How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Illinois?

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In this article, we go through Illinois real estate license fees to give you an idea of the financial investment involved when getting licensed in the state.

We break down the expected expenses attached to each step of the licensing process and where you can save on some costs.

Read on to know exactly how much a real estate license in Illinois is.


Getting Your License

Pre-Licensing Education: $200-$550

In acquiring an Illinois real estate license, your first cost comes in the form of coursework. You’re required to complete a set amount of hours from an accredited real estate school.

To complete this portion, you’ll take 75 total hours of pre-license education in courses approved by the Illinois Division of Real Estate.

These hours are broken down into three parts. Parts one and two total 60 hours in real estate topics. Part three consists of 15 hours of applied real estate principles.

For managing brokers, the costs and total required hours will vary based on where your active license is from.

Those already in Illinois must complete 45 hours, while those coming from outside the state must complete 165 hours of pre-licensing education.

Prepare a budget between $200 to $550 to complete all your required hours.


Fingerprinting: $15+

The cost of a real estate license in Illinois also includes fingerprint expenses.

Submitting your fingerprints is required to allow the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to run a background check on you.

You must obtain fingerprints through an approved LiveScan vendor.

Costs can vary between vendors, so it’s best to price-compare those in your area before making an appointment.

We discuss the background check process and other issues that may prevent you from getting licensed in the state in an article on getting an Illinois real estate license with violations on your record.


Exam Fee: $58

Regardless of the license type you’re getting, you’ll pay a $58 fee to sit for the real estate exam.

To schedule your exam, you’ll need to go through PSI Services. They’re the company that proctors the test.

You can create an online account to set up your test or handle things over the phone by calling 855-340-3893.

The exam is broken into two parts — a national section and a state section.

How long you have for each section, your minimum passing score, and the total number of questions vary by license type.

The broker exam has 100 questions in the national section, and 40 in the state. You have 4 hours to complete the exam.

To pass, you need at least a 70 percent on the national portion, and a 75 percent on the state.

For the managing broker exam, you have 150 minutes to answer 90 questions in the national section, and 90 minutes for the 40 questions in the state section.

You must get at least a 75 percent on both sections to pass.

We have an article discussing what to study for the Illinois real estate exam for topics that are covered in the test.


Exam Retake: $58

Each time you retake the real estate license exam in Illinois, you must pay the $58 fee. This is true whether you’re taking one section or both.

If you only fail one section, you have a year to retake it and pass.

If you fail both sections, you have only four attempts to pass before you’re required to retake your pre-licensing coursework.

To avoid retakes, read my tips on studying for the real estate exam.


License Application: $125

Once you pass the real estate license exam, your scores are automatically sent to the Illinois Division of Real Estate. At this point, you can submit your license application.

You’ll need to have gotten your fingerprints by this point, and found a sponsoring broker who you’ll work for once fully licensed.

You can check out our directory of the best real estate brokers in Illinois to choose a real estate brokerage to work for as a new agent.

As a broker awaiting your license, you can legally work for up to 45 days while you wait to receive your license approval.

The cost to submit your license application is $125.


Keeping Your License Active

Continuing Education: $100+

Prior to paying the Illinois real estate license renewal fee each period, you must complete a set amount of continuing education hours.

In Illinois, real estate license continuing education requirements for salespeople include a total of 12 hours of coursework.

Four of these hours must be in a core course. Eight hours can be taken as electives as long as one hour is in a sexual harassment prevention training course.

Within the first renewal period for a new license holder, Illinois real estate agents also have to complete 45 hours of post-license education.

This is a one-time requirement to help them hone their real estate skills.

This additional requirement costs around $300 and will be an additional, one-time expense.


License Renewal: $150

In Illinois, real estate license renewal requirements include completing your continuing education before your license expires.

To keep track of this date and your license status, you can log onto your online account. This portal also lets you track the number of CE hours you’ve completed.

The renewal portal becomes available 90 days before your deadline. You’ll also receive renewal instructions via email at this time.

The renewal fee is $150, with a late fee of $50 if you fail to complete the renewal process in time.


How to Reduce Real Estate License Education Costs

Seeing all the fees associated with the licensing process should give you a solid answer to the question, “how much does a real estate license cost in Illinois?”

What it doesn’t tell you, though, is how to potentially reduce those costs if you need a more budget-friendly option.

Although certain costs, like your application fee, are fixed, there is a little flexibility when it comes to all your education requirements.

Whether you’re doing your pre-licensing, post-licensing, or continuing education coursework, you always have an assortment of Illinois real estate agent schools to pick from.

Comparing prices between the few in your area can help you find the best deal.

You’ll want to look at the cost of packages, as well as whether there’s a price difference between virtual classes and those offered in person.

Apart from prices, we discuss other pros and cons of these two methods in an article comparing real estate classes online vs. classroom courses.

Primarily for your pre-licensing education classes, it’s also a good idea to look at the pass rate each school you’re considering has.

It may be worth it to pay a little more for class if there’s a higher chance of passing the licensing exam on your first attempt since you have to pay a fee for each try.

Taking the time to compare your options and find the best price and value can help make the journey to getting your Illinois real estate license more budget-friendly.


Refer to this guide when you need to properly prepare a budget for getting an Illinois real estate license.

Should you need to know the estimated timeline for completing all your licensing requirements, read our article tackling how long it takes to get a real estate license in Illinois.

As you wait for your license to get approved, make time to enrich your knowledge of the real estate industry. These resources may 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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