Update on license transfers: helpful tips to ensure a speedy process

Click here to download a .PDF of the upcoming Form Factor from Commonwealth magazine, which covers these tips

Click here to download a .PDF of the upcoming Form Factor from Commonwealth magazine, which covers these tips

A concern among Realtors® who change firms is the amount of time it takes for their licenses to become active with their new brokerages. Last week, we told you about why some license transfers were taking a little longer than others. Christine Martine, Executive Director at DPOR, said that in the vast majority of cases delays are caused by forms that are not correctly filled out – licensee error, in other words. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Use the most current form, which can always be found on the Real Estate Board’s website in the Forms and Applications section. As of now, the most current Active/Transfer application is dated 2/27/2013.
  • Remember to enclose the $60 fee; DPOR accepts Discover, MasterCard, and Visa, but not American Express. And of course, be sure you have sufficient funds in your checking account or sufficient available credit.
  • Make sure your current license isn’t expired. You’ll need to renew it before transferring.
  • Be sure you have the correct license number for the new firm, especially if the new company has different types of businesses with similar license numbers (e.g., full service and referral firms).
  • Verify that the firm you are transferring to and its principal broker are in good standing. You can find this information through License Lookup on DPOR’s website.
  • The new principal or supervising broker must sign, and you must send the original application – the board does not accept faxes.
  • Attaching your current license will help speed up the process as well.

Please note that DPOR is still in the process of updating their site, working out bugs, and identifying additional ways to make this process smoother, including considering expanded electronic options. We’ll keep you updated as these improvements come about.

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4 Responses to Update on license transfers: helpful tips to ensure a speedy process

  1. Tony Arko says:

    The fact that this cannot be done online is pathetic. And on many occasions, a form has been submitted to DPOR that is perfect yet DPOR rejects it and claims it is not original. That is because if you don’t do it in blue, red, orange, purple (anything but black) ink you run the risk of them not being able to discern whether it is a copy or not. In these cases, they will just assume it is not original and ship it back via snail mail. There must be a quota of rejections they are trying to meet. That is the only explanation I can think of.

    I really wish they would move into the 21st Century. Even the hapless IRS is more technologically advanced then DPOR. West Virginia is more advanced.

  2. Matthew Rathbun says:

    I’ve got a book of examples of DPOR issues and the unreasonable and unnecessary harm they have caused with agents and Brokers. There are constant mistakes and most of the brokers I speak to are convinced that DPOR staff looks for reasons to delay processing. I presume it’s because they do not have enough staff, but the last time I walked in, the three staff members were teasing each other, joking around and talking about other DPOR staff while I stood and waited for them to acknowledge me. Then the smiles they had for one another became a real look of disdain when I asked for a receipt that I delivered the documents.

    From a user side there are minimal benefits to any of the changes and it seems that it’s just delaying the process even more.

    I’m with Tony… The lack of technological advancement is inexcusable. Requiring original signatures is something I would have expected in the 1980’s not now.

  3. Matthew Rathbun says:

    BTW: Can VAR please create some type of Guiding Document about what a transferring agent is suppose to do?

    So, let’s say that Agent X is transferring from Brokerage A to Brokerage B. The agent signs up with Brokerage B and the Broker signs. They put the transfer in the mailbox and that takes 3-4 days to get there. DPOR says they have 15 or so days to process it. It doesn’t show up on the webpage until after 6am the following day. So let’s say that everything goes at it should according to DPOR (which it doesn’t) that’s 20 days. According to DPOR’s latest memo, the agent cannot practice under the new broker and Broker A doesn’t want the liability so they’ve sent the license back. Now the agent is out of business for 20 days. Who’s caring for their clients at that point? Do they have to take the listing off the market? Does the Transferring Broker need to assign a new agent?

  4. DPOR says:

    In the above hypothetical, Agent X’s clients and listings with Broker A would be handled in accordance with whatever contract terms are in force (as well as client wishes of course). Some brokerages specify the listings belong to them, not the agent, others might negotiate other contractual arrangements in the event of future separation—the Real Estate Board cannot intervene in private contract matters. In any case, as part of its public protection mandate, the Board’s regulations require Broker A to bear responsibility for making sure the clients are well cared for—“to safeguard the interests of the public”—no matter which brokerage the agent is affiliated with at the time.

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