How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License in Colorado?

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In this article, we take a look at how long it takes to get a real estate license in Colorado.

We give you time estimates to complete each step in the licensing process — from collecting general information to renewing your license.

Keep reading to know the amount of time you’ll most likely invest in getting your real estate license in the state.


Estimated Timeline to Get a Real Estate License in Colorado

Time frame Step
1 week Research license requirements.
1-6 months Complete pre-licensing education.
1 day (plus processing time)* Collect fingerprints.
1 day Register for the real estate exam.
1 day Take the exam.
1-2 weeks Look for a sponsoring broker.
1 day Secure errors & omissions insurance.
2 weeks Submit license application for review.
1 week-3 months Complete continuing education requirements.

Research License Requirements: 1 Week

Take some time to do your research. This will help you stay organized as you navigate the entire licensing process.

Start with the Colorado Division of Real Estate website. This is not only the best source of licensure information, but it’s also where you’ll digitally submit your application when it’s time.

Once you understand expectations, take some time as well to research costs. Make sure this is a budget-friendly process for you by looking at fees associated with each step.


Complete Pre-Licensing Education: 1-6 Months

When it comes to the pre-licensing education requirement for first-time licensees, you’ve got 168 hours to fulfill. How you go about doing that will impact how long it takes you to get them all done.

The pre-licensing coursework is broken down into six required courses:

  • Real Estate Law and Practice – 48 hours
  • Colorado Contract and Regulations – 48 hours
  • Practical Applications – 32 hours
  • Real Estate Closings – 24 hours
  • Trust Accounts and Record Keeping – 8 hours
  • Current Legal Issues – 8 hours

If you opt to take all of these courses in person, and only attend class a couple of hours each week, it could take you six months to finish.

If you choose to learn online where you can work at your own pace, you’ll most likely finish faster.

For example, if you can designate 40 hours per week just to coursework, you’ll be done in a little over a month.

Make it easier to choose the right format for you by comparing real estate classes online and classroom courses. That way, you will be able to weigh the pros and cons of each.

Those who’ve already held a license have a much smaller pre-licensing education requirement. All they have to complete is a 24-hour course on Brokerage Administration.

That can be completed in as little as one week, or take about three months moving more slowly.


Collect Fingerprints: 1 Day*

The state does require a fingerprint-based criminal background check for those aspiring to become Colorado real estate agents.

To begin, you’ll need to get your fingerprints and submit them to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

You can do this while you’re taking your pre-licensing classes. So, the 2-6 week processing period that happens after submission can occur concurrently.

Fingerprints will cost you anywhere between $20-40, and the background check fee is $39.50.

If you worry that a past conviction may prevent you from getting licensed, know what to do by reading our article – Can You Get a Colorado Real Estate License with Violations such as Felony, DUI or Misdemeanor?


Register for the Real Estate Exam: 1 Day

Once you’ve passed your courses and received a certificate of completion, you’re eligible to sit for the real estate license exam.

To do this, you’ll need to contact PSI Exams. They administer the test. You can set up an online account to schedule your test, or call PSI at 855-744-0313.

The cost to take the exam is $44.95.

How long you should study for the real estate exam depends on the topics you need to study for the test. Refer to the PSI Candidate Information Bulletin for topics outlined in the exam.


Take the Exam: 1 Day

On your test day, make sure you arrive at the testing site at least 30 minutes early to check in.

You’ll need to bring the proper supplies with you as well. All of this info can be found in the Candidate Information Bulletin.

The exam itself is broken into two parts. You’ll have 120 minutes to answer 80 questions in the national portion, and 110 minutes to answer 74 questions in the state section.

To pass, you’ll need to get at least 60 questions correct in the national section and 53 questions right in the state portion.

If you don’t pass the Colorado real estate exam the first time, you have an unlimited number of retakes. You’ll have to pay a retake fee each time, which is less, at $42.50.

You’ll only need to retake the section you failed, unless a year has passed, then you’ll have to retake the entire test again.

Read my tips on studying for the real estate exam to ensure you pass the test on your first try.


