Not sure if your Texas real estate license is active, inactive, or expired? A simple search can tell you what’s going on with your license.
TREC License Search
Real estate licenses in Texas are regulated by the Texas Real Estate Commission, or TREC. TREC approves licenses and renewals, makes rules for license-holders, and pursues disciplinary investigations.
TREC oversees the following license categories:
Easement and right-of-way agent
Appraisal management company
TREC has a public directory of every license-holder in the state, which it presents as an online search tool. Find it here.
Here is the information you can find in a TREC search:
Status (active, inactive, or lapsed)
How to Do a TREC License Search
Here are the steps for completing a TREC search.
Go to the online search page.
Input the name or license number of the person you are searching for.
Push the button labeled “search.”
Who Needs to Do a License Search?
Clients and customers considering working with a broker can look up any broker or sales agent’s credentials to ensure their license is in good standing. But licensees may want to use the search as well to find out their license status.
Find Your Real Estate License Status
Texas real estate licenses are classified as active, inactive, or expired. You might want to use the TREC search to find out your current license status.
Licensees with active licenses are the only people who can practice real estate in the state of Texas. If a sales agent has an active status, that means they are registered with a broker and have completed all the continuing education they’re currently required to do.
Any person working as a real estate agent must have an active license.
When a person is first issued a license after passing the state exam, they’re issued an inactive license. To change their status to active, a license holder must register their association with their sponsoring broker with the Commission.
A sales associate can request sponsorship online. Their broker then confirms the sponsorship, and TREC will change their status to active. They can also register their sponsorship through the mail using Sales Agent Sponsorship Form-1.
TREC’s search function will show whether a license’s status was officially changed from inactive to active.
Some sales associates choose to leave their status inactive. These licensees don’t have to do continuing education, but they do have to pay a renewal fee every two years. They cannot work as real estate agents unless they change their status to active.
To activate a license, a license holder must complete any CE that would have been required during the time they were inactive and register with a sponsoring broker.
An expired status means that a license holder has failed to renew their license by their renewal deadline. It may be that they didn’t complete their required CE, or perhaps they failed to pay the renewal fee and complete the renewal request in time.
In either case, a licensee with an expired license cannot practice real estate.
How can a person with an expired license reactive their license?
It’s possible to renew an expired license for up to six months after the expiration date, though late fees may apply.
For two years and six months past the expiration date, and expired license-holder can apply for reinstatement.
After that, a person must retake the entire pre-licensing education course and pass the state exam again.
Check Your Continuing Education
You can also use the online search to see what continuing education courses you’ve completed, according to TREC’s records. It’s not a bad idea to check every now and again to ensure their records match your own. You don’t want to fall behind on CE and be in danger of letting your license lapse.
What Can People Find Out About Me?
Part of being a real estate agent is being accountable to the public. As a person working in a field with fiduciary responsibilities to clients, it’s important that any potential client can see whether an agent’s license is active and in good standing.
However, that does mean that an agent’s information is more readily accessible than your average person’s. In order to provide transparency to the public, an agent must sacrifice some privacy.
For most people, this isn’t a problem, but there are some license holders who might be concerned about having their information searchable online. Be aware that TREC’s search will show an agent’s:
Sponsoring broker’s name
Sponsoring broker’s office address
Educational history: what classes were completed by the licensee, with which school, and when
To learn more about life as a real estate agent, check out our Texas career center.