Rhode Island Real Estate License Requirements

To sell or lease real estate in Rhode Island and earn a commission, you must have a Rhode Island Real Estate License.

The steps to obtain a RI Real Estate License:

Step #1: Complete the 45-hour Rhode Island Real Estate Salesperson Pre-license Course.

Step #2: Take a 3-hour Lead Paint and Lead Hazard Mitigation Course.

Step #3: Schedule your RI State License Exam.

Step #4: Take and pass the State Licensing Exam.

Step #5: Get your Criminal History Report.

Step #6: Purchase E&O Insurance.

Step #7: Apply for your Rhode Island license.

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General Requirements

Rhode Island does not list any general requirements. You can proceed directly to the (7) steps to earn your Rhode Island resident real estate salesperson license. Non-resident applications have a slightly different process.

Step 1: Complete a 45-hour pre-licensing education

New Rhode Island salesperson applicants must take 45 hours of sales education. These 45 hours must include three hours of a New Agency Law course. An approved real estate pre-licensing vendor must teach the courses in a live format.

The course completion certificate for your pre-licensing education is valid for two years.

Step 2: Take the Lead Paint/Lead Hazard Mitigation Course

Rhode Island requires all real estate salespersons to have three hours of education in a Lead Paint/Lead Hazard Mitigation course. While you don’t need to complete this course before step three, you do need the course completion certificate from this class for your licensing application. It’s advised to take it with or soon after your pre-licensing education.

Step 3: Schedule the Real Estate Salesperson Exam

Rhode Island’s Department of Business Regulation (DBR), Real Estate Commission contracts with PearsonVUE to administer the salesperson exam. Go to www.pearsonvue.com to schedule an exam online. You can also schedule the test by calling (800) 274-8922. All exams must have a reservation made at least 24 hours in advance.

The exam fee is $70 paid to PearsonVUE via credit card, debit card, voucher, or check. Your payment is non-refundable. Any future retake exams also cost $70.

If you must cancel or modify your exam reservation, you must do so two business days before the exam by calling (800)-274-8922. If you fail to call and change 48 hours before the exam, you will forfeit the exam fee.

Bring to the exam center two forms of valid signature identification. Primary identification must have your photo and signature, like a government-issued state driver's license, military ID, or US passport. A secondary ID card must have your printed name and signature, like a US Social Security card, debit or credit card, or

another form of primary ID. You’ll also need to show the pre-licensing course completion certificate.

Refer to the Rhode Island Real Estate Candidate Handbook for information on examination schedules, site locations, exam security, reporting, and preparation.

Woman with laptop.

Step 4: Pass the Real Estate Salesperson Exam

The Rhode Island state salesperson exam is divided into a national and state section.

The Salesperson Pre-licensure Exam includes:

  1. General, or national, section of 80 questions. The time allowed is 2.5 hours.
  2. State section of 50 questions. The time allowed is 1.5 hours.
  3. Up to 5 “pre-test” questions per section that are not scored.

The exam includes multiple-choice questions. Content outlines and number of questions for each section are available in the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Rhode Island DBR uses a scaled score, which does not reflect the number or the percentage of questions answered correctly. The scaled score is a way to account for variances in exam difficulty. A passing score on both sections is a minimum of 70.

You’ll receive an official score report before you leave the exam center. Passing candidates also get instructions for applying for their license. Failed scores receive diagnostic information on the general section of the exam and retake information. If you

fail one section, you can retake just the failed portion. You must schedule any partial or full retakes within one year.

You must pass both portions of the exam before continuing with your license application. You have one year from passing both sections to submit your application to the State of Rhode Island.

Step 5: Get Your Criminal History Record

All Rhode Island resident applications need a Criminal History Record (CHR) from the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General. These state and federal background checks are conducted in-person at the Attorney General’s office at 4 Howard Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920. For further questions about this process, you may contact the DAG at (401) 274-4400. The state (or BCI) check costs $5, and the federal check is $35. Accepted payment is credit card, money order, or check made payable to “BCI.”

Man writing on a notepad.

Step 6: Purchase Errors and Omissions Insurance

All Rhode Island real estate professionals are required to carry errors and omissions insurance. You must carry this insurance independently. The coverage must meet the minimum limits set by the Department of Business Regulation. Errors and Omissions insurance covers negligence, wrongful acts, and errors and omissions committed by the licensee. For salespersons, the insurance must be in an amount for each claim of at least $50,000 and in an aggregate amount of at least $150,000.

Step 7: Apply for your License

Following your passing score on the state licensing exam, you have up to one year to apply for your salesperson real estate license. The Department of Business Regulation (DBR) highly recommends that you apply online for your license. You can print and mail in a paper application, although it will take more business days for processing.

Your license application must include documentation of:

  • The original test score report from PearsonVUE
  • Certificate of completion for the 45 hours of pre-licensing education
  • A criminal history record from the Rhode Island department of the attorney general
  • A Lead Poisoning/Lead Hazard Mitigation course completion certificate for three hours
  • A certificate of Errors and Omissions insurance

The salesperson application asks for three recommendations from Rhode Island residents who have known you for at least three years and are not related to you. These recommendations attest to your reputation for honesty and trustworthiness.

The license application will also have a section that needs to be completed by your hiring Principal Broker.

Your license application will include two separate checks or money orders. The first check must be for $140.00 payable to the “RI General Treasurer.” The second check must be $25 payable to the “Real Estate Recovery Account.”

Total processing takes at least three weeks. Once the Rhode Island DBR approves your application, congratulations! You are a licensed real estate salesperson.

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