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North Carolina State Real Estate Licensing and CE Requirements

North Carolina Real Estate Commission

1313 Navaho Drive
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919.875.3700
Regulatory Affairs: 919.719.9180
Website: www.ncrec.gov

Real Estate Broker Prelicensing Requirements (Provisional Broker)

A. Be at least 18 years old
B. Be a U.S. Citizen, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien
C. Have a Social Security Number
D. Order background check within six months prior to filing the application
E. Successfully complete the 75-hour broker prelicensing course
F. F. Submit application, fee, and required documentation to state prior to attempting to schedule exam with testing provider. (Applications can be found online at www.ncrec.gov).
G. The commission determines the applicant’s eligibility for the licensing exam. Once the applicant is deemed qualified, the Commission sends a “Notice of Examination Eligibility,” which is good for 180 days
H. Applicant must contact the testing service (AMP) to schedule exam and pay fees. Must take the exam and pass within three years of the date the education was reported to the state

Real Estate Broker-in-Charge Requirements

A. Two years of full-time real estate brokerage experience within the last five years
B. Completion of the Commission’s 12-hour Broker-in-Charge Course either within three years prior to the designation or within 120 days following the designation. Brokers will receive four hours of continuing education elective credits for the 12-hour course
C. Submit a Broker-in-Charge Declaration form (REC Form 2.04)

Real Estate Postlicensing Education Requirements

A. Before June 30, 2020, brokers must complete at least one postlicensing course in each of the first three years following initial licensure to retain eligibility
B. After July 1, 2020, brokers must complete all three postlicensing courses within 18 months of initial licensure to retain eligibility
C. Complete 90 hours of education and the final exams
D. Only licensed students may enroll in post licensing education courses. The required identifier (North Carolina Real Estate License) is needed to purchase these courses.

Real Estate Continuing Education Requirements

A. Licensees must complete eight hours per annual license period to include the General Update Course (four credit hours) or the Broker-in-Charge Update Course (four credit hours), plus one four-hour, Commission-approved elective course

Real Estate Exam Provider and Application Information in North Carolina

A. All applicants must complete the online application with the NCREC and be found qualified to take the license examination

a. Visit www.ncrec.gov/Licensing/ApplyLicense to complete the online application

B. Once the Commission determines the applicant is qualified, a Notice of Exam Eligibility will be sent to the applicant, which is valid for 180 days from the date it is issued (exam eligibility expiration date will be indicated on the notice)
C. Please wait one business day following receipt of the electronic Notice of Exam Eligibility before logging into PSI’s website to schedule an exam date and time: https://candidate.psiexams.com/catalog/fti_agency_license_details.jsp?fromwhere=findtest&testid=4536
D. It is highly recommended that applications read the Candidate Information Bulletin
E. On the day of the examination, applications should arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled examination appointment
F. All applicants must bring two forms of valid signature-bearing identification:

a. Government-issued Driver’s License
b. U.S. Learner’s Permit
c. National/State/Country Identification Card
d. U.S. Government-issued Passport or Passport Card
e. U.S. Government-issued Military Identification Card
f. Credit/Debit Card (must be signed)
g. Social Security Card

G. If one or both sections of the exam are not passed, the Notice of Exam Eligibility will allow applicants to schedule another examination as long as scheduled within the 180-day time-frame and applicant has waited 10 days after the last testing date
H. If exams are not passed, applicants will receive a diagnostic report indicating areas of improvement and strengths by examination section
I. If exams are passed, applicants will be notified right away, and the state will receive the results. Please wait up to 10 business days to contact the state if the license has not been issued

North Carolina licensees may apply for an extension for real estate continuing education and post-licensing. Visit the Commission's website for details.
Q: I am a broker and need more time to take the 12-hour BIC course. What should I do?
A: Email a request for an extension of time to bicext@ncrec.gov. You will not have to submit supporting documentation while the rule is in effect. You will be granted an automatic 90-day extension.

Q: I am a broker and need more time to take CE and/or postlicensing courses. What should I do?
A: CE Update and Elective courses: The Commission will grant an automatic 90-day extension to brokers who have not completed CE by June 10. No request form is needed.
Postlicensing courses: The Commission will grant an automatic extension through September 30, 2020, to brokers who have not completed Postlicensing. No request form is needed.

Q: I am applying for a license and am afraid my 180-day opportunity to take the exam will expire before I can take it. What should I do?
A: Email a request for an extension of time to examext@ncrec.gov. You will be granted an automatic 90 day extension.

Email is currently the best way to communicate with anyone at the Commission.

EFFECTIVE 4/8/20:

  • If your past students are worried about losing part of their 180-day exam eligibility period due to the COVID-19 shut down, encourage them to ask for a 90-day exam extension. They should:
    • email us an extension request at examext@ncrec.gov with their FULL legal name (including any suffix, like Jr.) used on their application
    • only if they have already submitted a license application and received an Exam Eligibility Certificate.
  • For students currently in your PRE courses, make sure they understand that their course completion is “good” for 3 years and they can wait to submit their license application until PSI starts testing again.

EFFECTIVE 6/4/20: 

Applicants Who Pass the Examination on or before May 31, 2020

Your license will be issued within approximately 4-7 business days following the exam if there are no character issues requiring special consideration, but the new license will expire on June 30, 2020, unless you renew the license prior to that date.  You may NOT delay issuance of your license until July.  You will be sent a license renewal reminder.  Ou mus renew electronically on the Commission’s website (www.ncrec.gov) no later than June 30, 2002 to avoid having your newly-issued license expire on that date.

You do NOT have to take continuing education (CE) in order to renew your license on active status (or to be eligible for active status) in June 2020.  However, you MUST complete required CE between July 1, 2020, and June 10, 2021, to be eligible for active status after you license renewal in June 2021.  See the *Postlicensing Education Reminder at the end of this notice.

Applicants Who Pass the Examination between June 1 and June 30, 2020:

If there are no character issues requiring special consideration, your real estate license will be issued during the first few days in July 2020, or within seven (7) business days of passing the examination, whichever is later. In either event, your license will expire on June 30, 2021.

To renew your license on active status in June 2021, you will NOT have to complete any continuing education (CE) during the July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 license period.  You WILL have to complete the required CE between July 1, 2021 and June 10, 2022 to be eligible for active status after your license renewal inJune 2022.  See the *Postlicensing Education Reminder at the end of this notice.

Important Note: The applications of persons with character issues require special review after the applicants pass the examination.  See the section on “Character” in the Real Estate Licensing in North Carolina (RELINC) booklet for a description of procedures for such applications.

*Postlicensing Education Reminder: In addition to CE, brokers on provisional status (PSs) are subject to Postlicensing education requirements.  You must complete all three (3) prescribed 30-hour postlicensing courses during the first (18) months following the date of your initial licensure in order to retain your eligibility to actively engage in real estate brokerage.  More information about the Postlicensing requirement is available on the Commission’s website at www.ncrec.gov.

EFFECTIVE 7/1/20:

  1. Students (without license numbers) who started a post licensing class prior to July 1st will receive credit for the class, even if it ended after July 1st.
  2. Students (without license numbers) who started and completed a post licensing class after July 1st will need to retake the class. The Commission will not accept the completion.