Frequently Asked Questions> Real Estate License

How Long Does a Real Estate License Last?

Can I state the obvious? The factor we both know but wish we could change, ignore, or even shove into oblivion?

Real estate licenses are not diamonds. They don’t last forever.

My years working with aspiring real estate agents have often brought me face-to-face with the question: how long does a real estate license last?

The truth? It can last for a few years, except in jurisdictions like the state of Arkansas that have a one-year duration. But the exact time will depend on your licensing state.

Today, we’ll delve into the lifespan of a real estate license across different states. We will also explore factors that influence this duration.

How Long Does a Real Estate License Last?

Real estate license validity varies widely by state and jurisdiction. In some regions, a real estate license may last as long as four years before it needs to be renewed, while in others, it might only remain valid for two years or even a year.

Let’s compare two coastal states. On the West Coast, we have Washington, where real estate licenses have a duration period of two years. But far east in Georgia, agents can enjoy their licenses for four years.

U.S. StateLicense DurationRenewal Fee- Real Estate AgentRenewal Fee- Real Estate Broker
AlabamaTwo years$185$205
AlaskaTwo years$140$140
ArizonaTwo years$60$120
ArkansasOne year$60$80
CaliforniaFour years$245$300
ColoradoThree years$361$387
ConnecticutOne year$289$379
DelawareTwo years$140238
FloridaTwo years$32$36
GeorgiaFour years$100$100
HawaiiTwo years$268$268
IdahoTwo years$160$160
IllinoisTwo years$100$150
IndianaThree years$60$60
IowaThree years$125$170
KansasTwo years$125$175
KentuckyTwo years$130$130
LouisianaOne year$70$105
MaineTwo years$100$100
MarylandTwo years$70$170
MassachusettsTwo years$103$142
MichiganThree years$78$108
MinnesotaTwo years$60$120
MississippiTwo years$120$150
MissouriTwo years$40$50
MontanaOne year$80$90
NebraskaTwo years$140$180
NevadaTwo years$195$235
New HampshireTwo years$90$110
New JerseyTwo years$100$200
New MexicoThree years$270$270
New YorkTwo years$65$185
North CarolinaOne year$45$45
North DakotaOne year$125$150
OhioThree years$182$243
OklahomaTwo years$200$280
OregonTwo years$300$300
PennsylvaniaTwo years$96$126
Rhode IslandTwo years$130$170
South CarolinaTwo years$45$55
South DakotaTwo years$125$125
TennesseeTwo years$75$75
TexasTwo years$66$72
UtahTwo years$60$66
VermontTwo years$240$240
VirginiaTwo years$65$80
WashingtonTwo years$223$320
West VirginiaOne year$75$150
WisconsinTwo years$60$60
WyomingThree years$370$370

Factors Affecting License Duration

As with every diverse ecosystem, real estate licensing is vulnerable to several elements. At different magnitudes, various factors affect agent and broker licensing. Failure to adhere to these regulations results in real estate agents losing their licenses.

But below, I have listed factors that may directly affect your license duration:

Licensing Awarding Date

Across different states, the license issuance date plays a pivotal role in determining its duration. Depending on the date you received your license, you could have a month or two extra to exercise unhindered listing and selling.

Take, for instance, the licensing protocol followed in Louisiana. If an individual receives their license anytime from September 1 onwards within a year, they are granted validity until December 31 of every subsequent year before renewal becomes necessary.

In contrast, those who receive their licenses between January 1 and August 30 have a different timeline. Their licenses remain active till September 30th of each passing year.

If your license was issued on February 20th, it would last until September rolls around every year.

This system ensures smooth operations and avoids overwhelming administrative offices with all renewals happening at once while providing clear expectations about when individuals need to begin the renewal process.


State or jurisdiction is one of the top factors affecting license duration. Every state has unique licensing laws and regulations that apply solely to agents within their jurisdiction. This puts a slight distinction in licensing duration across states.

Consider two different states: California and conservative Alabama. Real estate licenses in California last for four years, while agents in Alabama can wield their licenses for two years.

Agents should note, though, that there are cases of duration similitude. A quick example is New Mexico, Michigan, New York, Idaho, and South Carolina. All these states have a license duration of two years.

Government Policies

Government policies play a pivotal role in shaping the duration of real estate licenses. These regulations, often enacted at the state level, can either simplify or complicate the process for individuals seeking to enter or stay active in the property market.

Take House Bill 5210 in Illinois as an example. This bill was signed with a clear vision: to streamline licensing for real estate professionals within the state. Before this legislation, prospective agents faced numerous bureaucratic hurdles that delayed their entry into the industry. But, under House Bill 5210‘s provisions, these barriers were significantly reduced, making it easier for aspiring realtors to obtain their licenses and kickstart their careers.

Another act that shaped real estate licensing within its jurisdiction is Act 193 from Louisiana’s 2021 Regular Legislative Session. The act revised existing laws by adding an urgency for license renewals.

It encourages agents to adhere to renewal laws closely, providing them greater flexibility in managing their career trajectory.

Keep Your License Active

How long does a real estate license last? You probably have a clear picture of how long your license will last in your state. A real estate license duration varies across different states, ranging from one year to four years.

Factors such as the licensing awarding date, state/jurisdiction, and government policies affect the lifespan of your real estate license.

We’ve covered quite a bit today, but there’s always more to learn when navigating the world of real estate licensure! Do you have other questions? Share them with us in the comments below!

If this information is helpful, please share it with others. We’re all in this together, after all.

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