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How to Get Your Real Estate License in Kentucky: 2021 Requirements for Taking the Exam

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In this article, you’ll find the essential information necessary to complete the process of getting your real estate license in the Bluegrass State. We’ve got details on the pre-licensing classes you’ll need to take, where the exam is offered, and what happens after you get your license.

Keep reading to start preparing for your career in Kentucky real estate.

How to Get a Real Estate License in Kentucky
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Kentucky Licensing Requirements for Real Estate Sales Associates

In Kentucky, qualifying for your sales associate real estate license means you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete all the pre-licensing coursework
  • Submit fingerprints and agree to a FBI criminal background check
  • Acquire Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance

Each step prepares you to take the sales associate license exam.

The amount of hours necessary to complete your pre-licensing coursework vary based on where you’re taking the course. There are fewer hours if you’re at an accredited college instead of a proprietary school.

While you’re working on completing your educational requirements, it’s best to begin the process of getting your background check. This is done through a FBI Identification Records Check, and must be complete before you schedule your real estate license exam.

The entire process can take 12 to 16 weeks, which is why planning for it early is beneficial. The cost of the fingerprints and background check is $33.25, and the report remains valid for three months after the date it’s issued.

Once that’s done, and you’ve completed your pre-licensing coursework, it’s time to schedule your exam with PSI Exams. You can either register online or call 855-746-8176.

The exam itself takes 240 minutes to complete, and is broken into two parts: the national section and the state section. The cost for the exam is $100, and you’ll need a minimum score of 75 percent to pass.

When you pass both sections, you’ll receive further instructions on what to submit to complete your application. At this stage, you’ll need proof of your E&O insurance. You can obtain a policy either through the Kentucky Real Estate Commission or through a private carrier.

The fee to submit your real estate license application in Kentucky is $120 with an additional $10 processing fee for your E&O policy.

The last step before your license can get approved is to have a managing broker sponsor your license. This should be something you’re researching as you complete the other steps of the licensing process. Our article on choosing the right real estate broker to work for as a new agent can help.

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Kentucky Licensing Requirements for Real Estate Brokers

Earning your broker license in Kentucky means meeting all the basic sales associate requirements, with a little extra added on. You’ll need previous job experience, and will have a more rigorous pre-licensing educational requirement to complete.

As far as experience goes, you’re required to have two years of working at least 20 hours per week as a licensed real estate professional in order to qualify for your broker license.

Pre-licensing education requirements break down into three categories — Broker Management, Broker Curriculum, and Broker Electives. The amount of hours you must take within each category depends on whether you’re at an accredited college or a proprietary school.

Once you’ve completed your education, you must submit to an educational review. You can’t register for the real estate license exam without completing this step. The review process can take between 7 to 10 days, and costs $10.

The license exam to become a broker is managed the same as for a sales associate. PSI proctors the exam, you’ll have 240 minutes to complete it, and the fee is $100. You need a 75 percent minimum score to pass.

Once complete, you’ll need to submit your license application and pay a $60 fee.

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Reciprocal States

What Is Real Estate License Reciprocity?

When it comes to real estate licensing, certain states will honor the license of another so if you move, you don’t have to begin the licensing process over again. This is known as real estate reciprocity. It most often happens between states that have a similar set of requirements to begin with.

In Kentucky, there’s no formal policy of reciprocity. Instead, the state is currently negotiating with individual states to form agreements. Once any formal reciprocity is available, it’s posted online.

As of now, Ohio is the only state Kentucky has reciprocity with. Eligibility requirements for a sales associate include a set time to already have an active license, along with an affiliation with a principal broker with a Kentucky license.

For brokers, they’ll need to have had their license for a set time, but must also have an escrow account set up at a Kentucky bank. They must also have a place of business located in the state that’s not a virtual office or a PO Box address.

Regardless of which license you’re applying for, licensees coming in from Ohio must also complete a 40-hour reciprocal license law course, submit fingerprints for a background check, and take a reciprocal license exam.

After receiving your Kentucky real estate license, you’re responsible for all required post-licensing and continuing education requirements as well.

 

US States Having a Reciprocal Agreement with Kentucky

Should you obtain your real estate license in Kentucky, but find yourself wanting to relocate, these states honor a Kentucky license:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Virginia

This list can easily change without notification, so it’s best to review reciprocity agreements whenever you’re considering an out-of-state move.

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How to Study for a Real Estate License Exam in Kentucky

Pre-Licensing Classroom Courses

Pre-licensing education for a real estate license in Kentucky varies greatly based on where you’re completing the coursework and what license you’re getting.

For a sales associate, you must complete a single course in principles and practices. If you’re at an accredited college, the requirement is six hours. If you’re at any of the accredited real estate schools, the course is 96 hours.

For a broker license, you’ll need to complete 21 hours of academic credit at an accredited college, or 336 classroom hours at a proprietary institution. Broken down into three categories, in college, you’ll need three hours in brokerage management, and nine hours each in broker curriculum and broker electives. Outside of a university, the hours break out into 48 in brokerage management and 144 hours each in the other two categories.

Completing the pre-licensing requirements for either license in person provides you with unique benefits. Not only does it create consistency in your schedule, it also gives you a predictable timeline for when you’ll complete the requirement. Having a set schedule for taking your classes also makes it easier to plan time for work, family, and any other commitments,

The face-to-face contact also gives you more opportunities to network with future peers and industry colleagues. This offers up more personable access to individuals who are already experts in Kentucky real estate.

