Requirements to Apply for a Real Estate Salesperson License
To obtain a real estate salesperson license, you must first qualify for and pass a written examination. Those who pass the examination are provided a license application which must be submitted to and approved by the DRE.
This license is required of individuals who conduct licensed real estate activities as described in the Real Estate Law under the supervision of a licensed broker. A license may also be obtained by a person who does not immediately intend to be employed by a broker. However, a salesperson without an responsible broker may not perform acts requiring a real estate license.
- Age: You must be 18 years of age or older to be issued a license.
- Residence: If you are not a California resident, see Out-of-State Applicants.
- Honesty: Applicants must be honest and truthful. Conviction of a crime may result in the denial of a license.
Successful completion of three college-level courses is required to qualify for a real estate salesperson examination:
Real Estate Principles, and
Real Estate Practice*, and
One course from the following list:
- Real Estate Appraisal
- Property Management
- Real Estate Finance
- Real Estate Economics
- Legal Aspects of Real Estate
- Real Estate Office Administration
- General Accounting
- Business Law
- Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
- Computer Applications in Real Estate
- Common Interest Developments
*Note: Effective January 1, 2024, any real estate practice course submitted for purposes of qualifying to take a real estate license exam, must include components on implicit bias and fair housing. Additionally, the fair housing component must include an interactive participatory component where the applicant role plays as both the consumer and the real estate professional.
Members of the California State Bar are statutorily exempt from the college-level course requirements. Evidence of admission to practice Law in California must be furnished, such as a photocopy of both sides of a California State Bar membership card.
Also, applicants who submit evidence of having completed the eight statutory college-level courses required for the broker examination and license are eligible to take the salesperson examination without submitting further evidence of experience or education.
Continuing education offerings do not satisfy the college-level course requirements for this examination.
Courses must be three semester-units or four quarter-units at the college level. Courses must be completed at an institution of higher learning accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or by a comparable regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, or by a private real estate school which has had its courses approved by the California Real Estate Commissioner. Each course approved by the Department of Real Estate is a minimum of 45 hours in length.
Courses completed through foreign institutions of higher learning must be evaluated by a foreign credentials evaluation service approved by the Department of Real Estate. See Examination Applicant Foreign Education Information (RE 223) .
Copies of official transcripts are generally acceptable evidence of completed courses. Transcripts of equivalent courses submitted as substitutes for the college-level courses listed above must be supported by an official course or catalog description in order to be evaluated for equivalency.