As with many professions, a realtor needs a license to practice real estate in their state. To have an active real estate license you need to be up-to-date on training and your fees must be paid on time – no matter how often you’re actually using your license. If you’ve noticed that you don’t have time to be a realtor anymore or that it doesn’t make sense to maintain an active real estate license, you might want to consider making your real estate license inactive.
How to Deactivate Your Real Estate License
The process of deactivating your real estate license is dependent on the state you practice in, so, unfortunately, we can’t share a one-size-fits-all rule. However, here are the regulations for some states with the highest populations.
The Lone Star State has some of the easiest ways to deactivate your real estate license. Simply log in to the Texas Real Estate Commission’s website, and proceed to “terminate” your sponsoring broker of record free of charge. If you prefer to do it by mail, you can submit an application for an inactive broker or sales agent status and include a $20 check for paper processing.
Similar to Texas, in Florida, you can deactivate your license with the Florida Real Estate Commission by submitting a paper application. If you’re looking to deactivate it online, you can have your broker go through their online account and remove you from their license.
To deactivate your license with the California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) you just need to login to their eLicensing online system to update your license record. Similar to procedures in Florida, your broker can also remove you from their license using their online system login.
How Long Can Your License be Inactive?
Once again, the amount of time your license can be inactive before expiring varies greatly state by state so it’s best that you reference your state’s real estate commission website. However, we will reference the guidelines for Texas, Florida, and California to give you an idea of the different timelines.
A license for a realtor in Texas lasts for two years, giving you plenty of time to decide if you want to let your license expire. If you leave your license inactive for a maximum of two years and don’t renew it, it will expire. You do have the option to pay for a 60-day extension on your license expiration if you need it.
A Florida real estate license lasts two years and during this period realtors must complete 14 hours of continuing education. Your Florida real estate license can be inactive for two years, but the length of time you leave it in an inactive status will determine the path you need to take to reactivate it as we will explain below. If you leave your license inactive for more than two years, you will have to get a new license – it cannot be reactivated.
A California real estate license lasts for four years, so if you want to deactivate it, you can do so for up to four years. However, if you don’t renew it within the four-year window the state gives you a two year grace period to reinstate it; we will explain the specifics of renewing your California real estate license below.
How Do You Renew Your Real Estate License?
Most states have realtors reactivate their licenses by paying the applicable license fees and making sure their education requirements are up to date. Here are the education specifics for license reinstatement in Texas, Florida, and California.
To renew your inactive real estate license in Texas you need to have your 18 hours of approved continuing education courses under your belt. The breakdown of the courses needs to include 8 hours of Texas Real Estate Commission legal courses and 10 hours of elective CE courses.
The continuing education requirements for Florida are a little more complicated. If your license has been inactive for less than 12 months, you only need to complete 14 hours of CE courses. Realtors with licenses that have been inactive for 12-24 months need to complete 28 hours of continuing education courses.
Because the license period for California is four years as opposed to two years, it makes sense that they require 45 hours of completed CE courses for license renewal. The course breakdown is as follows:
- 18 hours in consumer protection courses
- 15 hours in ethics, agency, trust fund handling, fair housing, and risk management
The other 12 hours need to cover consumer service or consumer protection.
With each state, you will also need to ensure you’re up to date on paying all of your applicable fees.
While we couldn’t have covered every state’s requirements for deactivating and renewing a real estate license in our blog post, we hope the above introduction has been helpful in your general understanding of inactive real estate licenses. If you’re looking to reactivate your license, consider us for your real estate pre-license and continuing education courses.