Co-authored by Steven Kral
The regulating agency for real estate licenses in Florida is the Division of Real Estate of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, www.state.fl.us/dbpr/re/index.shtml. This agency approves real estate schools, issues licenses, and oversees the Florida Real Estate Commission and Appraisal Board.
Like many states, there are different levels of licenses in Florida. Florida has three levels: the sales associate’s license, the broker’s license, and the instructor’s license. For most applicants, the associate’s license is the entry level license. This is a person who performs the same duties as a broker, but works under the direction of another. According to Florida statute, a broker is a person who is licensed to appraise, auction, sell, exchange, buy, rent, offer, or “negotiate the sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of business enterprises or business opportunities or any real property.” Additionally, the term “broker” also includes any person who is a general partner, officer, or director of a partnership or corporation which acts as a broker. An instructor is someone licensed to instruct in a state-approved real estate school.
Applicants at every level must hold a high school diploma and be at least 18 years of age. To obtain the sales associate’s license, a person must complete a state-approved level I real estate course of at least 63 classroom hours, submit an application, be fingerprinted, pass an examination, and submit paperwork to “activate” the license. Once activated, the license is valid for two years. For the license to remain active, the associate must successfully complete a 45- hour post-licensing course prior to license expiration.
Florida has reciprocity agreements with Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Applicants with a valid real estate license from these states can be licensed in Florida with a minimum of red tape. Requirements vary for each state; applicants are advised to reference http://www.state.fl.us/dbpr/re/mut_rec.shtml for specific requirements.
A final avenue for licensure is open to those who are active members of the Florida Bar. Members in good standing may waive the educational requirement, but must meet all other requirements. Applicants are advised to browse the website at www.state.fl.us/dbpr/re/frec_licensing_requirements.shtml for a full, detailed list of licensing requirements and possible waivers. This website also provides PDF downloadable forms and lists recognized real estate schools.