Suppose you are a realtor in one state and wondering how to move your business to another state and set up shop in the other form. Will your license be suitable in another state, or do you need to follow steps to do business in the other state.
To earn a license in one state and do business in another refers to real estate portability and reciprocity. The different states across the United States offer different levels of real estate portability and reciprocity.
Real estate reciprocity refers to the use of a license in one state that was earned in another. It is rather challenging to navigate real estate reciprocity on your own as it varies a lot between states. There are five classifications of real estate reciprocity that are necessary to understand.
Real estate portability refers to knowing where you can take your real estate and where you cannot go beyond where you have registered your business. Real estate portability is classified into three categories.
Here is a detailed look at real estate reciprocity and portability in America.
Real Estate License Reciprocity
Real estate license reciprocity is always on the agreement between states. To qualify to practice in a state with a reciprocal agreement with the state you are licensed in, you have to pass the real estate exams portion of the condition you want to practice in. For instance, if you’re going to practice in Alabama and are in any other USA state.
In other instances, such as if you want to practice in Arizona from any other USA state, you have to retake the entire real estate exam.
There are the five classifications of real estate reciprocity outlined below.
- Full License Reciprocity
Where states have this type of reciprocity, you do not have to start all over again but only the new state’s exams. Five states have full license reciprocity. These are,
Two conditions must be met to qualify for full license reciprocity in these states,
- It would help if you were licensed in the state you are in before your move.
- It would help if you were known for good ethics in the state you are in. There must be no concerns about your business practices in the state you currently practice in.
No License ReciprocityIn states with this type of reciprocity, you have to retake all your real estate exams. Seventeen states offer this kind of reciprocity.
- New Jersey
- South Dakota
- New Mexico
- Partial License Reciprocity
These states include only specific states in their reciprocity agreement. Suppose the state you are resident in is included in partial license reciprocity. In that case, it means you will need to pass your new state’s portion of the real estate education and examination to practice. If you are an estate agent from a state without a partial agreement with your home state, you have a different set of requirements to practice in the new state. For instance, Ohio holds a limited reciprocity agreement with eight other states, which include Oklahoma.
- Mutual Real Estate Reciprocity
This agreement is similar to partial reciprocity in that only specific states’ agents can transfer their licenses to their target state after passing the new state’s real estate exams. The two states’ agents participating in the mutual real estate reciprocity can transfer their licenses to the target state after successful completion.
For example, Colorado and Connecticut have a mutual real estate reciprocity agreement. Agents can move their license to the other state and begin practicing after passing the state-specific part of the real estate exam.
- Limited Real Estate Reciprocity
This agreement is similar to mutual real estate reciprocity, but the reciprocity is not two-way. Only residents from one state can transfer their real estate license to the other state after completing the state-specific portion of the real estate agreement. For example, Mississippi and Louisiana have a limited real estate reciprocity agreement. Agents from Mississippi can transfer their license to Louisiana, but those from Louisiana cannot move their license to Mississippi.
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Real Estate License Portability
Real estate license portability lets you know where you can or cannot practice real estate outside of the state in which you are licensed. There are three classifications of real estate portability defined as below.
- Cooperative State
When one state has a cooperative agreement with another state, you can take your real estate business to the other state. To operate under this license, however, and you are not resident in the other state, you need to have a co-brokerage agreement with an agent in the target market.
- Physical State Location
States that have this agreement allow agents from the other state to do real estate transactions only online as they cannot enter the other state to transact business physically. The agent cannot enter the other state to do business but must remain in the home state and transact online.
- Turf State
Where turf state portability laws are applied, real estate agents from the other cannot practice in the state. Six states in the United States have portability laws the United States. These are the following, Missouri, Kentucky, Nebraska, Utah, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Real Estate Reciprocity and Portability by State
Alabama has full reciprocity with all other states in the USA as long as the realtor fulfills the above two conditions,
- A six-hour class in real estate law in Alabama.
