From the vibrant city of Missoula to the rugged landscapes of Glacier National Park, Montana is an attractive place to live—and an even better place to begin your journey as a real estate professional. But in order to connect residents of the Treasure State with the properties of their dreams, you’ll need to first learn how to get your real estate license here. 

And that’s where we come in. Follow these five easy steps, and you’ll be launching your career in Montana real estate in no time.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Montana

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How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Montana
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Complete a 70-hour Prelicensing Course
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Schedule & Pass the Montana Real Estate Salesperson Exam
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Obtain Errors & Omissions Insurance
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Find a Sponsoring Broker to Hire You
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Complete the Licensing Process

Let’s dive into these steps in a little more detail. Before long, you’ll be helping clients buy and sell Queen Anne-style houses in Livingston, Victorian-era mansions in Butte, and rustic modern homes in Whitefish.

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

It costs approximately $800 to get your real estate license in Montana, including your prelicensing education. Some of the costs are fixed, such as the state’s licensing and exam fees, and others vary. 

While you don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent in Montana, you must complete the state-specific licensing process. The price of the required 70-hour prelicensing course (and optional exam prep materials) will vary depending on the provider you choose.

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Quick Facts

Prelicensing Course:



License Application:



Exam Registration:



Exam Retake:



Errors & Omissions Insurance Premium:



Total Costs:


(Montana real estate license costs as of July 2023)

How to Get a Montana Real Estate Agent License in 5 Easy Steps

Before you begin, let’s make sure you’re eligible. Montana requires those seeking a real estate sales associate designation to be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Credited with completing at least two years of full curriculum study at an accredited high school or equivalent (10th grade) 

What if You’re Already Licensed in Another State?

If you are a licensed attorney or have a degree in real estate, you may be able to waive some of your licensing requirements. 

Montana doesn’t recognize any formal reciprocity with other states; however, there is an out-of-state waiver process where the Montana Board of Realty Regulation (MBRR) may let you skip some of the education and exam requirements. According to the board’s Real Estate Salesperson Checklist, applicants with a certificate of licensure from their current state and a passing score on the state portion of the Montana real estate exam may be considered for reciprocal licensing.

If all you need to do is pass the Montana portion of the real estate exam, The CE Shop has an exam prep class specifically tailored to your situation for $79. Readers of The Close can get 35% off with coupon code “TheClose35”.

Visit the Montana Board of Realty Regulation website for education and examination requirements tailored to your specific situation.

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Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability: A State-by-State Guide

Ready to learn more about how to become a real estate agent in Montana? Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.

1. Complete a 70-hour Prelicensing Course

  • Cost: $299-$675
  • Time commitment: 2-5 weeks

Prelicensing courses kick off your real estate career, and you’ll have your choice of completing them online or in person. Your choice of course format will depend on your learning style and what suits your schedule best.

The amount of time you’ll need comes down to how much class time you allot per week. You can complete all 70 hours online; those who study at a faster pace will finish in a shorter amount of time. If you approach it like a 40-hour workweek, you’ll finish in less than two weeks. 

Prelicensing courses will often include extra features like exam prep, instructor support, or career resources, so it’s important to weigh these add-ons as you shop for providers. You can find a list of state-approved schools here.

Regardless of the school you choose, the state of Montana requires 70 hours of coursework before sitting for the licensing exam. You’ll learn:

  • Property ownership
  • Land use controls and regulations
  • Valuation and market analysis
  • Financing
  • General principles of agency
  • Property disclosures
  • Contracts
  • Real estate calculations
  • The local real estate recovery fund
  • Land description
  • Common interest ownership and condominium regulations
  • Landlord-tenant relationships
  • Foreclosure and redemption
  • Statute of frauds
  • The real estate licensing agency’s powers
  • Licensing
  • Requirements governing the activities of licensees

You’ll need the help of a highly rated Montana real estate school to get through this weighty material. Most people choose a real estate school based on the cost and the educational format of the course. Here are the most popular options in terms of course design.

