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How to Renew a California Real Estate License

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How to Renew a California Real Estate License

How to Renew a California Real Estate License

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You worked hard to get your California real estate license—all those hours of study, followed by the stress of exam day and the numerous fees involved. You were no doubt delighted when it was all over and you finally laid hands on your real estate license.But we have some bad news, as that license has an expiration date.
You have just 4 years before you must reapply. The good news is that the renewal process is straightforward, much more so than the initial licensing process.In the following guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about renewing your existing license, including the cost, process, and timeframe.

Understanding Renewal Requirements

The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) should send you a renewal letter 60 days before the license expiration date. It’s a courtesy and will remind you that you need to get moving. But don’t rely on it. Take the proactive step of marking your calendar and making sure you know exactly how long you have and when that date appears.License renewal requires you to complete continuing education courses, and these are available online, at college, or at real estate school (see below for more information). At 45 hours, the requirement is fairly modest compared to the pre-licensing requirement, but it will still tie you up for a few days.You can complete the renewal process online and will be asked to pay a small renewal fee of $245 for salespersons and $300 for brokers.

Steps to Renew a California Real Estate License

Although the DRE will remind you to renew within 60 days of expiration, you can actually start this process up to 90 days before the expiration date.Just follow the steps below.

Step 1: Complete continuing education credits

If you are renewing a salesperson license for the first time, DRE requires 45 hours of continuing education, including:

  • Four different courses spanning the following subjects and running for 3 hours each:
    • Ethics
    • Trust fund handling
    • Agency
    • Risk management
  • 3 hours on fair housing
  • 2 hours of implicit bias training
  • At least 18 hours covering consumer protection courses
  • Additional hours on consumer service or consumer protection.

If you’re renewing a broker license for the first time, the requirements are similar, but the initial part requires 5 different courses and includes management and supervision.The rules are a little different if you have already renewed at least once:

  • A 9-hour CE survey course that covers ethics, risk management, agency, management and supervision, trust fund handling, fair housing, and implicit bias training. Alternatively, licensees can take individual courses in these subjects.
  • At least 18 hours of CE courses relating to consumer protection.
  • Additional hours related to consumer service or consumer protection.

There are a number of online schools that provide pre-licensing and continuing education courses, and it’s worth checking them out as online courses are quicker, easier, and can be completed in your own time. Some of the best providers include Aceable Agent, License Solution, and 360training.

Step 2: Gather the necessary documents and information

You must be able to prove that you have completed the necessary continuing education, so keep your course numbers to hand and ensure you have your licensing information as well.

Step 3: Submit the renewal application

The next step is to submit your renewal through the eLicensing system here. It will guide you through the process and request your course numbers and other information.You must also pay the $245/$300 renewal fee.

What if Your License Has Expired?

If your license has expired within the last two years. you can still submit a renewal. However, the license will be invalid until it has been renewed, so you can’t perform any of the activities granted to those in possession of a real estate license.Needless to say, you should never willingly let your license expire and must do everything you can to prevent that from happening.If it has been more than 2 years since the expiration date, contact the DRE directly. It’s not the end of the world and probably won’t be the end of your career, but it will likely necessitate some additional steps and fees.

Quick FAQs

We’ve covered pretty much everything you need to know about the real estate license renewal process, but here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the process to ensure you’re ready to go.

What is the fastest way to renew a real estate license in California?

Complete your continuing education courses online and then submit your application through the eLicensing platform. It’s the recommended way and the quickest way.

How long do I have to renew my real estate license in California?

It must be renewed every 4 years and you can start the process 90 days before it expires.

How do I maintain my real estate license in California?

Just check the expiration date listed on your license and make sure you renew before it expires.

How many hours of continuing education are required for CA real estate license renewal?

You need 45 hours of continuing education in total.

How much are continuing education courses?

It depends on the provider, but it’s usually under $100 and the average is around $70. It’s less than pre-licensing education and considerably less than the renewal fee.

How much is the renewal fee?

It depends on what license you’re renewing and whether you’re renewing on time:

  • Salesperson license before the expiration date = $245
  • Salesperson license within 2 years of the expiration date = $367
  • Broker license before the expiration date = $300
  • Broker license within 2 years of the expiration date = $450

How do I pay the renewal fee?

You will be prompted to pay online when using the eLicensing portal. It accepts both debit and credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express).


You worked hard to get your license, so make sure you renew it when the time comes! To recap:

  • You must renew your license every 4 years
  • You should receive a renewal reminder letter 60 days before the expiration date
  • At least 45 hours of continuing education is required
  • The renewal fee is $245 (salesperson license) or $300 (broker license)
  • You can complete the entire renewal process online through the eLicensing system

Finally, don’t panic if you miss the date and your license expires. You can still reapply, and your freedoms as a real estate agent may be limited until you do.

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