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Do I Need Continuing Education Hours to Renew My New York Real Estate License?

Change is coming for New York real estate licensees. While long-standing licensed real estate salespeople have historically been exempt from continuing education requirements, a new amendment changes course requirements. And the new changes don’t just apply to those who have enjoyed a continuing education exemption, either.

To help you stay in the know and stay on top of the to-dos to maintain your New York real estate license, let’s review the current and upcoming continuing educations requirements. 

Continuing education requirements for licensed New York real estate salespeople

While many New York real estate licensees have long been required to take 22.5 hours of continuing education per renewal period, recent legislation amended that requirement, specifying what those hours need to include. 

Under the new amendment, your continuing education hours need to feature:

  • 2.5 hours on ethical business practices

  • 1 hour on “recent legal matters governing the practice of real estate brokers and salespersons in New York which may include statutes, laws, regulations, rules, codes, department of state opinions and decisions, and court decisions”

These new topic-specific requirements don’t go into effect until July 1, 2021. You have over a year to find courses that address ethical business practices and recent legal matters. Still, though, it can be helpful to start thinking about those new specifications now to minimize stress as that amendment’s effective date approaches. 

Additionally, you need to make sure your hours cover:

  • 1 hour on the law of agency (unless it’s your first renewal, in which case you need two hours on this topic)

  • 3 hours on fair housing

To find courses that meet the relevant requirements for your license, you can use the eAccessNY Occupational Licensing Management System. Choose “Search by City” to find courses near you. Alternatively, you can take your hours online if you’d prefer to take your hours at your own pace, completing them when it’s convenient for you.  

Once you finish your required hours, you can use that eAccessNY system to complete your renewal. If you have any questions about the process, turn to the state’s “Renew My License” FAQs

No more exemption for 15-year 

At this time, if you’re a full-time real estate broker and you’ve held your license for 15 consecutive years, you may be exempt from continuing education requirements. But don’t get too comfortable. That exemption is about to disappear.

Thanks to the aforementioned recent amendment, starting July 1, 2021, all real estate brokers will need to complete 22.5 hours of continuing education. The only exception is attorneys admitted to the New York State Bar. 

While you have more than a year to get on top of that requirement, it can pay to get a head start. Start chipping away at your hours now by taking them online and you won’t have to stress as this new requirement kicks in. 

All told, it’s safe to assume that if you’re a New York real estate licensee, you’re going to need to take continuing education in order to renew your license. Make sure you take the hours you need on the required topics so this to-do doesn’t stand in the way of your license renewal.