• Home
  • |
  • Blog
  • |
  • California Real Estate License Requirements – Are You Qualified?

California Real Estate License Requirements – Are You Qualified?

Last updated on April 5, 2021

California Real Estate License Requirements

Quick note! RealEstateLicenseTraining is partnered with the best online real estate schools. When you sign up using our links, we may get a small affiliate commission. Read how we conduct our reviews here

In my Real Estate License Training Journal, I indicated that I’m a total novice to this entire industry and I know essentially nothing. I’m starting from complete scratch. With this in mind, it seems the best place to start is with the most basic question, what are the California Real Estate License requirements? Here’s what I found during my research, which was mostly taken from the California Real Estate Commission. If you’re planning on getting your real estate license in another state, be sure to check out your state’s specific requirements.

California Real Estate Salesperson Requirements

As you are probably aware, the state of California has several different requirements that you must meet in order to obtain your California real estate license. Let’s go over those basic requirements first…

General Requirements To Obtain A Real Estate License In California

For starters, you must meet the minimum age requirement to obtain a real estate license in California. Currently, the minimum age to do that is 18 years old. You must also have a high school diploma in order to get your real estate license in California. And finally, you also need to prove a legal presence in the United States. If you happen to be obtaining a California real estate license but live in another state, you can check out those requirements here.

One thing many aspiring real estate professionals forget is that you are being placed into a position that demands honesty and truthfulness. Because of this, certain criminal convictions could result in you being denied a license. Some of those criminal convictions include the following:

If you have been convicted with any of the above crimes, now would be a good time to speak with an attorney before moving forward. Failure to disclose past criminal violations is ground for a denial of a license.

Real Estate License Training & Education Requirements

Unlike other professions, you are not able to self-study and take your real estate license exam. Instead, you must successfully complete three college level courses with 135 hours of training in order to even qualify for the real estate license exam. The courses you must complete includes…

Real Estate Principles – This 45 hour course takes you from he basics, such as how to obtain a real estate license in California, to specific terminology and a general overview of how the real estate industry works.

Real Estate Practice – This is also a 45 hour course that gets into more specifics such as working with buyers, sellers, taxation, financing, and more.

One 45 Hour Real Estate Elective Course – Whoever you sign up with to take your California real estate license training, you will be offered at least one if not multiple elective courses to choose from. You must take and complete at least one certified elective of your choosing.

Check out our top-rated online real estate schools in California here

California Real Estate License Exam Requirements

Once you have completed your required 135 hours of real estate license training in California, either online or in a classroom, you must then complete the written examination. The salesperson exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and must be completed in 3 hours and 15 minutes. These exams are generally given in electronic multiple choice format. If you pass, you will receive a real estate license application that you will need to submit and have approved by the California Bureau of Real Estate (BRE).

Once you have received your real estate license, you will need to be supervised by a licensed real estate broker in order to perform any real estate acts. If you do not have an employing broker, you may not perform real estate acts requiring a real estate license.

Criminal History Requirements To Obtain A California real estate license

The most common disqualifying convictions are listed below; however, this list is not all-inclusive:

  • Assault with intent to commit rape
  • Bribing public officer or employee
  • Burglary
  • Conviction that requires registration pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code
  • Criminal conspiracy
  • Embezzlement
  • Extortion
  • Filing a false police or fire report
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Grand theft
  • Murder
  • Obtaining money by false pretenses
  • Perjury
  • Sexually related conduct affecting a person who is an observer or non consenting participant
  • Perjury
  • Petty theft
  • Possession of drugs for sale or transport
  • Soliciting a lewd act from a minor or non consenting adult.
  • Tax evasion

If you have been convicted of a felony, please reference this article on your options.

Denial of a license may be recommended for the following reasons:

  • Failure to disclose pending criminal charges, criminal convictions, or disciplinary action taken against a business, professional license, certificate, or permit by an agency in California, another state, or by the Federal government.
  • Conviction of a felony and the felony is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a real estate licensee.
  • Conviction of a misdemeanor and the conviction is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a real estate licensee.
  • Administrative action was taken against a business, professional license, certificate, or permit by an agency in California, another state, or by the Federal government.
  • A determination that the facts of a particular case warrant denial, such as the nature or severity of the act or the presence of aggravating factors.

A Few Final Thoughts

Those are the basic California real estate license requirements that you need to know about, but there are more requirements than just that. I am fully prepared for this to be a huge challenge and I can accept the red tape, but as I stated, I have never been one to learn things quickly nor have I ever been a good test taker. I know that this will take a lot of work but I am ready to commit before dropping hundreds of dollars on an online course. Are you ready to commit? Let’s do this together!

Page last updated on June 3rd, 2020

Compare Real Estate Schools:


Additional real estate license guides you might like

January 16, 2024

Instead of just giving you the best California online real estate school, I’m going to

Best California Online Real Estate School – Top 8 Reviews

September 28, 2023

At first, becoming a mortgage loan officer might seem overwhelming.  How do you even begin?

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Hawaii

September 28, 2023

So you want to become a mortgage loan officer in Vermont… But don’t know how

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) in Vermont