Understanding the ideal validity and duration of a Real Estate license

By Ciprian Morariu Published: November 29, 2023

As a lucrative, growing, and rewarding career choice, the real estate industry attracts countless aspiring professionals. With dreams to succeed and make a profitable career, people from all walks of life enter into the industry with a plan. 

After all, who doesn’t like the thrill of earning commissions and the satisfaction of helping people buy and sell their dream property?

Are you ready to step into the real estate industry and make a successful career? Before you get any further, let’s start with understanding the importance of earning your license. 

Are you an aspiring real estate broker or salesperson? Maybe you are someone who wants to transition into the real estate industry. Irrespective of your background, getting a real estate license will help you get going in the right direction.

Real Estate License

Why obtaining a real estate license is a must for a successful career

Planning to start a professional career as a real estate agent or a broker? Let’s get to the bottom of why you should get a license first to kickstart your journey in this field. 

Getting a real estate license will instantly improve your prospects, and you will attract more opportunities. The reason is a license is your stamp of authority and validity in the market. 

Just like you’d go to a licensed, experienced doctor or lawyer for advice and consultation, potential homeowners or buyers will also prefer seeking the services of a licensed real estate broker or salesperson. 

Property buyers and sellers seek maximum returns on their real estate investments and prefer working with licensed, authorized real estate professionals who can be trusted. 

You can make a living without having a real estate license. But in this case, your career growth and opportunities will be rather limited. You will always have to rely on a licensed agent or broker to serve clients and earn your share of commissions. 

You can legally operate as a real estate professional only if you have a New York state real estate license. 

Now if you already have a license and are on the fence whether to renew it or not, this article will help you. 

Let’s learn more about the other important aspects of real estate licensing. Some of the important questions we will cover are as follows:

What are the different license regulations?

How long is a real estate license good for?

What is the renewal process for existing license holders?

Duration of Real Estate License Validity

Varies by state

Every state has different real estate license requirements and guidelines. 

Active real estate professionals must renew their licenses to ensure compliance with the latest industry rules. 

Almost every state requires undergoing a pre-licensing course, exam, and background check. Most states require that you do not have a felony or any criminal record. 

Each state has its own set of validity and renewal guidelines for real estate licenses. Generally, most states have a license validity of anywhere between 2 to 4 years. 

For example, real estate professionals in California must renew their licenses once every 4 years. 

On the other hand, if you are a real estate professional in New York, your license renewal date will be after every 2 years.

Thus, it is important to check the state wise rules for real estate license validity. 

State-specific regulations

Different states have their own set of specific real estate license guidelines and regulations. The duration of the validity of a license varies depending on the state. 

In most states, you should renew your real estate license every two or four years, typically from the date of issuing of license. 

Every real estate license holder must continue to perennially renew their license to continue being an active member of the industry. 

The state government expects active professionals to be up-to-date with their skills and knowledge, and be aware of current trends.

real estate license

Understanding Renewal Requirements

Renewal requirements differ by state

The U.S. is home to more than 500K real estate professionals working across the country. Each state has its own set of rules and license renewal requirements. 

Generally, most states have established a 2-year timeline for license renewal from the date of issuing. However, some states have a 4-year renewal duration as well. 

Renewal requirements are different because of the different market trends, changes, and updates across various states. 

A Florida license lasts for two years, and a California license lasts for four years, with each state coming with its own set of regulations. 

Once you receive your license, you can find the expiration date mentioned on it. Make sure to pay attention and keep in mind that you must renew it before it expires. 

Continuing education requirements

Every active license holder must complete continuing education to advance in their career. 

Continuing education helps update the knowledge and skills of real estate professionals about any changes in the industry.  

Every state has its own set of continuing education requirements. 

For example, the state of California mandates that all active license holders must complete 45 hours of continuing education to renew their licenses. The coursework covers all subjects related to real estate laws, best practices, fair trade, and ethics. 

The continuing education requirements and guidelines vary for different states. Thus, check with your state’s local regulator and follow the most up-to-date rules. 

What are the requirements for the real estate licensing exam?

To renew your real estate license before the expiration date, complete the continuing education course in time. 

As mentioned, the duration of these courses varies as per the state you are applying from. You can simply renew your license online. 

New York Real Estate License Renewal

Regulations specific to New York state

How long is a real estate license good for? Let us talk specifically about license renewal rules and regulations in New York state. 


  1. Complete your continuing education: The first step is to complete a minimum of 22.5 hours of continuing education covering specific course topics. You must complete the courses before your birth date and from a state-approved and accredited course provider only
  2. Cover the mandatory courses: You must cover the 3 hours (Fair Housing), 1 hour (Agency Law), and 18.5 hours (Electives). You can easily complete the training with the help of an online real estate licensing school in New York. 
  3. Submit your renewal application:  Now, log in to the eAccessNY portal and select your license type. All you need to do is click on the license renewal button to submit your application.
  4. You must pay a fee of $55 as one-time license renewal charge in New York. You can pay this fee online on the eAccessNY portal while submitting your renewal application. 

Thus, one must stay alert and updated on their real estate license renewal’s due date. If you miss it, you will have to pay a hefty fine, which might vary depending on the type of license you have. 

Salespersons need to pay $350 to renew their license post-expiration. The renewal fee for a broker is $450 post expiration.

What is the exact validity of a New York real estate license?

Have you been missing out on the growth prospects of the country’s real estate industry? Perhaps, you have lost track of your license renewal date. 

Well, if you have, it’s time for a reality check because your license might be close to its expiration date. 

What are the steps required for the successful renewal of a real estate license in New York?

The New York State real estate license renewal process is pretty straightforward and hassle-free. 

All you need to follow are three key steps -

  1. Complete the required continuing education from a state-accredited course provider.
  2. File an online application for license renewal.
  3. Pay the fee to successfully renew your license.

A late charge of $200 apart from the application fee is payable in case you do not renew the license on time. 

NYC Real Estate License Renewal

Additional requirements specific to New York City

The state of New York has a set of easy-to-follow license renewal requirements. 

All one needs to do is complete the minimum continuing education duration of 22.5 credit hours. 

The coursework will cover mandatory and fundamental industry topics, such as - Agency, Fair Housing, Implicit Bias, and so forth. If you aren’t sure which course topics to cover, you can easily join a state-approved online course provider. 

After completing the continuing education coursework, visit the eAccessNY website and apply online for renewal of your license. After paying a one-time renewal fee of $55, the renewed license will be sent by mail within two weeks of the application.