How Do You Renew Your Texas Real Estate License After It Expires?

Starting in February of 2021, the rules for renewing your Texas real estate license will change.

Regardless of when your license expires, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) will require anyone who renews after February 1st to meet the new guidelines.

If that's you, it's time to plan ahead. Do you know what's expected of you?

Can I Renew My Real Estate License After It Expires?

Yes, but you won't be able to practice as an active salesperson or broker until you take some sort of action.

In Texas, you have a six-month grace period after your license expires. There won't be any extra steps but you will have to pay a late renewal fee.

If it's only your CE completion holding you back, your best bet is to renew on time but pay a smaller Deferral fee. That will allow you to remain active as long as you finish up within 60 days.

Once the 6-month deadline passes, regaining an active license gets more complicated.

Between 6 months and 2 years, you'll need to go through reinstatement proceedings. If your license has been expired for two years, you'll have to reapply from scratch by meeting the current license application requirements.

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What Do I Need To Renew My License In Texas?

To renew your Texas real estate license, you need to:

  • Take your required renewal courses from a TREC-approved course provider
  • Submit the course completion documents to TREC
  • Wait at least 10 days to allow your credits to be processed
  • Submit your renewal application to TREC with your renewal fee

If you don't leave at least 10 days between your SAE/CE submission and your renewal application, then you run the risk of your credits not being on record yet. Without your credits on the record, your application will be treated like you haven't taken CE at all.

Due to this 10-day gap, you need to complete your CE at least 10 days before your expiration date if you want to avoid an interruption of your practice.

Aside from minding the gap, the most complicated part of the renewal process in Texas is making sure you take the right courses. So what are they?

1. Texas Sales Apprentice Education (SAE) Coures

For your first license renewal, the normal continuing education requirements don't apply. Instead, you need to meet SAE requirements: three 30-hour SAE courses plus any other required credits. SAE courses aren't eligible for deferral, so it's impossible to renew your license until those 90 hours are complete and on record.

What are the other required credits? For most SAE renewals, you just need to add the 8 hours of Legal Updates that are mandatory for everyone. That brings you to a total of 98 credit hours for your first renewal.

In rare cases that we'll explain below, you may also need the 6-hour Broker Responsibility course. That would bring you up to a total of 104 credit hours.

2. Texas Real Estate Continuing Education

For every renewal after that, you owe a total of 18 continuing education hours, including any required courses.

For most agents, starting in February 2021 those hours will consist of:

  • Legal Updates I (4 hours)
  • Legal Updates II (4 hours)
  • Contracts (3 hours)
  • 7 hours of elective coursework

If you're an agent or broker who needs the Broker Responsibility course, then your required CE will look like this instead:

  • Legal Updates I (4 hours)
  • Legal Updates II (4 hours)
  • Contracts (3 hours)
  • Broker Responsibility (6 hours)
  • 1 hour of elective coursework

All courses must be TREC-approved for that type of credit, and you'll want to make sure that the Legal Update courses are for the current cycle.

The content of the Legal Update curriculum changes every two years, so the current content should be marked "2020-2021."

What's Changing for Texas Real Estate License Renewals?

TREC will require a new mandatory 3-hour course on Contracts as part of your Continuing Education (CE) credits.

This doesn't affect Sales Apprentice Education (SAE) requirements, so if you're approaching your very first renewal, don't worry about it. This change applies to second and subsequent renewals only.

The total number of required CE hours will stay the same, so the new course will replace three of your elective credits. The contents aren't strictly dictated by TREC the way the curriculum is for other required courses, but you do need to take a course that is approved by TREC for mandatory Contracts credit.

Now that we've explained the changes, let's look at the big picture. License renewal can be confusing at the best of times, so it's helpful to review all of the renewal requirements as they'll stand on February 1, 2021.

How Long Is A Texas Real Estate License Good For?

Texas real estate licenses must be renewed every two years.

When is My Renewal Application Due?

You'll find the expiration on your license, but the deadline is the 24-month anniversary of the issue date.

You can submit your renewal paperwork as early as 90 days before your license expires. You'll receive a 90-day renewal notice as a reminder, but you're ultimately responsible for meeting the deadline even if you never receive it.

Who Needs the Broker Responsibility Course?

TREC requires certain licensees to complete the 6-hour Broker Responsibility course. Despite the name, it's not just for brokers, nor is it required for all brokers.

A more accurate description would be "licensees with supervisory responsibilities." You need the Broker Responsibility course if you are:

  • A broker who sponsors agents
  • Acting as the designated broker of a business entity
  • A broker or agent who has been a delegated supervisor of one or more license holders for at least 6 months

If you're an associate broker who doesn't supervise anyone, then you probably don't need Broker Responsibility. If you're an agent who's been supervising other agents for 6 months or more, then you do.

If you're not 100% sure, taking the Broker Responsibility course won't hurt. Worst case scenario, it will count towards your elective credits.

What if I Can't Complete My CE On Time?

There are two possibilities if you can't complete your CE on time: inactive renewal and CE Deferral.

Any licensee can renew their license on inactive status. This buys you more time to complete your CE, but you won't be allowed to engage in brokerage activity. This is the only option if you're running behind on your first renewal since SAE courses aren't subject to deferral.

But if it's your second or subsequent renewal, you can pay a CE Deferral fee that allows you to stay active for 60 additional days without coursework. After 60 days, you'll be subject to an additional $250 late reporting fee and your ability to practice brokerage activities will disappear.

Summary

If you're submitting your renewal before February 1, 2021, the old rules will apply. Our CE Packages will fit the bill. You can also choose individual courses a la carte.

If you will be subject to the new rules, you can work towards the new requirements today with our TREC-approved Contracts course! It's brand new and available for purchase now.

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