How to Get Your Real Estate License in Arkansas: 2022 Requirements for Taking the Exam
In this guide, we share comprehensive information that will make it extra easy for you to get up to speed on how to get an Arkansas real estate license.
The licensing requirements in Arkansas are relatively straightforward. We lay them out in a clear, step-by-step manner to help you work your way through the process with confidence.
Here’s what to expect and what you’ll need to do.
Arkansas Real Estate License Requirements for Salespeople
Starting at age 18, you’re eligible to be licensed as a real estate agent in Arkansas.
The licensing process begins with satisfying the preparatory education requirement.
Specifically, you must complete 60 classroom hours of pre-licensing education. Half of those hours must be on the basic principles of real estate.
You are required to complete the coursework at a post-secondary school or any of the accredited real estate schools in Arkansas certified by real estate commission.
Your application comes next. Before sitting for the exam, you must first submit an application to Arkansas Real Estate Commission (AREC) and receiving an exam eligibility certificate.
You’ll find the application in the Candidate Handbook published by the testing company Pearson VUE.
When you apply, you must also include information for the mandatory background check.
Apart from answering the related application questions, you’ll need to submit a criminal background check form.
This is to verify your identity and authorize the criminal history records search.
AREC will notify you when your application has been processed and provide instructions on getting fingerprinted for the background check.
So that you are aware, you cannot apply using fingerprint cards if you are a resident.
Instead, you’re required to have your fingerprints electronically captured and submitted to the Arkansas State Police.
Once AREC approves you to take the test, it will mail a Certificate of Exam Eligibility. This document includes instructions on making your exam reservation.
It’s also required for admission at the test center. So, you’ll want to make sure you hold on to it for exam day.
As a first-time applicant, you’ll have to take and pass both the national and state-specific portions of the licensing exam.
It’s a multiple-choice test with 110 scored questions. The national portion has 80 questions covering general real estate principles and practices.
The Arkansas law portion contains 30 questions that assess your knowledge in the following areas:
- Commission powers and duties
- Licensing requirements
- Laws governing licensee activities
- Other statutory requirements
- Agency relationships and disclosures
Each part of the test is scored independently and reported on a scale of 0-100.
You must get a score of 70 or higher on each portion to pass the exam and receive a successful score report.
Upon passing the exam, you’re ready to file for your license unless you want it issued on active status.
If that’s the case, then you have another requirement to meet: you must sign on with a broker.
For help on points to consider and questions to ask, check out our informative guide on choosing the right broker to work for.
Then, browse our directory of the top real estate brokerages in Arkansas where you can select one.
Also, be sure to watch the calendar as you only have 90 days to file for your license. In addition, there is a post-issuance requirement that you have to satisfy.
To remain active, you must complete 18 hours of post-license education within six months of your initial licensure.
Arkansas Real Estate License Requirements for Brokers
Applicants for original licensure as an Arkansas real estate broker are required to complete pre-licensing education.
They also have to earn a passing score on the exam and undergo a criminal background check. Experience in the profession is also a must.
As for the experience requirement, AREC indicates that you must meet one of the two prerequisites listed below to qualify for a broker’s license.
- You must have been actively licensed in real estate for a minimum of 24 months within the 48-month period immediately preceding application submission.
- You have at least 24 months of real estate-related experience that is acceptable to AREC and was earned in the 48 months before the date you apply.
If you are looking to qualify based on experience in a related field versus being licensed, you’re also required to submit a written history of that experience for AREC’s review.
The education requirement for Arkansas real estate agents applying to become brokers consists of 60 hours of coursework.
Forty-five of which must be an AREC-approved broker pre-licensing course.
There is a time window that applies to the coursework, too.
You must have completed the 60 hours of instruction no earlier than 36 months before applying to take the exam.
You’ll need to download the Candidate Handbook from Pearson VUE to get the application for the exam.
You must then mail your completed application to AREC, along with the appropriate fees and a form that gives permission for your background check.
The criminal history check is performed at the state and federal levels. You must submit your fingerprints for the FBI portion of the criminal records search.
AREC provides information on how to get the fingerprinting done once it processes your application.
As soon as AREC determines you’re eligible to take the exam, it will send you an eligibility certificate. You’ll need it to schedule an exam appointment with Pearson VUE.
To pass the exam, you’ll need a scaled score of 70. That’s the score for the entire test.
Unlike the salesperson exam which is divided into two parts, the broker exam is a unified test with 120 multiple-choice questions that cover the following areas:
- General principles and practices for real estate brokerage activities
- Laws, regulations, and the practice of real estate in Arkansas
You’ll have 90 days after you pass the exam to file for your license.
Instructions are included on the passing score report that Pearson VUE provides after you test successfully.
There is one more requirement you have to meet shortly after your license is issued.
You must complete AREC’s 30-hour post-licensure course within six months of being licensed.
What Is Real Estate License Reciprocity?
If you’re already licensed elsewhere, you may be wondering how to get a real estate license in Arkansas without repeating the entire process.
