How to Get a Minnesota Real Estate License

Before you start the process of becoming a Minnesota real estate agent, you first need to meet the legal pass ratesrequirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Pass a background checks and a fingerprint scan to prove you have no criminal history

If you meet these two requirements, you can start becoming a Minnesota real estate agent. The first step in this process is to complete a 90-hour prelicensing education split into three parts: 

  • 30 hours of instruction approved by the commissioner, Course I. After taking this course, you can apply to take the licensing exam.
  • After you pass the exam, but before you apply for a real estate license, you should complete an additional 60-hour course of study in the real estate field approved by the commissioner. These are Course II and Course III, and they should comprise of the following: 
    • three hours of training in state and federal fair housing laws, regulations, and rules, 
    • two hours of training in laws and regulations on agency representation and disclosure

Once you’ve completed each part of the course, you need to obtain a Certificate of Completion, which will later be submitted along with your License Application.

After you pass the licensing exam, your affiliate real estate broker should submit your License Application to the Minnesota Department of Commerce along with the Certificates of Completion and the license fee. 

The License Application should be submitted through the official Minnesota licensing website platform. Remember that your License Application has to be filed within one year of passing the exam. Otherwise, you would have to retake and pass the exam once again.

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.

Minnesota Real Estate Licensing FAQs

Brokers react as Compass gobbles up GlideAlthough it may seem that becoming a real estate in Minnesota is more complicated because of the three prelicensing courses and the proctored course exam, this facilitates the process for applicants. Why? Because you will go into the final licensing exam better prepared and knowing what you can expect from it. 

The 90-hour prelicensing course is another help towards passing the final licensing exam. It’s split into three parts to help you process the material step by step and overcome it easily. 

After you find an affiliate real estate broker, they are responsible for submitting your License Application and other paperwork, so you won’t have to do it yourself. This is an additional help as the broker will guide you through the process of applying, and you won’t be confused about what you need to do and when. 

man studying for licensing examThe exact time it takes you to become a real estate agent in Minnesota depends on your dedication and how fast you pass the exam. In general, the 90-hour prelicensing education course can be finished in two to three months at most, depending on how many classes you take per day. If you take two classes per day, five days per week, you’d be able to finish the course within two months, which is the time you can reasonably expect to take.  

After you finish the prelicensing course, you can schedule and take the exam. Once you pass it, it’s up to your primary broker to submit your application.

counting moneyA real estate agent in Minnesota earns $46,130 per year on average, but the top 10% real estate agents in Minnesota can earn $75,810 or higher. 

La Crosse-Onalaska is the metro area where real estate agents can earn the highest annual wage, $55,130, to be specific. In this same metro area, the annual 90th percentile wage or the top 10% of agents earn is $102,080. 

minnesota commerce department logoThe Minnesota Commerce Department is basically the one stop shop when it comes to real estate licensing in Minnesota. They control everything from how to get your license, to maintaining your license, and help hold real estate agents accountable.

They are in charge of setting the number of required hours for real estate school, and for continuing education. The department also creates the state portion of the licensing exam.

Non-residents that want to become a real estate agent in Minnesota can do it in three ways:

  • Through a reciprocal state 

Minnesota currently has reciprocity agreements with the following states: Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. Licensees from the reciprocal states that want to become a real estate agent in Minnesota are required to do the following: 

    • Affiliate themselves with a Minnesota-licensed primary broker that will submit a License Application
    • Email a Letter of Certification that is no more than 90 days old, documenting that they are currently licensed as a salesperson in a reciprocal state. 
  • Through an active Wisconsin real estate license.

The requirements for licensees from Wisconsin that want to practice real estate in Minnesota are as follows:

    • Reside and hold an active real estate license in Wisconsin
    • Complete the 13-hour Wisconsin to Minnesota Reciprocal Prelicense course
    • Pass the state portion of the salesperson exam.
    • Affiliate with a Minnesota-licensed primary broker that will submit a License Application
    • Email a Letter of Certification that is no more than 90 days old, documenting that you are currently licensed as a salesperson in a reciprocal state. 
  • Through a non-reciprocal state

Non-residents of Minnesota that want to obtain a real estate license in Minnesota would be required the following: 

    • Complete prelicensing education Course I, Course II, and Course III.
    • Pass the state portion of the salesperson exam.
    • Contact a Minnesota-licensed primary broker to submit an application for licensure on Only a Minnesota-licensed primary broker can apply for a non-resident salesperson’s license.
    • Email a Letter of Certification (no more than 90 days old), documenting that you are currently licensed as a salesperson in a non-reciprocal state.

