License Reciprocity and Portability in Real Estate

Considering moving out of state and want to become a real estate agent in a new location? Real estate broker salary seems to be better in another state? Or maybe you want to help clients in other states? What does that mean for your broker or agent license? Can you transfer it to other states? And if so, which ones? Many states offer some level of license reciprocity or portability, but each state is different. For example, Virginia offers full reciprocity, whereas Vermont has none. This article will help you understand which states offer reciprocity in real estate, along with how much work you’ll need to put in while transferring your real estate license across to other states.

Considering moving out of state and want to become a real estate agent in a new location? Real estate broker salary seems to be better in another state? Or maybe you want to help clients in other states? What does that mean for your broker or agent license? Can you transfer it to other states? And if so, which ones? Many states offer some level of license reciprocity or portability, but each state is different. For example, Virginia offers full reciprocity, whereas Vermont has none. This article will help you understand which states offer reciprocity in real estate, along with how much work you’ll need to put in while transferring your real estate license across to other states.

Considering moving out of state and want to become a real estate agent in a new location? Real estate broker salary seems to be better in another state? Or maybe you want to help clients in other states? What does that mean for your broker or agent license? Can you transfer it to other states? And if so, which ones? Many states offer some level of license reciprocity or portability, but each state is different. For example, Virginia offers full reciprocity, whereas Vermont has none. This article will help you understand which states offer reciprocity in real estate, along with how much work you’ll need to put in while transferring your real estate license across to other states.

Considering moving out of state and want to become a real estate agent in a new location? Real estate broker salary seems to be better in another state? Or maybe you want to help clients in other states? What does that mean for your broker or agent license? Can you transfer it to other states? And if so, which ones? Many states offer some level of license reciprocity or portability, but each state is different. For example, Virginia offers full reciprocity, whereas Vermont has none. This article will help you understand which states offer reciprocity in real estate, along with how much work you’ll need to put in while transferring your real estate license across to other states.

License Reciprocity and Portability in Real Estate
License Reciprocity and Portability in Real Estate

Considering moving out of state and want to become a real estate agent in a new location? Real estate broker salary seems to be better in another state? Or maybe you want to help clients in other states? What does that mean for your broker or agent license? Can you transfer it to other states? And if so, which ones? Many states offer some level of license reciprocity or portability, but each state is different. For example, Virginia offers full reciprocity, whereas Vermont has none. This article will help you understand which states offer reciprocity in real estate, along with how much work you’ll need to put in while transferring your real estate license across to other states.

What is Real Estate License Reciprocity?

Real estate license reciprocity is an agreement between states that allows real estate agents licensed in one state to become licensed in reciprocal states. In some cases, you only have to pass the reciprocal state’s portion of the real estate exam; e.g. if you’re based in any US state and wish to practice in Alabama. In other cases, you have to retake and pass the complete real estate exam; e.g. if you wanted to practice in Arizona.

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What is Real Estate License Portability?

Real estate license portability governs how out-of-state agents or brokers may or may not conduct business in another state. There are three types of real estate license portability:

1. Cooperative State

A cooperative state allows out-of-state agents or brokers to enter their state to conduct real estate business in-person. However, out-of-state agents must have a co-brokerage agreement with a licensee of the cooperative state.

2. Physical Location State

A physical location state allows out-of-state agents or brokers to practice real estate business in their state, but they must do so remotely. For example, you could negotiate and submit offers on behalf of your clients, as long as you stay in your current licensed location.

3. Turf State

A turf state does not allow out-of-state agents or brokers to conduct any business in their state, either in-person or remotely. In this situation, you can only refer your clients to a licensee of the turf state. There are six turf states: Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

Alabama

Reciprocity: Alabama has full reciprocity with all the other states, as long as you’ve held your real estate license for a year or more, you take a required six-hour course in Alabama real estate law, and you pass the Alabama state portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Alaska

Reciprocity: Alaska has full real estate license reciprocity with all the other states, as long as you’ve held your license for a year or more and you pass the Alaska state portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

Arizona

Reciprocity: Arizona does not have real estate license reciprocity agreements with any other state, and requires 90 hours of in-classroom salesperson prelicense real estate education.

