From scheduling the state exam for a real estate license to submitting your license renewal and updating personal data, the California Department of Real Estate (DRE)’s online eLicensing program offers a simple and convenient way to manage your California real estate license.

eLicensing basics

In 2002, the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) launched its online system, eLicensing, to streamline California real estate licensing services and expedite application processing.

eLicensing is used to:

  • schedule a state exam date;
  • manage a state exam application after it has been processed;
  • submit broker and sales agent license renewals;
  • update licensee information; and
  • access and print license certificates.

To access eLicensing, a real estate applicant or licensee creates a login username and password for all further visits. The system only accepts registration from individuals who hold a California real estate license or whose state exam application has been processed by the DRE.

On logging into eLicensing, a personalized menu of services related to their real estate license appears for the licensee.

Services for license applicants

Applicants use eLicensing to access post-application services and track their state exam information. [See DRE Form 400A, 400B, 435 436]

As of 2021, applicants can also processes state exam or license applications via eLicensing. When an applicant chooses to instead mail their state exam application, the DRE notifies the applicant by mail to register for eLicensing after processing.

eLicensing permits a license applicant to:

  • schedule their exam date, time and location;
  • apply to re-take the state exam;
  • change their mailing address for all exam-related communications;
  • view their exam records and results;
  • request duplicate schedule notices and result notices;
  • check the status of their license to determine if it has been issued; and
  • submit payment via a credit or debit card for exam rescheduling fees.

Using eLicensing for these services expedites processing times as it avoids waiting periods for the delivery and DRE review of paper applications.

Renewing a license

eLicensing is a convenient online tool for brokers and sales agents renewing their license.

After a broker or sales agent completes the continuing education (CE) as a requisite to license renewal, they use eLicensing to submit their renewal application and pay their renewal fee.

The eLicensing system accepts both on-time renewals submitted within the 90 days before the license expiration date and late renewals submitted within the two-year grace period after the license expiration date.

To renew online through eLicensing, as with a paper renewal application, the licensee:

  • answers questions related to their license and real estate activities;
  • provides contact information;
  • submits employing broker information (when applicable);
  • validates their completion of the required CE; and
  • pays their renewal fee.

Renewal fees are:

  • $245 for sales agents renewing on-time;
  • $367 for sales agents renewing late;
  • $300 for brokers renewing on-time; and
  • $450 for brokers renewing late. [Calif. Business and Professions Code §§10210, 10215; DRE Regs. §2716.1]

Certifying employment for renewal

When an active sales agent enters information on their employing broker, the broker needs to certify the agent’s employment by either:

  • immediately entering their eLicensing username and password as part of the sales agent’s completion of their online renewal application; or
  • later responding to a DRE email request to certify the agent’s employment by logging into eLicensing with the broker’s username and password (or creating one if not yet registered) after the sales agent provides the broker’s email address and submits their renewal application.

When the employing broker does not certify an agent’s employment within seven days, DRE mails the broker a letter requesting immediate action. Failure to certify the agent’s employment within 30 days results in the sales agent’s license being renewed as inactive and requires the agent to update their license status separately (see details below).

Validating continuing education

eLicensing also requires brokers and sales agents renewing their license to validate their CE completion. Validation requires licensees to enter the course numbers and completion dates for each component of their renewal course. Course information appears on the certificate of course completion received by the CE provider on completion of their CE courses.

The eLicensing system validates the course information instantly.

Submitting eLicensing renewal applications

On payment of the renewal fee and submission of the online application, eLicensing automatically renews the license for another four years and updates any revised information included in the application (e.g., new employing broker information or an updated mailing address). The licensee receives confirmation by email.

Importantly, eLicensing accepts renewals until the very end of the day for the licensee’s expiration date. Submissions after the expiration date are late renewals. For example, a licensee whose license expires on Monday, August 1, 2016 is able to submit renewal information until 11:59 PM that night.

Editor’s note — eLicensing, like any online system, is subject to unexpected technical malfunctions and server interruptions that may render it temporarily unavailable. Real estate licensees are always advised to submit renewals early and avoid postponing submission until the end of their on-time renewal period. The DRE will not extend a renewal period when a system outage causes a delayed submission — these renewals are late.

For step-by-step eLicensing renewal instructions, see our website here.

eLicensing renewal restrictions

While most licensees may use eLicensing to renew their license, eLicensing excludes renewals for:

  • restricted licenses;
  • officer and corporation licenses;
  • the license of anyone who has been convicted of a violation of law since their last renewal; or
  • a license that has been flagged, e.g., due to the licensee’s failure to pay a fee.

Excluded license renewals are submitted to the DRE by mail.

Further, a sales agent or broker requesting the 70/30 CE exemption for the first time send their renewal application and exemption form to the DRE by mail. Once approved, the licensee’s subsequent renewals submitted with the 70/30 exemption may be processed via eLicensing.

Managing license information

As a portal for updating broker and sales agent information on file with the DRE, a licensee uses eLicensing to:

  • update their mailing address;
  • change their main office address (for brokers);
  • add an employing broker (for active sales agents);
  • update their email address and phone number; and
  • print their license certificate.

To update a mailing address, a sales agent or broker selects the option to add or change their mailing address and enters the new address. The DRE mails a letter to the licensee at both the old and new address to confirm the change.

Similarly, brokers use eLicensing to update their main office address. An employing broker’s change of mailing or main office address does not change the mailing address listed for their employed sales agents. Each agent lists their own mailing address and is individually responsible for making the change to their license information.

Further, all licensee mailing and main addresses are part of the public information about a real estate licensee listed on the DRE’s web site.

eLicensing also comes in handy for sales agents and brokers who want to update their license status from “inactive,” also called “licensed NBA” (no broker affiliation or no business address), to “active” by adding an employing broker or main office.

For sales agents, updating employment information — either to replace their current employing broker or add a new broker — requires the agent to enter the new employing broker’s DRE license number. Like a renewal, the broker is required to certify the agent’s employment by logging into eLicensing with their username and password. The sales agent’s license status is updated as soon as the broker certifies the employment, and the DRE notifies the sales agent by email.

Brokers update their license status by simply reporting a main office address.

However, a broker may not use eLicensing to change their status from “active” with a main address to “inactive.” To change their main office address to NBA, a broker needs to submit the appropriate form by mail. [See DRE Form 204 and 204A]

Similarly, a sales agent does not use eLicensing to remove an employing broker and change their license status to “inactive.” The agent’s broker makes the change by logging into eLicensing, entering the sales agent’s license number and discontinuing the agent’s employment.

At any time, brokers and agents may also access and print their license certificates from eLicensing. Printable certificates are available for broker, sales agent, officer and branch licenses.

In addition to these license-related services, eLicensing is the fastest way for a licensee to update their phone number and email address on file with the DRE. Note: a licensee is required to update contact information within 30 days of any changes, but this information is not listed publicly on the DRE’s web site.