How to Get a Real Estate License in Mississippi 2020: All Requirements for Taking the Exam
If you have been looking for information on how to get a real estate license (sales or broker) in Mississippi, then you have come to the right place!
I have the unique qualification of not only being a Mississippi real estate licensee for the last twenty years, but I also work for the Mississippi Real Estate Commission. I review the applications for a license, and issue new licenses. It is my pleasure to provide my daily work knowledge to you here to help you start your real estate career.
Mississippi License Requirements for Real Estate Salesperson
The first and most important step in getting a Mississippi real estate salesperson license is to take the required pre-license education. A salesperson license requires sixty (60) hours of education.
One way to get those hours is to take a pre-license course from one of the approved providers on the Mississippi Real Estate Commission’s website (www.mrec.ms.gov). The list is on the homepage of the site and titled “MREC Education Provider List.” There is a pre-license list and a post-license list, so be SURE you are choosing a school from the PRE-license list.
The other way to qualify for a license with the 60 hours of education is to have two (2) college real estate courses that are SPECIFIC to real estate.
The courses must be:
- taken from an accredited institution of higher learning
- at least 3 hours of credit or higher per course
- part of a degree-granting program (meaning they could be used as credit towards a college degree).
To decide between the real estate school path and the college path, consider education cost and the time required to get to the necessary 60 hours.
Once you have obtained the necessary education, it is time to apply for a license. If you live in the state of Mississippi, you complete the Resident Salesperson application. If you do not live in Mississippi, complete the Non-Resident Salesperson application.
Mississippi License Requirements for Real Estate Brokers
Most people who become real estate brokers started as a real estate salesperson. When using this method, a salesperson must:
- Take a sixty (60) hour BROKER pre-license course from one of the approved providers on MREC’s website.
- Have a minimum of twelve (12) months of active experience. The experience does NOT need to be consecutive months. It is twelve months CUMULATIVE, as long as the time during which you were an active licensee.
However, ANY person who meets all of the requirements listed below can qualify for the broker license:
- twelve (12) months of active license experience
- sixty (60) hours of sales pre-license education
- sixty (60) hours of broker pre-license education.
What does that mean? It means an active salesperson can take the broker pre-license education and qualify for the broker license, even if their sales license was inactive in recent months. As long as that licensee has a TOTAL of twelve months’ worth of active sales license time, they can qualify.
It also means a person who was once licensed as a broker and had their license closed can immediately qualify for broker again. As long as that person had at least twelve months of active license experience, either as a salesperson or a broker, AND the sixty hours of salesperson and sixty hours of broker pre-license education, they can directly qualify for the broker license.
The only other way to get a broker license is to have at least ten (10) college credit hours in real estate specific courses that were at least 3 hours of credit PER CLASS or higher. MREC does not have a list of college courses, but can review your transcript to tell you if you have any classes that can be counted towards a real estate license.
The MAIN thing to remember when considering college courses for credit is that the course MUST be specific to real estate. General business courses do NOT count. Most attorneys have enough education from law school to qualify for broker.
Just as a person would consider time and cost in deciding which path to take to getting a sales license, the same is true for deciding on a path for the broker license. College courses can be expensive and take months to complete.
If your goal is to be a broker, especially if you want to be your own broker, without putting in a year of time as a salesperson, then the college path is the only choice to go straight to broker. If you don’t mind being a salesperson for at least a year, or currently have a sales license and want to obtain the higher license, then the 60 hour pre-license broker course is the better path.
How to Study for a Real Estate License Exam in Mississippi?
Pre-Licensing Classroom Courses
Classroom courses have a set schedule and at least one person teaching the material on site. This type of course is best for someone who needs structure to complete their education or learns better in person rather than online. It is also good for people who need to complete a pre-license course within a certain time period.
The school will give the student an exam at the end of the course to assess learning. Once the exam is passed, the school gives the student a course certificate. A copy of this certificate must be sent to MREC with the license application.
