Texas Frequently Ask Questions Real Estate Licenses

Texas Frequently Ask Questions Real Estate Licenses

On this page you will find a full list of frequently asked questions about how to get your Texas real estate license, the Texas license qualifications and requirements, the TREC Fitness Determination, information about the 180-hour Texas real estate license course, how to apply for a Texas real estate license, fingerprinting and TREC background checks, scheduling your Texas real estate licensing exam, taking the Texas real estate licensing exam, inactive real estate licenses and active real estate licenses, how to get you Texas real estate license renewed, and general real estate profession questions.

About the 180-Hour Texas Real Estate License Course

In order to sit for the state licensing exam, you must complete 180 hours of pre-license education. The 180-hour qualifying education requirement is broken down into 6, 30-hour courses.

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The Texas 180-hour real estate salespersons course can be taken online or in-person. Most students prefer to take the course online. The online course format gives the student much more flexibility. If you take the course in-person, you must do so according to the school’s schedule.

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Yes, you are allowed to complete the 180-hour Texas real estate salespersons course online. In fact, most students prefer taking the course online as compared to in-person classes. The online course format is faster and it allows the student to complete the course on their own time.

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Yes, you are allowed to take the 180-hour Texas real estate salespersons course while you are still in High School. The Texas Real Estate Commission only requires that you are at least 18 years old when you submit your license application.

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The Texas Real Estate Commission only allows up to 2 attempts at each final exam. If you do not pass the course final exam on the second attempt, you must retake the entire 30-hour course before being able to retake the final exam.

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Yes, you do not have to complete all 6, 30-hour courses with one school. Once you complete any of the 30-hour pre-license courses, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for that course. When it comes time to submit your license application, you must include copies of all 6 Certificates.

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Unfortunately, TREC will not accept college credits to be used towards the 180-hour pre-license education requirement. This includes college credits earned as part of a law degree. You must complete a TREC approved 180-hour pre-license course.

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TREC does not accept college credits to be used towards the 180-hour pre-license education requirement. Instead, you must take a TREC approved 180-hour pre-license course.

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Applying For a Texas Real Estate License

You have the option to submit your Texas real estate agent application online or by mail. The first step is to submit an inactive license application. The preferred method is online since the processing time will be quicker and you only have to pay the standard application fee.

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You must submit your license application online using TREC’s Online Licensing Service. You will first need to create a free account. You will then follow the steps to submit your license application and pay the required $205 fee.

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If you submit your license application online using TREC’s Online Licensing Service, the application fee is $205. If you opt to mail in a paper application, TREC charges a $20 paper filing fee on top of the regular $205 application fee. The total paper application fee is $225.

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You can file your real estate license application at any time. We recommend that you wait until you are close to completing the 180-hour pre-license course to submit your license application. This will give you 12 months to complete the course, and fulfill the remaining requirements.

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TREC recommends that you file your license application online using their Online Licensing Service. Online applications are processed faster and are not subject to a $20 paper filing fee.

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If you opt to file a paper license application, you must complete the Inactive Real Estate Sales Agent License form and mail it to TREC. This is a simple 2-page form. Paper applications are subject to a $20 paper filing fee, in addition to the standard $205 license application fee.

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It typically takes TREC a few weeks to process your license application. However, the exact time-frame varies, depending on the time of the month.

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You can use TREC’s Application Status Tracker to track the progress of your license application.

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License applications are active for 12 months. If you do not complete the license application requirements within 12 months, you must resubmit a new license application and pay the required fee again.

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TREC will send you a confirmation email within 1-2 business days of receiving your Certificates.

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Yes, you can still obtain an inactive real estate license; however, you will not be able to perform any real estate related activities until you obtain an active license.

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Fingerprinting and TREC Background Checks

According to section 1101.3521 of the Texas Real Estate License Act, anyone applying for a Texas real estate license must be fingerprinted and pass a background check. This helps ensure candidates meet TREC’s qualifications for “honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity”.