- Pass the Alabama state law section of the real estate law.
- Submit the evidence – Certificate of Licensure- that you hold a license in another state as you apply for a permit in the new state. The certification must have been issued within 120 days of receipt of the reciprocal license application.
The state applies portability cooperative laws.
Here is where you can go for further help.
- Alabama Reciprocal Real Estate License
- Become a Licensed Real Estate Professional in Alabama
- How To Get A Real Estate License In Alabama
Portability laws applicable in Alaska are in the physical location classification. The state has reciprocity with other states if the realtor has held the license in the other state for more than one year.
Follow the steps to licensure by studying for and passing the state’s portion of the real estate exam and following the other steps to getting a real estate license.
For more info on obtaining a real estate license in Alaska, visit the following,
Arizona License Reciprocity and Portability
Real estate portability in this state is cooperative with limitations.
Arizona has full real estate reciprocity with all other states.
- To seek licensure in Arizona, you must be an Arizona resident licensed, living and operating in another state where you are licensed to operate.
- Hold a license in another state held for at least one year.
- Pass the real estate exam in another state after going through the education there.
- If you have had a license revoked or temporarily suspended in the other state, or if any discipline has been imposed by any other authority that regulates real estate anywhere, you get disqualified. It would be best if you were without any pending complaints, investigations, and allegations.
For more information, check out the following,
Arkansas License Reciprocity and Portability
The real estate portability laws in the state are physical location. The state has real estate license reciprocity laws that are part with the following states,
Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia
To get a real estate license reciprocity in Arkansas, follow the steps below so that you will sit only the Arkansas portion of the real estate examination,
- That you have passed a portion (general, multi-state, or uniform part) of a real estate license exam in another state which the Arkansas Real Estate Commission determines meets acceptable standards of real estate testing.
- The exam you passed in the other state required a grade of at least 70%, which is no lower than needed for the general part of the Arkansas examination.
- When taking the exam in Arkansas, you already have a license in the other state.
For more information on getting a real estate license in Arkansas, visit here Arkansas Real Estate Commission website.
California License Portability and Reciprocity
Portability laws applied in California are physical location. The state offers no reciprocity with other states.
To qualify to practice real estate in California, you must pass a written exam and other stated requirements.
For further information, visit the following links.
- California Real Estate Commission Official Website
- California Real Estate Commission Out-of-State Applicants
Colorado License Portability and Reciprocity
The portability laws applied here are cooperative, and reciprocity is complete for all states.
To ensure license portability in Colorado, here is what is necessary,
- You must have a license in another state in an active/inactive state for at least two years. If the preceding is fulfilled, you will not need to undergo any more learning.
- You can pass the Colorado state-specific portion of the Real Estate Exam.
- Based on your experience, you will have you get salesperson or broker credentials. Under two years of operational experience, you get the Associate Broker, F.A. credentials.
- To qualify for an employment level where you can hire, you need to sit for a 24-hour broker administration course and have Employing Broker affidavit form.
- If the Broker has two or more years of operational experience, they qualify for an independent level or employing level brokerage qualifications.
For more info, visit the Colorado Division of Real Estate’s website.
Connecticut License Portability and Reciprocity
The portability laws applicable in Connecticut are cooperative
Reciprocity is mutual
The state has mutual reciprocity agreements with the following states.
Colorado, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, New York, Rhode Island, and Oklahoma.
To get a real estate reciprocity license in Connecticut, you need to meet the following requirements,
- Have a real estate license in a reciprocal state that is in good standing. If there are unresolved complaints and disciplinary action against you, you become ineligible for reciprocity.
- Pass a written real estate licensing test in the state in which you are approved.
- Pay up the license fees in the state in which you are resident.
- You will need to pass the state-specific part of the C.T. Real Estate Licensing Examination by PSI and pay to get your license.
