Here are the five steps to getting your North Carolina real estate license, known as a ‘provisional broker’ license:
Before you hit the “buy” button on a pre-licensing education course, make sure you meet all of the qualifications for a license. You must:
There will be three questions on the North Carolina real estate application that relate to “character” (of course this doesn’t speak to you as a human being, but “character” is the word the application uses).
You will be asked if you have any previous criminal offenses, professional license disciplinary actions, or current liens or unpaid judgments. Answer these questions honestly! Lying on the application will disqualify an applicant faster than an honest answer with an explanation.
If you do have any of these issues, you’ll need to submit a detailed explanation of the situation. The application will guide you as to what explanation is required (and what documentation might be needed).
There are four different ways to satisfy the North Carolina real estate education requirement. You can:
Let’s get into the details.
Any course approved by NCREC can satisfy this requirement, whether it’s an online course or an in-person course. Take note that NCREC recently audited distance learning providers and severely reduced the number of approved courses. Make sure the course you buy is still recognized and approved by the state of North Carolina. See the full list of NCREC-approved providers here. You’ll need to complete all 75 hours of learning and pass the final exam.
Documentation: The course provider will send a completion certificate to NCREC.
If you completed a real estate pre-licensing course in another state, even if you didn’t take the state exam, that might qualify as your North Carolina pre-licensing education. The course must have been:
Documentation: You must provide a transcript or evidence of completion of the course.
If you have a B.A. or higher degree in real estate, real estate brokerage, real estate finance, real estate development, or a law degree from an accredited university or college, you can skip the pre-licensing education.
Documentation: You must provide a transcript showing that you completed the degree.
If you are a licensed agent or broker in any other U.S. state or Canadian jurisdiction and have been active within the last three years, you don’t have to take North Carolina pre-licensing education. Depending on the specifics of licensure in your state, you may or may not have to take the state portion of the exam and/or the NC post-licensing education course.
Finished your pre-licensing education? It’s time to officially apply for that license. The application can be done online, and includes a background check. The North Carolina candidate information booklet has detailed instructions for completing the application.
There is a $100 application fee and a $15 background check fee.
Unless there is a problem with your application, you should get a notice of eligibility to take the exam (via email) from NCREC within two to three days of your application being received. This notice is good for 180 days.
Within 180 days of getting your notice of eligibility from the state, you need to register for and take the state licensing exam. Note that you should wait one business day after getting the notice of eligibility to sign up for an exam appointment, to ensure PSI has you in their records.
The exam is administered by PSI. You can reserve your spot on their website or by phone at 855-579-4638. Note that you cannot do a walk-in exam, you must preregister. There is a $56 exam fee.
On the day of your exam, be sure to bring one valid, unexpired form of identification and arrive 30 minutes early.
The exam is given in two parts, the national section and the state section.
Applicants get four hours to complete the test.
If you pass the test, PSI will notify NCREC, and if there are no character issues, you will get your provisional broker license within 10 days of passing the exam. This will be an inactive license.
Learn more about getting your real estate license and get exclusive offers