The ability to do that depends on whether you are licensed in a state that has reciprocity with Arkansas.
Reciprocity refers to a system under which one state allows exemptions from pre-licensing requirements for licensees from other states.
What’s waived is determined by policy or written agreements between those states.
Reciprocity rules vary from state to state.
Here’s the general premise, though: If you’ve earned a real estate license in a jurisdiction with comparable requirements, you can get credit for that.
Arkansas offers partial reciprocity, which means exemptions apply to licensees from some states, but not all. What is then required for reciprocal licensees?
If you’re a salesperson applicant licensed outside Arkansas at the same level, you may only be required to take the Arkansas law portion of the exam.
To be eligible, you have to meet all three of the parameters listed below:
- You must have passed a general, uniform, or multi-state part of another state’s real estate licensing exam that AREC considers as meeting acceptable standards of real estate testing.
- The passing grade for the exam you took must be the same as or higher than the one for the national portion of the Arkansas exam, currently 70 percent.
- You must be licensed in the other state when you take the Arkansas portion of the exam.
Arkansas Real Estate License Reciprocity with Other US States
AREC has reciprocal agreements with the following states:
- New York
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
How to Study for a Real Estate License Exam in Arkansas
Pre-Licensing Classroom Courses
Opportunities for completing pre-licensing education through a classroom experience include in-person and livestream formats.
Both offer the benefits of an active learning environment and a face-to-face connection with the instructor and fellow learners.
One of the trade-offs is flexibility. You won’t have the option of varying when you study in class.
However, you can still pick where you learn when you participate as part of a virtual classroom.
As for schedules, day classes are the most commonly offered. You’ll also find some classes taught over 2-3 weekends.
This option can be an alternative if you prefer classroom-style learning, but a day schedule or the availability or timing of night classes don’t work for you.
Pre-Licensing Online Courses
Taking your pre-licensing course online is also an acceptable option for meeting the education requirement.
You can choose between Arkansas-based real estate schools and internet-based education providers, both of which offer self-paced courses.
One thing to watch out for, especially when shopping for courses from out-of-state providers, is whether they are on the list of AREC-approved schools.
That stamp of approval is necessary for your coursework to count toward the requirement.
If you do take classes online, you can access the material anytime and control your completion time by the pace you set.
Also, you can usually find pricing that’s less than classroom options.
However, it can be difficult to remain engaged in an online course if you’re an active versus passive learner.
And, if you need structure to stay on task, the freedom that comes with online courses may be problematic.
Watch our video guide on real estate classes online vs. classroom courses, which walks you through the differences of two formats to help you decide.
Where to Take the Real Estate Exam in Arkansas
Pearson VUE manages the real estate licensing exam program for Arkansas.
You can register with them online and pick the center where you will go in person to take the test.
Pearson Professional Centers are located in Fort Smith, Little Rock, Rogers, and Texarkana.
Exams are also given at other authorized test centers throughout the state. The locations and schedules are subject to change.
You can use Pearson VUE’s location finder to get a full list.
As with any other tests, it’s important to be fully prepared before taking the Arkansas real estate exam.
Know what to expect by reading our article — How Hard Is the Arkansas Real Estate Exam?.
Don’t forget to arm yourself with useful tips on how to study for the real estate exam from our expert, Kristina Morales.
How to File for Your License After the Exam in Arkansas
Pearson VUE will provide a successful score report once you’ve passed the exam.
Part of this document is an application form with instructions on filing for your license.
You have 90 days from the date of your qualifying exam to send the licensing fee and all pages of your score report to AREC.
This should also include a signed post-license requirement notice.
If you fail to meet the deadline, your score will be null and void, and you’ll have to reapply and retake the exam.
If you want to be issued an active license, you’ll need to line up a sponsoring broker.
Otherwise, your license will be inactive and you can’t engage in real estate brokerage activities right away.
As you wait for the approval of your license, it’s best to know the pros and cons of being a real estate agent to be prepared for what’s ahead.
How to Receive Your Real Estate License in Arkansas
Once AREC decides to issue you a license, a paper certificate and pocket card are mailed to the office of your principal broker.
How long does it take to get an Arkansas real estate license when studying in the class?
Whether you are getting a salesperson or broker license, you can complete the 60-hour pre-licensing course in two to three weeks on a weekday schedule.
You can also finish up in three weeks if you go to class on consecutive weekends.
During the process, you will also have some wait time.
The typical turnaround time for AREC to review your application and send your Certificate of Exam Eligibility is 5-10 business days (if there are no delays).
You can use that time to take an exam prep course or do some extra studying on your own. If you need more study time, just factor that in.
You’ll need a day, of course, that’s reserved for taking the exam. Plan on another half day or so to get your fingerprints taken for the background check.
Note that if you’re getting a salesperson license, you’ll need to invest some time in researching and comparing brokerages to find the right one for you.
Allow 2-3 weeks for that process.
How long does it take to get an Arkansas real estate license online?
The time it takes to complete the salesperson pre-licensing course online varies by individual.
