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BRE Salesperson License

Who is a Salesperson?

BRE Salesperson License

The Bureau of Real Estate (BRE) Salesperson License is an important and usually the first step in starting the real estate and mortgage career in California. A Salesperson licensee is required to be employed under a California licensed broker before engaging in any activity that requires a license. He/she always acts as an agent of the broker and always represents the broker. This requirement gives a Salesperson an opportunity to start working under an established real estate broker and learn the fine points of the profession. After gaining required experience, the Salesperson may choose to apply for a Broker license and become independent or continue working with the broker.


Who Needs a License?

If you engage in sale, exchange, negotiation, or solicitation of real estate, mortgage loans, leases, or real estate sales contracts for compensation will require a license in California. Visit BRE Licenses page to learn more on activities that require a license.


Essential Facts - Broker License

Validity/License Term:
4 Years
Activities Allowed:
Real Estate, Commercial Mortgage, and Residential Mortgage. Mortgage activities require MLO endorsement
Educational Requirements:
3 college level courses
Experience Requirements:
Available To:
Individuals only
The licensee need not be resident of CA State, as long as employed by a Broker who is resident in CA State.
Foreign Entities:
Available to lawful US residents. Conditions may be imposed upon certain visa holders including H1 and L1.
None. BRE does not waive any license requirement when a person is licensed in any other state.
Obtain 40 hours of continuing education in every four year period
Branch License:
Not Applicable.
Other Conditions:
Salesperson must work under the supervision of a BRE licensed Broker

Eligibility Requirements for Obtaining a License

Key Requirements

  1. Age: You must be 18 years of age or older.
  2. Residence: You must provide proof of legal presence in the United States i.e. proof of US Citizenship or proof of legal alien status.
  3. Honesty: Full disclosure of criminal convictions and pending criminal charges must be made when applying for the license. BRE may deny an application if you are found to be withholding any criminal violation or disciplinary action.

    BRE Publication Applicant Eligibility Information (RE 222) provides information on the factors BRE may consider in declining a license application based on prior criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.
  4. Education: You need to successfully complete three college-level courses to qualify for a real estate broker examination. These courses must be three college level semester-units or four quarter-units. The courses required by BRE are:
    1. Real Estate Practice
    2. Real Estate Principles
    3. Any one course from the list below.
      1. Real Estate Appraisal
      2. Property Management
      3. Real Estate Finance
      4. Real Estate Economics
      5. Legal Aspects of Real Estate
      6. Real Estate Office Administration
      7. General Accounting
      8. Business Law
      9. Escrow
      10. Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
      11. Computer Applications in Real Estate
      12. Common Interest Developments
    Learn more about recognized educational institutions
  5. Examination: You must pass a real estate salesperson examination. The examination is administered by the BRE.


Certain restrictions or circumstances that can cause an application to be denied are:

  1. Child Support Payments: BRE will not issue a full term license if you have not complied with a court order to provide child support payments. The Department of Child Support Services compiles the list which includes all counties in California.
  2. 500 Largest Tax Delinquencies: BRE will not issue a license if your name is included on the list of the 500 largest tax delinquencies pursuant to Section 7063 or 19195 of the Revenue and Taxation Code. A separate list of delinquent tax payer’s is prepared by Franchise Tax Board and the State Board of Equalization.

Additional Requirements for a Mortgage Loan Originator

Applicants who desire to enter the mortgage industry and conduct residential (1 to 4 units) Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) activities are required to obtain a MLO license endorsement after obtaining BRE Salesperson/Broker License. BRE defines MLO as "An individual who takes a residential mortgage loan application or offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan for compensation or gain."

Therefore, to conduct mortgage activities, the applicant should consider the additional MLO related requirements:

  1. Felonies: The applicant should has never been convicted of a felony involving an act of fraud, dishonesty, breach of trust, or money laundering, or convicted of any felony in the seven year period before filing an application for an MLO endorsement.
  2. Revocations of MLO Endorsements: The applicant should never have had a MLO license revoked in any governmental jurisdiction.
  3. Credit History: The applicant must be able to demonstrate financial responsibility by showing there has never been disregard in the management of his or her own financial condition.

How to Apply for a License

You have two choices when applying for license:

  1. Combined Examination and License Application: You may choose to apply for the examination and the license together. We recommend this option.
  2. Separate Examination and License Application: You can take the examination first and then apply for the license. The license application needs to be submitted within one year of passing the exam.

License Renewals

Broker license is renewed every four year upon completion of the required continuing education requirements and other renewal requirements. Learn more here for renewal requirements.


Updated: Sep 14, 2013


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