Illinois Real Estate Licensing & Continuing Education

Real Estate Licensing Regulations In Illinois

Anyone who assists in selling or leasing real estate in Illinois typically must be licensed by the state. Licensure is available for leasing agents, brokers and managing brokers and, while each type has different requirements, all require non-exempt candidates to complete pre-licensing education and pass an exam to be eligible. In order to begin working, leasing agents, brokers and managing brokers who have passed their exams and completed pre-license education requirements must receive a temporary sponsor card from a sponsoring broker until they receive their state license. Once licensed, individuals must complete continuing education courses to maintain licensure.


Property owners, along with their employees or people who work for them without compensation, do not need to be licensed. Other licensure exemptions apply to attorneys representing property owners and real estate professionals from other states that have reciprocity with Illinois, both of whom must only pass the state real estate exam to earn a license. Illinois has reciprocity with Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana (broker's only), Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

Pre-Licensure Requirements


Non-exempt candidates for all Illinois real estate licenses must complete state-approved pre-license coursework. Requirements are:

License Type Hours Required Description
Leasing Agent 15 Studies regarding residential leasing
Broker 90 Must include a 15-hour Applied Real Estate Principles course
Managing Broker 45* Must include a 15-hour Applied Management and Supervision course

*in addition to the 90 hours required for broker licensing.


All license applicants must pass a real estate exam. To learn more about the content of the leasing agent, broker and managing broker exams, along with regulations and scoring information, you may download a candidate handbook from the exam administrator's website (

To help you prepare for the broker exam, offers the comprehensive Illinois Real Estate Broker License Exam: Study Guide course. This self-paced online course covers all the subjects you'll encounter on the broker exam, delivered in short, easy-to-follow lessons. It also includes quizzes and exams to help you measure your understanding of the content.

Because sections of real estate exams in Illinois are in multiple-choice format, you may also want to review best practices for answering these types of questions. For help, check out's short Strategy for Multiple Choice Questions lesson.

Additional Information for Managing Broker Licensure

Along with education and examination requirements, managing broker candidates must additionally have worked as a licensed salesperson or broker for 24 of the prior 36 months.

About License Renewals and Changes

Leasing agents, brokers and managing brokers must renew their licenses every two years. Leasing agents must renew by July 31 during even-numbered years, brokers by April 30 during even-numbered years, and managing brokers by April 30 during odd-numbered years. All licensed real estate professionals must notify the state immediately upon changing where they work, or their legal name or address.

Continuing Education Requirements

Other than licensed lawyers and those who serve in the U.S. military during their license term, leasing agents, licensed brokers and managing brokers must complete continuing education requirements every two years throughout their careers.

Type of License Hours per 2-year term Description
Leasing Agent 6 Coursework focusing on leasing residential property
Broker 12 Six hours of core coursework and six hours of electives
Managing Broker 24 12 hours of broker courses and 12 hours of managing broker coursework

Brokers seeking their first license renewal must also complete 30 hours of post-license coursework. Leasing agents, meanwhile, are exempt from continuing education requirements during the first licensure term but must complete the required 6 hours of relevant coursework during each subsequent term.

About Personal Assistants

Licensed real estate professionals may hire assistants to help them with tasks. If assistants hold Illinois real estate leasing, broker or managing broker licenses, they may assist with work that requires a license. Unlicensed assistants may only provide administrative or personal assistance.

The Real Estate Recovery Fund

The state maintains a fund to protect consumers from the intentional misconduct of licensed real estate professionals or their employees. Consumers may pursue compensation from this Real Estate Recovery Fund by filing for a review by the county circuit court presiding over the region where the misconduct took place. If licensed real estate professionals or their employees are found guilty of misconduct and a client is compensated from this fund, the licensed professionals with have their licenses revoked.

Real estate exams can be difficult to pass, but with proper preparation, you'll be on your way to passing and earning your real estate license. Read on to learn about the four exam-prep steps you should take in order to ace your test.

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