Keeping the license is harder than getting it…


As I change from my role as a REALTOR to an Education Director, I find that many agents struggle to understand the sometimes confusing requirements of renewing one’s license. For that reason, I am going to try and lay out how one might renew their license. The classes are available most everywhere, but knowing which ones will actually help you might be more of a challenge. I strongly recommend that REALTORS keep track of their own attendance and what CE/PL/Broker hours were applied.

As a reminder, licensees must renew their licensees at specific intervals. Renewals are every two years, on the last day of the month in the anniversary month of licensing. After July 1, 2008 all agents receiving their licenses after that date must obtain their 30 hours in the first 12 months.

In addition to the hours below, everyone must take 2 hours of Limited Services before their next renewal.

For Post Licensing Agents (everyone in the first renewal cycle)

Required Hours (30 hours)

3 Hours of Agency

3 Hours of Fair Housing

3 Hours Real Estate Law

3 Hours of Offer to Purchase

3 Hours of Ethics and Standards of Practice

15 Hours of Electives

For Continuing Education (everyone who has renewed at least once before)

Required Hours (16 Hours)

2 Hours of Fair Housing

3 Hours of Ethics

1 Hour Legal Update

1 Hour Agency

1 Hour Contracts

8 Additional Hours of Real Estate Related Topics

Broker Management Hours (8 Additional after initial 16 CE hours)

Must be 8 hours approved for Broker Management topics. All licensed Brokers, to include Associate Brokers must take these hours, if they are to renew their license in July 2008 or thereafter.

Ok, so now that you are reminded of the mandatory hours, how do you track it? Start at

When you open this web page, you’ll see:


Enter your name (or license number) and click on “Real Estate Individuals”. Choose “Search Licenses”.


Once the window opens, click on the “View Continuing Education Hours” link.


On the left you’ll see a breakdown of the required training hours. On the right you’ll see the summary of continuing education hours only if you’re a CE renewal. Post Licensing Agents will see the following blue space on the left:


Post Licensing agents need to click the “To review the specific Post License Education courses that you have completed, please click on the link”. Note that you need to ignore the hours on the right they do not apply, except for the Limited Services hours that will be shown here.


On this screen PL agents will see the school who granted the hours, the class title, the mandatory or elective category of the credits and the summary of hours. Note: I have been told that CE screen will one day be this useful.

This web page is very useful for keeping you on track, but it’s not easy to navigate. I hope this has made it a bit clearer for you.

If you have any problems finding certain hours, call VAR or the Education Director at your local association and they’ll be happy to help you develop a plan to get your required hours.

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3 Responses to Keeping the license is harder than getting it…

  1. Matthew,
    You did a nice job with this, but the problem is that it takes someone as smart as you to explain CE/PL. As a brief history lesson, let me offer this…

    In the good old days (the beginnig of CE to the early to mid 90’s), agents took a standard 8 hour course. It was the exact same 8 hour course and was written by the VREB. Then, VAR decided (correctly IMO) that having to take the same course over and over again was both boring and worthless. Legislation was introduced to allow agents to take courses on other topics(from an approved list)to fulfill their requirement. The only mandatory part was a legal update and fair housing that took care of 2 of the 8 hours.

    Unfortunately, the REB did not follow the law as it was intended and decided that allowing schools to teach whatever course they wanted (even with the approved list of topics) was too dangerous. God forbid we actually made the education interesting and dynamic to fit the ever changing market. The REB set up the education subcommittee and required “approval” of courses prior to giving credit. This was NOT what the legislation called for, but it did not explicitly prevent this beauracracy from forming.

    The next thing that happened was a REALTOR in No. VA was upset that the ethics class he took did not count for CE credit (it wasn’t on the list), so he called his Senator and the next thing we knew Ethics was added as a required course. Now 4 of the 8 hours was required material and we were well on the way to returning to the standrad 8 hour boring class. So, we added more hours (twice) and created more required topics and thus we arrive at a point where it takes a full time staff person to explain the CE/PL requirements to members.

    How I miss the good old days!

  2. You know, Dave…. I never know when you’re being cynical :)

    We have a LONG way to go to making REB and practical education unite, but I really like Kevin Hoeft, the new Education Director. With efforts from VAR and the locals, I think we’ll get there one day. It’s just a slow, and long process.

    I am sure it’s going to get better. Hopefully REB staff will be given some more authority to make commonsense approvals on basic classes and applications that are submitted.

    I am sure if we all keep working together, we’ll figure it out!

    I am a believer!

  3. A few of you have been nice enough to call or e-mail me a correction to the post in regards to the required hours for renewal under CE. The screen shot that I used was from my broker license and it does state that those with broker licensing need different hours before July 1st, 2008. however for salespersons, the hours are correct based on: VA Code section – 54.1-2105.03

    2. Salespersons to whom active licenses have been issued by the Board shall be required to satisfactorily complete courses of not less than 16 hours of classroom or correspondence or other distance learning instruction during each licensing term. Of the total 16 hours, the curriculum shall include:

    a. A minimum of eight required hours to include at least three hours of ethics and standards of conduct, two hours of fair housing, and the remaining three hours of legal updates and emerging trends, real estate agency, and real estate contracts; and

    b. Eight hours of general elective courses as are approved by the Board.

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