How to Get a Real Estate License in Connecticut: 2021 Requirements for Taking the Exam
Are you planning to get a real estate license in the Constitution State? It’s important to know what requirements you must meet and what steps you’ll need to take. The more prepared you are from the start, the easier the process will be.
We’ve compiled salient details on the Connecticut licensing process in this article to give you greater insight into what to expect and what’s required of you.
So, how about we get down to business? Here’s what you need to know.
Connecticut Licensing Requirements for Real Estate Salespeople
In Connecticut, the process to obtain your initial real estate license is a relatively simple one. You must be 18 or older to apply. And with pre-licensing education, an approved application, and a passing score on the exam, you’ve qualified for your salesperson license.
You can meet the state’s pre-licensing education requirement by completing 60 hours of coursework at one of the accredited realty schools in Connecticut. The material is taught in a single course designed to equip you with a working knowledge of real estate in Connecticut.
If you’re an attorney, you could fulfill that requirement another way. You can seek Commission approval of real estate courses taken at a law school, college, university, or real estate school. You must submit an Attorney Application and transcripts from each institution. If the courses are approved, you’re eligible to take the exam. If not, you’ll be informed of further requirements.
If you complete the 60-hour Principles and Practices Course, you must be pre-approved to sit for the exam as well. You’ll submit the Salesperson Application to PSI Services, the real estate exam administrator for the state. You can find the application in the Salesperson Candidate Information Bulletin published by PSI.
No matter which way you meet the education requirement, you’ll be issued an Exam Eligibility Postcard upon pre-approval. It includes instructions for registering with PSI and scheduling the exam. You have one year from the date you’re eligible for the exam to pass both the national and state portions.
One part of the exam has 80 questions on general real estate practices and principles. The questions in the other portion cover real estate rules and laws for Connecticut. It has 30 questions. You’re given two hours and 45 minutes to finish both, with the shorter time period allotted to the state section. You’ll need to score 70 percent or better on each part to pass.
You’ll know whether you passed the exam immediately after you’ve finished taking it. If you fail, you’ll get your score and a diagnostic report that shows your strengths and weaknesses. If you pass, you’ll receive a passing score report from PSI.
You must submit your score report and remit the established fee to the Licensing Services Division within two years of passing both portions of the exam. If you miss that deadline, you have to submit a new application and be pre-approved to retake the exam.
Note that you don’t have to have a sponsoring broker to take the licensing exam. But you must have broker sponsorship to activate your license. If you want to start practicing real estate right away, you’ll need to compare brokerages along the way.
We have an excellent guide to choosing the right real estate brokerage to work for to help you with this part of the process. Then, check out our directory of the top real estate brokerages in Connecticut to find one that can help make your start in real estate easier.
Connecticut Licensing Requirements for Real Estate Brokers
Connecticut real estate agents aspiring to become brokers must be at least 18 years of age, meet specified education and examination prerequisites, and have real estate sales experience to their credit.
The education requirement consists of 120 classroom hours of approved pre-licensing instruction. That includes the following three mandatory courses:
- Real Estate Principles and Practices (60 hours)
- Brokerage Principles and Practices (15 hours)
- Legal Compliance (15 hours)
Plus, you must complete two 15-hour elective courses or one 30-hour Appraisal Course or submit evidence of completing at least 20 real estate transactions in the previous five years.
If you took a 60-hour Principles and Practices course when you got your salesperson license, you don’t have to retake it. However, this course is mandatory if you completed a 30-hour course when becoming a salesperson.
You may be able to get out of some courses if you’re an attorney. The Commission will consider real estate education from a law school or other postsecondary institution or real estate school. You must submit an Attorney Application and transcripts from each institution to get a waiver. If your courses aren’t accepted, you’ll be notified of what more you need to do to sit for the exam.
Note that you must take the 15-hour course on Broker Principles and Practices unless you get an exemption based on experience in real estate closings as a regular part of your law practice.
If you satisfy the education requirement by taking the pre-licensing courses, you must submit a Broker Application to the testing administrator PSI Services to be pre-approved for the exam. The application is included in the Broker Candidate Information Bulletin.
Either way you check the education requirement off the list, you’ll receive an Exam Eligibility Postcard from PSI upon pre-approval. Only then can you register with PSI to take the exam. And you must pass both portions within a year.
Three hours are allowed for taking both parts of the broker exam. Two are allotted to the general portion, which has 75 questions. The Connecticut-specific section has 40 questions. Seventy-five percent is the minimum passing score for each segment.
As for experience, current law requires that broker applicants must have worked a minimum of two years as a licensed real estate salesperson under the supervision of a licensed Connecticut broker. The minimum prior work experience required expands in 2022.
Effective January 1, 2022, the requirement will specify that in the three years preceding application submission, a broker applicant must have:
- Been an active, licensed real estate salesperson supervised by a Connecticut-licensed broker for a minimum of 1,500 hours.
