Have you complained to your colleagues about the California Bureau of Real Estate’s high renewal fees? Well now’s your chance to make it count.

The BRE has announced its annual hearing to review the current fee structure for licensing and renewal — and you are invited to share your impressions on December 18.

Each year, the BRE is required by state law to review the licensing and renewal fees they charge.  BRE Commissioner, Wayne Bell, must consider all comments, objections and recommendations regarding the fees. [Business and Professions Code §11011]

The fees were last updated in 2009. They were increased to the levels still charged today, which is the maximum allowable by law:

  • $245 for salesperson renewal and licensing; and
  • $300 for broker renewal and licensing.

Maybe if the BRE cut down excessive costs like manually certifying every continuing education certificate they receive, the renewal and licensing fees will come down from their highs. Automating processes where a person is not needed cuts down on costs and takes the burden off of struggling licensees.

The last time the fees were decreased was in 2003, just as a whisper of the real estate bubble was being heard. At that time, the renewal and licensing fees were $120 for salespersons and $165 for brokers. Clearly the almost 100% increase has outpaced inflation considerably.

For those interested in making a personal appearance, the public hearing will be held at the BRE’s newly christened Sacramento office on December 18th. Any data compiled by the BRE supporting a lowering of fees will be presented at the public hearing. Also, anyone present at the hearing will have the opportunity to make oral comments for or against lowering the fees.

However, with BRE anticipating an increase in their expenditures and licensing fees providing the largest source of revenue, it is unlikely the BRE plans on lowering fees. And without public comment advocating for a lowering of fees, the likelihood of these fees going down is even less likely.

If you are unable to attend the public hearing in Sacramento, the BRE welcomes written comments. All written comments must be received by the BRE by the date of the public hearing.

The address for submitting written comments is:

Daniel E. Kehew, Real Estate Counsel
California Bureau of Real Estate
P.O. Box 137007
Sacramento, CA 95813-7007

Editor’s note –What inefficiencies do you see at the BRE which are in need of cleaning up? Let us know in the comments below to open a dialogue with the BRE about tightening up their procedures for a more efficient (and less costly!) government experience.