This post was last modified on January 26, 2024.

Being a real estate agent in California has its perks – you’re in one of the most dynamic and lucrative markets in the world. However, there comes a time when opportunities arise in other states, and you’re left wondering, “Would my California license work in other states?” Today, we’re addressing this and other related questions to help you navigate this cross-state conundrum.

Real Estate License Reciprocity

First, let’s define reciprocity. Reciprocity means that states have an agreement to recognize and accept each other’s real estate licensing requirements. If you’re licensed in one state and want to become licensed in another, you can bypass some requirements, like pre-licensing education or even the licensing exam.

Would My California License Work in Other States?

Sadly, the answer is no. California doesn’t have reciprocity agreements with any state. This means that if you want to practice real estate in other states, you’ll have to meet their licensing requirements, which often involve completing pre-licensing education and passing the state’s real estate examination.

How Do I Get Licensed in Other States?

Despite the lack of reciprocity, getting licensed in another state isn’t necessarily a daunting process. Here are the general steps to follow:

  1. Research the Requirements: Each state has its unique requirements. Check the real estate commission website for the state you’re interested in to understand what’s needed.
  2. Complete Pre-Licensing Education: Many states require pre-licensing courses. Ensure to enroll in a state-approved school.
  3. Take the Licensing Exam: You’ll have to pass the state’s real estate exam. Consider exam prep courses to increase your chances of success.
  4. Submit the License Application: Once you’ve passed the exam, submit your license application to the state’s real estate commission.
  5. Join a Brokerage: Some states require new agents to work under an experienced broker for a specified period.

Can I Be Licensed in Multiple States at the Same Time?

Yes, you can be licensed in multiple states at the same time. There’s no federal law limiting the number of states where you can hold a real estate license.

Is There a Limit to the Number of States I’m Licensed In?

No, there is no limit to the number of states you can be licensed in. However, keeping track of the requirements for each state can be challenging, so it’s advisable to be strategic in choosing where to get licensed.

Do I Have to Be a Resident of Each State?

Residency requirements vary from state to state. While some states require you to be a resident, others do not. Check the specific requirements for each state you’re interested in.

Do I Have to Sell a Certain Number of Houses in Each State to Keep My License Active?

While most states don’t require you to sell a certain number of houses to maintain your license, they do require you to renew your license periodically (typically every 2-4 years). Inactivity over a long period might cause your license to expire.

Do I Have to Do Continuing Education in Each State to Keep My License Active?

Yes, most states require continuing education for license renewal. The number of hours and the course content required can vary significantly from state to state. Make sure to check with the real estate commission in each state where you hold a license.


While your California real estate license doesn’t provide direct access to other markets, the path to multi-state licensure is navigable. Research, education, and strategic planning are key elements in this journey. So, whether you’re attracted to the bustling markets of New York or the serene landscapes of Oregon, your dreams of cross-state real estate practice are achievable!

Recommended Posts