Portability: Cooperative, with limitations.

Further help:

Arkansas

Reciprocity: Arkansas has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with sixteen states:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

California

Reciprocity: California does not have real estate license reciprocity agreements with any other state.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

Colorado

Reciprocity: Colorado has full real estate license reciprocity with other states, as long as you’ve held your license for a year or more and you pass the Colorado state portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Cooperative, with limitations.

Further help:

Connecticut

Reciprocity: Connecticut has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with thirteen states:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Florida*
  • Georgia
  • Illinois*
  • Indiana*
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • Ohio*
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island

*Note: Applicants applying by real estate reciprocity from Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio or applicants who have not taken a written examination in a reciprocal state will be required to take the State Portion of the Connecticut Real Estate Examination.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Delaware

Reciprocity: Delaware has full real estate license reciprocity with all other states, as long as you meet one of the following requirements:

  • Complete the Delaware state law exam
  • Demonstrate a minimum number of study hours in your current state
  • Show evidence of a minimum number of transactions within the last three years of licensing

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

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Florida

Reciprocity: Florida has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with eight states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Rhode Island

Plus you’ll need to pass the Florida state portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

Georgia

Reciprocity: Georgia has full real estate license reciprocity with all the other states, but you’ll need to take a Commission-approved 25-hour post-license course in your first year of licensure.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Hawaii

Reciprocity: Hawaii does not have real estate license reciprocity agreements with any other state.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

Idaho

Reciprocity: Idaho does not have real estate license reciprocity agreements with any other state. But if you have an active license, it does waive the national portion of the licensing exam, prelicense real estate education, and broker experience requirements (if applicable).

Portability: Physical Location, with special circumstances.

Further help:

Illinois

Reciprocity: Illinois has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with eight states:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
  • Wisconsin

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

Indiana

Reciprocity: Indiana has no real estate license reciprocity agreements with any other state. However, you may still qualify if your current state of licensure has licensing requirements that are substantially similar to those in Indiana.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Iowa

Reciprocity: Iowa has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with the following seven states:

  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota

Portability: Physical Location, with special circumstances.

Further help:

Kansas

Reciprocity: Kansas has no formal real estate license reciprocity agreements with any other state. However, you may be exempt from taking some exams if the Commission determines your current state real estate license meets their requirements.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Kentucky

Reciprocity: Kentucky has full real estate license reciprocity – called “License Recognition” – with all other states, as long as you pass the Kentucky state portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Louisiana

Reciprocity: Louisiana has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with the following nine states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Maine

Reciprocity: Maine has full real estate license reciprocity with all other states, as long as you pass the Maine state portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

Maryland

Reciprocity: Maryland has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with the following two states:

  • Pennsylvania
  • Oklahoma

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Massachusetts

Reciprocity: Massachusetts has partial real estate license reciprocity with several states according to various conditions.

  • Complete real estate reciprocity:
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia
  • Complete real estate license reciprocity with more than 2 years of license history:
  • Oklahoma
  • New York
  • Complete real estate license reciprocity with more than 3 years of license history:
  • Maine
  • Limited real estate reciprocity:
  • New Hampshire

All other states require an application for an Educational Waiver.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Michigan

Reciprocity: Michigan has no real estate license reciprocity agreements with any other state. However, real estate agents licensed in another state or country may qualify for licensure in Michigan providing they have experience and training substantially equal to that required in Michigan.

Portability: Physical Location, with limitations.

Further help:

Minnesota

Reciprocity: Minnesota has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with the following seven states:

  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin*

*Additional requirements: Complete the 13-hour Wisconsin to Minnesota Reciprocal Prelicense Course and pass the state portion of the salesperson exam.

