a 75%. The good news is that you can take the exam a second time if needed.

Once you pass, there’s another small step you can’t overlook. You must now focus on getting your background clearance, you have to get a Level One clearance card. This means you will have to get fingerprinted, apply for a clearance card, and pay an application fee to The Arizona Department Of Public Safety. You also have to write down all of your previous convictions, felonies, and misdemeanors.

Step 4: Apply for your real estate license 

Once you’ve passed the exam and agreed to a background check, you can print out your score and other documents from below to apply for your license. You will then fill out your license application, and pay a first-time application fee.

You have to provide the department with:

  • Original Salesperson Application & Fee
  • Original Arizona Exam Score Report(s)
  • Pre-Licensure Education Certificate- the 96-hour certificate with the authorized signature
  • Proof of Legal Presence
  • Disciplinary Actions Disclosure Form (LI-214/244)
  • DPS issued AZ Fingerprint Clearance Card
  • Contract Writing Course Certificate
  • Disclosure Document Checklist Form (LI-400) *if applicable

It sometimes takes up to 2 months to process, so get these printed off and submitted as soon as possible to help speed it up.

Step 5: Find a brokerage

You have your certificate, but that doesn’t mean you’re clear to start buying and selling just yet. In Arizona, you must work for a licensed Brokerage. Brokerages are companies that hire agents, show them the ropes, and oversee their sales.

Here are a few factors to consider before choosing a brokerage:

  • Commission 💰 – Make sure you are getting a good split of money you bring in.
  • Niche – Alongside the reputation, you want the company to specialize in the types of property you want to sell. Yup, it’s that simple.
  • Opportunities For Growth 📈 – You don’t want a company that puts you in a position to stay flat. You want to be moving upwards. If a company doesn’t provide that, run baby, run.
  • Company Culture 📊– You need to know that the brokerage you choose meshes will with your goals and personality. This is also where reputation comes into play. The company’s reputation matters. If a lot of people don’t have positive things to say, that may be based on some tangible rumors. Do your research before you agree to anything.

Step 6: Keep up with your continuing education requirements

Once you have made up your mind about joining a brokerage, you are ready to start making money. After a while, if you want to move up you can become a broker or a team lead yourself.

Also remember to stay up to date on your required continuing education courses. If you don’t, ADRE will strip you of your real estate license.

Don’t worry, if you’ve gotten this far then the CE will be a breeze.

Nice new business card by the way.

How much does it cost to get a real estate license in Arizona?counting money

Below is a list of costs associated with getting your Arizona real estate license:

Pre-licensing education and training costs:

The estimated cost for this is around $400-$800 or more depending on the school or online program you select. This involves finding an accredited and qualified real estate school to clock your hours. As stated earlier, the state of Arizona requires you to finish 96 hours of education.

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Real estate licensing and exam fees

This fee schedule is estimated to cost about $135. The breakdown of this cost is as follows: The fee for an Arizona real estate salesperson license examination is $75, and the fee for a first-time license is an additional $60 (Original License Fee is $50; the Real Estate Recovery Fund Fee is $10).

Real estate broker fees

These fees are estimated to cost anything from $30 to $450 per month. The real estate broker fees are the fees that you have to incur when you want to become associated with a recognized and accredited broker. As it is your first year, there are some things that your sponsor broker will provide. These things, such as office supplies, photocopies, internet, and any other business expenses, are usually associated with the daily operation of your business. It is also likely that you will have to pay a desk fee every month to help reimburse some of these costs.

Real estate membership dues

Membership dues and feels usually cost around $200 or more each year. And while they can qualify as a tax break in the state of Arizona, they are still a significant expense for many Realtors. This fee typically depends on how many associations you want to join. For instance, you can become part of your local and state real estate boards.

Every one of these boards comes with a membership fee that has to be paid monthly or yearly for you to be able to enjoy the numerous advantages and networking options they offer. The local MLS or Multiple Listing Service will also have fees associated with them. Depending on where you are in the state, you may have to pay your monthly dues either to your broker or to the association directly.

Continuing Education

Becoming a real estate agent does not mean you stop educating yourself once you have passed your licensing tests.  To stay an active agent, you have to meet SAE and CE requirements. Some CE courses are offered for free through local boards of realty. Additional designations, though optional, may also come with fees.

How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Arizona? 

shaking handsArizona limits the number of classes you can take per day to 2, or 10 hours, which means the minimum required time to complete the pre licensing course is 9 days. If you count only working days, this would be 2 weeks. Applying for the exam and taking the exam itself can take 1-3 weeks, depending on how many candidates have applied.  

The mandatory fingerprint scan takes up the most time, as it takes around 8 to 10 weeks to get checked. 

After you apply for your license, it can take anywhere between 1 week to 2 months for your application to be processed. Once the ADRE has checked and approved everything, you will receive your license.

The total time it takes to obtain an Arizona Salesperson’s License depends on the person, but in general, can be completed in a few weeks to a few months.

How much do real estate agents make in Arizona? 

The average real estate agent in Arizona makes around $53,820 per year. This breaks down to $25.87/hour, which is slightly higher than the national average. The median annual wage for real estate sales agents nationwide was $49,040 in May 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,100, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $112,410.

Arizona Real Estate License FAQs

There are 3 requirements to be eligible for an Arizona real estate license: 

  • You are 18 years of age or older
  • You are a resident of the United States
  • Haven’t been previously convicted for any type of felony

arizona department of real estate logoThe Arizona Department of Real Estate provides valuable information useful to both the public and the real estate industry.

They are the one stop shop when it comes to licensing in Arizona. ADRE is the watchdog overseeing real estate schools to ensure the quality content of their courses, the competence of their instructors, and the quality and timeliness of the materials being taught.

