Our Proposal: We propose the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) automatically exempt eligible licensees from the required continuing education (CE) using the 70/30 exemption rule.

Why: All California DRE agents and brokers are required to complete 45 hours of continuing education every four years. [Calif. Business and Professions Code §10170.5]

The DRE’s 70/30 continuing education exemption rule exempts licensed agents and brokers from this requirement when:

  • the licensee is at least 70 years or older before the expiration of their license’s two-year grace period; and
  • their license has been in continuous good standing for at least 30 years. [Bus P & C §10170.8]

Related Article:

Letter to the Editor: How does the 70/30 exemption rule work?

If a licensee qualifies, they need to use the Continuing Education Extension/Exemption Request form (RE 213) to apply for the exemption. The form asks licensees to submit:

  • a copy of their birth certificate or driver’s license;
  • any other supporting documents showing the number of years licensed; and
  • and the date first licensed.

This exemption request is unnecessary since the DRE already holds the information needed to qualify a licensee for the 70/30 exemption. In fact, licensees can learn if they qualify through the DRE’s own website, which provides a public licensee information lookup tool.

In addition, the DRE already requests the applicant’s birthdate on the Salesperson License Application forms (RE 400A and RE 435). This piece of information can even be verified at the time of an applicant’s exam, since a government-issued photo ID is required when taking the state exam.

An agent or broker without a lapse in their license or disciplinary actions has shown they have practiced in good faith for their entire career. Why not return this good faith and automate the 70/30 exemption process? Agents and brokers with such spotless records are entitled to this exemption.

The DRE mails a reminder to licensees 60 days prior to their license’s expiration date as a courtesy. This would be a perfect opportunity to exempt licensees from continuing education requirement or at least notify eligible licensees about the exemption.

By not notifying or automatically exempting eligible licensees, the 70/30 rule often goes unnoticed and underused, costing licensees extra fees and time otherwise not required to maintain an active license.

Cutting unnecessary bureaucracy and costs is especially critical now that most active full-time agents are only generating incomes sufficient to support a minimal subsistence, until sales volume increases around 2019.

What you can do: While waiting for the DRE to streamline the exemption process, renewing licensees can check their eligibility for the 70/30 exemption through the DRE’s website.

The DRE recommends agents and brokers stay current on real estate industry changes by voluntarily taking continuing education every four years, even if exempt. Order your first tuesday continuing education course by phone at 951-781-7300 or online at firsttuesday.us.