How to Get a Real Estate License in Florida
In 1925, Florida’s state legislature enacted a law that created the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). FREC was established with a fundamental purpose –to protect the public with regard to real estate matters. FREC continues to protect the public nearly a century later.
One of the ways in which FREC (in conjunction with the Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR)) and the Division of Real Estate) protects the residents of Florida is to administer and oversee the required processes (and qualifications) to earn, and maintain, a Florida Real Estate Sales Associate License.
Florida Real Estate License Requirements
Florida issues several types of real estate licenses. The narrative that follows focuses on the first level of real estate licensing — the real estate sales associate.
Applicants for a Florida Real Estate License must meet the following criteria –
- Be 18 years of age, or older.
- Be honest, truthful, and trustworthy, and of good character. One cannot overemphasize the important for honesty in the real estate business and on the license’s application. Lying likely brings about an application denial, and potential consequences.
- Possess your high school diploma, or a GED.
- Disclose correct information. Is/Has the applicant –
- Entered a plea of nolo contendere?
- Under investigation for dishonesty? Convicted of a crime of fraud?
- A patient in a mental health facility?
- Worked under an aka– also known as?
- Had a license revoked, suspended, surrendered, or otherwise acted against from anywhere in the country?
A social security number is required to confirm that there are no outstanding child support payments due, at the time of application.
Preliminary Steps to Real Estate Licensing
It is important to submit your license application a month or two before you are planning to take the exam. Follow these simple steps –
- Applicants are not required to state residents; however, there are specific caveats for which one must comply.
- Pay fee of $89 upon submission.
- Order a background check and fingerprints from a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) provider.
- Enroll in a FREC-approved pre-license course.
The Pre-License Required Sales Course
To become eligible to take the Florida Real Estate Licensing exam, a sales associate applicant must complete a FREC-approved pre-license course of 63 hours. This course completion is valid for only two years; so license applicants are encouraged to take the state real estate exam within this timeframe.
It is noted that those who hold a bachelor’s degree in real estate, are waived from taking both the broker and sales associate’s state test.
Prepping for the Exam
Real Estate license candidates should allow for sufficient preparation time prior to sitting for the state examination. The DBPR, and many other education-prep websites provide many practice tests to test your knowledge before, during and after the completion of the pre-license course. Additionally, the DBPR offers a Candidate Information Booklet at no cost; which is an exceptional education and studying tool.
Florida law Mandates that real estate license applicants complete the preliminary work (i.e. application and registration) before the applicant is eligible to sit for the FREC approved exam.
The Florida State Real Estate Exam
Pearson Vue Is the professional testing organization sanctioned by the Florida Real Estate Commission to administer the state test. The first step is to call Pearson Vue to set up an exam date. State real estate exams are generally available either on a monthly or even a weekly basis.
When you arrive for the test, the test-taker must bring –
- 2 forms of Identification; one that has a photo.
- Your pre-license course completion certificate.
- The state-licensing fee is $105; however, veteran/veteran spouses can have the fee waived.
The Florida State Real Estate exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, with a passing grade of 75% required. The exam consists of the following topics, which are all included in FREC’s required pre-license course syllabus–
- Real Estate Principles (45%).
- Florida & Federal Law (45%).
- Real Estate Math (10%).
It is noted that the test-taker receives the results of the state exam right after the test is completed.
Is a State Exam Re-test Possible?
The Florida Real Estate Commission regulations allow for real estate license-applicants to reschedule another test date for the state exam (should they miss the passing mark on the first attempt), after 24 hours has passed. Note, however, FREC has set no limit as to the number of times the state exam can be retaken.
The Florida Real Estate License
The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) issues the Florida real estate license. Licenses act as the written verification that denotes that the license holder has met the Florida state mandates.
Florida Real Estate licensees are required to renew their real estate licenses every 24 months, after the licensee’s first licensure period.
Florida Real Estate License Continuing Education
1st License Period — Post Licensing Course
Every newly licensed real estate professional is required to complete a post-license real estate course that covers 45 hours worth of relevant material. This 45-hour post license course must be completed before the licensee’s initial license expires. Topics include –
- The Law of Agency.
- Finance for Real Estate Matters.
- Real Estate Management/Property Management.
This post-license course requires each licensee to –
- Attend at least 90% of the course’s classroom hours.
- Pass the course’s final exam with a grade equal to or higher than 75%.
Continuing Education Requirements After the Initial Period
After this initial renewal period, the state of Florida mandates real estate sales associate licensees to complete a minimum of 14 hours of continuing education credits each license period. The required continuing is available in a traditional classroom, and online. The continuing education must be completed in accordance with FREC’s mandates-
- 3 Hours regarding Florida Law Updates.
- 3 Hours regarding Ethical Business Practices.
- 8 Hours regarding FREC-approved Specialty Topics.
Florida Administrative Code 61J2-3.009 delineates exam requirements and course guidelines.