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How to Get a Real Estate License in Hawaii

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If you’re ready to learn everything there is to know about getting your real estate license in Hawaii, you need to read this article.

Below you’ll find all the important details for each stage of the process, compiled through information from the State of Hawaii Real Estate Commission.

Stop thinking about getting your real estate license, and start the process today. Here’s what you’ve got to do.

How to Get a Real Estate License in Hawaii

Hawaii Real Estate License Requirements for Salespeople

Hawaii has a few basic requirements you must meet initially to be eligible to get a real estate license in the state.

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have either a high school diploma or its equivalent by the examination date.
  • You must be a US citizen or an alien authorized to work in the US by the exam date.

One other additional requirement is frequently mentioned as well. It revolves around the character of the applicant.

You must have a reputation for a record of competency, honesty, truthfulness, financial integrity, and fair dealing.

This is often implied in real estate eligibility requirements and flushed out via background checks.

The state of Hawaii, however, takes it a little further by including this specific language throughout its licensing material.

Meeting the basic requirements takes you on to the educational component of the licensing process.

To become a licensed real estate salesperson in Hawaii, you must complete a 60-hour pre-licensing course.

This covers everything you’ll need to know to pass both the national and state portions of the Hawaii real estate license exam.

After completing the course, you’ll earn a School Completion Certificate, which you need to present to schedule your real estate license exam.

To schedule, you need to contact PSI Services, a leading private administrator of state licensing exams.

You can either set up an online account at psiexams.com, or call directly at 855-579-4640. The cost to take the Hawaii real estate license exam is $61.

The minimum passing score for this 130-question exam is 70 percent.

Once you pass the exam, you have two years to submit a completed application for licensure.

You’ll receive this application at your PSI testing site once you’re done with the test. The application is not distributed until you’ve passed both sections of the exam.

Application fees vary by year, and you’ll receive the actual fee at the same time you get your application.


Hawaii Real Estate License Requirements for Brokers

Although the basic eligibility requirements are the same to get your broker license in Hawaii, certain elements are different.

In addition to meeting the age, citizenship, and high school diploma requirements, you also need to have previous experience as a real estate salesperson.

Specifically, you need to have been a full-time, Hawaii-licensed, real estate salesperson with a Hawaii-licensed real estate broker.

You should be one for at least three years during the five-year period immediately prior to application submission.

To show proof of this experience, you’ll need to submit a Broker Experience Certificate Application in addition to other paperwork.

This specific request validates that your prior experience meets the requirement above.

The pre-licensing education course is also different for those hoping to obtain the broker license.

Applicants will need to complete an intensive, 80-hour pre-licensing course, which covers all relevant and necessary information.

Once the educational requirement is complete, the rest of the process is very similar to that of a real estate salesperson.

You’ll need to schedule your exam through PSI, where the cost is also $61. However, the minimum passing score for a broker license in Hawaii is 75 percent.


Reciprocal States

What Is Real Estate License Reciprocity?

Hawaii actually does not offer any outright reciprocity. This is where one state will honor the real estate license of another should the licensee move.

It occurs most frequently when both states have similar requirements for real estate licensing.

Although Hawaii won’t accept another state’s real estate license as is, they do offer equivalency for the national portion of the real estate exam on an application-by-application basis.

The state can also issue a Prelicensing Education Equivalency Certificate allowing those who qualify to bypass the educational requirements for a real estate license in Hawaii.


Hawaii Real Estate License Reciprocity Agreement with Other US States

For licensed real estate agents in Hawaii who are thinking of moving, there are a decent number of states that offer reciprocity.

While this list is always subject to change, states that currently recognize a real estate license from Hawaii include:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Make sure to verify whether this is a full or partial reciprocity by looking at the specific state’s real estate licensing information.


How to Study for a Real Estate License Exam in Hawaii

Pre-Licensing Classroom Courses

To streamline the process of pre-licensing education in Hawaii, there’s a central location to register for classes.