The Department of Real Estate is also in charge of the state licensing exam, making sure it prepares students for the competitive Arizona market.

No college degree needed. The only education requirements are the 90 hour pre licensing course and 6 hour contract writing class.  

The prelicensing course will educate you about some real estate basics and prepare you for taking the licensing exam. More specifically, the prelicensing course covers the following topics:  

  • Real estate principles & practices
  • Statutes & rules
  • Broker policies
  • Supervision

online-classYes! The prelicensing course can be taken either online or in the classroom, the choice is up to you. The only requirement is that the school that provides you with the prelicensing education is approved by the Arizona Department of Real Estate.  All of the courses on this page have been approved.

Unlike other states, Arizona doesn’t require you to complete the prelicensing education prior to applying to take the licensing exam. You need to submit a Certificate of completion of the prelicensing education only when applying for a Salesperson License.

pencils and real estate examThe Introduction to Contract Writing is exactly what it sounds like – it will prepare you in the area of contract writing.

After completing the 6-hour contract writing course, you will receive your certification. You will need to submit this certificate along with other documents when applying for your Salesperson License.

The exam can be taken at an official, ADRE approved Pearson VUE location, the body that administers the real estate examination in Arizona. Currently, Arizona has testing centers in Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma.

You can schedule your examination by calling Pearson VUE or on their website

classroom setting with studentsThe exam is computer-based, with 140 multiple-choice questions split into 2 sections: the national real estate portion (80 questions) and the state-specific portion (60 questions). 

There are also 15 pretest questions, but these are not scored. You will have 5 hours to complete the exam.

woman taking notes during real estate courseThere are 80 questions in the national real estate part of the exam that cover the following topics: 

  • Real property characteristics, definitions, ownership, restrictions, and transfer
  • Property valuation and appraisal
  • Property conditions and disclosures
  • Contracts and relationships with buyers and sellers
  • Federal laws governing real estate activities
  • Leases, rents, and property management
  • Financing the transaction and settlement
  • Brokerage operations

The state-specific portion of the exam has 60 questions and covers the following subjects: 

  • Real estate statutes
  • Property interests and tenancies
  • Acquisitions and transfer of title
  • Leasing and property management
  • Environmental law
  • Water law
  • Finance and property tax
  • Land descriptions
  • Subdivisions
  • Encumbrances
  • Disclosure and consumer protection
  • Regulated activities ― rules and statutes
  • Math calculations

sold signTo pass the final real estate licensing exam, you need a minimum of a 75%. This means that out of the 140 questions, you need to answer 105 correctly. 

Unfortunately, unlike other states, Arizona doesn’t score both portions of the exam separately, so failing one portion means you’ve failed the whole exam. If that happens, you will have to then retake the whole exam all over again.

Yes, you can take the licensing exam, but you won’t be able to practice real estate unless you work under a licensed broker. 


  • Two forms of government-issued identification documents: 
    • Primary document: Government-issued Driver’s License, US Department of State Driver’s License, US Learner’s Permit, ID Card, Passport, Military ID, Alien Registration Card 
    • Secondary document: US Social Security Card, Debit or Credit card and any Primary document form of ID
  • Prelicensure Education Certificate issued by the school you attended 


  • A calculator (battery-operated, silent, hand-held, nonprinting, and no alphabetic keyboard)

man with for sale signYou can either call or email different brokerages near you and schedule an interview. A good way of finding good brokerages is to web-search “best brokerages in (your city)” and check the top results. 

When contacting brokerages, make sure to ask about the commissions they take, how they provide education to new agents, what kind of work you will do, etc. You would want to find a brokerage that invests in their new agents and that will help you advance your career.

Unlike other states, Arizona doesn’t score both portions of the exam separately, so failing one portion means you’ve failed the whole exam. If that happens, you will have to then retake the whole exam all over again.

signing contractOnce you pass the exam, you will receive an Arizona Exam Score Report stating that you passed your exam along with your score along. After this, ADRE will give you login information for the online licensing system where you will need to submit your application. When you do this, you need the following documentation: 

  • Salesperson Application Form
  • Your Arizona Exam Score Report
  • Pre-Licensure Education Certificate- the 90-hour certificate with the authorized signature
  • Proof of Legal Presence
  • Disciplinary Actions Disclosure Form (LI-214/244)
  • Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card
  • Contract Writing Course Certificate
  • Disclosure Document Checklist Form (LI-400) – if applicable

You need to submit your application within 1 year of passing the Arizona Real Estate Exam.

The Arizona real estate license is valid for a period of 2 years. The exact expiration date is written on every license, so you will know when it’s time to renew it. You should renew your license by the last day of the month when 2 years expire from when you obtained your license. 

pexels-karolina-grabowska-4475524Yes. Every Salesperson real estate license has to be renewed in 2 years for which you must get 24 hours of continuing education courses approved by the Arizona Department of Real Estate. 

The continuing education courses are all worth a certain number of credits. To renew your license, you have to provide proof of the following credit hours (mandatory): 

  • Agency law: 3 credit hours
  • Contract law: 3 credit hours
  • Real estate legal issues: 3 credit hours
  • Commissioner’s standards: 3 credit hours
  • Disclosure: 3 credit hours
  • Fair Housing: 3 credit hours

The remaining credits can be from other real estate topics, but the ones listed above are mandatory.

Arizona is a no real estate license reciprocity state, which means that the real estate license you acquired in Arizona is valid within the state only, and nowhere else. 

The responsible department that oversees and regulates the real estate licensing in Arizona is the Arizona Department of Real Estate

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About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. 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.

Last Updated: 6/14/2022

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