Several readers would like to know if it is possible to transfer your real estate license from one state to another after becoming licensed.
We will begin by saying that this is a very common question and it makes sense. Let’s face it, people move and life is always changing so while you may have no plans to move after obtaining your real estate license you may be surprised to find that next year you are packed up and on your way to another state, you just never know and planning for the future is difficult at best. So we understand the reasoning for this question and want you to know that you are not alone.
With all of that being said, the answer to this question is kind of a yes, no and maybe. Actually, its a little difficult to generalize the question itself simply because laws and regulations change from state to another. So, the first thing that you need to understand are these two terms: license recognition and license reciprocity. We will start by looking at license recognition as that term better fits the need for those of you looking to transfer your license.
License recognition pretty much means what it sounds like, another state recognizes your license. How does this benefit you? Well, if you are in Texas and moving to Arizona, if Arizona were to recognize your Texas real estate license then all you would need to do is submit an AZ. license application, pay the licensing fee and transfer your license. Not all states have policies on license recognition and in many cases the best way to find out is to contact the Department of Real Estate or the Department of Licensing for the state in question and ask them if they currently have recognition for your states license.
License reciprocity is a little bit different in that if a state has reciprocity with another state you essentially meet their licensing requirements but in most cases will need to take the exam or at least a partial exam in addition to paying the licensing and exam fees. This is most commonly used by people that are interested in holding a license in both states although this may be an option for those of you moving as well. Let’s use Washington and Oregon as an example; Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR are right across the river from one another, maybe a thirty minute drive if traffic is bad. So it would make sense that an agent in Vancouver might have a client looking for a house in Portland, however, to accommodate this client they would need both an Oregon and Washington real estate license. Like the license recognition not every state has reciprocity agreements so you will need to check with the state to confirm. We also cover some reciprocity agreements in our licensing requirements pages so you may want to check there as well.
What to take away from all of this. You may or may not be able to transfer your license from one state to another, it depends on the state you currently hold a license in and the state you are moving to. If they have recognition or share reciprocity then you should be able to fill out your licensing application and move forward with the process pretty easily. If they do not have either of these then you will need to go through the licensing process again in your new state.