- Represented a buyer, seller, lessor, or lessee in no less than four closed transactions.
You can file for your license as soon as you pass the exam. If you’re not ready, you have two years to submit the license fee and required documents to the Licensing Services Division. Otherwise, you’ll have to reapply, get pre-approved for the exam, and retake both portions of the exam.
What Is Real Estate License Reciprocity?
Even though each state has its own licensing process, some have similar requirements. And when it’s mutually beneficial to do so, they agree to a standard of practice called real estate reciprocity. This recognition of licenses allows agents and brokers from one state to be licensed in the reciprocal state through a reduced set of requirements.
Connecticut has reciprocity agreements with several states. For the most part, these arrangements allow applicants to get an equivalent license without completing Connecticut’s pre-licensing education or retaking an exam.
You can apply for a reciprocal license if you meet the following prerequisites:
- Be actively licensed in good standing in the reciprocal state
- Received a passing score on a written exam in that state
- Provide evidence from the reciprocal state that shows you took an exam
- Provide an official license history from all states where you’ve been licensed
- Have a sponsoring broker with an active license in Connecticut (salespersons)
You are required to take the state-specific portion of the licensing exam if you are from Florida, Ohio, Illinois, or Indiana, or you did not take a written exam to obtain your license in one of the other reciprocal states. After the Commission reviews and approves your application, you’ll get an Exam Eligibility Postcard from PSI Services with instructions on registering for the test.
US States Having a Reciprocal Agreement with Connecticut
The states listed below have reciprocity agreements with Connecticut. If you are actively licensed in a state that’s not on the list, you can find information about the requirements for non-reciprocal state applicants here.
- New York
- Rhode Island
How to Study for a Real Estate License Exam in Connecticut
Pre-Licensing Classroom Courses
Various providers offer Connecticut pre-licensing courses, including community colleges, local Realtor associations, and local real estate schools and training centers. This array of providers gives you an assortment of educational settings to choose from.
Options also include in-person and live virtual classes (Zoom and Webex). The virtual format makes it easier to take courses as the school’s location is no longer a factor in your attendance.
Varying day, evening, and weekend schedules are available as well. So, you can arrange your classes around work and other obligations. As you shop for classes, you’ll also find flexibility with some providers that let you choose a combination of day and evening sessions.
You’ll also see open enrollment, which means you can enroll and start at any time. Class schedules are on a continuous loop. You begin and keep going until you complete 60 hours.
Pre-Licensing Online Courses
Connecticut doesn’t allow applicants to complete their salesperson or broker education through on-demand online courses. You must participate in a physical classroom or a live virtual one.
If you’re seeking a self-paced course that’s available 24/7, be aware that some online providers offer a way to accomplish that. Their solution: Obtain a Massachusetts license first and then apply for a Connecticut license via reciprocity.
Massachusetts offers its courses online. You can also take the exam in person or remote online with a proctor who monitors you virtually. Once you pass the exam and your application is approved, you have your Massachusetts license. The two states have reciprocity. So, you can apply for a Connecticut license that way.
The chapter on Reciprocity in this guide tells you all about getting a reciprocal license. And our article on how to get a real estate license in MA provides details for that state.
To know which format is best for you, read our guide comparing the benefits and drawbacks of real estate classes online vs. classroom courses.
Where to Take the Real Estate Exam in Connecticut
The Commission uses a third-party company, PSI Services, to manage the exam. The company conducts the examination at their Connecticut test centers in Milford and West Hartford.
You can also take the Connecticut exam at the following PSI centers in Massachusetts: Auburn, Boston, Fall River, and Springfield.
With acing the exam on your first attempt being the goal, make sure to read our tips on how to study for the real estate exam.
How to File for Your License After the Exam in Connecticut
After you’ve passed the exam, PSI will give you a score report. This document provides instructions for filing your application with the Licensing Services Division of the Department of Consumer Protection. It also includes a list of required documents and applicable fees.
If you would like to pay the license fees online, you can scan your signed score report and email it to [email protected] asking for instructions.
The filing deadline is two years from the date you pass the exam. If you tested successfully on the two portions on different days, that time begins with the most recently passed portion.
How to Receive Your Real Estate License in Connecticut
You’ve met all the requirements to obtain a license. Now you’re ready to get your license in hand. Here’s how to activate your real estate license in CT.
Passing the exam earns you a real estate license. But it has to be issued before you can provide services as a newly minted agent or broker. As a salesperson, you need a real estate broker licensed in Connecticut to sponsor you before that can happen. So, you’ll need to pick a brokerage and then file for your license to activate it.
Once you are licensed, you can log into the online system and print a credential. When the paperwork is processed, the Department of Consumer Protection will mail your license certificate to the brokerage office.
To prepare for a solid career after getting your license, read our article sharing the next steps to take after passing the real estate exam.
