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Understanding Maine's Core Course Continuing Education Requirement for Real Estate Licensees

Whether you’re a licensed broker, designated broker, or associate broker in Maine, you probably already know that you need to biennially renew your license with the Real Estate Commission. That means you’re probably also aware that you need 21 hours of continuing education in order to renew. But don’t assume the process runs the same every two years. In April 2021, the Commission instituted new requirements.

Specifically, now you need what they call a “core course” during each renewal cycle. And the kind of course you need depends on your license type. So you can meet the new Maine core course requirement for your continuing education (CE), here’s what you need to know.  

Your core course requirement

Of the 21 CE hours you need, the Commission requires you to direct some toward the right core course for your license type. As of April 1, 2021, that means you need a three-hour core course along with 18 elective hours.

While the courses are named similarly, it’s important to distinguish between core course offerings to make sure you’re taking the right one for your license type. The current commission requirements for core courses are:

  • "Core Course for Designated Brokers 4 - Communication” for designated brokers
  • “Core Course for Brokers and Associate Brokers 4 - Communication” for brokers
  • “Core Course for Brokers and Associate Brokers 4 - Communication” for associate brokers

Basically, these core courses are supposed to ensure you’re strong in communicating with your team and your clients, helping to prevent some of the issues that can arise when things aren’t communicated clearly. 

Here’s the good news. You don’t have to go sit in some Commission-hosted seminar or a stuffy classroom to get your core hours. Instead, you can take them online and on-demand. Brokers and associate brokers, here’s your online core course. Designated brokers, here’s yours

Complying with the core course requirement

Once you finish your core course, your CE provider issues you a certificate of completion. That certificate should include:

  • Something indicating that the course is Commission-approved
  • The Commission-issued course number
  • The course name
  • The date of completion
  • The number of hours your completed
  • A signature from the course sponsor or instructor

You don’t need to submit that certificate to the Commission as part of your renewal process. But hang onto it.

When you go to renew, you’ll make a statement certifying your CE completion. By checking “yes,” indicating that you’ve got the hours done, you’re making an attestation to the Commission.

Being untruthful — or checking “yes” when you’re not entirely sure if you’ve met the CE requirement — can land you in hot water. 

The Commission can select you for an audit at any point. If you get picked, you’ll need to show documentation that you’ve completed your CE or you’ll face sanctions. Always keep your certificates of completion on file for four years to ensure you can manage any audit you face. 

 

Ultimately, the April 2021 core course requirement shouldn’t make your renewal process any harder now that you know what to expect. Just make sure you get your hours done before your renewal deadline and hold onto your certificate of completion.