Real Estate License Reciprocity Guide for 2019

Moving to a different state? Find out how you can transfer your real estate license to your new home state.
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Are you moving out of state? What does that mean for your real estate license? Will your real estate license transfer to your new state?

Generally speaking, real estate is a state-specific industry. Real estate laws vary by state. And each state has their own licensing requirements. Before you can establish yourself in a new state, you need to understand the laws of the state and get your real estate license for that new home state.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start the education and licensing process from scratch.

Many states offer “license reciprocity”. License reciprocity means that, if you already hold an active real estate license in one US state, you can apply for a real estate license in your new state without taking all the state-required pre-licensing real estate courses.

Colorado, for example, offers license reciprocity for all 50 states. If you’re moving from any US state to Colorado, you don’t need to re-take all your real estate courses. You can simply apply to take the state portion of the Colorado real estate exam. Once you pass the state portion of the exam to prove that you understand real estate law specific to the state of Colorado, you’ll be able to get your Colorado real estate license.

Unfortunately, not every state makes the process as straightforward as Colorado. Some states, like Texas, do not offer any license reciprocity. To get your real estate license in Texas, you will need to complete all the required pre-license courses and pass the full TREC exam. Even if you are already licensed in another state.

This post will help you understand which states offer real estate license reciprocity to other states. It will give you an idea of how much effort will be required on your end to get your real estate license in your new home state. Whichever state that may be!

Full License Reciprocity States

Full license reciprocity states allow anyone with a current real estate license in any other US state to bypass the general real estate courses. You can skip the courses you’ve already taken, and focus on learning the state-specific real estate laws. Once you pass the state-specific portion of the real estate exam, you can get your new real estate license.

There are a few reasonable caveats. First, your real estate license in your current state must be active. If you have allowed your license to expire, you will probably need to go through the renewal process to bring your license current before applying for reciprocity.

Additionally, you must be “in good standing” in your current state. If any disciplinary action has had to be taken against you, or if there is any question regarding your business practices or ethical standards, make sure those issues are resolved before applying for reciprocity.

As long as those two conditions are met, you have the green light to apply for license reciprocity in full reciprocity states.

No matter which state you’re moving from, consider yourself lucky if you’re moving to one of these five full license reciprocity states:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Virginia

States With No License Reciprocity

As previously mentioned, some states don’t offer any license reciprocity. No matter which state you’re moving from, you’ll have to re-take your real estate courses if you’re moving to a state with no license reciprocity. Sadly, this means you’ll have to start your real estate education and licensing from scratch.

But it’s not all bad news! The good news is that you’ll be able to breeze quickly and easily through a lot of the course material. You’ll also get a helpful refresher on some of the topics you don’t necessarily encounter every day on the job.

So if you’re moving to one of the seventeen states with no real estate license reciprocity, take a deep breath and remind yourself that this is just a temporary inconvenience on the road to building a successful real estate business in your new state!

The seventeen states with no license reciprocity are: Alaska Arizona California Delaware Hawaii Kansas Kentucky Michigan Missouri Montana New Jersey New Mexico South Dakota Texas Vermont Washington * Wyoming

States with Partial License Reciprocity

You’ve probably noticed that we’ve mentioned less than half of the US states so far. The remaining states offer partial license reciprocity. This means your new state may offer license reciprocity for real estate agents moving from one state, but not for agents moving from another state.

Every partial license reciprocity state is different, so we need to look at each of these states individually.

And if you’re looking for some pattern as to which states are offered license reciprocity, you won’t find one! Some states offer license reciprocity only to neighboring states. Some states offer reciprocity only to states that happen to have very similar real estate laws. And some states just seem to have a personal problem with another state (we’re looking at you, Georgia!).

Remember, even if real estate license reciprocity is offered to your current state from your new state, you’ll still need to meet a few conditions to apply for your reciprocal license in your new state. Make sure your current license will still be active when you apply for reciprocity. And if you have anything keeping you from being an agent in good standing, resolve the issue before applying.

Having said that, here are the 28 states that offer partial license reciprocity:

Arkansas: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, and West Virginia.

Connecticut: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island

Florida: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Rhode Island

Georgia: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from any state except Florida

Idaho: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Wyoming, Oregon, and Montana

Illinois: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Indiana: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin

Iowa: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia

Louisiana: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Iowa

Maryland: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Pennsylvania and Oklahoma

Massachusetts: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington

Minnesota: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Nebraska: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming

Nevada: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia

**New Hampshire:v Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Tennessee, and Georgia

New York: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia

North Carolina: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia

North Dakota: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, and Tennessee

Ohio: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming

Oklahoma: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota Oregon: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, and South Dakota

Pennsylvania: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and West Virginia

Rhode Island: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Connecticut and Massachusetts

South Carolina: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from North Carolina, Georgia, and West Virginia

Tennessee: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia

Utah: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Georgia and Mississippi

West Virginia: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia

Wisconsin: Offers license reciprocity for agents moving from Illinois and Indiana

You should also know that real estate license reciprocity agreements are always changing. This post is a great starting point for general information, but you should also check with your new state’s real estate commission for the most up-to-date reciprocity rules.

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