Portability: Physical Location, with special circumstances.

Further help:

Mississippi

Reciprocity: Mississippi has no formal real estate license reciprocity agreements with any other state. However, non-resident agents and brokers can apply for a reciprocal license and include references from three real-estate owners in their resident state.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Missouri

Reciprocity: Missouri offers full real estate license reciprocity with all other states, but first you’ll need to complete the 24-hour Missouri Real Estate Practice (MREP) Course and pass the Missouri portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Montana

Reciprocity: Montana does not have license reciprocity agreements with any other American state, but it does have an agreement with the Canadian Province of Alberta.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

Nebraska

Reciprocity: Nebraska does not have any license reciprocity agreements with other states. Instead, it uses “License by Recognition” to issue an equivalent real estate license in Nebraska to out-of-state agents who are in good standing.

Portability: Turf State, with special circumstances.

Further help:

Nevada

Reciprocity: Nevada has Salesperson and Broker license reciprocity agreements with the following 10 states:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • West Virginia

Plus it also has Broker license reciprocity agreements with 15 additional states:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Washington, DC
  • Florida
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

New Hampshire

Reciprocity: New Hampshire has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with the following four states

  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Vermont
  • Georgia

Applicants also have to pass the New Hampshire portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

New Jersey

Reciprocity: New Jersey has no real estate license reciprocity agreements with any other state.

Portability: Turf State.

Further help:

New Mexico

Reciprocity: New Mexico has partial license reciprocity agreements with three states:

  • Massachusetts
  • Louisiana
  • Georgia

Real estate agents from other states may apply for a waiver of 60 of the 90 hours of prelicensing education. And then take a 30-hour Broker Basics Course plus the state portion of the broker examination.

Portability: Turf State.

Further help:

New York

Reciprocity: New York has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with nine states:

  • Arkansa
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

Applicants seeking a reciprocal real estate salesperson’s license need two years experience (in most cases) and must be sponsored by their home-state broker who must hold a current New York State broker’s license.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

North Carolina

Reciprocity: North Carolina offers conditional real estate license reciprocity to out-of-state applicants who hold a current real estate license that’s been active within the previous three years, and is equivalent to NC’s “provisional” or “full” broker license.

If you meet those conditions then you may:

EITHER:

waive the state’s pre-licensing course and engage in real estate by passing the state exam.

OR:

waive the exam and be granted a North Carolina real estate license on provisional status.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

North Dakota

Reciprocity: New Dakota has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with three states:

  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Ohio

Reciprocity: Ohio real estate law states that there is partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with the following eight states:

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Oklahoma
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Oklahoma

Reciprocity: Oklahoma has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements – what it calls “non-residency” agreements – with the following nine states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia

Agents from these states will need to prove their current active license is in good standing, complete at least three hours of Oklahoma state-specific training, and pass the required real estate exam.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Oregon

Reciprocity: Oregon has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with the following five states:

  • Alabama
  • Alberta
  • Georgia
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Pennsylvania

Reciprocity: Pennsylvania has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with the following six states:

  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New York

Portability: Turf State.

Further help:

Rhode Island

Reciprocity: Rhode Island has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with a couple of states:

  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

South Carolina

Reciprocity: South Carolina has a full real estate license reciprocity agreement with Georgia.

All other non-resident applicants – with an active real estate license in another state – have to pass the State portion of the applicable South Carolina Real Estate Examination.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

South Dakota

Reciprocity: South Dakota has full real estate license reciprocity with any other state as long as you pass the state portion of the South Dakota broker examination.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Tennessee

Reciprocity: Tennessee has no real estate license reciprocity agreements with other states. If you’re licensed in another state, you’ll have to submit a certified license history and pass the Tennessee State law portion of the examination.

Portability: Cooperative, with limitations.

