Requirements to Apply for a Real Estate Brokers License

To obtain a real estate broker license, you must first qualify for and pass a written examination. Those who pass the examination are provided a license application which must be submitted to and approved by the DRE.


  • Age: You must be 18 years of age or older to be issued a license.
  • Residence: If you are not a California resident, see Out-of-State Applicants.
  • Honesty: Applicants must be honest and truthful. Conviction of a crime may result in the denial of a license.
  • Experience: Either a minimum of two years full-time licensed salesperson experience within the last five years, or two years of unlicensed equivalent experience, or a four-year degree with a major/minor in real estate is required. For further information, see Documenting Experience Requirements for the Broker Examination.


Applicants for a real estate broker license examination must have successfully completed the following eight statutorily required college-level courses:

  1. Real Estate Practice; and
  2. Legal Aspects of Real Estate; and
  3. Real Estate Finance; and
  4. Real Estate Appraisal; and
  5. Real Estate Economics or Accounting*; and
  6. Three courses from the following list:
    • Real Estate Principles
    • Business Law
    • Property Management
    • Escrow
    • Real Estate Office Administration
    • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
    • Advanced Legal Aspects of Real Estate
    • Advanced Real Estate Finance
    • Advanced Real Estate Appraisal
    • Computer Applications in Real Estate*
    • Common Interest Developments
    • Real Estate Investments*

*Note: If both Real Estate Economics and Accounting are taken, only two courses from the above group are required. The Real Estate Investment course is an opportunity for those students interested in the investment of multi-family and commercial properties but is not a required course for the salesperson's or broker's license.


  • Continuing education offerings do not satisfy the college-level course requirements for this examination.
  • Members of the California State Bar are statutorily exempt from the college-level course requirements. Evidence of admission to practice Law in California must be furnished, such as a photocopy of both sides of a California State Bar membership card. However, members of the California State Bar would still need to demonstrate that they have satisfied the two years full-time licensed salesperson experience within the last five years requirement or have at least two years real estate related experience within the last five years while practicing law in California. Members of the State Bar of California using equivalent experience should submit a RE 227 Equivalent Experience Verification form outlying this experience along with their broker exam or broker exam/license  combination application.
  • Courses must be three semester-units or four quarter-units at the college level. Courses must be completed prior to being scheduled for an examination. Copies of official transcripts are generally acceptable evidence of  completed courses. Transcripts of other courses, submitted as equivalent course of study in lieu of the statutory courses, must be accompanied by an official course or catalog description in order to be evaluated.
  • Broker qualification courses must be completed at an institution of higher learning accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or by a comparable regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, or by a private real estate school which has had its courses approved by the California Real Estate Commissioner. Each course approved by the Department of Real Estate is a minimum of 45 hours in length.
  • Courses completed through foreign institutions of higher learning must be evaluated by a foreign credential’s evaluation service approved by the Department of Real Estate. See Examination Applicant Foreign Education Information (RE 223).
  • Applicants who have completed the eight college-level courses statutorily required for the broker examination and license are eligible to take the salesperson examination without providing further evidence of education or  experience.