The Process of Renewing Real Estate Licenses in North Carolina

By Ciprian Morariu Published: January 29, 2024

Real estate in the United States is a dynamic and evolving industry which is estimated at a whopping $2.5 trillion in 2023. 

What’s even more impressive is that the residential market is poised to grow and reach $3 trillion by 2030, making it one of the most sought after career choices. 

A career in real estate brings opportunities and challenges together and gives a chance for you to help people and make a good living while doing so. 

Due to evolving consumer needs and market expectations, there is something new and exciting happening in the industry every year. Thus, real estate professionals are expected to keep themselves abreast and updated with the latest developments. 

In order to do so, real estate agents, brokers, realtors and appraisers in the United States are required to complete additional training and education for license renewal. 

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCERC) mandates that real estate agents in the state must renew their licenses before expiration date.  

For those who are about to meet their license renewal date but are not sure how to go about doing so, we are going to give you all the details in this article. 

We have put together this step-by-step guide to help you learn how to renew your license in NC easily and smoothly on time.

North Carolina Renewing Real Estate Licenses

What You Need to Know About Renewing Your License in NC

All active real estate license holders in NC are required to renew their licenses duly before the expiration date. Not doing so on time could lead to your license getting void or null. 

This means all the time and money you had invested in getting your license could go in vain. 

Wondering why is the license renewal mandatory since you have already completed the pre-licensing education? Let’s find out. 

Importance of License Renewal

The reason why North Carolina real estate license renewal is important is because it is a way to enable active license holders to upskill themselves and improve their knowledge. 

Real estate is a fast-changing industry with continually emerging trends and guidelines for professionals and consumers. 

What you might have studied before getting your real estate license might not be completely relevant after some years. The industry moves fast and it is your professional duty to keep up with the new for staying relevant.  

License renewal is a means to upgrade your knowledge and understanding of the most recent developments and updates in the real estate industry. 

This way, real estate professionals can continue to provide quality services to consumers in North Carolina and anywhere where renewal is a must. 

Therefore, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCERC) has made it mandatory for real estate agents, salesperson, brokers and realtors to take classes and courses after a few years for successful license renewal. 

Renewal Period and Deadlines

The NC real estate commission deadline is set on June 30th every year. The license renewal period starts from May 15th every year. 

Before this date, every active license holder must duly complete the license renewal requirements and submit their application. 

You can easily renew your license online on the official NCERC website. 

Note that you will have to pay a one-time NC real estate license renewal fee of $45 along with your application. The renewal fee can be paid online via a credit card or PayPal. 

If you have not submitted your application or have not paid the license renewal fee, then your NC real estate license will expire. 

In such cases, applicants will need to shell out $55 as renewal charges and submit the renewal application process within the extended deadline period of July 1 to December 1. 

Note that if an active real estate professional fails to renew their license by December 1, they will have to start the renewal process from scratch. This means you will have to complete the additional education again, take the state licensing exam again and submit a new application. 

Thus, be sure to submit your license renewal application and renewal fee online within time. 

Real Estate License Renewal Requirements in North Carolina

Meeting Educational Requirements

According to North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCERC), active license holders in the state are required to complete a mandatory training of 8 hours for license renewal. 

The 8 hours continuing education training must be completed in order to maintain the active status of your license. 

Out of these, every applicant must complete 4 elective hours of coursework. The remaining 4 hours of course credits will differ based on whether you have a BIC enabled license status or not. 

For example - provisional brokers and non-BIC brokers must complete the General update course as prescribed by the NCERC. 

On the other hand, brokers who have BIC eligible status, are required to complete the Broker-In-Charge update (BICUP) course from a state approved course provider. 

Wondering what are the topics you will cover as part of the real estate continuing education in NC? You can expect to cover general courses or opt for specific ones such as: 

  • Risk management in real estate businesses
  • Use of technology and tools in real estate
  • Due dligence for safeguarding real estate transactions

Note that you are allowed to carry forward only four hours of elective courses to the next license renewal period. 

Now for agents and brokers who do not have an active license, the NCERC mandates you to complete 68 hours of pre-licensing coursework for license activation.

The actual duration of the coursework may vary depending on the length of time since your license has been inactive.  

For example - if your real estate license has been inactive or expired since the last six months, you will be required to simply pay a license reinstament fee of $90. There will be no need to complete any additional courses or education. 

Whereas, if your North Carolina license has been inactive for more than six months to two years, then you will have to complete the mandatory 30 hours post-licensing education. 

Additionally, you will also have to submit your background and criminal verification documents to the NCERC along with a $90 fee. 

Fulfilling Experience and Performance Criteria

In order to be eligible for renewing your North Carolina real estate license, you must take and complete the CE courses within 30 days from the date of registration. 

Ideally this date is the 10th of June so make sure you have successfully completed the required courses by or before this date.

Note that you can take and complete these courses in-person or virtually. 

Clearing Background Checks and Compliance

It is crucial to complete and clear the background and criminal verification check for North Carolina real estate license renewal. 

According to North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCERC), all license holders must successfully meet the code of conduct and ethics guidelines for license renewal.  

In case you are wondering if you need to submit a new report again, the answer is yes. Criminal reports prepared and validated within the last six months are considered valid. 

You need to contact Criminal Record Check (CRC) as it is the only approved criminal record provider accredited with NCERC. 

Note that it will cost you around $50 to get a criminal record report in North Carolina. 

As part of the compliance process, you will also be required to submit a certificate of license history. In case you are not aware, a certificate of licensure is an official document that proves you are a license holder in North Carolina. 

Think of this certificate as a summary document which displays the type of real estate license you hold, the date of license issue, your license history and any other relevant information such as affiliates or any disciplinary actions against you. 

Renewing Real Estate Licenses in North Carolina

Steps to Renew Your Real Estate License in NC

Accessing the Renewal Application

Assuming that you have successfully fulfilled the post licensing continuing education requirements, the next step is to complete and submit your license renewal application . 

Post submission, you will receive an official notice of exam eligibility from the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCERC). This will be a confirmation of your application acceptance and it means your application has been approved. 

Real Estate Continuing Education Requirements in North Carolina

Importance of Continuing Education

In order to sustain and grow in a highly competitive field like real estate, agents and brokers must upskill themselves and improve their knowledge. 

Whether you are a real estate agent, broker or appraiser in North Carolina, here are some reasons why completing continuing education is important to succeed.

The most important reason is that only by completing continuing education can you renew your license. Further continuing education (CE) helps you stay abreast with the latest real estate trends which is a constantly evolving through new rules and regulations.    

Going through CE is also an opportunity for real estate professionals to upgrade their knowledge base and skill sets. It helps in giving their careers a boost as the network with other experts in this industry. 

These are some of the reasons why real estate continuing education in NC is mandated by the controlling body for real estate in the state.  

Types of Continuing Education

Below are some of the common and popular continuing education course options you can choose from: 

  • Agency Law
  • Working with Real Estate Investors
  • Non-traditional and Alternative Finance
  • Real Estate Investing: Advanced
  • Real Estate Property Appraisals
  • Real Estate Ethics 

You can take and complete these courses in-person or online from any state-approved real estate education provider.