 

Pre-Licensing Online Courses

While many of the approved real estate schools offer a hybrid learning option for the real estate sales associate license of 60 hours online and 36 in the classroom, many may prefer to go completely digital with their coursework.

Taking the coursework online enables a high level of flexibility since you can move through the curriculum independently and at your own pace. If you treat the pre-licensing requirement like a 40-hour-per-week job, you can be done with the sales associate course in less than a month.

Going online not only lets you set the pace you work at but also allows you to select where you want to get the work done. This means you can take the coursework in an ideal location where there’s no interruption. This can sometimes become difficult in a room full of other students. With a greater ability to focus, you may find yourself working even faster.

To decide which format is best for you, refer to our guide comparing the pros and cons of real estate classes online vs. classroom courses.

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Where to Take the Real Estate Exam in Kentucky

The real estate license exam in Kentucky is administered by PSI Exams. They have testing centers throughout the state in:

  • Bowling Green
  • Lexington
  • Louisville
  • Maysville
  • Mount Sterling
  • Owensboro
  • Paducah
  • Somerset

Register online or call any PSI Exams testing center to schedule your exam. The cost of the licensing exam in Kentucky is $100.

Regardless of whether you’re taking the sales associate exam or the broker exam, you’ll have 240 minutes for the test, which is broken into two sections. You’ll have 150 minutes for the general portion, and 90 minutes for the state-specific questions.

The total number of questions does vary between the two exams. The sales associate exam has 130 questions, while the broker test has 125. The sales associate exam has five more questions in the general section, for a total of 80. Both tests have 50 questions in the state portion. To pass either exam, you need a minimum score of 75 percent.

Make sure to check out our article on how to pass the real estate exam the first time for tips on how you can effectively study for the test.

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How to File for Your License After the Exam in Kentucky

Once you pass the real estate license exam in Kentucky, you have 60 days to apply for your license. The application gets issued to you directly at the testing site, along with your passing score report. This document also contains a list of all the items you must submit to complete the licensing process.

Application fees vary by license type. It costs $130 for a sales associate license and $60 for a broker license.

You’ll also need to choose a real estate brokerage to sponsor your license. Reviewing your best options by checking out our directory of the top real estate brokerages in Kentucky.

To submit your application and accompanying materials, use the state’s online portal.

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How to Receive Your Real Estate License in Kentucky

Only after all necessary materials are in will the review process begin for your license application. Once complete, you’ll receive notification that your license is active.

Once you have your license, you’ll have additional education requirements to complete within your first two years as a sales associate. This includes taking 48 hours of post-license education in courses approved by the Kentucky Real Estate Commission.

All licensed real estate agents in Kentucky also have yearly continuing education prerequisites requiring them to take six hours of classes annually. Three of those hours must be in courses approved for law credit.

Read our article on what to do after you get your real estate license. Additionally, learn how to join a real estate team and be trained under more experienced agents.

Frequently Asked Questions
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How long does it take to get a Kentucky real estate license when studying in the class?

Timing very much depends on how you’re obtaining your pre-licensing hours. If you’re already enrolled in an accredited college, you can spread out your credits or condense them into a short period of time. It could be something you finish in a year, or something you complete along with your degree.

If you’re taking the classes outside of a college setting, you’ll have 96 hours to complete. This can take several months based on how many hours each week you meet in the classroom.

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

Shifting to an online format allows for the potential to speed up the process of finishing your pre-licensing coursework. What might take a few months in a traditional classroom setting may only take a few weeks online if you’re able to put in more hours each day.

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

Yes, everyone taking the real estate license exam in Kentucky will undergo an FBI Identification Records Check before taking the test.

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How much does a Kentucky real estate license cost?

The total cost will vary based on the price tag of your pre-licensing coursework, but at the very least, you’ll pay over $250 in fees to get your sales associate degree. Those going for their broker license will pay a little less at just under $200.

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

You basically have to wait at least two days to retest. If you fail the test on Monday, for example, you can call to reschedule on a Tuesday. However, the earliest slot you’d be able to get, if there’s one open, wouldn’t be until Wednesday. Based on availability, you may have to wait longer, but call the day after you fail the test to be sure.

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

You have unlimited attempts to take one or both portions of the test if you fail the exam. However, you only have four months to receive a passing grade should you only fail one part of the exam. After that, you must take both at each attempt.

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

Yes, there is a fee each time you retake the exam.

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

The cost is $100 whether you’re retaking one section of the exam, or both.

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

Individuals with a felony conviction need their eligibility reviewed by the Kentucky Real Estate Commission before they can apply for a real estate license in Kentucky. The Commission will look at criminal records and make a decision.

The Commission will investigate individuals who have a felony conviction from the previous ten years.

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

Those convicted of a misdemeanor can still get their real estate license in Kentucky, but criminal records must get reviewed by the Kentucky Real Estate Commission. Decisions on eligibility are made on a case-by-case basis.

The Commission investigates individuals convicted of a misdemeanor within the previous five years.

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

It’s possible to get a real estate license if you have a DUI. In fact, one DUI generally won’t prevent an individual from getting their license. However, as with other misdemeanors, DUIs are subject to an investigation if conviction came within the previous five years.

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

No. You’re required to have a high school diploma or a GED to be eligible for a real estate license in Kentucky.

 

Once you get your license, you may wonder what it would be like to get out there and work as a professional realtor. In our article What Are the Pros and Cons of Being a Real Estate Agent as a Career?”, industry experts discuss the pluses and minuses of working as one .

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.

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