After you receive your New York real estate license for the first time from the Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services, you’ll need to renew it again every two years as long as you’re in the business. As a reminder, your renewal date will be printed on your license, and you can file the paperwork for renewal online up to three months prior to that renewal date. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all renewals must be done online with an eAccessNY account on the division’s website.
"Renewing your license in New York state is very easy," said Andrew Weinberger, the CEO of PropertyClub, a New York City-based real estate startup. "All you need to do is take continuing education, certify, and pay a $50 fee. There are no tests required by the state, and you can do everything online.”
As a requirement for renewal, licensees must take 22.5 hours of continuing education. At least threes hours of education must be in fair housing and/or discrimination. You'll also need one hour in agency law (if you are in the first two years of your real estate career, you’ll need two hours of agency law).
If a salesperson takes the 45-hour broker course, they can apply those hours to their continuing education requirements. However, they will also be required to take an additional 2.5 hours of business ethics education and one hour of current real estate legal education as well. The 3.5 hours of business ethics and legal education will be required by every licensee as a part of their core requirements after July 1, 2021.
Just remember: if you take the 45-hour broker course and apply it to your continuing education credits in a previous two-year licensing window, you cannot apply the balance of the credits to your current renewal year. You’ll need to take a fresh 22.5 hours of continuing education.
Weinberger says continuing education is extremely important, especially today with New York passing major tenant protection and rental law reforms.
“This will be among the most important topics in the continuing education curriculum, along with Fair Housing Law, which agents are required to take and should always refresh themselves on,” he added.
Zachary Scher, an agent in New York who routinely tops 100 transactions in a year, also believes in the value of continuing education.
“While learning in the field is a great way to gain knowledge and experience, there is always a place for continuing education," said Scher. "I think right now some of the most important and beneficial training is in ethics and fair housing. As an agent, it is paramount that we treat all of our clients, customers, and fellow agents with the most ethical consistency possible.”
Things to Remember
Here are a few other important details to remember when it comes to getting your New York real estate license renewed.
If you don’t renew your license every two years, there is no grace period. You cannot conduct real estate activities that require a license, per Article 12-A of the Real Property law in the state.
If you are an associate broker or salesperson, you must have a sponsoring broker.
Three months prior to your renewal date, you will receive a reminder postcard and email. Both will have instructions for how to renew your license online through an eAccessNY account. For salespersons and associate brokers who do not have a sponsoring broker, you will not be allowed to log into your account.
When renewing online, there will be an online renewal checklist. If you complete all the items, at the end of that process, you’ll receive a confirmation page saying your renewal was submitted. You can check back to your account and view the “Application Status” page to see if the application is finally approved.
When you complete your education, if you use an online program, print your proof of completion and save it to your desktop to attach to your application when going through the renewal process online.
Renewing your New York real estate license is easy. Just follow the simple online steps, but don’t forget to complete your 22.5 hours of continuing education. That’s arguably the most important piece.