Pre-Licensing Online Courses
Online courses are usually text slides you read through. Some courses may have a virtual instructor for all or part of the course, or a video to watch in the course, but anything else is written.
Some schools give access for an unlimited amount of time after the course is paid for. Others require you complete the sixty hours within a certain time frame (for example, three months).
You are able to do an online course at your pace on your time schedule. They provide great flexibility for anyone who is not able to set aside time to sit in a classroom. However, they do require self-motivation, persistence, and attention to be completed timely.
Most online education providers give small chapter quizzes through the course. All of them give an exam at the end of the course to assess learning. Once the exam is passed, the school gives the student a course certificate. A copy of this certificate must be sent to MREC with the license application.
What Is Real Estate Reciprocity?
Reciprocity is an agreement between the MREC and a real estate regulatory authority in another state (usually also a Commission) to recognize license requirements (including testing) between the two states.
Full reciprocity means that a licensee from another state wanting to obtain an equivalent license in Mississippi would not be required to take any education or exam for Mississippi.
Reciprocal requirements change often and usually with very little notice. The number of states having full reciprocity with each other has declined since the Great Recession. That is certainly true for Mississippi.
If the agreement is a partial one, then a reciprocal licensee will likely need to take the Mississippi portion of the licensing exam and possibly some education before the license can be issued. Anyone wishing to know about reciprocal requirements for their state should contact the MREC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
US States Having a Reciprocal Agreement with Mississippi
At the time of this writing, the only states with full reciprocity with Mississippi are:
- New York (for broker licensees ONLY)
There are several states that have a partial reciprocity agreement with Mississippi. The licensing requirements for these states vary widely. You must contact MREC for specific instructions on how to reciprocate a license from these states. States having a partial agreement with MREC are:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- The District of Columbia
Any states not listed do not have a reciprocity agreement with Mississippi. Reciprocity for Puerto Rico and any other United States territories should contact MREC for specific information.
Anyone wanting to become licensed in Mississippi from a state that does not have reciprocity will need to take the Mississippi pre-license education, just like those not having a real estate license at all.
The only difference is someone living in another state would use the non-resident application. Anyone living in Mississippi uses the resident application.
Where to Take the Real Estate Exam in Mississippi
MREC currently contracts with PSI Services, LLC to administer all real estate licensing exams. Once your application has been approved by MREC, you will be sent a test approval letter explaining how to contact PSI to schedule your exam and the deadline to complete all testing.
PSI has testing facilities around the country. The applicant pays testing fees to PSI directly and chooses the testing site. The current main testing locations for a Mississippi license are Jackson, MS; Memphis, TN; Mobile, AL; and Metairie and Baton Rouge, LA.
How to File for Your License After the Exam in Mississippi
There is no need to notify MREC that you have passed your exam. MREC receives exam results regularly directly from PSI.
If you listed a responsible broker on your salesperson application, your license will be mailed to the broker once background check clearance is confirmed. If you did not list a broker on your salesperson application, you will be sent a form for a broker to complete with a letter explaining the process.
Broker applicants will all be sent a letter and form to complete after passage of the licensing exam.
Any current salesperson upgrading to broker will be required to return their sales license with the form to finish the process. If you pass the full licensing exam and have not received either paperwork or a license from MREC within two weeks of passing the full exam, contact MREC.
How to Receive Your Real Estate License in Mississippi
The first step to receiving a real estate license in Mississippi is to submit the proper application. Your application will be reviewed and either approved or not approved.
If it is approved, you will be sent a test approval letter. If it is not approved, you will be sent paperwork to complete and return to MREC. Once that has been reviewed and your application is complete, you’ll be sent a test approval letter.
You have 60 days to pass the real estate exam. Once you pass the exam and you have passed the background check, your license will be sent to your broker or to you if you are your own broker.
How long does it take to get a Mississippi real estate license when studying in the class?