Opening an eHawaii account gives you access to all pre-licensing and continuing education programs.

You can also review our directory of the best real estate schools in Hawaii to see details and reviews about real estate schools near you.

The real estate salesperson pre-licensing course is 60 hours, and the broker course is 80 hours.

Curriculum covers everything, from an introduction to real estate to the real estate market in Hawaii to real estate law, land use controls, environmental issues and more.

It’s a thorough breakdown of everything you need to know to pass the real estate licensing team in Hawaii.

Although the courses are long, taking them in person can prove quite beneficial.

You’ll have direct connections to future colleagues and peers by getting the opportunity to network face-to-face.

You’ll also build relationships with classmates that can make it easier to form study groups and potentially look for a job opportunity down the road.

Having a set schedule, where you go to school at the same time and on the same day each week, can also make it easier to integrate this commitment into your calendar.

This is especially true if you have other obligations like family or an existing job.

There’s no unpredictability with the pre-licensing course in person, which can create a more stable schedule if you’re already busy.


Pre-Licensing Online Courses

On the other hand, if you shift your pre-licensing coursework to an online format, you’re giving yourself quite a bit of flexibility.

You can get work done in a shorter period of time simply because you’re able to do at least some of the work independently.

Treating the 60-hour class like a job and dedicating 40 hours per week to it can mean getting the class done in a few weeks rather than a few months.

You’ll also have the additional benefit of fitting in coursework anywhere it’s convenient in your schedule.

This added flexibility can help a lot for those who have unexpected commitments.

You’re also able to work in the setting that suits you best, setting up a space that invites minimal distraction.

Whether taking the courses in a classroom setting or online, each format offers its own unique set of benefits.

To get some additional insight into which method is right for you, check out our video guide — Real Estate Courses Online vs. Classroom.


Where to Take the Real Estate Exam in Hawaii

The real estate license exam in Hawaii differs slightly between the salesperson license and broker license.

The exam time is the same, at four hours total, with 150 minutes for the national portion, and 90 minutes for the state portion.

However, the total number of questions differs by five. The salesperson exam has 80 questions in the national section, and 50 in the state.

The exam for those wanting to become real estate brokers has 75 questions in the national section, and 50 in the state.

To pass the salesperson exam, you need a minimum score of 70 percent. Meanwhile, you need to achieve a minimum score of 75 percent to pass the broker exam.

The exam is offered by PSI, at testing centers across Hawaii in:

  • Honokaa
  • Honolulu
  • Kahului
  • Kapaa
  • Koloa
  • Lihue

To select your testing site, you can register via the PSI website, or call them directly at 855-579-4640.

It pays to study diligently to ensure that you pass the exam on your first try. Read our article on how to study for the real estate exam to get some helpful tips.


How to File for Your License After the Exam in Hawaii

After you’ve passed both portions of the real estate license exam in Hawaii, you’ll receive your license application.

Submitting this paperwork completes the process for licensure, and only leaves the final review from the State of Hawaii Real Estate Commission.

The review process, after you’ve submitted your application, typically takes about 3-5 days.


How to Receive Your Real Estate License in Hawaii

If your application gets approved, you’ll receive a notification that you’ve been issued a real estate license in Hawaii.

At this point, you must complete one final step before your license is activated, and show proof of employment.

This must happen through employment/association with a current and active, Hawaii-licensed real estate brokerage or sole proprietor.

You most likely already had your eye on a potential broker to sponsor you as you’ve gone through the pre-licensing coursework and license exam, but it’s best to do plenty of research.

Set aside time to interview brokers and/or firms to assess their professional integrity, record of success, commission split structure, and even how they onboard new hires.

If you’re still looking for that perfect opportunity, our article on how to choose the right real estate brokerage to work for is a great resource for discerning the type of broker you want to work with.

Make sure you’re all geared up for the perks and difficulties of the job by reading our article sharing industry experts’ insight into the question “Is Being a Real Estate Agent Worth It?”.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a Hawaii real estate license when studying in the class?

