Important clarification about license transfers (you need to read this)

When a Realtor transfers her license from one brokerage to another, there is a period of time in which she cannot practice real estate (essentially, while the transfer is in progress).

Some members have received incorrect information about when they can resume practicing.

Here is what DPOR says:

  • You can only resume your practice when DPOR has approved your application.

You may have been told or taught that you can practice real estate when DPOR receives your transfer application. This is incorrect.

Once again: If you switch firms, your license does not take effect until the transfer has been approved by DPOR.

Or as DPOR director Gordon Dixon put it, “The transfer is not effective until Board staff completes processing of the application.”

Further, he explains.

The licensee is not authorized to practice until his affiliation with the new firm is approved. The update is displayed on License Lookup, and the license is mailed, the day after the activ[ation] or transfer is approved.

This is how VREB has interpreted the regulation for more than a decade, according to VREB executive director Christine Martine, despite what some trainers may have taught.

(Apologies for all the boldface and italics, but it’s important that this be clear.)

Why do you have to wait for DPOR to process the application? Why is receiving it not enough? Simple, according to Martine:

DPOR will not approve the license-transfer application if, for example, the licensee has insufficient CE, has been inactive for over 30 days, or the new firm is out of compliance. More likely, though, it’s because of an error in the paperwork. According to DPOR, about 30 percent of applications have to be returned due to an error.

VAR is working with VREB staff to develop tips we can share with members to speed up the transfer process. We will communicate those tips soon.

Click here to read the letter to VAR from DPOR director Gordon Dixon that explains the regulation.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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4 Responses to Important clarification about license transfers (you need to read this)

  1. Teras Berita says:

    very useful article for me, thank you for the information

  2. Tina Merritt says:

    So, even if the paperwork is correctly filled out, realistically, a licensee is out of work for a week at the very least when transferring his or her license. Is it possible for DPOR to allow an upgrade to express mail or permit online transfer requests to avoid this delay (and loss of income) for the licensee? What about when the paperwork is incorrect? Can DPOR send an email outlining the corrections needed rather than send a letter via USPS? I understand that DPOR processes thousands of applications; however, with a transfer licensee, not having a license can mean not being able to support one’s family for a period of time.

  3. This contradicts completely the following video on the VAR website by former VAR Counsel Lem Marshall:

    Posted only two years ago.

  4. Derrick: The blog post is correct. No matter where you may have heard otherwise, you cannot continue your practice until DPOR approves the application. (I will remove the video — thanks for pointing that out.)

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