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You must schedule a fingerprint appointment at any MorphoTrust location in the State of Texas. You can make a fingerprint reservation by calling (888)467-2080, or through TREC’s website. You should make your reservation at least 24 hours in advance.

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All license applicants must meet TREC’s qualifications for “honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity”. TREC performs a background check to verify that you meet their requirements.

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Your background check will be performed by TREC after your fingerprints are taken. Once your fingerprints are taken at a MorphoTrust location, they are electronically transmitted to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the FBI for a criminal history check.

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How to Get a Texas Real Estate License

There are 5 steps you need to take to get your Texas real estate license. Step 1: File your license application. Step 2: Complete the 180-hour pre-license course. Step 3: Get your fingerprints taken and pass your background check. Step 4: Pass the state exam. Step 5: Find a sponsoring broker and activate your license.

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Here is a breakdown of the fees involved in getting your Texas real estate salespersons license: 180-hour Texas pre-license course: $249 License Application Fee: $185, Fingerprint Fee: $38.25, State Exam Fee: $43, TREC Broker Sponsorship Request form: $10, Total Fees: $525.25

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You will receive your license from TREC within 5-10 business days of passing the State exam, provided the following requirements have been met: Your license application has been filed with TREC, you have cleared your background check, and TREC has received and filed your 6 Course Completion Certificates.

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There are two sets of tests you must take in order to get your Texas real estate salespersons license. First, you must pass the final exams for each of the 6, 30-hour pre-license courses. Once you pass the school’s 6 final exams, you can then sit for the State exam.

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Unfortunately, Texas does not offer reciprocity with any other state.

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Texas does not offer reciprocity with any other state. For that reason, you will still be required to complete the 180-hour pre-license course, submit a Texas license application, get fingerprinted, and pass the state exam.

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Inactive Real Estate License / Active Real Estate License

An active license means you work under a sponsoring broker. When you have an active real estate license, you can work as a real estate agent and perform real estate brokerage activities. If you do not have a sponsoring broker, you will be issued an inactive real estate license.

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You will receive an inactive license after passing the state exam and completing all of the requirements of your license application. With an inactive license, you will technically be a licensed Texas real agent; however, you will not be able to perform any real estate related activities.

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You will receive an inactive real estate license after you have completed the following: 1) Completed the 180-hour pre-license course. 2) Submitted a license application with TREC. 3) Had your fingerprints taken. 4) Passed the state exam.

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Once you have fulfilled all of the requirements of your license application (completed the 180-hour pre-license course, and had your fingerprints taken), you will receive your inactive real estate license within 5-10 business days of passing the state exam.

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​In order to get an active real estate license, you will have to complete a sponsorship request with the help of your sponsoring broker. This can be done online using TREC’s Online Licensing Service. Once your sponsoring broker accepts your request, TREC will issue you an active license.

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Once you are issued an inactive real estate license, you must complete a sponsorship request in order to obtain an active real estate license. You will need the help of your sponsoring broker in order to complete this process. You can complete the sponsorship request online using TREC's Online Licensing Service.

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You only need a sponsoring broker if you want to obtain an active real estate license. You can still obtain an inactive license if you do not have a sponsoring broker. However, you will not be able to work as a real estate agent with an inactive license.

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Real Estate Profession Texas Questions

If you hold an active real estate license, you can sell or lease all types of real estate in the State of Texas, and earn a commission in the process. This includes single-family homes, multi-family properties, office buildings, retail buildings, and even factories. You can also represent buyers/renters.

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A real estate license is required if you represent a seller or buyer of real property as an agent, and earn a commission in the process. It is important to note that you do not need a real estate license to buy or sell your own home.

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RealEstateU Texas Questions

Yes, RealEstateU's 180-hour online Texas real estate salespersons course is fully approved by TREC. RealEstateU's Provider Number is #9034. You can also perform a search on TREC's website for our company name: "Real Estate U Online LLC".

