California State Required Pre-Licensing Hours: 135 hours 
Agent Real Estate Schools California Course Hours Offered: 135 hours 

Step 1: To qualify for a real estate license (Salesperson) in California, you must meet all the state’s requirements as outlined on the California Department of Real Estate website.

They include: 

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be honest and come clean about past criminal record(s) as most states require background check or criminal history report as part of your application. If you decide to lie or refuse to admit to being a past felon, you can be rejected or have your real estate license revoked later. Transparency and honesty show your state's commission that you can be trusted, and this can go a long way to demonstrate that you truly deserve a chance in the real estate Industry.


Step 2: Complete an approved 135 hours of pre-licensing education at an accredited school. 

Step 3: Apply for the salesperson examination


Step 4: Submit fingerprints for a criminal background check. Review the Current Application Processing Time Frames page to have clear understanding of time frame. 

Step 5: Successfully pass the California real estate licensing exam by earning a score of at least 70% or higher. 

Step 6: You can then proceed to obtain sponsorship from a licensed California broker. Are you curious about how to choose the right broker for you?  
Step 7: Complete the California real estate license application

Which license is right for you? The difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker is based on years of experience and education. Firstly, a real estate salesperson must be sponsored by a licensed broker. A broker can work for themselves and hire agents to work for them. Becoming a real estate broker requires completing additional coursework and working a minimum of two years as a real estate agent.


How Long Does It Take to Get a California Real Estate License?

It can take on average between 5 to 6 months to get a California real estate license depending how fast or slow you can complete both the required 135 hours of pre-licensing courses and pass your licensing examination as well as completing the application process, finding a sponsoring broker, and the application processing times. 


What Will I Learn to Help Me Get a Real Estate License in California?

All Agent Real Estate Schools’ Courses are approved by California Department of Real Estate. Once completed, you are eligible to sit for the California Real Estate License Exam. 

DRE Sponsor IDS0665 

Agent Real Estate Schools gives a window of 1 year from the start date to complete the 135-hour pre-license coursework for salespersons course although it is designed to be completed in 54-days. 

The required courses within the 135 hours include: 

  • Real Estate Principles (45 hours) 
  • Real Estate Practices (45 hours)


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 
  • Escrows 
  • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending  
  • Computer Applications in Real Estate 
  • Common Interest Developments


How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in California? 

Becoming a real estate agent in California requires time and money but is very rewarding. An aspiring agent will spend up to $1,200 (minus their enrollment fee through our 100% Reimbursement Program) to get their license, while also spending an additional $245–$360 annually to keep their license active. 
How these costs break down: 

  • Pre-licensing exam coursework can run up to $599. At Agent Real Estate Schools, we offer a 100% Reimbursement Program, ask us about it! 
  • Exam fees run $60. 
  • License fees for an agent cost $245. 
  • Required fingerprints will cost $49. 
  • Other miscellaneous fees can run upward of $240, where applicable. 


Real Estate License Reciprocity 

California does not have reciprocity agreements with any other states, nor does if offer a waiver of any of the requirements to obtain a license. If you don’t live in California and you build your real estate business there, then you need to meet the same requirements as anyone else (with a few caveats). 

It’s not a requirement to be a state resident to obtain a California real estate license, you must be licensed with a California broker. When applying for the real estate salesperson exam, evidence of completion of the statutory courses (from the out-of-state institution) is acceptable only if the institution is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or a comparable regional accrediting entity.  

Out-of-state residents are required to: 

  • File a Consent to Service of Process with the DRE. This form must be completed, signed, notarized, and submitted to the DRE with the original or renewal application. 
  • Submit their fingerprints directly to the DRE. A fingerprint card will be provided with the original license application. It should be taken to a local law enforcement agency for completion. 
  • Submit the appropriate fingerprint fee with the completed fingerprint card, original license application, and license fee to the DRE. 
  • Be licensed with a California broker if engaging in business in California. 


Can You Apply for a California Real Estate License Online? 

The simple answer is No. You can’t apply for a California real estate license online. You must either fax or mail the completed application, along with any transcripts and fees paid by check, credit card, or money order. 

The review process takes approximately 6-weeks. After that 6-weeks you’ll be able to schedule your exam and that can be done online via California’s eLicensing system. 


How Do I Apply for The California Real Estate Licensing Exam?

The salesperson examinations must be taken through the California Department of Real Estate. The state requires that you achieve a score of 70% or higher to pass. Agent Real Estate Schools offers both a livestream Group Study Course and a study at your own pace online Fast Track Course. Additionally, we offer Prep Practice Course which will help you prepare for the California real estate licensing exam. Pass your California real estate license exam and ask us about our 100% Reimbursement Program

You will need to complete a Salesperson Examination Application and submit it along with the required fee and transcripts showing successful completion of your pre-licensing courses and the statutory college-level real estate courses and degrees. Once you receive notification that you have qualified to take your exam, you’ll either receive an Examination Schedule Notice or approval to self-schedule. You can use the eLicensing online system to check your exam date or to self-schedule.  
Exams are offered in five cities in California: 

  • Fresno 
  • Los Angeles 
  • Oakland 
  • Sacramento 
  • San Diego 


If you are not qualified at the time, you submit your application and fee, you will have 2 years from the date of receipt of the application to complete the qualifications and take the exam. If during that 2-year period, you do not qualify for and pass the exam your application will expire, and you will need to submit a new application. 


How Do I Submit My Fingerprints for The Background Check?

As an applicant for your real estate license, you must submit one set of fingerprints, acceptable to the State Department of Justice (DOJ). An applicant may be fingerprinted after applying for the state exam or after passing the exam. 

Fingerprint processing fees are not refunded if you do not pass the examination.

Note: Your Social security number is required on the examination application to ensure fingerprint reports are received by the DRE. 

Fingerprints must be submitted electronically through the DOJ’s Live Scan Program with a Live Scan Service Request Form. Your original real estate license will not be issued until a report from the DOJ and the FBI is received stating that there is no criminal history, or alternatively a disclosure of criminal history information is present, which then must be reviewed and evaluated. There is a $49 fingerprint processing fee and a live scan service fee which should be paid directly to the live scan provider. 


California Real Estate License Renewal 

California real estate licenses are good for four years, and the state will notify you within 60 days of your renewal. Renewal fees will run you $245 annually. 


Does California Require Post-Licensing Education? 

California real estate agents who are renewing their licenses or filing for a late renewal must complete 45 hours of approved continuing education coursework. 


Special Considerations

If you are an attorney who is a member in good standing of the California State Bar, then you are exempt from some of the requirements to become a licensed real estate agent. 

Obtaining Certificate of Course Completion: Upon completion of the course, you will be provided an electronic certificate of completion which can be found in the “my courses” tab in your student portal. Next to each completed course you will find an icon for the course completion certificate.  
You will be required to submit your certificate of completion with your license request, please refer to your license application to determine if this is necessary. 
California Department of Real Estate 
Phone: 877-373-4542 
Fax: 916-263-8943 
Address: 1651 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95815