This year, a lot has changed for real estate professionals in the state of Florida and around the world. COVID-19 has transformed the way we’re working and living, so much so that the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) moved deadlines for certain Florida real estate licensee education to the end of 2021.
Those deadline extensions only apply to people seeking a Florida real estate license and those who need to complete post-license education with an end-of-course examination during their first license renewal, though. If you’re a Florida real estate licensee past your first renewal cycle, you still need to stay on top of your continuing education in 2020. And that includes a relatively new requirement to complete a certain number of hours of ethics training.
What, exactly, do you need to do to renew your Florida real estate license in 2020? Use this guide to find out.
Per a recent amendment to a section of the Florida Administrative Code (61J2-3.009, to be precise), after their first renewal cycle, licensed Florida real estate brokers and sales associates still need 14 hours of continuing education in order to renew their licenses. Now, though, some of those 14 hours need to be dedicated to ethics training.
Specifically, your continuing education hours need to break down accordingly:
3 hours on core law
3 hours on business ethics practices
8 hours on specialty (i.e., elective but real estate-focused) education
The above ethics requirement aligns with the mandate laid out by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) that all of their agents receive Code of Ethics training. They recently amended this requirement, extending the renewal cycle for Code of Ethics training from every two years to every three years. As a result, NAR agents don’t need to meet their ethics requirements until December 31, 2021.
That doesn’t let Florida real estate licensees off the hook, though. If your renewal is due this year, you still need to make sure you finish the three hours of required ethics training in time to submit your renewal application to the DBPR.
For a thorough guide to continuing education based on your license type and current renewal cycle, check out this document from the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC).
You need to double-check that you’re taking your continuing education from a provider approved by the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). If you don’t, the hours may not count toward your license renewal. You can see a full list of FREC-approved continuing education providers here.
Fortunately, some of them offer Florida real estate continuing education online. This way, you can complete your hours — including the required ethics training — from the safety of your own home or office.
Once you finish your hours, you can renew online, too. Make sure you pay the required renewal fee within that portal. When you do, you can take all of the necessary steps to keep your Florida real estate license active online. Make sure you stay on top of it this year since the DBPR shows no signs of extending the renewal deadline since everything required is available digitally.