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Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability [2019 State Guide]

By Colin Ryan

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Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability [2019 State Guide]

Considering moving out of state? 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, along with how much work you’ll need to put in to transfer your 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 be 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.

[See the full list below]

 

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 conduct real estate business in their state 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.

 

State-Level Real Estate License Reciprocity

Each state has its own real estate laws and licensing requirements, including reciprocity agreements. Here’s where each one stands:

 

Full License Reciprocity

Some states offer full license reciprocity, which means you may only have to pass the new state exams rather than starting over again.

However, there are a couple of conditions:

  1. You must have an active real estate license in your current state.
  2. You must be of “good standing” in your current state; i.e. there are no questions or concerns about your business practices and ethical standards.

The five states with full license reciprocity are:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Virginia

 

No License Reciprocity

Some states don’t offer any license reciprocity, which means you’ll have to retake your real estate exams and get licensed again.

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

 

Partial License Reciprocity

The remaining twenty-eight states offer what’s known as partial license reciprocity, which means they may offer license reciprocity for real estate agents from some states, but not all of them. For instance, some offer it to neighboring states, while some offer it to states with similar laws.

 

Real Estate Reciprocity and Portability by State

 

Alabama

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

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

 

Alaska

Reciprocity: Alaska has full 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 reciprocity agreements with any other state, and requires 90 hours of in-classroom salesperson prelicense education.

Portability: Cooperative, with limitations.

Further help:

 

Arkansas

Reciprocity: Arkansas has partial 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 reciprocity agreements with any other state.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

 

Colorado

Reciprocity: Colorado has full 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 reciprocity agreements with thirteen states:

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

*Note: Applicants applying by 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 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:

 

Florida

Reciprocity: Florida has partial 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 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 reciprocity agreements with any other state.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

 

Idaho

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

Portability: Physical Location, with special circumstances.

Further help:

 

Illinois

Reciprocity: Illinois has partial reciprocity agreements with eight states:

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

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

 

Indiana

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

Further help:

 

Kentucky

Reciprocity: Kentucky has full 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 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 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 license reciprocity agreements with the following two states:

  • Pennsylvania
  • Oklahoma

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

 

Massachusetts

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

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

All other states require an application for an Educational Waiver.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

 

Michigan

Reciprocity: Michigan has no 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 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 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 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 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 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 license reciprocity agreements with nine states:

  • Arkansas
  • 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 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 license on provisional status.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

 

North Dakota

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

  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

 

Ohio

Reciprocity: Ohio has partial 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 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 exam.

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

 

Oregon

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

  • Alabama
  • Alberta
  • Georgia
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

 

Pennsylvania

Reciprocity: Pennsylvania has partial 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 license reciprocity agreements with a couple of states:

  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts

Portability: Cooperative.

Further help:

 

South Carolina

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

All other non-resident applicants – with an active 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 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 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 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 license reciprocity agreements with other states.

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

 

Virginia

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

  • Illinois
  • Indiana

Portability: Physical Location.

Further help:

 

Wyoming

Reciprocity: Wyoming has no 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.

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