Iowa State Required Pre-Licensing Hours: 60 hours 
Agent Real Estate Schools Iowa Course Hours Offered: 60 hours 

Step 1: Meet the state’s requirements as outlined on the Iowa Real Estate Commission website: 

They include:

  • You must be 18 years old and above 
  • You must be a lawful U.S. resident  
  • In the past 12 months, you must not have had an application rejected for licensure in Iowa or any other jurisdiction, or have had your real estate license revoked in Iowa or any other state within two years before application for licensure.
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony concerning a breach of fiduciary duty in the past five years.
  • You must not have been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude in the past year. 


Step 2: Complete the required 60-hour pre-licensing course for salesperson at an institution approved by the Iowa Real Estate Commission. 

Step 3: You must pass a criminal background check. 

Step 4: Register and pass the licensing exam by earning a score of 70% or higher. 

Step 5: You must complete the three required 12-hour classroom courses (a total of 36 hours) with an approved provider. 

Step 6: You must obtain and provide proof of Error & Omission Insurance. 

Step 7: Obtain a sponsoring broker. Are you curious about how to choose the right broker for you?  

Step 8: Submit your application for an Iowa real estate license. Be sure to follow the application procedures required by IREC.  

How Long Does It Take to Get an Iowa Real Estate License?

It can vary from person to person depending how fast or slow you can complete both the required 60 hours of pre-licensing courses and the three required 12-hour classroom licensing courses. You must also pass your licensing examination as well as completing the application process, finding a sponsoring broker, and the application processing times are also a factor. 

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

All courses are approved by Iowa Real Estate Commission and once you complete them you are eligible to sit for the Iowa Salesperson Licensing Exam.

Agent Real Estate Schools gives a window of 12 months from the start date of your courses, (as required by Iowa state) to finish the required 60 hours. 

The required courses within the 60 hours include:  

  • Real estate law 
  • Types of interest and ownership in real estate 
  • Home ownership 
  • Legal descriptions 
  • Titles 
  • Liens 
  • Taxes 
  • Encumbrances 
  • Listing advertising 
  • Appraisal 
  • Finance 
  • Closings 
  • Professional code of ethics. 


In addition to this, you are required to take and complete the three required 12-hour classroom licensing courses. 

The required courses within the 12 hours include:  

  • 12 hours of a Buying Practices courses 
  • 12 hours of a Listing Practices course 
  • 12 hours of a Developing Professionalism and Ethical Practices course 


The courses may be obtained through state certified real estate schools, approved college and universities and education completed at other licensing jurisdiction. Completion of all the education must be less than 1 year old at the time the Commission receives your completed application. 

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

Becoming a real estate agent in Iowa requires time and money but is very rewarding. An aspiring agent will spend approximately $1000. 
How these costs break down:  

  • Pre-licensing exam coursework can run up to $599.  
  • $125 license origination fee. 
  • $51 fingerprint/background check fee. 
  • $95 exam fee (for state exam). 

Real Estate License Reciprocity 

Yes, Iowa does offer reciprocity with select states.

  • They include: 
  • Arkansas 
  • Georgia 
  • Louisiana 
  • Massachusetts 
  • Minnesota 
  • Mississippi 
  • North Dakota 

Out-of-state residents are required to: 

  • You must provide a state and national criminal history background check through the Iowa Real Estate Commission. 
  • You must obtain an original certificate of license history. The certificate of license history must be less than 6 months old and must include the method of licensure (exam, reciprocity, other, etc.) and what real estate company holds your license. 
  • You must provide proof of current Error & Omission insurance for Iowa. 

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

Iowa partners with PSI to administer both the state and national portions of the salesperson licensing examination. You can register for the exam by visiting or calling 1-800-733-9267.Visit Iowa Candidate Bulletin to search for an exam center near you. To be eligible for the exam, you must have already completed the 60-hour pre-license course. You must have completed the course less than 12 months before taking and passing the salesperson licensing examination and less than 12 months from submitting your completed application to the Commission. Exam results are valid until the last working day of the sixth month following the exam pass date. 
Note: The exam fee is paid directly to PSI and not to the commission 

How Do I Submit My Fingerprints for The Background Check?

You are required by Iowa law as real estate license applicants to complete a criminal background check. You will need to create a My Iowa PLB account on the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau website. You’ll need to submit a request for a fingerprint packet electronically through the application named “General – Background Packet Request” The average time it takes for processing once the Commission has received the fingerprint card, waiver form, and fee is 3-6 weeks. Criminal history backgrounds are valid for 210 calendar days. 

How Do I Take the Iowa Real Estate Licensing Exam?

The Iowa state real estate licensing exam is divided into two portions: 

  • The National Portion which has 80 questions in total and has passing score of 56. You must complete this portion in 2 hours. 
  • The State Portion which has 40 questions in total and a passing score of 26. You must complete this portion in 1 hour. 


Salesperson licensing exams in Iowa are administered by PSI exams at Prior to taking the exam you must have already completed the 60-hour pre-license course and you must have completed the course less than 12 months before taking and passing the salesperson licensing examination. 

How Do I Submit My Iowa Real Estate License Application?

You can submit your application license application by creating an account with My Iowa PLB.  Applicants must apply for licensure within twelve (12) months of completing the 60-hour pre-licensing course, salesperson licensing exam, and 36 hours of classroom courses. In addition to the application, you’re required to include the following with your application: 

  • Certificate of completion for your 60-hour pre-licensing course and all three 12- hour courses dated within the last 12 months 
  • Passing score report for the exam dated within the prior 6 months 
  • Proof of Errors & Omissions Insurance in Iowa 
  • Information of sponsoring broker 
  • Proof of completing the criminal background check 

Iowa Real Estate License Renewal  

Iowa real estate licenses are good for three years, and the state will notify you within 60 days of your renewal. Renewal fees will run you $125. 

Does Iowa Require Post-Licensing Education?  

Iowa real estate agents who are renewing their licenses or filing for a late renewal must complete 36 hours of approved continuing education coursework.  

The required courses within the 36 hours include:

  • 12 hours Developing Professionalism and Ethical Practices 
  • 12 hours Buying Practices 
  • 12 hours Listing Practices 

Special Considerations

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. 
Iowa Real Estate Commission 
Phone: 515-725-9022 
Fax: 515-725-9032 
Address: 200 East Grand Ave. Ste 350 Des Moines, IA 50309