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The basic costs to obtain a real estate license in Minnesota are as follows: 

  • License Application fee $100
  • The license renewal fee is $60
  • The exam fee is $63, or $39 each portion
  • As of May 1st, 2020, applicants are required to pay a $25 technology fee for maintaining and operating an electronic licensing database system (this fee cannot be greater than $40)

Besides these necessary costs, you need to take into consideration the cost of the prelicensing course, prep courses, study materials, and any other expenses that may arise while getting a license. 

In general, you can find a variety of prelicensing courses offered for a price that can range from $200 to $800, depending on the education provider you choose. The other costs depend on your choices and what you need to obtain a license. 

There are currently no requirements for a college degree to become a real estate agent in Minnesota. The prelicensing education course will give you all the education you need to become a real estate agent in Minnesota – from real estate fundamentals to complex real estate transactions. 

studying at coffee shopThe Minnesota prelicensing course is split into three, 30-hour parts covering topics included in the final licensing examination, specifically the following:

Course I:

  • Introduction to Real Estate
  • Title closing
  • Real estate law
  • Basic Law of Contracts
  • Principles of financing 
  • Types and classifications of property
  • Environmental issues

Course II:

  • Valuation
  • Financing applications
  • Contracts
  • Fair housing

Course III (one of the following courses): 

  • Real estate appraisal
  • Closing procedures
  • Farm and ranch brokerage
  • Real estate finance
  • Real estate investments
  • Real estate law
  • Real estate management
  • Business brokerage
  • Commercial real estate
  • Residential architecture and construction

Students studying in group settingThe salesperson examination is divided into two parts: general and state law. You can take both portions together, or separately and pay only the fee for the portion of the exam you’re taking. To pass the exam, you need to answer 75% of questions from both portions correctly. You have 2.5 hours for the general part and 1.5 hours of the state part.  

If you pass one part of the examination and fail the other, you need to retake only the portion of the exam you failed. You can schedule to take the exam within 24 hours of failing it. 

Keep in mind that commissioners have to hold examinations at least once every 45 days so that you can retake the real estate licensing exam within 45 days maximum. 

The general part of the Minnesota real estate license exam covers the following areas: 

  • Real property characteristics, legal descriptions, and property use
  • Forms of ownership, transfer, and recording of the title
  • Property value and appraisal
  • Real estate contract and agency
  • Real estate practice
  • Property disclosures and environmental issues
  • Financing and settlement
  • Real estate math calculations

The state part of the Minnesota real estate license exam covers the following areas:

  • Real estate brokerage license law
  • Contracts and disclosures
  • Interests in real property
  • Conveyance procedures and protection of parties
  • Financial instruments: obligations, rights, remedies

The salesperson exam consists of 80 general questions and 40 state questions. To pass, you need to answer at least 75% of the questions correctly. You can take both portions together in one session, or separately in two or more sessions.

There are no official pass rates issued by the Minnesota Commerce Department, but according to unofficial sources, around 44% of applicants pass the exam on the first try. 


The general portion of the exam covers real estate laws and principles that apply across the US, while the state portion is designed to educate and test your knowledge of the real estate industry in Minnesota.

No person is allowed to act as a real estate broker or real estate salesperson or misrepresent themselves as such unless they hold an active Minnesota real estate license. Any person who violates this rule or order of the commissioner shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

2 keys on keychain with a house | AgentAdvice.comCandidates must present two (2) forms of current signature identification – a primary and a secondary form of ID. The name on the identification documents must exactly match the name on the registration forms. 

Accepted forms of primary IDs are:

  • Government-issued Driver’s License
  • US Dept. of State Driver’s License
  • US Learner’s Permit (plastic card only with photo and signature)
  • National/State/Country ID card
  • Passport
  • Passport Card
  • Military ID
  • Military ID for spouses and dependents
  • Alien Registration Card (Green Card, Permanent Resident Visa)

The primary identification must be government-issued and photo-bearing with a signature. The secondary ID must contain a valid signature. Both identifications must be in English.

Accepted forms of secondary IDs are:

  • US Social Security card
  • Debit (ATM) or Credit card
  • Any form of ID on the Primary ID list

entryway of homeAccording to the Minnesota Statutes, an applicant has to notify the commissioner about any of the following:

Civil judgment. The licensee must notify the commissioner in writing of a final adverse decision or order of a court, whether or not the decision or order is appealed, regarding any proceeding in which the licensee was named as a defendant, and which alleged fraud, misrepresentation, or the conversion of funds if the final adverse decision relates to the allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, or the conversion of funds.

Disciplinary action. The licensee must notify the commissioner in writing of the suspension or revocation of the licensee’s real estate or other occupational license issued by this state or another jurisdiction.

Criminal offense. The licensee must notify the commissioner in writing if the licensee is charged with, adjudged guilty of, or enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of any felony, or of any gross misdemeanor alleging fraud, misrepresentation, conversion of funds, or a similar violation of any real estate licensing law.