COVID-19 Information Page

COVID-19 FAQs for Licensing/Exam Processes

Updated February 10, 2021

Thank you for your patience during the recent stay-at-home orders. All five DRE exam centers have now reopened.

In reopening, our highest priority will be to make sure we can offer exams as quickly, safely, and securely as possible.

Check this page often as answers to the questions below can change.

1. Are Department of Real Estate (DRE) offices and exam centers open?

Yes, all DRE exam centers have open.

2. How can I schedule my license exam?

The best way to schedule or reschedule your licensing exam is online, through DRE's eLicensing service. If you are not registered, you should use your Examinee ID number to create a free account now.

You should also make sure DRE has your most up-to-date contact information. Update yours through your eLicensing account.

3. How have COVID-19 restrictions effected DRE exam center capacity?

Because of physical distancing requirements, DRE exam centers are limited to 50% capacity.

4. If I have a COVID-19 related issue, can I reschedule my exam date?

Yes, if you have contracted COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms or have other COVID-19 related issues, you can reschedule your examination without a fee by sending a back request by email to Please put "COVID - Exam Reschedule Request" in your subject line and include your Examinee ID number and current test date, time, and location.

You can also call the DRE Virtual Call Center Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. at 877-373-4542. However, due to staffing restrictions, wait times may be excessive.

5. What has DRE done to increase the number of exams it can give?

DRE has done a number of things. They include:

  • Adding an additional exam session on weekdays
  • Adding Saturday exams at two exam centers (Sacramento and La Palma)
  • Adding evening exams in Sacramento, and soon at some other locations
  • Opening a second exam center at DRE's Headquarters in Sacramento


6. If my exam was cancelled and I don't want to reschedule, can I get my exam fee refunded?

Yes, DRE will refund exam fees to any applicant who has not yet taken the exam and who requests it.

Requests can be made by email to Please put "Exam Fee Refund Request" in your subject line and include your Examinee ID number.

7. Is DRE's Virtual Call Center open?

Yes, DRE staff are on-duty, with the majority teleworking. DRE's Virtual Call Center is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. at 877-373-4542. However, due to staffing restrictions, wait times may be excessive.

You should direct your general licensing and exam questions by email to:

8. Why can't I take my exam online?

It's critical for the value of a real estate license that DRE protects the integrity of all licensing exams. Current technology does not provide sufficient security to protect exam questions. We're keeping a close eye on various testing platforms and will re-evaluate available technology on an ongoing basis.

9. My real estate license will be expiring soon. What is the best way for me to complete my renewal?

The secure eLicensing online system offers expedited processing of salesperson, broker, and officer license renewals any time or day of the week. eLicensing is easy to use, paperless and interactive. Licensees enter information needed for license renewal into eLicensing, including the course number and completion date of continuing education taken. If continuing education is required, then continuing education requirements must be completely satisfied in order to renew through eLicensing. Acceptable methods of payment include VISA, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards or debit cards bearing a VISA or MasterCard logo.

Unfortunately, officers renewing after the license expiration date and all restricted licensees cannot use eLicensing. Those renewal applications must be submitted by mail to the Department of Real Estate, P.O. Box 137003, Sacramento, CA 95813-7003.

Remember, you may use eLicensing or submit your renewal application 90 days prior to your license expiration date. Your renewal is considered on-time if your eLicensing transaction is completed or your application is postmarked before midnight on your license expiration date, unless extended pursuant to Governor's Executive Order N-83-20 to June 30, 2021. If you submit your renewal on-time, Business and Professions Code Section 10156.2 permits you to continue operating under your existing license after its expiration date unless notified otherwise by the DRE.

10. How do I complete continuing education for my license renewal when I have been ordered to shelter in place?

Licensees can take continuing education courses by various means, including by correspondence or distance learning. Correspondence courses include courses offered online or by mail. You can search here for a list of continuing education courses that are offered by correspondence.

Please remember that continuing education courses follow strict regulations with regards to the amount of time required to be spent on a course and spacing of the final exams. See Continuing Education Regulations (RE 312) for additional information.

11. Does the shelter in place orders affect other components of the licensing process?

Live Scan service providers may be impacted by shelter in place orders. Please check the Department of Justice website to find a location open near you at or call the individual service providers for their status.

You will likely experience delays with exam and licensing processes as a completed Live Scan is required to obtain a license. It is strongly recommended that you use our eLicensing system for those transactions that can be completed online.

12. Will DRE accept electronic signatures on licensing documents during this time?

DRE will accept licensing/examination documents with electronic signatures if the documents cannot be submitted through our eLicensing system.

Electronic signatures are acceptable provided there is a means to authenticate that the digital signature belongs to the individual, complying with California's Uniform Electronic Transactions Act
( California Civil Code §1633.1, et seq.) Any document delivered to DRE in this manner shall be deemed to have been duly and validly delivered and be effective for all purposes.

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