What is the California Bureau of Real Estate’s (CalBRE’s) 70/30 exemption and how does it work?
All California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) salespersons and brokers are required to complete 45 hours of continuing education (CE) every four years. [Calif. Business and Professions Code §10170.5]
However, the CalBRE created a 70/30 exemption rule, which exempts a licensee — broker or sales agent — from having to complete the required CE when:
- the licensee is at least 70 years or older on the expiration date of their license; AND
- their license has been in continuous good standing for at least 30 years. [Bus P & C §10170.8]
A license is in continuous good standing if it has:
- never been suspended, restricted or revoked by disciplinary action; and
- always been renewed on-time by the license expiration date or within the statutory two-year grace period following the license expiration date. [CalBRE Regs. §3012.3]
The rule applies based on the licensee’s expiration date. However, a licensee may still qualify for the exemption when they delay their renewal submission until after their expiration date and reach the age of 70 during their two-year grace period.
For example, consider a sales agent who has been licensed in good standing for 30 years. Their license expires on March 10, 2015, at which time the sales agent will be 69 years old. The sales agent’s birthday is July 1. If the sales agent fails to renew their license by March 10, they may wait until after July 1 — when they reach 70 years of age — to qualify for the 70/30 exemption and submit their renewal within the remainder of the two-year grace period ending March 10, 2017.
However, a licensee is not permitted to practice real estate after the expiration of their license until they submit their renewal application.
Importantly, though the 70/30 exemption allows a licensee to bypass completion of the CE, a licensee who wants to keep their license current still needs to submit the renewal paperwork and pay the renewal fee to the CalBRE.
Checking your qualifications
Not sure if you qualify for the 70/30 exemption? The CalBRE provides public information about real estate license status on their website. To search for a license, visit the public look up here.
A real estate licensee may enter their full name (last name, first name), or their CalBRE license number in the designated fields. The system will pull the license number, expiration date, status, issue date and history, along with the licensee’s address and broker information.
First, the licensee needs to view the “Expiration Date” line to ensure their upcoming license expiration date occurs after their 70th birthday (if not, remember they may still qualify for the exemption if they reach age 70 during the two-year grace period following the expiration date).
Then, a review of the “License Issued” line will determine whether the license was first issued at least 30 years prior to the license expiration date.
Finally, the “Comment” section includes any disciplinary actions issued for the license in the past. Any disciplinary action listed on file for a license disqualifies the licensee from being able to use the 70/30 exemption.
Renewing with the exemption
To submit a request for CE exemption and renew a license, a qualified licensee needs to submit to the CalBRE:
- a broker or salesperson license renewal application [See CalBRE Forms 208 and 209];
- the Continuing Education Exemption Request form [See CalBRE Form 213];
- a copy of their birth certificate or driver’s license to prove they meet the age requirement; and
- payment of the renewal fee.
Editor’s note — The CalBRE pairs all renewal forms with the RE 251: Continuing Education Verification Form in the PDF files. When renewing with the CE exemption, licensees may ignore RE 251.
Additionally, Form 213 instructs licensees to provide documentarian proving the number of years they have been licensed. However, the CalBRE no longer requires such documents from licensees when submitting an exemption request.
Renewal fees are:
- $245 for sales agents renewing on-time;
- $367 for sales agents renewing late during the two-year grace period;
- $300 for brokers renewing on-time; and
- $450 for brokers renewing late. [Bus & P C §§10210, 10215; CalBRE Regs. §2716.1]
Payment may be completed with a check or money order — payable to the California Bureau of Real Estate — or via a credit card on a separate form. [See CalBRE Form 909]
Real estate licensees applying for the 70/30 exemption for the first time are required to submit all renewal and exemption paperwork by mail. When renewing on-time, licensees need to ensure all renewal paperwork is postmarked by the expiration date of their license. When renewing during the grace period, the renewal paperwork needs to be postmarked by the date the two-year grace period ends.
Once submitted, licensees need to allow three to six weeks for the CalBRE to process renewal paperwork and update a license status. Current processing times are posted on the CalBRE’s website.
All subsequent renewals may be submitted online through the CalBRE’s online renewal processing system, eLicensing.