How to Get a Real Estate License in Oregon: All Requirements for Taking the Exam
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about getting a real estate license in the state of Oregon.
We’ve compiled answers to all your possible questions regarding qualifying for a license, how to apply, what pre-licensing work is required, and how to take the exam.
Read on to learn exactly what you need to do to get a real estate license in Oregon.
Oregon Licensing Requirements for Real Estate Brokers
In order to receive a real estate broker license in Oregon you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a high school diploma, GED, or international equivalent.
- Have a valid Social Security Number.
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident alien.
To begin the licensing process, you must register for an account at eLicense and pay a $300, non-refundable fee. Once that’s done, you’ll receive an email with your Applicant ID.
From there, you’re required to complete 150 hours of approved pre-licensing educational courses, offered in person and online. Each class is complete once you’ve passed a course-specific exam and received a 75 percent or above.
The final, comprehensive exam consists of 130 questions, broken down into two, timed parts — a national portion and a state portion. The minimum passing grade, for this closed book exam, is also 75 percent.
In Oregon, the final licensing exam is administered by PSI Services. They’re the leading private administrator of state licensing exams, offering both an in-person and virtual option to take the test. The fee for the exam is $75. To schedule your exam, you’ll need to go through PSI directly. To properly prepare for the exam, make sure to review the requirements online.
Exam scores are only good for one year and a license is only issued while the score is valid. You’ll receive notification via email when your license gets issued.
In addition to managing testing, PSI also assists with collecting fingerprints, which is part of your required background check. This takes place immediately once you pass the exam. It will allow the full background check to get completed. The process begins as soon as you receive your Applicant ID number.
You’ll also need to find a principal broker to sponsor you for your license. An approved principal broker is a current, active Oregon broker. Both you and your sponsor must complete and submit the Registered Business Name Application form to complete the licensing process.
Selecting your sponsor is an important decision as you kick off your real estate career. While reviewing possibilities, make sure to look at and interview brokers from more than one firm, taking into account their professional integrity, success record, commission split structure, and how they onboard new brokers.
Check out our detailed guide — How to Choose the Right Real Estate Brokerage to Work For as a New Agent — to help you narrow down your search. You may also want to review our directory of the best real estate brokerage firms in Oregon to help make your final decision.
Oregon Licensing Requirements for Principal Brokers
To take the next step in your real estate career in Oregon, you’ll need to move up from broker to principal broker.
This license lets you conduct professional real estate activity with the additional responsibility of being able to supervise brokers, property managers, and other principal brokers.
Along with the basic requirements to obtain a broker license, to become a principal broker, you’ll need:
- Three years of active real estate license experience.
- To complete the 40-hour Brokerage Administration and Sales Supervision course.
- To pass both sections of the principal broker license exam.
- To work either under an existing business or your own, either of which needs to have their business name registered and your license listed under the business.
Oregon real estate agents can only hold one license at a time, so going for this particular license means you’ll no longer have your broker license.
What Is Real Estate License Reciprocity?
Reciprocity, when it comes to real estate licenses, means more than one state accepts each other’s standards. This most often occurs between states that have similar educational and testing standards.
Real estate license reciprocity gives the person holding the license credit for the courses they’ve already taken, and the experience they’ve already gained, in their original state. You also get credit for passing the national section of your home state’s exam.
The reciprocating state will want to see that the licensee understands its specific laws and regulations though, since not everything will be exactly the same between the two states.
For those with out-of-state licenses, who want to conduct business within Oregon, the state does allow these brokers to work on a non-residential real estate transaction as long as they have a written, cooperative agreement with an Oregon licensee. The agreement must be in writing and the Oregon licensee must be present for all negotiations within the state.
US States Having a Reciprocal Agreement with Oregon
There’s no guarantee that any particular state will have reciprocity with another, making the whole concept very confusing.
Some states have reciprocity, or partial reciprocity, while others have no blanket agreement but will consider requests on a case-by-case basis.
Those states offering Oregon licensees reciprocity so you can obtain a new real estate license should you move are:
- North Carolina
In addition, states that recognize any other state’s real estate license include:
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
These states may also have extra requirements to get a new real estate license based on what state the licensee is coming from.
States that don’t have any reciprocity require licensees to start over and take all the required pre-licensing education classes and exams to complete the real estate licensing process.
How to Study for a Real Estate License Exam in Oregon?
Pre-Licensing Classroom Courses
You’ll complete 150 total hours of pre-licensing education from any of the top real estate schools in Oregon. This is broken out into seven required courses as follows:
- Property management course – 10 hours
- Agency law course – 15 hours
- Contracts course – 15 hours
- Real estate brokerage course – 20 hours
- Real estate finance course – 30 hours
- Real estate law course – 30 hours
- Real estate practice course – 30 hours
Taking the courses in a physical classroom can help you stay focused, and provide you with opportunities to connect, in person with instructors and fellow students.
Attending class, at a set time, on a set day, can also provide necessary structure to keep you on track. You may find it easier to schedule your other obligations around your coursework.
Class time is also a great opportunity to network and build relationships with future colleagues. You can hone your people skills as you make connections and engage in classroom discussion.
Pre-Licensing Online Courses
Some companies in Oregon offer up the entire pre-license course list as a single online package. Going about the coursework this way may also give you access to additional resources such as exam prep and even a guarantee you’ll pass.
