Have you been thinking about changing careers and becoming a real estate agent in Colorado? If so, now is a great time to start. Your first step is completing a 168-hour prelicensing course at a Colorado real estate school.

As someone who’s been a real estate broker in Colorado for 28 years, I can walk you through the process of getting your license from start to finish. We’ll explore Colorado real estate education requirements, taking the state exam, interviewing brokers, and completing your license application. Let’s dive in!

How to Get a Colorado Real Estate License

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How to Get a Colorado Real Estate License
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Complete a 168-hour Prelicensing Course
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Pass the Colorado Real Estate Exam
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Submit to a Background Check
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Join a Colorado Real Estate Brokerage
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Obtain Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance
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Apply for Your Colorado Real Estate License

Before we get started, we need to clarify some terms. In Colorado, new real estate agents are referred to as brokers. This can be confusing because, in many other states, brokers manage sales agents and real estate offices after obtaining additional education and experience. However, these supervisors are called employing brokers in Colorado.

To be eligible for a Colorado real estate license, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Pass a background check

1. Complete a 168-hour Prelicensing Course

Colorado requires that you complete 168 hours of prelicensing coursework to qualify for your real estate license. You’ll also need to complete a course final exam, which is separate from the Colorado license exam. Your education will cover both state and national topics, including:

  • Real estate law and practice (48 hours)
  • Contracts and regulations (48 hours)
  • Trust accounts and recordkeeping (8 hours)
  • Current legal issues (8 hours)
  • Real estate closings (24 hours)
  • Practical applications (32 hours)

 If you’re looking for a real estate school in Colorado, we recommend Kaplan. The company offers self-paced and live online courses so you can choose whichever you’re more comfortable with.

Check Out Kaplan
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6 Best Online Real Estate Schools in Colorado

2. Pass the Colorado Real Estate License Exam

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Quick Facts




Time to Complete

4 hours



154 multiple-choice questions


What to bring:

One form of valid ID


Passing grade:


Once you have successfully completed the educational requirements and your course exam, you can now register for the state real estate license exam.

Colorado’s real estate exam has a reputation for being one of the most difficult to pass in the country. If you have completed your 168 hours and still don’t feel entirely prepared for the license exam, then consider an exam prep course. Kaplan offers a test prep package for only $99, which includes lots of simulated exams.

When you’re ready to schedule your exam, visit the PSI testing website. You’ll be able to schedule your exam and pay the $49 fee. You’ll have four hours to complete the license exam, and you’ll need a minimum score of 75% to pass.

PSI has seven test center locations in the state of Colorado, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a test center near you. 

Colorado PSI Real Estate Test Center Locations

Centennial, Colorado12200 E. Briarwood Ave, Suite 270
Colorado Springs, Colorado5050 Edison Avenue, Suite 121
Durango, Colorado799 East 3rd Street, Suite 3
Fort Collins, Colorado3000 S College Ave Suite# 206
Grand Junction, Colorado743 Horizon Court, #203
Pueblo, Colorado803 West 4th Street, Suite #803S
Wheat Ridge, Colorado4891 Independence St., Suite 220

3. Submit to a Background Check

Next, you’ll need to complete a fingerprinting process to get a background check. Since it can take six weeks to process your results, we recommend getting started early.

You can obtain your fingerprints from IdentoGO or at most local police departments. You’ll need to bring a government-issued identification card. Once completed, your fingerprints must be submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for a background check. The CBI will then send the results to the Colorado Division of Real Estate (DORA), where they will be matched with your real estate license application.

People with certain prior convictions are less likely to be approved for a Colorado real estate license. If you have concerns about your background check, you may want to contact DORA and explain your situation before going through the trouble and cost of studying to get your real estate license.

4. Join a Colorado Real Estate Brokerage

In Colorado, beginning real estate brokers must work under an employing broker. This allows you to learn from other experienced licensees regarding how to work with buyers and sellers and how to successfully complete real estate transactions.

When you start your broker interviews, be sure to ask about the split or how you and the brokerage will divide the commissions. Some brokerages will ask for a 50-50 split on commissions and not charge monthly desk fees anymore. It all depends on your abilities and effort but once you’ve reached a specific sales goal (or the cap) for the year, your commissions may rise to 100%.

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5. Get Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance

The Colorado real estate commission requires that all active, licensed real estate brokers maintain an errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy. Before you purchase it, however, you should check and make sure your new brokerage doesn’t already provide this to its agents.

6. Apply for Your Colorado Real Estate License

Congratulations! You’re almost there. Be sure you have the following documents ready when you apply:

  • Certificate of completion from your real estate education provider
  • Receipt of fingerprinting completion
  • Brokerage information
  • E&O certificate
  • Application fee payment ($485)

Start by setting up an account on the DORA website. From there, you’ll apply for a new broker license and submit your personal information, brokerage information, and supporting documents.

The division may take anywhere from three to seven days to approve your application, but you can check the status anytime by logging into the portal.

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

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Quick Facts

Colorado Real Estate Governing Board:

Colorado Real Estate Commission


Prelicensing Requirements:

168 Hours


Price Range for Prelicensing Courses:



Total Estimated Cost:


It will cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,300 to get your real estate license in Colorado. This price tag includes fixed costs such as exam, background check, insurance, and application fees. The biggest variable in cost will be your prelicensing course, which can vary in price based on the type of package you choose.

Prelicensing classes (168 hours)$599-$1,199 (through Kaplan)
Exam prep$99-$199
Exam registration$49
Exam retake$48
Background check$50
E&O insurance$229
License application$485
Total Costs$1,412-$2,259

(Colorado real estate license costs as of November 2023)

Do Realtors Make Good Money in Colorado?

According to The Close’s salary information database, average brokers in Colorado make $71,337, which isn’t far from the national average of $73,985. Remember that, as a commission-based career, there is no limit to your earning potential as a broker.

How to Get a Real Estate Broker License in Colorado: FAQs

If you have more questions, be sure to scroll through our most commonly asked questions below. Have we missed something? Be sure to let us know in the comment section—we love to hear from you!

More Resources From The Close

We hope we’ve helped you break down the steps to getting your Colorado real estate license so you feel confident about taking your first step. At The Close, we’re committed to providing actionable strategies for every stage of your career.

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