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Scheduling Your Texas Real Estate Licensing Exam

The Texas state real estate exam must be taken through Pearson VUE. You can register for the state exam through Pearson VUE's website or by phone by calling (800)997-1248.

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The State licensing exam costs $54 per attempt. The exam fee is paid directly to Pearson VUE by credit card, debit card, voucher, or electronic check. Please note that all exam fees are non-refundable.

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The state licensing exam costs $54 per attempt, which is paid directly to Pearson VUE. You can pay the exam fee by credit card, debit card, voucher, or electronic check.

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The Texas licensing exam must be taken at a Pearson VUE testing center. There are over 28 testing centers throughout the state of Texas. You can see a full list of all available testing centers on the last page of the Texas Candidate Handbook.

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Once all of the license application requirements are met, TREC will send you an eligibility letter, which includes your TREC ID number and instructions on how to register for the state exam. The eligibility letter is essentially your “green light” to take the state exam.

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You should hold onto your eligibility letter. The eligibility letter includes your TREC ID number. You will need to use the eligibility letter when you get your fingerprints taken at the MorphoTrust center, and when you schedule your state exam.

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You should first contact TREC and ask if they will resend the eligibility letter. If for some reason TREC cannot resend the letter, you have the option to submit a Public Information Request form. The Public Information Request form must be submitted by mail, in-person, email, or fax.

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Your TREC ID number is included on the eligibility letter you will receive from TREC after you complete the 180-hour pre-license course and submit your license application. You will need to use your TREC ID number when you get your fingerprints taken and when you register for the state licensing exam.

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As part of your license application, you must include copies of your 6 Course Completion Certificates. TREC will use these certificates as evidence that you have completed the 180-hour qualifying education requirement.

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The school will not notify TREC that you have completed the 180 hours of qualifying education. Instead, TREC requires the student to submit copies of their 6 Course Completion Certificates (1 for each 30-hour course) as part of their license application.

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If you hold an active real estate license in another state, and you have passed the national portion of the exam in that state, the Texas Real Estate Commission may waive the national portion of the Texas real estate licensing exam. You will only be required to take the state law portion of the exam.

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Yes, you do not need a sponsoring broker to take the state licensing exam. Once you pass the state exam, you will receive an inactive real estate license. If you want to obtain an active license, you will ultimately have to complete a sponsorship request online using TREC’s Online Licensing Service platform.

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If you want to change or cancel your registered exam date, you must do so at least 48 hours prior to your exam date by calling PearsonVUE at (800)997-1248. You may receive a refund or transfer your exam fee to a new reservation.

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Taking the Texas Real Estate Licensing Exam

The Texas real estate salespersons exam consists of 125 total multiple-choice questions. The exam is broken down into a national portion and a state law portion. The national portion includes 85 multiple-choice questions, while the state law portion includes 40 multiple-choice questions.

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The national portion of the exam includes 80 questions plus 5 preset items (which are not counted toward your score). The state law portion of the exam includes 30 questions pus 10 present items. The Texas Candidate Handbook gives a detailed breakdown of the topics tested on the exam.

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You will receive a score report right after you complete the exam. The score report will simply state “pass” or “fail”. TREC and Pearson VUE does not allow you to review the exam questions once you complete the exam.

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Once you pass the state licensing exam, you will be eligible to receive your real estate license. If you cleared your background check, TREC will email you your license document within 5-10 business days of passing the state licensing exam. You will initially receive an inactive license.

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There are 8 math-related questions on the national portion of the Texas licensing exam. You should memorize the following facts and write them down on the scrap paper you receive at the start of the exam: 1 acre equals 43,560 square feet, and 1 mile equals 5,280 feet.

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You are allowed three attempts to pass both the national and state law portions of the exam. If you do not both portions after three attempts, you must take 30 or 60 hours of additional education in order to retake the licensing exam.

