If you’ve worked in real estate for a while, you know there are financial advantages to earning a California real estate broker license. Real estate brokers in California can still serve their own clients while simultaneously collecting desk fees and up to 50% of the commissions of the agents working for them.

They can also take on a leadership role at a brokerage or open their own, coaching and mentoring other agents and profiting from their success. Let us help you pursue your California real estate broker license by first walking you through the requirements and the steps you’ll need to follow.

What Are the California Real Estate Broker License Requirements?

For starters, you need to meet the following basic California real estate broker license requirements. You must be:

  • 18 years old or older
  • A California resident
  • Honest and truthful

In addition, you must be either an experienced real estate agent or have related experience or education. The State of California requires broker applicants must:

  • Have worked at least two years (within the last five) as a full-time, licensed agent (or the equivalent as a part-time agent)
  • OR have two years of unlicensed equivalent experience
  • OR have a four-year degree in real estate

Please note that an applicant who has not been active as a licensed real estate agent may be eligible for the broker exam, provided they have met the experience requirements.

Let’s explore the four steps, and then we’ll answer frequently asked questions about becoming a licensed real estate broker in the State of California.

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

It costs approximately $1,072 to obtain a real estate broker license in California. This is probably similar to what you paid to earn your real estate license when you first entered the profession.

California Real Estate Broker License Costs

Classes (360 hours)
$429 (through Allied Real Estate School)
Exam Prep Course
$199 (through Kaplan)
California Real Estate License & Exam Fee
$395
Fingerprinting Fee
$49
Total Costs
$1,072
Pursue your California real estate broker’s license by enrolling in courses with Allied Real Estate School!

How to Get a California Real Estate Broker License in 4 Steps

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements
Step 2: License Application
Step 3: Pass the Broker Exam
Step 4: Pass a Background Check

Becoming a California real estate broker shouldn’t be as intimidating of a process as becoming a real estate agent. After all, you have experience in the industry and know others who have taken this leap in their careers. Here’s a breakdown of each step in the process.

1. Complete California Real Estate Broker License Courses

Cost: As low as $429 with Allied Real Estate School
Time commitment: 5 months or 360 hours

To become a real estate broker in California, you need to complete 360 course hours through an institution of higher learning accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges OR a private real estate school approved by the California Real Estate commission (like Allied Real Estate School).

Please note that your prelicensing courses (or continuing education courses) that you took to earn and keep your California real estate license can’t be used toward your 360 hours to become a broker.

Your California real estate broker license courses are 45 hours in length and include the following college-level classes:

  • Real Estate Practice
  • Legal Aspects of Real Estate
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • Real Estate Economics (or Accounting)

And any three of the following 45-hour classess:

  • Real Estate Principles
  • Business Law
  • Property Management
  • Escrow
  • Real Estate Office Administration
  • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
  • Advanced Legal Aspects of Real Estate
  • Advanced Real Estate Finance
  • Advanced Real Estate Appraisal
  • Computer Applications in Real Estate
  • Common Interest Developments

As you know from earning your agent license, learning this material won’t be a walk in the park. Choosing the right California real estate school will be crucial to your success. We recommend that you take your California real estate broker license courses through Allied Real Estate School.

Why? Allied Real Estate School is one of the only nationally ranked online schools to offer all 360 hours of classes you need to become a California broker. In addition, the online courses are expertly designed, and the company provides live support if you require additional explanation.

Explore the course requirements and sign up today to get your California real estate broker license by visiting the Allied Real Estate School website.
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2. Complete the California Broker Exam License Application

Cost: $395
Time commitment: 1-2 hours

The next step to becoming a real estate broker in California is to complete the California Department of Real Estate’s Broker/Exam License Application. This application requires you to provide your personal contact details and answer a series of yes/no questions about any potential criminal history.

You’ll also be required to submit documentation to prove that you have completed your broker course and work experience requirements, along with a $395 fee with this application.

The fee covers the costs of both the real estate broker exam and your California real estate broker license. You can choose to have the government agency schedule the test for you, or you can check the box on the application allowing you to schedule it yourself.

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3. Pass the California Real Estate Broker License Exam

The cost of the real estate broker exam ($95) is included in the $395 fee mentioned above. On exam day, you should bring one of the following to the testing center:

  • Current state-issued driver’s license or DMV identification card
  • U.S. passport or passport issued by a foreign government
  • U.S. military identification card

The California real estate exam testing sites are located in the following cities:

  • Los Angeles
  • Fresno
  • Oakland
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego

We recommend that you arrive 30 minutes early to the testing site. Visit the State of California’s Department of Real Estate page to learn more about the exam and review the list of items that aren’t permitted in the exam room (including everyday items like calculators, pens, and cell phones).

You’ll learn whether you passed or failed immediately upon completing the broker exam. If you didn’t pass, you can retake the exam as many times as necessary, as long as you’re successful within two years of filing your initial application.

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4. Pass a Background Check

Cost: $49
Time commitment: 1-2 hours
Processing time: Visit the state’s website

Once you’ve completed your application and passed your exam, you’ll need to submit your fingerprints at a Live Scan fingerprint location. Then, you must wait for the state to process your application and complete your background check.

Once you have your California broker license, you’ll be free to open your own real estate brokerage and grow your business. Are you excited? You should be!

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How to Start a Real Estate Brokerage in 2023 (Without Going Broke)

California Real Estate Broker License FAQs

Still have questions? We have the answers! Keep reading to learn more about the time commitment, financial benefits, and license reciprocity between California and other states. If you have other questions, we would love to hear them in the comments section of this article.





More Career Resources From The Close

We hope you feel confident to take the first steps to advance your real estate career. ​​Now that you’ve learned how to get a California real estate broker license, it’s time to become laser-focused on passing your California real estate broker license exam. We’re here to help you achieve your real estate career goals!

The Close offers plenty of career resources for new brokers and real estate professionals at every stage of their career. You can Subscribe to our newsletter to get our latest articles delivered directly to your inbox. The Close Pro helps you level up your skills and you can connect with real estate agents across the country in our Facebook Mastermind Group.