Applicants from Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and applicants from other reciprocal states who have not taken a written examination must take the PSI administered Connecticut Real Estate Examination.
You cannot take the real estate licensing examination online in Connecticut.
For more information, visit the following links,
the state of Connecticut’s website
Delaware License Portability and Reciprocity
Reciprocity: All states
Portability: Physical Location
For real estate reciprocity in Delaware, submit one of the following documents to the Division of Professional Regulation,
- A copy of the certificate received after completing the law part of the Salesperson’s Pre-Licensing course in Delaware.
- If the above is not available, a copy of the Pre-Licensing Salesperson’s course certificate of no less than 99 hours received in another jurisdiction.
- A certificate showing that you have been licensed to carry out real estate transactions for the past three years, show signed sales and lease transaction form listing 20 sales, or present lease transactions completed in three years of operations.
For more info, visit the following links,
Delaware Real Estate Commission’s website.
D.C. License Portability and Reciprocity
Portability laws applied are physical location
Reciprocity is full with all states
Steps to real estate portability in the District of Columbia
- To qualify for this qualification, broker applicants must meet DC’s 135 hours requirements plus submit evidence of two years in a row of active sales service before making any application.
- D.C. Real Estate Commission has a three-hour Fair Housing Course that you must complete.
- Score at least 75% in D.C.’s portion of the Real Estate Broker’s exam.
- Apply to the D.C. Commission for a license within six months of passing the real estate exam and include the license certification’s original letter from your state. Be sure to pay your fees.
- To get this license, ensure you meet or exceed the equivalent of the District’s Pre-Licensing education requirements in your state.
- Complete the Fair Housing Course that D.C offers. Real Estate Commission.
- Earn a minimum of 75% in D.C.’s part of the Salesperson exam.
- Submit your original letter of license certification from your state. The certificate must have been issued within 90 days and contain an official seal. License copies and pocket cards are not acceptable.
For more info, visit the following,
Florida License Portability and Reciprocity
Reciprocity is partial with the following,
Illinois, Alabama, Connecticut, Arkansas, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Georgia, and Mississippi.
Here are the steps to real estate license reciprocity in Florida
- You must have graduated from high school.
- Be resident out of state at the time of the application.
- Have qualified for a real estate license in the other state. Your license must be active, valid, recent, in good standing, and issued by the real estate agency in the other state you are in.
- You must take the real estate exam in Florida and pass the state-specific portion.
- Complete 60 hours Post-Licensing for Brokers and 45 hours Post-Licensing for Sales Associates.
For further help,
- Florida Department of Real Estate Official Website
- Florida Real Estate Licensing Reciprocity Article
Georgia License Reciprocity and Portability
The portability laws in this state are cooperative,
Reciprocity is full, with all states.
To get real estate reciprocity in Georgia, here are steps to follow,
- You need to possess an active license in another state.
- You will need to have passed an examination in the other state to acquire your license, and it must not have expired or lapsed.
- Carefully read and complete the real estate reciprocal application and carefully attach all required documents. Details of the exams in the Georgia Candidate Handbook.
For more info, visit the following sites,
Hawaii License Portability and Reciprocity
The portability laws in Hawaii are those of Physical location
The state has no reciprocity with other states in the USA.
The portability laws applied in Idaho are physical locations with particular circumstances.
Idaho has no reciprocity laws with other states.
If you have a license in another state, you must pass the Idaho state-specific portion of the national real estate exam. The state waives broker experience requirements and pre-license education requirements.
Illinois License Portability and Reciprocity
Portability laws in the state are physical location.
Reciprocity differs from state to state and depends on requirements.
Reciprocity is with Connecticut, Indiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, and Georgia.
Here are the steps to real estate reciprocity,
- You must have passed the real estate exam in the state you are resident in.
- Take and pass the Illinois state-specific part of the real estate exam.
- Get a sponsor who needs to have an active broker account and a managing broker license in the state of Illinois. Self-sponsorship is possible if you’re a managing broker.
