Maryland Real Estate License Guide

Quick Facts

Maryland Real Estate Governing Body:

Maryland Real Estate Commission (MREC)

PreLicensing Requirements:

60 Hours

СЕ Requirements:

15 Hours

Read more below

How to Get a Maryland Real Estate License

To be eligible to apply for a real estate license in Maryland, you first need to meet the following requirements: 

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a citizen of the US
  • Be of good character and reputation

If you meet these eligibility requirements, you then need to take a 60-hour pre-licensing education course consisting of 60 clock hours. Three of those hours have to cover the topic of real estate ethics approved by the Commission. You can find a list of the highest rated pre-licensing education providers here on this page.

Once you complete the pre-licensing education, you can apply to take the exam. 

After you’ve passed the exam, you may apply to the Maryland Real Estate Commission for a license. Along with your application, you need to submit a letter of commitment from a licensed real estate broker that you will be affiliated with them. 

The Real Estate Commission will look through your application to verify that you have met all of the requirements for licensure and will issue the appropriate license. 

Compare Maryland Real Estate Schools

We’ve listed the best schools in Maryland based on reader’s reviews here. Looking for our editor’s picks? See the best real estate schools in Maryland.

SchoolReviewsEditor's ScorePricing
Maryland Logo
Maryland Real Estate Academy
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 3 reviews

B $$$
Real Estate Express
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 74 reviews

A- $$
The CE Shop
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 53 reviews

A $$
McKissock Learning
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • half star
  • full star

based on 5 reviews

B $$$

Maryland Real Estate Licensing FAQs

Becoming a real estate agent in Maryland requires dedication and time, the same as in other states. You are required to complete 60 hours of pre-licensing course education and pass the national and state portions of the exam. To pass the exam on the first try, you need to pay attention to the pre-licensing classes and study hard before taking the exam. You will have 120 minutes to answer 80 national real estate questions and 30 state real estate questions on the licensing exam. 

The Candidate Information Bulletin issued by the official examination implementor – PSI gives the following preparation tips: 

  • Use the examination content outline provided in this Candidate Information Bulletin as the basis of your study. The outline itself is a study tool because it can familiarize you with real estate terms.
  • Learn the major points associated with each outline topic.
  • Select study materials that cover all the topics in the content outline.
  • Take notes on what you study. Putting information in writing helps you commit it to memory. Underline or highlight key ideas that will help with a later review.
  • Read the study materials, making sure you understand each concept before going on to the next.
  • Check each topic off the outline when you feel you have an adequate understanding. Plan to take your examination when you have covered all the topics. 
  • Discuss new terms or concepts as frequently as you can with colleagues. Doing this will test your understanding and reinforce ideas.
  • Your studies will be most effective if you frequently study, for about 45 to 60 minutes. Concentration tends to wander when you study for more extended periods of time.

The time it takes you to complete the process of becoming a real estate agent in Maryland depends on your dedication. If you take two hours of licensing education each day, six days per week, you would be able to complete the real estate licensing course in just over a month. 

After you successfully complete the pre-licensing education course, they will provide your eligibility electronically to the PSI center. Within two weeks after that, you will receive an email with information on how you can pay and schedule the exam. 

After you register to take the exam, allow up to four business days for PSI to process your registration. Registration can be done through mail, email, telephone, or in person.  

Maryland real estate agents earn $52,800 annually on average, but a top agent in Maryland can earn almost double than that. The top 10% of real estate agents in Maryland earn $98,120 or higher per year. 

Real estate agents from the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area are the agents that earn the most in Maryland or $64,230 per year on average, while the 90th percentile wage is $115,640. 

Another metro area where real estate agents earn more than the national average is the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area, with a $60,300 annual mean wage.

Maryland has reciprocal agreements only with Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. The basic terms to qualify for a reciprocal license in Maryland are: 

  • You must have gained your first license in a state with a reciprocal agreement with MREC
  • You must submit a complete certified license history with the application
  • Your license must be current and active
  • A broker needs a Maryland license before any associate brokers or salespersons may apply
  • Associate brokers and salespersons must submit a letter from the sponsoring broker with the application
  • Your category of license in your state will be the category you apply for in Maryland
  • If your license expires or goes inactive in your state, a reciprocal license becomes void
  • Licensees holding a reciprocal license under the MD-PA agreement are excused from exams and continuing education
  • Licensees holding a reciprocal license under the MD-OK agreement must pass the state portion of the exam but are excused from continuing education
  • Reciprocal licensure is not automatic; the application must be made and fee paid
  • If the principal place of business moves to Maryland, reciprocal licensees who have not previously taken an exam must do so
  • The term of a reciprocal license is two years