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If you fail one portion of the exam 3 times, you must take an additional 30 hours of qualifying real estate education. If you fail both portions of the exam 3 times, you must take an additional 60 hours of qualifying real estate education.

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If you fail either portion of the exam 3 times, you must take another 30 hours of qualifying education before being able to retake the state exam. If you fail both sections 3 times, you must take 60 hours of qualifying education. You may retake any one or two of the 6, 30-hour pre-licensing courses.

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A calculator is not required; however, it is recommended. Pearson VUE does not provide calculators. If you choose to use a calculator, you must bring your own. An acceptable calculator includes any hand-held, battery, or solar-powered financial calculator used in real estate, finance, accounting, and business.

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You must present two forms of ID when you arrive at the Pearson VUE testing center. The name on your primary ID must match exactly to the name on your exam registration. You must also present a secondary ID, which may be any other form of ID including a U.S. Social Security Card, or a debit or credit card.

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Pearson VUE provides accommodations to individuals with documented disabilities. Test accommodations are individualized and considered on a case-by-case basis. Test accommodations may include: A separate testing room, extra testing time, or a Reader or Recorder

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Here is a list of the Pearson VUE’s test center policies that you should be aware of: No personal items are allowed in the testing room. Calculators are permitted, but you must bring your own. Books, papers, and reference materials are not permitted in the exam room. You are allowed to take breaks during the exam.

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You can request a duplicate score report from Pearson VUE by completing the form in the Candidate Handbook, or by sending an email request to [email protected] Pearson VUE will provide you with a duplicate score report free of charge.

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Texas Real Estate License Renewal

All Texas real estate licenses must be renewed every two years. TREC will send you a renewal notice around 90 days prior to your license expiration date. You can renew your license online. You should submit your renewal application and all course completion documents to TREC at least 10 prior to your renewal date.

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Prior to your renewal date, you must first complete the 4-hour TREC Legal Update 1 course, and the 4-hour TREC Legal Update 2 course. You are not required to complete the full 18 hours of continuing education. Once you have completed the required qualifying education credits, you can then renew your license online.

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Prior to renewing your active real estate license, you must first complete the required SAE credits or CE credits (depending on if you are renewing for the first-time or not). Once you have completed all of the education requirements, you can then apply to renew your license online.

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​If you renew your license online, the renewal fee will be $110. If you submit a renewal application by mail, you will have to pay the standard $110 renewal fee plus a $20 paper filing fee.

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You must renew your Texas real estate license every two years.

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Sales Apprentice Education (SAE) credits are only required if you are renewing your Texas real estate license for the first time. After you renew your Texas real estate license one or more times, you are only required to take 18-hours of continuing education for every two-year renewal period.

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If you are renewing your Texas real estate license for the first time, you must complete 90-hours of SAE courses. After your first renewal period, you must complete 18-hours of continuing education courses for every 2-year renewal period.

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You do not have to complete the 18-hours of CE courses to renew an inactive real estate license. However, you still must complete the required 4-hours of TREC’s Legal Update 1 course, and 4-hours of TREC’s Legal Update 2 course prior to your renewal date. First-time renewals must complete the 90-hours of SAE courses.

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​If you do not complete your CE credits, your license will be changed to inactive status.

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Sales Apprentice Education credits, or SAE, applies to first-time renewals only. Anyone renewing their Texas real estate license for the first time must complete 90 hours of SAE credits. You must complete your SAE credits prior to your first renewal date, otherwise, you cannot renew your real estate license.

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If you do not complete the required SAE credits by the time of your renewal date, your license will be changed to inactive status. Unlike CE credits, SAE credits cannot be deferred by paying a fee.

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​If you do not complete the required 90 hours of SAE courses by your first renewal date, your license will be changed to inactive status.

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If you do not renew your real estate license within 6 months of your renewal date, your license will be changed to an inactive status. If you do not renew your real estate license within 2 years after your renewal date, you must reapply for a new license and pass the State exam again.