How long does it take to get a Connecticut real estate license when studying in the class?
The broad range of class offerings results in a variety of completion times for pre-licensing education. If you can do an accelerated daytime schedule, you’ll finish the Principles and Practices course in five weeks. The class schedules that are more commonly available will take 8-12 weeks. Some of the community college courses span a quarter (10 weeks) or two.
The amount of time you’ll need for the 15-hour broker courses will depend on how many you have to complete. The most frequently offered schedule requires two weeks per course. Some providers offer two sessions in one week that cover the 15 hours.
Additional time in the process includes wait time for the Commission to review and process your application. And that depends on several factors, including the volume of applications and whether the Commission needs to examine any criminal history.
How long does it take to get a Connecticut real estate license online?
Using reciprocity with Massachusetts as a solution to get your Connecticut license puts that timeline on the front end of the process. Reference our article on how to get a license in Massachusetts for additional information.
Following that, you’ll simply need to apply for your license and wait for the Commission to complete its review.
Is there a background check for a Connecticut real estate license?
A background check isn’t required to apply for a real estate license in Connecticut. However, you are required to disclose any criminal history as part of the application process.
The application poses specific questions about criminal convictions. If you answer affirmatively, you must provide details about the offense and the conviction. The Commission will do a background investigation before issuing a license.
How much does a Connecticut real estate license cost?
If you’re applying for a salesperson license, you’ll pay the following fees:
- Examination fee: $65
- Application fee: $80
- License fee: $305
For broker applicants, the price tag for direct fees is as follows:
- Examination fee: $65
- Application fee: $120
- License fee: $585
Those taking pre-licensing education will have an additional financial investment. The 60-hour Principles and Practices course runs about $300 to $650. The individual 15-hour broker courses range from $200 to $300.
How long do you have to wait to retake the real estate exam in Connecticut?
The test administrator, PSI Services, doesn’t accept retake appointments the same day you take the exam. You can contact them the next day and retest the day after if a time slot is available at one of their test centers.
How many times can you retake the Connecticut real estate exam?
Candidates who fail the exam get unlimited retakes as long as they do so within one year of their exam eligibility date.
Do you have to pay to retake the real estate exam in Connecticut?
Yes. There is a fee when you retake one or both portions of the exam.
How much does it cost to retake the real estate exam in Connecticut?
The retake fee for both portions of the exam is $65. Additional attempts to pass one part costs $10 less ($55).
Can you get a real estate license with a felony in Connecticut?
While you won’t be disqualified to pursue a license, your felony conviction could be an obstacle to getting one. When you apply, you must disclose whether you’ve ever been convicted of a felony. And you must also submit a statement detailing the specifics related to that conviction.
The Commission can consider that information in determining whether you are suitable for the profession. And it has the power to deny a license with the conviction as the basis for rejection. But certain factors specified by Connecticut General Statutes must be considered first:
- Nature of the crime and its relationship to practicing real estate
- How much time has elapsed since you were convicted or released
- Information about the degree of rehabilitation you’ve achieved
If the Commission decides against granting you a license, it must provide a written rejection notice specifying any evidence presented and the reasons for license denial. And you are also afforded an opportunity for a hearing related to the matter.
Can you get a real estate license with a misdemeanor in Connecticut?
If you have a criminal record, you must disclose that fact on your license application and submit information about the offense and the disposition. The Commission can consider that conviction in its decision to grant or deny you a license.
Connecticut law requires that the Commission factor in things like the type of offense, how long ago it occurred, and rehabilitation progress to determine your suitability for a license. If the decision isn’t in your favor, the Commission must notify you in writing and expressly state the evidence and reasons for rejection. You’re entitled to a hearing to make an appeal.
The disclosure question on the application asks about convictions for any crimes. But it’s worthy to note that forgery, embezzlement, and similar crimes are specifically included in that question. Character crimes like these are listed in the General Statutes as grounds for denying a license.
Will a DUI prevent you from getting a real estate license in Connecticut?
The Commission’s decision on whether you’ll get a real estate license if you have a DUI rests on a number of considerations. For instance, it looks at the relationship of the crime to the real estate profession. The ability to safely drive clients is directly related to performing the job.
Other considerations include the amount of time that has gone by since you were convicted or released and evidence of rehabilitation.
After considering these factors, the Commission may refuse to issue a license. If so, it must give you a written notice, share the details of the decision, and provide the chance for a hearing.
Can I get a real estate license without a high school diploma in Connecticut?
You don’t need to be a high school graduate to obtain a Connecticut real estate license. You may need a diploma or GED if you take your pre-licensing course at a postsecondary institution, such as a community college. The school’s admission policy will specify if a diploma is required.
As you start your real estate career, it’s best that you are ready to face what the job entails. With our article on the pros and cons of being a real estate agent, you can learn a thing or two from the experiences shared by some of the industry’s experts.
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