The fees applied by the Maryland Real Estate Commission are as follows: 

  • Broker License, Original (includes $20 Guaranty Fund payment): $190
  • Broker License, Renewal: $170
  • Associate Broker License, Original (includes $20 Guaranty Fund payment): $130
  • Associate Broker License, Renewal: $110
  • Salesperson License, Original (includes $20 Guaranty Fund payment): $90
  • Salesperson License, Renewal: $70
  • Certificate of License History (5 yr. history/full history) (Eff. 3/1/09): $25/75
  • Broker Business Address Change: $5
  • Broker Business Name Change (for each license under broker) (eff. 3/1/09): $25
  • Branch Office License: $5
  • Personal Name Change: $25
  • Reactivate Inactive License: $25
  • Reinstatement of License/Late Fee: $150
  • Transfer to Another Broker: $25
  • Time Share: $100
  • Dishonored Check: $35

Currently, there are no education requirements to become a real estate agent in Maryland. 


The exam consists of 110 questions in total: 80 in the national portion and 30 in the state portion. To pass the exam, you will be required to answer 56 questions correctly from the national portion and 21 from the state portion. 

The score will be immediately shown on the computer after finishing the exam. If you fail the exam, you can apply to retake it within 24 hours. You can retake only the portion you failed until you have passed both parts successfully. 

There is no limit to the number of times you can retake the exam. However, the pre-licensing course is valid within one year of completion, so you have to pass the exam within the time when it’s valid. If you fail to do so, you need to complete a new pre-licensing program to be eligible to take or retake the exam. 

The real estate licensing examination in Maryland is split into two portions – the national portion with 80 questions and the state portion that has 30 questions. To pass the exam, you need to pass each of the portions within two hours. 

The national portion of the real estate exam tests your knowledge of the general real estate laws and principles that apply in all of the states, specifically in the following areas:

  • Property ownership
  • Land use controls and regulations
  • Valuation and market analysis
  • Financing
  • General principles of agency
  • Property disclosures
  • Contracts
  • Leasing and property management
  • Transfer of Title
  • Practice of real estate
  • Real estate calculations

The state portion of the exam, on the other hand, tests your knowledge of the real estate laws and principles that apply in the state of Maryland, primarily the following areas: 

  • Duties and powers of the Real Estate Commission
  • Licensing requirements
  • Brokerage relationship
  • Supervision
  • Business conduct
  • Ethics

There are no official pas rates issued by the Maryland Real Estate Commission. However, according to unofficial student surveys, 74% of students passed the exam on their first attempt, 13% passed on their 2nd attempt, and 4% on their third attempt. 

The difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker is that an agent cannot work independently. They have to work under an affiliate broker, while a real estate broker can perform all real estate tasks unsupervised.

The educational and continuing education requirements are also different for real estate agents and brokers, as well as the exam structure and the required pass rates. 

Having a good real estate affiliate broker is critical for your real estate career. If you have a good broker that will guide you through your first years in real estate will help you prepare better and do better in the future. Some of the ways you can check if the brokerage is good are: 

  • The reputation of the brokerage
  • The reputation of real estate brokers working in the brokerage
  • How many successful agents have come out of the brokerage
  • What is their commission policy for new real estate agents

Practicing real estate in Maryland without a license is not allowed. 

Practicing real estate in Maryland without a license or an expired license can result in penalties from the Real Estate Commission, and even in criminal charges. 

When you come to the examination site, you will be asked to provide two forms of identification. One must be a VALID form of government-issued identification (Driver’s License, State ID, Passport) that has your signature and your photograph. 

The second ID must have your signature and preprinted legal name. All identification you provide must match the name on the registration form and your education certification.

Becoming a real estate agent in Maryland with a criminal record is not impossible. If you have a criminal record and want to apply for a real estate license in Maryland, you would have to fill out a manual application and send it over to The Maryland Real Estate Commission. 

The Maryland Real Estate Commission weighs each case separately to determine whether or not you will be allowed to apply for a real estate license. You need to submit True Test copies of the proceedings surrounding the conviction along with your application.

If you’ve been declined an application, you can submit an appeal that the Commission will go through and make a final decision based on it.