The average time to complete the 60-hour salesperson, pre-licensing course is 3-6 months when you take the class in person.


How long does it take to get a Hawaii real estate license online?

With the flexibility an online class can offer in terms of allowing you to work ahead independently, you may be able to finish the 60-hour, salesperson pre-licensing course in as little as two months.


Is there a background check for a Hawaii real estate license?

Yes, you’re required to complete and submit an FBI criminal background check.


How much does a Hawaii real estate license cost?

While it’s hard to gauge a final cost due to the fact that licensing fees vary from year to year, it is possible to make estimates.

The exam fee is always the same at $61, and education costs range between $350-$650. The broker license fee is also a set amount at $65.

It’s when we look at the licensing fees for a salesperson that things get tricky. Currently, the cost is $382 in any odd year, and $282 in any even year.

Totaling all these estimates up, it’s safe to say it will cost you up to $1,000 to complete the salesperson real estate licensing process, and around $700 for a broker license.

For more information on the licensing expenses to keep in mind, read our article — How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Hawaii?


How long do you have to wait to retake the real estate exam in Hawaii?

You cannot schedule another attempt at the real estate exam the same day you fail it.

You have to wait until the next day to call and schedule the test, which could then happen as soon as the day after that if there are openings.

Basically, if you fail on a Monday, you can call on a Tuesday, and test as early as Wednesday.


How many times can you retake the Hawaii real estate exam?

Should you fail the exam, either one or both parts, you can retake it as many times as necessary within the two years of the date you first passed one section.

Whether you fail one or both sections, you must also have an unexpired Hawaii School Completion Certificate or Prelicensing Education Equivalency Certificate for Real Estate License Exam to be eligible to retake the test.


Do you have to pay to retake the real estate exam in Hawaii?

There is a fee each time you retake the real estate exam in Hawaii.


How much does it cost to retake the real estate exam in Hawaii?

The fee is always $61.


Can you get a real estate license with a felony in Hawaii?

If you’d like to get a real estate license in Hawaii but have a felony charge, you’ll need to submit additional information for review.

This includes all official documents related to the charge in any way.

To do this, you should submit a Request for Preliminary Decision form before registering for the pre-license course. The cost is $25.

You’ll also need to provide proof you’ve maintained a reputation of competency, honesty, truthfulness, financial integrity, and fair dealing since the charge.

Failure to do any of these will lead to the denial of a license.


Can you get a real estate license with a misdemeanor in Hawaii?

The process is the same for a misdemeanor as it is for a felony.

While it is possible to get a real estate license in Hawaii with this charge on your record, you must submit all the proper information related to the charge for review by the State of Hawaii Real Estate Commission.

You need to submit a Request for Preliminary Decision form prior to registering for the pre-license course. The cost to file is $25.

Along with this paperwork, you must show proof you’ve maintained a reputation of competency, honesty, truthfulness, financial integrity, and fair dealing since the charge.

You may get a license denial if you fail to do any of these actions.


Will a DUI prevent you from getting a real estate license in Hawaii?

It is possible in Hawaii to get a real estate license if you have a DUI if you are forthcoming with all the details surrounding the charge.

Before registering for the pre-license course, you are required to submit a Request for Preliminary Decision form, along with all the related documentation associated with the charge.

The cost to submit the form is $25.

You’ll also need to prove you’ve maintained a reputation of competency, honesty, truthfulness, financial integrity and fair dealing since the charge.

It is important to accomplish this requirement to avoid being denied a license.


Can I get a real estate license without a high school diploma in Hawaii?

You cannot get a real estate license in Hawaii without a high school diploma. It, or an equivalent GED, is required.


Once you get hold of your license, you are eligible to join a real estate team, where you can learn more about the real estate business through experienced agents.

Furthermore, our guide on what to do next after passing the real estate exam can give you useful pointers on succeeding actions to take to get you off on a great start.

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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