Look for a Sponsoring Broker: 1-2 Weeks

If this is your first time getting a real estate license in Colorado, one additional step is to find a sponsoring broker.

This is the person who supervises you as you begin working in real estate, so it’s important you connect with whomever you select.

You may find this person quickly, or it may take a while to choose the right broker to work for. To get started, search through this comprehensive list of the best real estate brokerages in Colorado.


Secure Errors & Omissions Insurance: 1 Day

Another additional step that won’t take too long is securing errors & omissions insurance. This is a requirement to complete the licensing process.

E&O insurance is a special type of coverage that protects you from client claims for negligent acts occurring during business activities that result in a financial loss.

The Colorado Division of Real Estate provides a group E&O policy you can buy into if the brokerage firm you’re working with doesn’t have a policy of their own.

You can enroll for individual coverage here. Fees are prorated by month, but the cost is $229 for an entire year.


Submit License Application for Review: 2 Weeks

After passing the exam, getting E&O insurance, and selecting a sponsoring broker, the next step is to submit your license application.

Review can take up to 10 business days, so the quickest way to get your application to the Colorado Division of Real Estate is to submit it online.

You can create an account through their eLicense service to make the entire process easier.

The application fee is $485.


Complete Continuing Education Requirements: 1 Week-3 Months

For those within their first year of having a Colorado real estate license, it’s only good through December 31 of that year.

You must renew at this point, although there are no CE requirements to do so. Your license is valid for three years.

In Colorado, real estate licensing continuing education requirements are to be completed after the initial three years of being licensed. This is part of the license renewal process.

How to renew a Colorado real estate license? In total, you must finish 24 hours of continuing education classes. Twelve of these hours can be taken as approved electives.

The other 12 hours must be completed by taking three different versions of the four-hour Annual Commission Update Course, which concludes with a CE exam.

The continuing education exam is administered through PSI, lasts for 110 minutes, and you must answer 53 out of 74 questions correctly to pass. The cost is $44.95.

If you’re now asking yourself, “how do I renew my real estate license?” it’s best to revisit your online account and go through that system for complete details.

The renewal fee is $387, and you’ll repeat this process every three years.


Where to Study for a Real Estate License Exam?

Another part of this process that’s really hard to factor into the overall time is studying. Picking the education provider and the course format will be an integral part of your decision.

Take the time to browse our directory of top real estate schools in Colorado where you can pick one that’s near your area. Most providers offer traditional and online classes.

The need to study will be different for everyone, just make sure you set aside enough of it.

Begin studying right away, using your pre-licensing course notes. Create outlines and flashcards to make it easier to keep track of information.

Find a quiet place, with limited interruptions, so you can focus on your notes for a little time each day.

To ensure you’ve got all the key topics covered, review the exam outline in the PSI Candidate Information Bulletin. You’ll be able to see how many questions are asked in each area, too.

If studying on your own becomes challenging, consider forming a study group with other students in your class. It can help you stay focused.

Studying a little each day, right from the start, while making sure you know what’s most important to know, can really help improve your odds of passing the exam on your first try.


We hope this guide helps you properly schedule as you acquire your real estate license in the state of Colorado. As for licensing expenses, refer to our article on how much a real estate license costs in Colorado.

Once licensed, you have a lot of work to do in order to establish a successful real estate career. These resources can help.

To help you build and grow your real estate career quickly, we at Real Estate Bees created a directory for real estate professionals.

It’s designed to help you get more exposure for your business, including receiving leads. Create a free profile by signing up here.


If you want to contribute your expert advice on a topic of your expertise, feel free to apply to our Expert Contributor Program.


About the Author

Kristina Morales is a REALTOR® with over 20 years of professional experience. She actively practices real estate in Ohio but also has practiced real estate in California and Texas. Conducting her real estate business in three states has allowed her to gain unique experiences that make her a well-rounded realtor. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and her MBA with a concentration in Banking and Finance. Prior to real estate, Kristina had an extensive corporate career in banking and treasury. She ended her finance career as an Assistant Treasurer at a publicly traded oil & gas company in Houston, TX.

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