Are you a licensed real estate agent looking to move to Virginia? If so, you need to understand what real estate license reciprocity is and how it works for those wanting to bring their talents to the Old Dominion state. The good news is, Virginia is a full reciprocity state, meaning that, as long as you meet a few requirements, you’ll be able to easily transfer your license. Let’s learn more about what you need to do to transfer your real estate license.
What Is Real Estate License Reciprocity?
Real estate license reciprocity is what allows a licensed real estate professional to apply for a real estate license in a different state without going through the entire pre-licensing application process. In effect, they “transfer” their license from one state to another.
While its implementation might differ from state to state, it will usually allow you to bypass all or a portion of the new state’s pre-licensing courses and/or avoid having to go through the full real estate exam again. But to do this, your present license must be active and in good standing in a state that has a reciprocity agreement with the state in which you want to get licensed.
Categories of Real Estate Reciprocity
Reciprocity agreements between states fall into one of three categories: full, partial, or no reciprocity.
States that offer full reciprocity allow incoming agents from all other jurisdictions to transfer their active licenses without having to retake the national portion of the licensing exam. Instead, they are asked to familiarize themselves with the new state’s laws and pass a state-specific exam.
Partial reciprocity means the destination state may offer license reciprocity for real estate agents coming in from one state but not another. Every partial license reciprocity state is different, so you need to look at each of these states’ requirements individually.
But just realize that 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!).
Finally, there are some states that offer no reciprocity whatsoever. They’re like the kindergartener who comes home with a note from the teacher that says, “does not play well with others.”
If you move to a no reciprocity state, you’ll have to re-take the full set of real estate courses and tests, just as though you were a total real estate newbie. Sadly, this means you’ll have to start your real estate education and licensing from scratch.
The silver lining is that, because you’re not a newbie, 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.
What States Have Real Estate License Reciprocity with Virginia?
We’re pleased to report that if Virginia were a kindergartener, the teacher’s note would read, “plays well with everyone”! That’s right, Virginia is a full reciprocity state.
So no matter from where across this fruited plain you come, Virginia welcomes you as a kindred real estate spirit, allowing you to fast-track your state licensing by:
- Providing documentation that you have an active salesperson's or broker's license by virtue of having passed in the jurisdiction of licensure a written examination deemed to be substantially equivalent to the Virginia examination.
- Signing a statement confirming you have read and understood the relevant chapters from the Code of Virginia.
- Passing a written examination provided by the board or by a testing service acting on behalf of the board covering Virginia real estate license law and regulations of the Real Estate Board.
- Paying the associated application fee.
- Securing a sponsoring broker.
- Otherwise meeting Virginia salesperson requirements at the time of license application.
Additionally, you must be “in good standing” in your current state. If any disciplinary action has been taken against you in the past, or if there is any question regarding your business practices or ethical standards, make sure those issues are resolved before applying for real estate reciprocity.