Courses in the classroom have a definite schedule. You will know exactly when you will finish the 60 hour pre-license course. The classes range from two weeks in length to a month depending on the days and times class is held.
Once you receive your education completion certificate and complete an MREC application, send it to MREC for review. Approved applicants have up to 60 days to take the exam. The license is sent to the broker when the exam is passed and the background check is passed.
How long does it take to get a Mississippi real estate license online?
Courses taken online vary widely on time length. Most providers allow you to take the class at your pace. That means you can go through it quickly or you can draw it out over weeks. Some providers may give you access for a certain period of time (example: 90 days) to complete your course.
Regardless, it will be up to you to dedicate time to the course to finish it. Once you receive your education completion certificate and complete an MREC application, send it to MREC for review. Approved applicants have up to 60 days to take the exam. The license is sent to the broker when the exam is passed.
Is there a background check for a Mississippi real estate license?
Yes. When your application is received by MREC, you will be sent a fingerprint kit that includes a fingerprint card (with MREC’s authorization code), an authorization to release, instructions on how to complete the documents, and an envelope to return it to MREC. There is a $50.00 fee to process your background check.
How much does getting a Mississippi real estate license cost?
A salesperson application fee (resident or non-resident) is $120.00. A broker application fee (resident or non-resident) is $150.00. The testing center charges $75.00 per exam. The application fee is the only fee paid to MREC. Testing fees are paid directly to the testing center.
How long do you have to wait to retake the real estate exam in Mississippi?
There is no waiting period or maximum number of attempts allowed for retaking an exam within the 60 day approval window. But if you do not pass the exam in the 60 day approval window, you must wait to reapply.
A salesperson applicant must wait at least 3 months from the date they failed the state portion of the exam the second time. A broker applicant must wait at least 6 months from the date they failed the state portion of the exam for the second time.
It is important to note that you must pass both the state and national portion of the exam in the SAME 60 day approval window to become licensed. If you pass one part of the exam, but not the other and your time to test expires, the passed portion of the exam does NOT carry over to a future application.
How many times can you retake the exam in Mississippi?
During one 60 day approval period, you have two chances to pass the state portion of the exam and unlimited chances at the national portion. If you pass the state portion of the exam and fail the national portion of the exam, you can keep taking the national portion as many times as you need.
If you fail the state portion twice, you CAN keep taking the national portion for practice if you want. However, remember it will not carry over to a new application. So be sure you want to spend the money (the testing fee) before you decide to keep going for practice.
If you pass the national portion of the exam and fail the state portion, definitely take your second chance at the state portion if you still have time in your 60 day testing window. One thing is for sure — if you fail the exam once, you have at least one more chance to take it.
Do you pay to retake the exam in Mississippi?
Yes, the testing center charges $75.00 every time you take a test.
Can you get a Mississippi real estate license with a felony?
Mississippi law does not allow someone to obtain any type of professional license if the person has a felony conviction that is less than five years old. If you have a felony and it has been more than five years since you had the felony conviction, it IS possible to get a Mississippi real estate license.
However, if your felony falls in the category of a violation of public trust, it may be something that does keep you from getting a Mississippi real estate license.
If you have a felony on your record, you are strongly encouraged to call MREC and speak with the attorney about your criminal history to determine if you are eligible for licensure. It is also strongly recommended you do this first before spending money and time on a real estate pre-license course.
Can you get a Mississippi real estate license with a misdemeanor?
Yes, you can. If you have questions about your conviction, call MREC and speak to the attorney.
Will a DUI prevent you from getting a real estate license in Mississippi?
No. You can get a real estate license if you have a DUI.
Can I get a Mississippi real estate license without a high school diploma?
Yes. A high school diploma is NOT required to obtain a real estate license in Mississippi.
About the author:
Farrah Cox holds a MS real estate broker license and has been licensed since 2000. She has 14 years experience handling initial licensing with the MS Real Estate Commission.