The Department of Real Estate (DRE) is raising the fees for licensing and renewal. As yet, it’s still a proposal, and the DRE is going through the mandatory motions of taking written comments and holding a public hearing in Sacramento on March 6, 2009, but make no mistake: these are just formalities. These changes will go into effect July 1, 2009, and will affect licenses expiring on or after June 30, 2009.

“Proposed” fee changes

Sales AgentsBrokers
Licensing On-time Renewal Fees:from $120 to $245from $165 to $300
Late Renewal Fees:from $180 to $367from $248 to $450
Examination fees:from $25 to $65from $50 to $95

Fees for the rescheduling of exams and various other fees are being raised as well. For more text of the actual proposal, and the reasoning behind raising the fees, visit the DRE website announcing the “proposed” fee changes (scroll to the bottom of the page) here:

Want to send the DRE your feedback? You can either:

1. Attend the public meeting in Sacramentoon March 6, 2009, at the Department of Real Estate Examination Room, located at 2200 X Street, Suite 120B, Sacramento, California. The meeting starts at 10:00 AM.


2. Send in a comment by mail, email, or phone to David B. Seals, Real Estate Counsel for the Department of Real Estate.

  • Address:  2201 Broadway, PO Box 187000, Sacramento A 95818-7000
  • Email:
  • Phone: (916) 227-0791

One result of this fee increase is certain: it will separate the serious and capable real estate agents from those marginal agents just in it for the short-term.

However, the elimination of the 18-month conditional license and the decline in the number of exam applicants, original licensees, and renewals are what put the DRE’s budget in the state it’s currently in, as the DRE’s revenues are derived entirely from these types of fees. Raising the fees will only further decrease the number of licensees renewing and the people applying for their original sales or broker licenses. Of course, there is the crazy idea of the DRE reducing its operating costs to align its expenditures with its revenues…