Further help:

Texas

Reciprocity: Texas has no license reciprocity agreements with other states. To become licensed, you must satisfy all current Texas licensing requirements.

Portability: Cooperative, with limitations.

Further help:

Utah

Reciprocity: Utah has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with the following American states and Canadian Provinces:

  • Georgia
  • Mississippi
  • Alberta, Canada

Portability: Turf State.

Further help:

Vermont

Reciprocity: Vermont has no real estate license reciprocity agreements with other states.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

Virginia

Reciprocity: Virginia has real estate license reciprocity agreements with all other states, as long as you have an active license and pass the state part of the Virginia real estate exam.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

Washington

Reciprocity: Washington has license reciprocity agreements with all the other states, as long as you’ve had an active license in the previous six months and you pass the Washington State part of the exam.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

West Virginia

Reciprocity: West Virginia has real estate license reciprocity agreements with all other states. All non-resident applicants are required to take the state-specific portion of the licensing examination for salesperson or broker.

*Note: OH residents must contact the WV Real Estate Commission for specific requirements based on the Reciprocal Agreement between OH and WV.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

Wisconsin

Reciprocity: Wisconsin has partial real estate license reciprocity agreements with a couple of states:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

Wyoming

Reciprocity: Wyoming has no real estate license reciprocity agreements with other states.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

Editor’s Note: Real estate license reciprocity agreements are subject to change. Always check with a state’s real estate commission for the latest reciprocity rules.

Conclusion

Real estate license reciprocity agreements vary from state to state. In the end, you have to weigh-up whether it’s best to apply for a license in another state or partner with a broker in that state.

FAQ

Which states have the most reciprocity for the real estate license?

States with full formal reciprocity agreements with other states are: Arkansas, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington.

Can I use my real estate license in another state?

Real estate license portability agreements vary from state to state. Whether and on what conditions you can conduct business in another state without actually living there depends on the state's laws - some of states offer cooperative real estate license portability (e.g. Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, South Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island,) which means that a licensed out-of-state real estate agent can conduct business provided that they cooperate with a brokerage licensed in a given state. Other states, such as Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland or West Virginia fall under the physical location category which means that out-of-state real estate agents are allowed to conduct business but they must do so remotely. There are also turf states which do not allow out-of-state agents to conduct real estate business there. These states are: Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Utah.

Can I transfer my real estate license from one state to another?

Real estate license's reciprocity - full, partial or none, depends from state to state. There are states that have full formal reciprocity agreements with all other states in the country, others - such as Arkansas, Connecticut or Massachusetts have reciprocity agreements with more than 10 states. There are states who offer reciprocity with only a few states, as well as those which have no reciprocity agreements with other states whatsoever.

How to transfer a real estate license to another state?

Every state that offers real estate reciprocity has different rules on license transfer. In states like Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maine or West Virginia, you'll have to pass the state portion of the real estate exam. Other states, such as Arizona, Georgia, Missouri or Mexico will require you to complete in-classroom education. 

Considering moving out of state and want to become a real estate agent in a new location? Real estate broker salary seems to be better in another state? Or maybe you want to help clients in other states? What does that mean for your broker or agent license? Can you transfer it to other states? And if so, which ones? Many states offer some level of license reciprocity or portability, but each state is different. For example, Virginia offers full reciprocity, whereas Vermont has none. This article will help you understand which states offer reciprocity in real estate, along with how much work you’ll need to put in while transferring your real estate license across to other states.

Considering moving out of state and want to become a real estate agent in a new location? Real estate broker salary seems to be better in another state? Or maybe you want to help clients in other states? What does that mean for your broker or agent license? Can you transfer it to other states? And if so, which ones? Many states offer some level of license reciprocity or portability, but each state is different. For example, Virginia offers full reciprocity, whereas Vermont has none. This article will help you understand which states offer reciprocity in real estate, along with how much work you’ll need to put in while transferring your real estate license across to other states.