- To get a Managing Broker License, your broker license must be active in the two years preceding your application.
- If all the above qualifications are not met, you must take the National exam.
- Illinois Real Estate License Reciprocity
- Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s
Indiana License Portability and Reciprocity
Portability is Cooperative
Reciprocity is none with any of the other states. You may get license reciprocity if your state has similar requirements with Indiana. Once you are approved for reciprocity, you will be authorized to sit for the state law portion of the Indiana state. If reciprocity fails, you can retake the entire real estate exam and apply.
- Go here for more info, Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.
Iowa License Portability and Reciprocity
The portability laws applied here are physical location
The state has mutual reciprocity rules with other states. The reciprocal agreement rules are with the following states,
Minnesota, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and North Dakota.
Here are steps to real estate reciprocity in Iowa,
- Take an exam in the state you are resident in.
- Present to Iowa the certificate of your license history.
- Have a clean criminal history background.
For a non-reciprocal state,
The National examination can be waived if you apply, but you must sit the state-specific portion of the exam.
- For further information, visit the following link, Iowa PLB Reciprocity Licensing.
Kansas License Portability and Reciprocity
Portability is cooperative.
Reciprocity is none
The state does not offer reciprocity agreements with other states but may waive all exam requirements because they honor the experience.
Here are steps that you can take to get a real estate license in Kansas,
If you want to be a salesperson, you need to.
- Pass the state-specific portion of the real estate exam.
- You are waived from passing both the real estate exam and Kansas’ 30-hr. Pre-Licensing course if you hold a salesperson real estate license in another state. For this requirement to hold, you must pass an exam the Commission deems an equivalent.
For a broker,
- Holding a broker license in another state enables you to be exempted from the pre-licensing course and the national real estate exam. The Kansas Commission must deem the pre-licensing study and exams completed in another state equivalent requirement.
- If you have a broker license in another state, you must complete a 4-hour Kansas Law Course.
- You must pass the Kansas part of the real estate national exam filed with KREC. As a commercial broker, though, you can cooperate with a Kansas broker who does not have a Kansas license by signing a written agreement.
- The experience that can qualify you is having a salesperson license in Kansas or a broker or other license in any other state.
- Another experience that can qualify you is having engaged in activities for at least two years within the last five years while in Kansas that could qualify you for a license.
Experience in some related business or real estate, or a combination of good experience and education, is acceptable to the Commission if the Commission deems such qualification enough to qualify an applicant as a Broker or Salesperson. The Commission only considers experience as a licensed salesperson or Broker acquired within the last five years preceding the application.
Visit the link below to obtain more information.
Kentucky License Portability and Reciprocity
The portability laws applied here are turf state.
The agreement is with Ohio, West Virginia, or Tennessee.
Steps to reciprocity in Kentucky if you are in Ohio are as follows,
To get a salesperson license, follow the following steps,
- Be sure to possess an Ohio Salesperson License in the one year preceding your application.
- Have a Principal Broker with a Kentucky Broker License to affiliate your office with.
- Submit your fingerprints for a criminal national records search.
- Complete a 40-hour reciprocal license law course.
- Complete a 48-hour post-licensing course within the first two years of acquiring your license. Adhere to all other licensing requirements to retain your license.
- Have an active Ohio Broker License in the two years preceding the time you make your application.
- Virtual offices and post office boxes are unacceptable, and you must have a physical office in Kentucky to carry out business as a Principal Broker. You will also require an escrow account at a bank in Kentucky.
- Any Principal Broker you get affiliated with must be licensed in Kentucky.
- Submit your fingerprints to check your criminal records at a national level before sitting the reciprocal license exam after completing a 40-hour law course.
- Complete all annual continuing education after receiving your license and fulfill all other requirements.
If you are from Tennessee, here is what is required of you to get a reciprocal license in Kentucky.
- Have a Tennessee Associate Broker License that has been active at least in the one year preceding your application.