If done right, you may even get all your hours completed much faster. Treating the curriculum like a job, and devoting a 40-hour work week to study, means you can finish all the requirements in as little as four weeks.
To help you understand the pros and cons of these two types of real estate courses, our experts recorded a video guide — Real Estate Courses Online vs. Classroom.
Where to Take the Real Estate Exam in Oregon
According to the PSI website, these Oregon cities offer the real estate exam:
- Baker City
You will need to schedule your exam through the PSI website for any of these locations. You also have the option to schedule a virtual exam that’s remote proctored.
It pays to be completely ready before scheduling your exam, so that you will get a passing score on your first try. Refer to our guide on what to study for the Oregon real estate exam, and read the tips shared by our expert, Kristina Morales, on how you can pass the real estate exam the first time.
How to File for Your License After the Exam in Oregon
In order to file for your real estate license in Oregon, you must first:
- Pass both sections of the exam.
- Have a background check, that includes fingerprinting, completed.
- Get a sponsoring principal broker who must register your pending license under their business name.
The Oregon Real Estate Agency will then complete a final review of your application, which you filled out at the start of this process, after you met the minimum qualifications.
How to Get Your Real Estate License in Oregon
Once everything is complete, you’ll receive an email notification that your real estate license was issued. You then are able to work as a broker anywhere in Oregon.
To maintain your license, you’ll need to renew it every two years through the Oregon Real Estate Agency’s online system. In order to keep your license active, you’ll need to complete continuing education requirements to ensure you’re keeping up with real estate principles and practices. This curriculum must include:
- A 3-hour law and rule course.
- 27 hours of broker advanced practices for first timers.
- 27 hours of continuing education in a required topic for subsequent renewals.
To print your real estate broker license, visit the Oregon Real Estate Agency website.
After you receive your license, you will need to take a few more steps before you can start working. Learn about them from our article — I Just Got My Real Estate License, Now What?.
When starting your career, you also have an option to become a part of an agent team within your brokerage. One of our experts explains the pros and cons of this in the guide to joining a real estate team.
How long does it take to get an Oregon license when studying in the class?
Based on course length, and frequency of meeting, the time to complete the 150 required hours varies. Most programs right now are offering hybrid options, where you’re able to meet in person, but also learn online. Programs like this can take as little as 10 weeks to run through the whole curriculum.
After that, you should be able to schedule your exam within a few weeks.
From there, finishing the required background check may take another 3-4 weeks, before your license goes to the Oregon Real Estate Agency for review and approval.
How long does it take to get an Oregon license when studying online?
Since online learning is self-motivated, if you’re a diligent student with time to spare, you could complete the entire 150 hours in as little as a month.
If there are other obligations in your life you need to work around, such as a job and/or family commitments, it will take longer, and it’s harder to estimate an exact timetable.
Once completed, the time to schedule your exam, finish the background check and get your application reviewed is the same as if you took the classes in person.
Is there a background check for an Oregon real estate license?
Yes. The background check begins when you fill out your initial real estate license application. Once you pass the license exam, you’ll have to submit your fingerprints to complete the required information for the background check.
From there, it takes about 3-4 weeks for the check to be complete.
How much does an Oregon real estate license cost?
The initial application fee is $300. You’ll then have to pay $75 to take the exam. Should you need to retake, you’ll have to pay $75 each time. The cost for the required fingerprints for your background check is $56.25.
This totals $431.25, but does not include the cost of the pre-license courses you must take to be eligible for the exam.
How long do you have to wait to retake the real estate exam in Oregon?
You need to wait at least until the next day to retake the test, but it may be longer based on availability. You’ll have to pay $75 each time you take it.
How many times can you retake the Oregon real estate exam?
After you fail the exam, you’re able to retake it, up to three times within a 12-month period.
Do you have to pay to retake the real estate exam in Oregon?
Yes, each time you schedule the exam, you’ll pay $75.
How much does it cost to retake the real estate exam in Oregon?
It costs $75 each time you take the real estate exam in Oregon.
Can you get a real estate license with a felony in Oregon?
Yes, but the specifics of the conviction will undergo review by the Oregon Real Estate Agency. There are no set criminal offenses that lead to an automatic license refusal.
You must disclose your felony charge on your application. Failure to do so is grounds for denial of a license.
Can you get a real estate license with a misdemeanor in Oregon?
The law in Oregon does not specify which criminal offenses, or other circumstances, will prevent a person from reviving a license. However, you must disclose any misdemeanors and be aware it may mean your application will require further review. The Oregon Real Estate Agency may also request additional information which you should submit in a timely manner.
Failure to disclose your criminal record is grounds for denial of a license.
Can you get a real estate license with a DUI in Oregon?
You can get a real estate license if you have a DUI. A DUI does not lead to an automatic refusal for a real estate license in Oregon. However, failure to report it on your application does.
If you do have a DUI, your application will undergo additional review by the Oregon Real Estate Agency. They may also request more information, and it’s best to supply it in a timely manner.
Can you get a real estate license without a high school diploma in Oregon?
Yes, as long as you have a GED or an international equivalent.
Hopefully, you’ve learned everything you need to get licensed in Oregon. To reinforce your motivation, read our article where our experts answer the question “is being a real estate agent worth it?” and share the pros and cons of a realtor career.
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