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How to Get a Real Estate License in California



If you've dreamed of a career in real estate and are interested in earning your real estate license, you may be wondering exactly what you need to do in order to pursue your dream. One of the first steps if you want to sell or lease real estate in the state of California is to obtain your California Real Estate Salesperson license.

Here's what you need to know about the process to ensure your success.

Real Estate License Requirements in California

One of the critical steps in getting a real estate license in California is passing the Salesperson license exam. In order to qualify to take the exam, you must meet the following requirements:

Be at least 18 years of age

Show proof that you have completed the minimum of 135 credit hours of required education with a school like ADHI Schools. The credit hours must be a combination of the following:

45 credit hours in Real Estate Principles

45 credit hours in Real Estate Practice

45 credit hours in an additional elective course as approved by the California Department of Real Estate.

Steps to Get Your California Real Estate License

The additional courses can be in any of the following topics:

Real Estate Appraisal

Common Interest Development

Property Management

Computer Applications in Real Estate

Real Estate Finance

Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending

Real Estate Economics


Business Law

Legal Aspects of Real Estate

Real Estate Office Administration

General Accounting


How Do I Take Courses That Will Be Approved In Order To Take The Exam?

Courses taken to qualify for the California real estate salesperson exam must meet the following requirements must be taken through a school with courses approved by the California Real Estate Commissioner like ADHI Schools.

What Proof Should I Provide as Evidence Of Completion Of The Real Estate Educational Requirements?

Official transcripts for the completed courses are sufficient. If you take the coursework through ADHI Schools our certificates will work just fine!

Can I Be Exempt From Meeting The Exam's Educational Requirements?

Pretty much the only way to avoid taking these classes is if you are a member of the California State Bar.

How Much Real Estate Experience Is Required For The Real Estate Salesperson License?

The salesperson license does not have any experience requirements or prerequisites outside of the educational requirements and satisfactory criminal background. You are NOT required to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent in order to apply for the salesperson exam and license.

What Happens Once I Have Met The Educational Requirements For The Exam?

Once you have met the exam's educational requirements, it's time to apply for the actual exam.

You may apply for the salesperson examination by using the Salesperson Exam Application or the Combined Salesperson Examination and License Application. We recommend doing the combo application. The combined application allows you to apply for both the exam and license and pay all applicable fees at the same time and if you have a clear criminal background, your license can be issued immediately!

Once you have submitted your application, you should be prepared to wait around 4-6 weeks for your application to be processed.

Once approved, you will receive an Examination Schedule notice, allowing you to schedule a time for your examination.

California has an eLicensing system that you will use to schedule your examination and check on the status of your exam.

Where Will I Take The Exam?

The real estate exam is currently offered in an electronic format in five cities throughout the state of California, including:


San Diego

Los Angeles and Vicinity



The California Bureau of Real Estate website keeps up to date information on the current locations where the examination is held. You can also get information about available dates and locations for taking the exam prior to submitting your application.

How Long Do I Have To Take The Exam?

You are given 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete the examination and a passing score is 70% or better. The exam is qualifying in nature only, which means that a score is not reported unless you fail the test. If you take one of our crash courses through crashcourseonline.com you should be just fine!

Do I Have To Be A Resident Of The State Of California To Apply For a License?

You may apply for a California Real Estate Salesperson license even if you are not a resident of the state. Out-of-state applicants must meet all California examination requirements and complete the courses with an approved California course provider like ADHI Schools.

California does not currently offer license reciprocity with any other jurisdiction. There is no waiver of California real estate license requirements to take the Real Estate Salesperson exam.

What Happens Once I Pass The Real Estate Exam?

Once you have passed the examination, you will need to submit the Salesperson license application (unless you have previously completed the Combined Examination and License application).

You will be required to be fingerprinted through a live scan fingerprint service provider in the state of California. ADHI Schools offers this Livescan service.

Once you have completed the application along with providing the applicable fees, the Bureau of Real Estate will review your application for approval.

Out-of-state applicants have a few additional steps in applying for a license.

Out-of-state persons must submit a notarized Consent of Service Process form along with their original application.

How Do I Receive My Salesperson License?

Once your license has been approved, a copy will be provided to your sponsoring real estate broker. If you do not currently have a sponsoring broker, you will be mailed a copy of the salesperson license with a non-working status.

ADHI Schools can also help with career placement!

What Does A Califorina Real Estate Salesperson License Allow Me To Do?

A salesperson is able to act on behalf of a broker in selling and renting California real estate. A salesperson may not act as a real estate agent independently. All licensees who have passed the salesperson exam (both California residents and non-residents), must work under the supervision of a California real estate broker in order to receive working status.

Aspiring real estate brokers must work under a responsible broker for a minimum of two years before being eligible to apply for a real estate broker license.

Once you have taken the California Real Estate salesperson license, passed, and received your license, you will be prepared to follow your dreams of pursuing a career in real estate!

If you have any questions about how to get a real estate license in California, please feel free to contact us for more information. Our number is 888-768-5285.


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