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TREC allows you to renew your license for up to 6 months after your renewal date. If you renew your license from 6 months to 2 years after your renewal date, you must apply to reinstate your license. If your license has been expired for two or more years, you must pass the State exam again.

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​If your license has not been renewed for 6 months to 2 years after your renewal date, you must apply to get your license reinstated. You can get your license reinstated by submitting a reinstatement form and paying the required renewal fees as well as any late fees.

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TREC will send you a renewal notice around 90 days prior to your renewal date. You cannot renew your license until you receive this notice. However, you can still take the required qualifying education (CE and SAE courses) any time during the previous two years.

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TREC Fitness Determination

Fitness Determination is when the Texas Real Estate Commission determines if an applicant meets the qualification for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity. In other words, it’s TRECs way of determining if an applicant’s moral character is acceptable to obtain a real estate license.

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​A Fitness Determination form should be used if you have any prior criminal offenses, unpaid judgments, had any discipline taken against a professional or occupational license you held/hold, or have performed any duties of a licensee while not properly licensed.

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If you have any past criminal offenses, unpaid judgments, had discipline taken against a professional or occupational license you hold/held, or have performed duties of a licensee while not properly licensed, you should submit a Fitness Determination form to TREC.

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A Background History form is used in conjunction with a Fitness Determination form. The Background History form is used to provide more in-depth information regarding a past offense that should be disclosed to the Texas Real Estate Commission.

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Yes, you can still obtain a Texas real estate salespersons license if you have a prior conviction. TREC recommends that you submit a Fitness Determination form prior to applying for a real estate license. This will allow TREC to review the circumstances surrounding your case.

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If you provided an email address on your Fitness Determination form, TREC will email you their decision. Otherwise, TREC will send you their decision via mail.

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If TREC approves your Fitness Determination, you can then proceed with the 180-hour Texas pre-license course and your license application. When submitting your license application, you should include your Fitness Determination letter.

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If your Fitness Determination is not approved, your only available option is to resubmit a new FD with additional supporting documentation. If you do not have any additional supporting documentation to submit a new FD form, unfortunately, you will not be able to apply for a Texas real estate license.

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TREC License Qualifications / Requirements

You must be at least 18 years old to obtain a Texas real estate brokers or salespersons license.

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No, you do not need to have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for a Texas real estate license. The Texas Real Estate Commission only requires that you are at least 18 years old when it comes time to apply for your license.

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Yes, you can certainly obtain a Texas real estate salespersons license if you have student loans. TREC only wants to verify that you are not delinquent on any of your student loan payments. As long as you are up to date on your student loan payments, you shouldn’t have any issues.

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Yes, you can still obtain a Texas real estate license if you are a lawfully admitted alien.

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You are considered a lawfully admitted alien if you hold a Green card or a Permanent Resident card. A social security number is also required when completing your license application. If you hold any kind of visa, you should contact your immigration authorities and verify that you are lawfully in the U.S.

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Yes, you are not required to be a Texas resident to obtain a Texas real estate license. If you hold an active real estate license in another state, you will have to complete the same licensing process just like any other applicant; however, you may not have to take the national portion of the state exam.

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It is difficult to know for certain as TREC does not clearly state what actions would lead to a denial of this qualification. TREC recommends that when in doubt, you should submit a Fitness Determination form, which will allow TREC to review the circumstances surrounding your specific case.

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Unfortunately, the TREC does not explicitly say what type of criminal offenses will prevent an applicant from meeting their requirement of “honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity”. TREC recommends that you submit a Fitness Determination form along with a Background History form prior to applying for a license.

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In order to qualify to become a Texas real estate agent, you must satisfy the following requirements: 1) Be a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted alien. 2) Be at least 18 years old. 3) Meet the Texas Real Estate Commission’s qualifications for “honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity”.

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