California Real Estate License Requirements

Learn about the California education requirements for real estate licensing and renewal.

Licensing Board/Commission: California Department of Real Estate

California Real Estate Education Requirements:

  • California real estate salesperson license: Successful completion of three college-level courses, including:
    • Real Estate Principles and Real Estate Practice, as well as one of the following courses:
      • Accounting
      • Business Law
      • Common Interest Developments
      • Computer Applications in Real Estate
      • Escrows
      • Legal Aspects of Real Estate
      • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
      • Property Management
      • Real Estate Appraisal
      • Real Estate Economics
      • Real Estate Finance
      • Real Estate Office Administration
  • California real estate broker license: Successful completion of the following 8 statutorily required college-level courses:
    • Real Estate Practice
    • Legal Aspects of Real Estate
    • Real Estate Finance
    • Real Estate Appraisal
    • Real Estate Economics or Accounting*
  • They must also complete three of the following courses:
    • Real Estate Principles
    • Business Law
    • Property Management
    • Escrow
    • Real Estate Office Administration
    • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
    • Advanced Legal Aspects of Real Estate
    • Advanced Real Estate Finance
    • Advanced Real Estate Appraisal
    • Computer Applications in Real Estate
    • Common Interest Developments

*Note: If both Real Estate Economics and Accounting are taken, only two courses from the above group are required.

 

California State Reciprocity:

California has no reciprocity with any other state to allow a waiver of any of the requirements to obtain a license.

In applying for the real estate broker or salesperson examination, evidence of completion (i.e. transcripts) of the statutory courses in out-of-state institutions is acceptable if the institution is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or a comparable regional accrediting entity, and each course counts as three semester-units of credit or four quarter-units of credit. Courses completed through foreign institutions of higher learning must be evaluated by a foreign credentials evaluation service approved by the Department of Real Estate.

Unless prior approval has been granted by the California Real Estate Commissioner, no private vocational real estate school outside the State of California may grant credit for the required pre-license courses. Out-of-state residents must file a Consent to Service of Process with the California Department of Real Estate. This form must be completed, signed, notarized and submitted to the California Department of Real Estate with the original or renewal application.

Brokers must maintain a California business address if engaging in business in California. If not engaging in business in California, brokers must also file an Out-of-State Broker Acknowledgment.

Salespersons must be licensed with a California broker if engaging in business in California.

Applicants for a California real estate license must submit one set of classifiable fingerprints, acceptable to the State Department of Justice (DOJ). Applicants who reside outside of California must submit their fingerprints directly to the California Department of Real Estate. A fingerprint card (FBI Applicant FD-258 Rev 3/10) will be provided to all out-of-state applicants with the original license application. It should be taken to a local law enforcement agency for completion. The appropriate fingerprint fee must be submitted to the California Department of Real Estate with the completed fingerprint card, original license application, and license fee.

 

California Continuing Education (CE) and License Renewal Requirements:

California real estate licenses must be renewed every four years from the date on the license.

First Renewal (Salespersons): License renewal requires completion of 45 clock hours of California Department of Real Estate approved real estate CE consisting of:

  • 5 separate three-hour courses (15 hours total) in the following subjects: Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing, and Risk Management
  • At least 18 hours of consumer protection courses
  • Remaining hours may relate to either consumer service or consumer protection

 

First Renewal (Brokers): License renewal requires completion of 45 clock hours of California Department of Real Estate approved real estate CE consisting of:

  • 6 separate 3-hour courses (18 hours total) in the following subjects: Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing, Risk Management, and Management and Supervision
  • At least 18 hours of consumer protection courses
  • Remaining hours may relate to either consumer service or consumer protection

 

Second and Subsequent Renewals (Salespersons & Brokers): License renewal requires completion of 45 clock hours of California Department of Real Estate approved real estate CE consisting of:

  • One 8-hour survey course that covers the six required subjects (Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing, Risk Management, and Management and Supervision) OR each of the mandatory subjects may be completed as separate courses
  • At least 18 hours of consumer protection courses
  • Remaining hours may relate to either consumer service or consumer protection