- Submit fingerprints for a criminal records check and study for 40 hours for a reciprocal license law course before sitting the reciprocal exam.
- Adhere to all Kentucky licensing requirements.
- Have a Tennessee Broker License active for three years before reciprocal application.
- Submit fingerprints, complete a 40-hour licensing course before sitting the exam.
If you are from West Virginia, here are the steps to genuine license reciprocity.
For a salesperson’s license,
- Have a West Virginia broker license active for a year before you make your application.
- Get a Principal broker in Kentucky with a permit with whom to affiliate your Kentucky license.
- Submit fingerprints for a search of national records, complete a 40-hour licensing course before scheduling exams.
- Complete annual continuing education and adhere to all Kentucky licensing requirements after receiving your license.
- Have a designated or West Virginia Principal Broker license in one year preceding your application.
- Only affiliate with a Principal broker licensed in Kentucky if you wish to.
- Post office boxes and virtual offices are unacceptable, and you must have a physical office and an escrow bank account with a Kentucky-located bank.
- Submit fingerprints to search national records, complete a 40-hour reciprocal law license course before scheduling exams.
- Complete annual continuing education in Kentucky and other post-licensing requirements after you get your license.
For further info, visit the following link.
- Kentucky Real Estate Commission License Recognition Information
- Kentucky Real Estate Commission Official Website
Portability laws applied are cooperative
Reciprocity agreements is partial with the following states, Arkansas, Alabama, Colorado, Oklahoma, Georgia, Mississippi, Iowa, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania.
To obtain a reciprocal license in Louisiana, similar to the one you have in your current state, you must submit the license you already have.
For more information on getting a reciprocal license, visit the following links,
- Louisiana Real Estate Commission Reciprocal License Information
- Louisiana Real Estate Commission Official Website
Portability is physical location
Reciprocity is none
Maine has no reciprocal laws with any state, but you can use your skills and experience to get ahead in the licensing by going through the following steps,
- Pass the Maine real estate law exam.
- Hold a license in your other state similar to the one you hold in your current state.
- Present a licensure certificate less than thirty days old from each state in which you now hold or have held a real estate license.
- Submit a duly completed application for a license that includes a certificate of Licensure from the state you operate in.
- Pay the required fees.
- Maine Real Estate Commission Reciprocal License Information
- Maine Real Estate Commission Official Website
Portability is cooperative
Reciprocity is partial with Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.
Here are the steps to real estate reciprocity in Maryland.
- It would help if you were licensed in a state with a reciprocal agreement with Maryland. The license must be active. If you are licensed in Pennsylvania, you are not required to sit any exams and are exempt from continuing education requirements. If you are from Oklahoma, you must pass the Maryland portion of the exam but are excused from continuing education requirements.
- Submit a complete and total certified history when you make your application.
- Have a current and active license in a reciprocal state.
- A Maryland license is necessary if you are a broker. Any Salesperson and Associate Broker may apply. An Associate Broker and Salesperson must submit a letter from the sponsoring Broker with the application. The Broker’s principal place of business must not be in Maryland.
- Both the license from your home state must remain active to avoid voiding the license from Maryland.
- Maryland gives you a license similar in category to that acquired from your home state.
- You will not always get your license, but you must pay your fee manually when you apply to improve your chances of getting it. You may reapply for your license in two years.
- If you decide to move your business to Maryland, you may need to reapply for your license.
- Maryland Real Estate Commission Reciprocal License Information
- Maryland Real Estate Commission Official Website
Portability is physical location.
Reciprocity is partial.
Reciprocity is with the following states.
Rhode Island, Connecticut, Nebraska, West Virginia, Iowa, Mississippi, Tennessee, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Mexico
If you are a broker from New York licensed for two years or a Salesperson & Brokers licensed for two years from Oklahoma, you qualify for reciprocity.
