Sure, renewing your California real estate license isn’t something you need to think about on a regular basis. But because the renewal process requires quite a few continuing education hours, it’s worth at least keeping at the back of your mind. That way, even if you miss your courtesy renewal reminder letter from the Department of Real Estate (DRE), you’ll still have no trouble keeping your sales agent or broker license current.
In this guide, we give you everything you need to know to make it easy to finish your continuing education hours and renew your California real estate license.
In the state of California, real estate licenses are good for four years. Check the date on your license to see if you’re up for renewal any time soon. If so, start the renewal process. If not, it’s a good idea to set a calendar reminder for yourself to start the renewal process a few months before your expiration date so you don’t forget down the road.
Theoretically, the DRE is supposed to send you a renewal notice 60 days before your license expires. But, on their website, they explicitly say, “The reminder letter is sent as a courtesy only and non-receipt of the letter does not relieve the licensee from the responsibility of renewing the license.”
In other words, renewal before your expiration date is up to you. The actual renewal is fairly straightforward and you can knock it out quickly, but you need to take another step before you can renew. That is, you need to finish your required continuing education hours.
For both sales agents and brokers, you need to finish 45 continuing education hours per renewal period. The courses that make up those hours differ based on whether you’re an agent or broker and whether it’s your first or subsequent time renewing, so make sure you choose a continuing education course option that meets your specific requirements.
Either way, you break it down, 45 hours is a significant chunk of time, so let’s look at the simplest way to knock those hours out.
For your hours to count toward renewal, you need to take them from a DRE-approved provider. You can choose to go to a classroom and dedicate more than a full workweek to sitting in a specific place at a specific time. Or you can take an easier path.
The DRE has approved certain education providers to offer the California real estate continuing education hours you need online. Choose a DRE-approved online continuing education provider and you can chip away at your hours whenever it’s convenient for you. Knock an hour out between showings, while you’re waiting for dinner to cook, or before you start the rest of your workday. When you take your continuing education online, you can find a time when your schedule allows you to make progress toward the 45 required hours.
Once you finish your continuing education hours, you’re ready to renew your California real estate license. Log into the eLicensing system, mark down the date you completed your 45 hours, and pay the applicable fee ($245 for sales agents and $300 for brokers). Complete all these to-dos before your license expires so you can continue to legally buy and sell real estate in the Golden State.