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California Real Estate Broker Licensing: Requirements & Maintenance

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara received her MBA from Adams State University and is currently working on her DBA from California Southern University. She spent 11 years as a sales and marketing executive. She spent several years with Western Governor's University as a faculty member. Tara has been at for seven years.

When you are ready to move to the next level in your real estate career, you may want to become a broker. Learn what is required and how you can manage your broker's license.

Becoming a Real Estate Broker

After you've had a real estate license for several years, you may choose to advance in your career and become a real estate broker. There are several advantages to being a broker, including managing a business, mentoring other agents, and increasing your income. Before you can be a broker, there are mile markers you must accomplish to move up. Let's look at what you will need to do.

Requirements to Become a Broker in California

You must be at least 18 years old. You must also have two years of full-time agent experience within the last five years or a four-year degree in real estate from an accredited college or university.

Prior to taking the broker exam, you will also need to take five required courses in real estate practice, legal issues, finance appraisal, and general accounting. You will select three more courses from a list of classes that the California Department of Real Estate has approved for brokers.

Once your courses are complete, you must pass the written exam. The test scores, along with your course transcripts, must be submitted with your application to get a broker's license.

In addition to the activities that require a salesperson's license in California, there are also activities that require a broker's license. For instance, you must have a broker's license to work independently or hire other agents. Your broker's license allows you to open your own office, collect broker commissions, and establish your own business name that will serve as the brokerage in all advertising and communication.

License Renewal and Maintenance

In order to keep your license active, you will need to renew your license every four years. The renewal process includes taking 45 hours of approved courses pertaining to real estate brokerage. You also have a lengthy questionnaire / application form that asks about your business operations.

You can submit your application and fee online or mail it through the post office. Either way, the renewal documents must be complete on or before the expiration date. Mailed documents must be postmarked on or before your license expires. You can always renew early, as you have a 90-day window before your expiration date for processing paperwork.

Status Change

One other thing to consider is how to handle your license if you need to change the status. This may include taking a break and making your license inactive for a period of time or retiring permanently. You may be in the military and called into active duty. When there is a need to change the status of your license, you must communicate this change with the California Department of Real Estate.

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