|How to Get a Real Estate License
How to Get a California Real Estate License in 6 Steps
If you'v'e dreamed of a real estate career and are interested in earning your real estate license,
you may be wondering exactly what you need to do in order to pursue your dream. One of the
first steps if you want to sell or lease real estate in the state of California is to obtain your
California Real Estate Salesperson license.
Here's what you need to know about the process to ensure your success.
STEPS TO GETTING A REAL ESTATE LICENSE
Step 1. Meet the General Requirements to Prequalify
One of the critical steps in getting a real estate license in California is passing the
license exam. In order to qualify to take the exam, you must meet the following
requirements as listed by the DRE:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a California resident
- Must be honest
and truthful. Conviction of a crime may result in the denial of a license.Failure to disclose
any criminal violation or disciplinary action in an applicant's entire history may also result
in the denial of a license.
STEPS TO GETTING A REAL ESTATE LICENSE
Step 2. Complete 135 Hours of Pre-Licensing
The state required education courses for a California real estate license are a combination of the
- Real Estate Principles (45 credit hours)
- Real Estate Practice (45 credit hours)
- 45 credit hours in an additional elective course as approved by the California Department of
This is particularly important, as California requires you to take pre-licensing training from an
approved course provider before you can even think about sitting for the exam. Note that the
required number of training hours will vary wildly depending on the state. In California, for
example, you need to take 135 hours to meet this criteria. That number might be different if you
were taking courses in another state.
In California you have the option of taking this pre-licensing education both in-person and by
way of real
estate courses online.
Step 3. Apply for the
California Salesperson Exam
Once you have met the exam's educational requirements, it's time to apply for the actual
exam.You may apply for the salesperson examination by using the Salesperson Exam Application orthe
Combined Salesperson Examination and License Application. We recommend doing thecombo application.
The combined application allows you to apply for both the exam and licenseand pay all applicable
fees at the same time and if you have a clear criminal background, yourlicense can be issued
Once you have submitted your application, you should be prepared to wait around 4-6 weeks foryour
application to be processed.
Once approved, you will receive an Examination Schedule notice, allowing you to schedule a time for
California has an eLicensing system that you
will use to
schedule your examination and check on the status of your exam.
Step 4. Pass the California
During the exam, you'll be asked 150 multiple choice questions that cover California real estate laws,
rules and regulations. You are given 3 hours to complete the examination and you must score 70% or
higher to pass. The exam is qualifying in nature only, which means that a score is not
reported unless you fail the test. If you take one of our exam prep real estate crash courses
you should be just fine!
The good news is that ADHI Schools will fully prepare you for this leg of your journey so you pass the
real estate exam with minimal stress!
Step 5. Find a Sponsoring
At this point it's important to note that in order to legally practice real estate in California, you'll
need to work under a supervising broker. Brokers are typically real estate companies who make sure that
you (and all other new agents) are adhering to both legal and ethical standards in all interactions with
clients and are responsible for supervising their sales staff.
In addition to searching online for a broker with a great training program, our students are also
introduced to brokers in their area for career placement. Because brokerages usually pay their
agents exclusively in commissions, they're often willing to welcome new people into the fold
because they can do so at no direct cost. This means there’s always room for a new agent.
When trying to find a brokerage to partner with, just be sure to find one that you're both
comfortable with and that will offer you the type of on-the-job training you need to really make
the most out of your career.
Step 6. Complete Your Real
Once you have passed the exam, you will need to complete and submit the Salesperson license
application (unless you have previously completed the Combined Examination and License
application) along with providing the applicable fees.
As part of a background check, you will be required to be fingerprinted through a
fingerprint service provider in the state of California, which will typically cost anywhere between
$70 and $80. ADHI Schools offers this Livescan service.
Official transcripts for the completed courses are sufficient as evidence that you’ve completed
the required real estate education courses. If you take the coursework through ADHI Schools
our certificates will work just fine!
Out-of-state applicants have a few additional steps in applying for a license. Out-of-state
persons must submit a notarized Consent of Service Process form along
with their original
Once you have completed the application, the Bureau of Real Estate will review your application
Once your license has been approved, a copy will be provided to your sponsoring real estate
broker. If you do not currently have a sponsoring broker, you will be mailed a copy of the
salesperson license with a non-working status.
Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Your CA Real Estate License
How long does it take to get a CA real estate license?
The required coursework can be finished in as little as 54 days, from there,the time to
schedule an exam
and get your license issued can vary based on volume of applications received by and
workload at the
Department of Real Estate.
How much does it cost to get a CA real estate license?
You’ll need to spend some money on required coursework. With ADHI Schools, we have
packages that can
range from $150 up to $499. You’ll then have to take the state exam and get your
license. You should
budget about $550-$1,000 depending on whether you do the classes with an instructor or
self study for
coursework, license fees and criminal background.
Can you get your CA real estate license online?
You can do the classes at home, but you’ll have to go to a state approved facility to
government exam. There are five locations in Fresno,Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, and
La Palma wherein
an applicant can take the real estate exam.
Where Can I Take the California Real Estate Exam?
The real estate exam is currently offered in an electronic format in five cities
throughout the state of
- San Diego
- Los Angeles and Vicinity
Bureau of Real Estate website keeps up to date information on the current
locations where the examination is held. You can also get information about available
locations for taking the exam prior to submitting your application.
How Do I Take Courses That Will Be Approved In Order To Take
The good news is that there are a wide array of classroom style or online real estate
courses in particular that you can easily take to qualify for the California real estate
salesperson exam. It's just that not all courses are created equally, so you have to do
your due diligence to find one that actually meets all of the requirements as approved
by the California Real Estate Commissioner.
As of 2020, some of the options a new licensee would have are:
- Community college. Note that many community colleges in the state of California
currently offer some type of real estate curriculum, and the vast majority of these
offer courses that are approved to get your real estate license.
- California university systems. Both the University of California and California
University currently offer numerous courses that satisfy the Real Estate
- Foreign universities. Any courses that you're planning on taking at foreign
MUST be evaluated ahead of time by a DRE-approved Credentials Evaluation Service.
Not only that, but written evidence that this evaluation has taken place must also
presented in a satisfactory manner.
- Private schools. While many private schools in California offer real estate
only those who have made a formal request, have submitted an application, and who
have obtained formal approval from the Real Estate Commissioner are able to offer
those required for pre-license education. In other words, their qualifications are
not a guarantee so don't take them for granted.
Can I Be Exempt From Meeting The Exam's Educational
Pretty much the only way to avoid taking these classes is if you are a member of the
California State Bar.