How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in California

by Jennifer Hudock; Updated September 26, 2017

The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) requires all potential real estate agents in the state to learn the principles in the state before taking and passing a real estate examination. Before applying for your California realtor's license, you are required to successfully complete three college level courses, including Real Estate Principles and Real Estate Practice and a third course of your choice.

Applying to take the Salesperson Exam

Step 1

Fill out and complete the California DRE salesperson exam form #400A. This form can be downloaded and printed out from their website. Include all necessary information on the form, such as your full name, address, social security number, birth date and the area in California where you wish to take the exam.

Step 2

Obtain college transcripts that confirm you have successfully completed at least three of the required real estate courses. To obtain your college transcripts, request them from the registrar at the college or university you attended. They can schedule a time for you to pick them up or mail them to you upon request.

Step 3

Include a check or money order for the application fee. For current application fees, check the application you filled out. The fee for 2010 is $60.

Step 4

Mail your application, transcripts and fee to:

Department of Real Estate Examination Section P.O. Box 187001 Sacramento, CA 95818-7001

Step 5

Receive permission to schedule a real estate license exam. Attend the exam and complete it. You can prepare for the exam by reviewing information you learned during the college courses you attended and in exam preparation books like Barron's "How to Prepare for the California Real Estate Exam" and Cengage Learning's "California Real Estate Exam Prep: The Smart Guide to Passing."

Obtaining Your License

Step 1

Receive and fill out the Salesperson License Application #202 after passing the application exam. Fill it out in its entirety.

Step 2

Obtain a Live Scan Service Request, form #237, and take it to an authorized fingerprint servicing center for fingerprinting. For a full list of fingerprint servicing centers in California, visit the Office of the Attorney General's Applicant Live Scan Website.

Step 3

Obtain forms documenting your legal status as a U.S. citizen or established alien, such as U.S. passport (expired or unexpired,) work visa, certificate of naturalization, birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or U.S. identification card. For a full list of approved documents, see the California Department of Real Estate's Proof of Legal Presence resource.

Step 4

Include transcripts proving you completed the necessary coursework requirements obtained from the college or university registrar.

Step 5

Enclose the required application processing fee in the form of a check or money order.

Step 6

Return all required information to:

Department of Real Estate Original License Mail P.O. Box 187002
Sacramento, CA 95818-7002

Tips

  • For a complete list of the required college level courses you must complete before you are eligible to take the California real estate exam, visit the California Department of Real Estate website.

About the Author

Jennifer Hudock is an author, editor and freelancer from Pennsylvania. She has upcoming work appearing in two Library of the Living Dead Press anthologies and has been published in numerous print and online journals, including eMuse, Real TV Addict and Strange Horizons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing from Bloomsburg University.