A finish time of two weeks is not out of reach if you can devote a full-time effort.
If you’re studying in your spare time, you can identify your desired completion time and set your pace accordingly.
Once your education is done, other time factors to consider include the time it takes AREC to review your application and issue a Certificate of Exam Eligibility.
That’s typically a week or two, barring any delays.
Consider exam prep time, too, if you need it.
Determine as well if you’ll complete that concurrently with your wait time for your eligibility certificate or whether you want to add on more study days.
The exam and the fingerprinting appointment will take up to a couple of days in your timeframe.
Don’t forget to include the amount of time you decide to invest in comparing brokerages and choosing the one to sponsor you.
A helpful rule of thumb is about three weeks.
Is there a background check for an Arkansas real estate license?
Yes, you have to undergo a background check before becoming a licensed real estate salesperson or broker in Arkansas.
The Arkansas State Police conduct this check, including an FBI criminal records search.
The FBI check requires that you have your fingerprints taken. If you’re a non-resident, you can submit a request using a fingerprint card.
Your prints must be digitally submitted to the State Police if you’re a resident. You get this done at a commercial site called a fingerprint harvester.
You’ll receive instructions on how to go about this once your application has been processed.
You’ll pay $22 for the state background check. The FBI check, on the other hand, costs $14.25.
How much does an Arkansas real estate license cost?
If you are obtaining a salesperson license, be prepared to invest $250 to $600 in your pre-licensing education. Broker candidates can expect to pay $400-plus.
In addition, fees directly associated with licensing include:
- Exam application: $50
- Exam registration: $75
- State background check: $22
- FBI background check: $14.25
- Salesperson license: $75
- Broker license: $70
How long do you have to wait to retake the real estate exam in Arkansas?
According to the Candidate Handbook for the test, you have to wait at least 24 hours after a failed exam to schedule a retake.
If an appointment is available for the day after that, you’re eligible to reserve that time slot.
How many times can you retake the Arkansas real estate exam?
There’s no cap on the number of retakes you get if you fail the exam. However, a time window begins once you take it the first time.
If you test unsuccessfully on one or both parts, you have six months to pass the portion(s) you failed. If you don’t, you’ll have to retake the entire exam.
Do you have to pay to retake the real estate exam in Arkansas?
Yes, you must register and pay the $75 fee each time you retake the test.
How much does it cost to retake the real estate exam in Arkansas?
AREC does not offer a reduced registration fee for either partial or full exam retakes. Each reexamination will cost you $75.
Can you get a real estate license with a felony in Arkansas?
It’s possible to become a real estate agent in Arkansas if you’re a convicted felon, depending on the crime and the circumstances.
As you would expect, crimes such as murder, kidnapping, and some sexual offenses are permanent disqualifiers.
However, Arkansas has a waiver process that allows licensure if you were convicted of certain non-violent crimes.
Waivers must be applicant-requested and accompany the application and fees.
If the conviction is for an offense that’s eligible for a waiver, AREC may consider the following:
- Your age when the offense was committed
- Circumstances surrounding the crime
- Length of time that has elapsed
- Your subsequent work history
- Employment and character references
- Relevance of the crime to the profession
- Other evidence that you’re not a danger to the public
There is also a five-year lookback period, which means that certain disqualifying offenses no longer require a waiver if that amount of time has elapsed.
In addition, you can request a pre-licensure determination.
AREC staff will review criminal record details, determine if the conviction is disqualifying, and advise on the probability of a waiver.
Can you get a real estate license with a misdemeanor in Arkansas?
Having a misdemeanor on your record doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be granted a license.
While certain offenses are considered permanent disqualifiers, there are others for which AREC may waive disqualification based on the conviction.
If your criminal conviction falls into the latter category, AREC may look at factors like the circumstances related to the offense, how long ago it occurred, and evidence of your rehabilitation since that time.
Based on the information, they may decide to approve your application. Note that you must request the waiver when you apply.
If you are concerned that your conviction may prevent you from being licensed, you can request a pre-determination.
You’ll need to submit details of your criminal record. You may also be asked to undergo state and federal background checks.
AREC staff will review the information and inform you on the probability of a waiver if your conviction meets the disqualifying criteria.
The lookback period may come into play as well. Certain offenses don’t require a waiver after five years.
Two conditions apply:
(1) You must not have been convicted of a violent or sexual crime; and (2) You can’t have any convictions on your record during the five-year disqualification period.
Will a DUI prevent you from getting a real estate license in Arkansas?
Driving when intoxicated is a traffic violation in Arkansas and is considered a criminal offense.
As each case is unique, the best way to find out if you can get a real estate license if you have a DUI or DWI on your record is to request a pre-determination.
After reviewing the details related to the conviction, AREC staff will let you know whether you may qualify for a waiver.
Can I get a real estate license without a high school diploma in Arkansas?
Arkansas licensing requirements do not include a high school diploma or a GED.
Hopefully, this article will help you breeze through the licensing process.
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