Here are steps you should follow to get a reciprocal license in Massachusetts:
- The board considers applicants from states with mutual reciprocity and laws similar to those practiced in Massachusetts.
- Applications and fees to get the Massachusetts real estate license are all submitted and made online.
- Broker applicants from Maine and New Hampshire can request exam waivers.
Go here for more info.
- Massachusetts ePLACE Portal Real Estate Official Website
- Massachusetts Real Estate Reciprocal License Information
Portability laws applied are physical location with special circumstances.
Real estate license reciprocity applied is none.
You can follow the following steps to gain real estate reciprocity in Michigan.
You mainly need to pass the state-specific portion of the real estate exam to get reciprocity in Michigan.
Here are steps to reciprocity in Michigan.
Portability laws in Minnesota are Physical location.
Reciprocity laws are partial.
Reciprocity is with the following states, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Iowa.
Here are steps to real estate reciprocity in Minnesota non-residents from a reciprocal state.
- As a non-resident, get a Minnesota licensed primary broker to submit your salesperson license application.
- Pay a $130 license fee and email a letter of certification less than 90 days old proving that you currently have a license in a reciprocal state.
If you are from Wisconsin,
- Have an active valid Wisconsin license and pass the state part of the real estate exam.
- Pass the 13-hour Wisconsin Pre-Licensing Course.
- As a non-resident, have your Salesperson license application submitted by a Minnesota licensed primary broker.
- Pay the licensing fee and email a letter of certification showing that you are licensed in Wisconsin.
A non-resident in a non-reciprocal state.
- You need to have a license in a non-reciprocal state which is active, and you must complete your Pre-Licensing exam.
- You must pass the state portion of the real estate salesperson exam.
- As a non-resident, get a Minnesota-based broker to submit your Salesperson license application.
- Submit your letter of certification that shows you are licensed as a salesperson from a non-reciprocal state.
Go here for more info,
The portability laws applied in this state are cooperative.
The state has no reciprocity laws with other states but does recognize experience if certain conditions are fulfilled. Here are the conditions that must be fulfilled,
- If you have a license in any other state, you could use the education and license you got from another state if the other state has approved both. Your Pre-Licensing credits and a reciprocal agreement are in force between your state and the state of Mississippi.
- If you have an active license from another state, you may not need to sit another exam if there is a reciprocal license for a license agreement with the other state.
Visit the following links for more info,
- Mississippi Real Estate Commission Reciprocal Broker License
- Mississippi Real Estate Commission Reciprocal Salesperson License
The portability laws applied in Missouri are turf state
Reciprocity is full of all other states.
Real estate reciprocity applicant must be 18 years and must have done a fingerprints search at an approved vendor.
If you have an active real estate license in another state, here is what you need to do.
- Pass the Missouri portion of the real estate exam.
- Sit the 24 hours Missouri Real Estate Practice Course ( MREPC) whether you choose to do it before or after.
- Apply and attach a current license history from the state within which you are licensed. Send in your license application within six months of the exam completion date.
An attorney with a license seeking to get a Salesperson License could follow the following steps,
- Pass the national real estate exam.
- Submit a current Bar Card with your application within six months of completing your exams.
For more info, visit the following link.
Portability laws applied in the state are Physical location.
Reciprocity is full with all states.
Reciprocity agreements are applied in the following states:
Colorado, Alberta (Canada), Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Tennessee, and Wyoming.
Here are the steps you could take to real estate reciprocity in Montana.
- Submit your application to determine if you have the required education and experience.
- If licensed in Montana, file a certificate of equivalency determination. You will have to complete 60 hours Pre-Licensing instruction from a Board-approved school and instructor and then pass the required examinations after passing equivalency tests.
- You submit your application for the board to determine if you have a license in another state which has licensing standards equivalent to Montana’s requirements. The board may approve to waive all or part of the required Pre-Licensing education.
For more info and details, visit the following link Montana Board of Realty Regulation.