Question: How does the 70/30 exemption rule work?

Answer: If you’ve been a licensee in good standing for 30 continuous years and are 70 years of age or over, you may request an exemption from the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) continuing education (CE) requirement for renewing your agent or broker license.

The 70/30 continuing education exemption

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

The DRE created the 70/30 continuing education exemption rule, exempting licensed agents and brokers from this requirement 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 after the expiration date. [DRE Regs. §3012.3]

If you will be turning 70 during your two-year grace period, you may still qualify by delaying your renewal submission until your 70th birthday. Entering your grace period does not affect your good standing. Note that you may not practice real estate after the expiration of your license until you submit your renewal application.

Editor’s note — Your 30 years of continuous good standing starts when you acquire your agent license. Becoming a broker does not reset the years counted in good standing.

Consider an agent whose license has been in good continuous standing for 30 years. They are 69 years old when their license expires on Monday. On Friday, the agent turns 70. If the agent enters their grace period and waits to renew until Friday or no longer than two years after their license’s expiration date, they will qualify for the 70/30 exemption. The agent cannot practice during their grace period until they renew their license.

Related Article:

Letter to the Editor: Explaining the DRE’s renewal grace period

Do I qualify?

The DRE provides public information about your real estate license status online. You may check your qualification status by entering your name or DRE license number on the DRE’s public lookup page here.

Once you have entered your information, you will be redirected to a page displaying your license’s public information. You’ll want to take note of three key pieces of information.

First, check the “Expiration Date” line to make sure your license expires after your 70th birthday. If not, you may still qualify if you reach the age of 70 during your two-year grace period following your license’s expiration date.

Next, review the “License Issued” line to make sure your license was issued at least 30 years prior to your license’s expiration date.

Lastly, the “Comment” section will include any disciplinary actions filed against the license in the past. Any disciplinary action disqualifies a licensee from the 70/30 exemption.

Renewing with the 70/30 exemption

If you qualify for the 70/30 exemption, congratulations! You’re ready to start your renewal application. Although you are exempt from the continuing education requirement, the DRE advises voluntarily taking CE courses as laws and regulations change. You can also keep up-to-date by signing up for the first tuesday newsletter.

To complete your renewal, the DRE requires you to submit the following by mail:

  • a broker or agent license renewal application [DRE Forms RE208 and RE209];
  • the Continuing Education Exemption Request form [DRE Form RE213];
  • a copy of your birth certificate or driver license; and
  • payment of the renewal fee. [DRE Form RE909]

The renewal fees are:

  • $245 for agents renewing on-time;
  • $367 for agents renewing during their two-year grace period;
  • $300 for brokers renewing on-time; and
  • $450 for brokers renewing during their two-year grace period. [Bus & P C §§10210, 10215; DRE Regs. §2716.1]

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 DRE to process renewal paperwork and update a license status. Current processing times are posted on the DRE’s website.

Subsequent renewals may be processed through the DRE’s eLicensing website.

What if I don’t qualify for the 70/30 exemption?

For agents and brokers not exempt under the 70/30 rule, you may satisfy the DRE’s 45-hour continuing education requirement by signing up for one of first tuesday’s license renewal courses before your expiration date.

Click here or call 951-781-7300 to sign up for your renewal package today.