If you’re looking to complete your course online, check out The CE Shop. The company’s Montana prelicensing classes start at $339, and you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t love the format.

SAVE 35% on all prelicensing courses from The CE Shop. Use promo code TheClose35 at checkout.

After you have completed your coursework, you must pass the course’s final exam. This non-proctored course exam will test your newfound knowledge of real estate law and real estate principles.

2. Schedule & Pass the Montana Real Estate Salesperson Exam

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Quick Facts




Time to Complete:

3.5 hours



Computer-based, 113 questions


Bring to the Testing Center:

Two forms of identification, including one current government-issued photo ID with signature


Passing Grade:


After completing your prelicensing education, you can schedule your real estate salesperson exam. In order to begin scheduling, you’ll need to create an account with PSI, the company that administers the exam. The cost of the exam is $106.

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How to Study for the Real Estate Exam: Tips & Strategies

The Montana Real Estate Salesperson Exam is an in-person, proctored test administered via computer. The exam consists of two parts that review state and national real estate laws. There are 113 multiple-choice questions altogether: 80 questions in the national portion and 33 additional questions in the state portion. You will have 210 minutes, or 3.5 hours, to complete the entire exam. 

A passing score for the Montana Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%, which translates to 56 questions right out of 80 for the national section and 23 correct answers out of 33 for the state portion. The rate at which testers pass the Montana Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%. Exam results are only valid for one year after you pass the test. 

You should arrive 30 minutes early at the testing site and bring two forms of identification with you, including one current government-issued photo ID that includes your signature. The Montana Board of Realty Regulation’s candidate handbook outlines the types of government-issued identification they’ll accept. There’s also a lengthy list of items you’re prohibited from bringing to the exam room (including common items like hats, pens, and cell phones).

Testing sites for the Montana real estate exam are located in the following cities:

  • Billings
  • Helena
  • Kalispell
  • Missoula

As soon as you’re done with the multiple-choice exam, you’ll learn whether you passed or failed. If you don’t pass, you’ll receive a detailed score report that will help you prepare for the retake. You can take the exam as many times as needed, but you will have to pay $106 each time. 

Keep in mind that you must apply for your Montana real estate license within 24 months of completion of the prelicensing education and within 12 months from the date of passing your licensing exam (or the earlier passing date if you pass the national and state portions on different dates). After this 12-month period, you’ll need to retake the test before applying for licensure.

3. Obtain Errors & Omissions Insurance

  • Cost: $173
  • Time commitment: 1 day

All active licensees in Montana are mandated to carry errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. This insurance typically protects brokerages and individual agents from getting sued by a client if they made a mistake related to a real estate transaction. It’ll cover the legal, defense, and court costs related to a claim.

You can use any insurance agency to find the E&O policy that works for you, so it’s best to take some time and research your options. You may also check with your sponsoring broker to see if you are covered under a firm policy at the brokerage. 

The MBRR works closely with Rice Insurance Services Company (RISC) to provide affordable options, but make sure to check with your principal broker to verify their firm requirements for coverage. In the case of RISC, the current annual premium is $168 plus a $5 convenience fee.

4. Find a Sponsoring Broker to Hire You

  • Cost: Free
  • Time commitment: 1-2 weeks

To hold an active real estate license in Montana, you must find a sponsoring brokerage with which to affiliate your license. A broker has received additional training, worked in the industry for at least two years, and passed the broker’s license exam.

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Real Estate Broker vs. Agent: A Head-to-Head Analysis

Finding a broker to work under will feel like applying for a job. Once you’ve landed some broker interviews, you’ll want to ask each broker about the split (or how you and the brokerage will divide sales commissions). You’ll find that some brokerages will ask for a 50-50 split on commissions. Usually, brokerages that offer an even split will not charge monthly desk fees.

As you evaluate your options, remember that, as a commissioned salesperson, your income entirely depends on your abilities and effort. Some brokerages may offer you 70% of your commissions, a ratio that may rise to 100% after you’ve met a specific sales goal (or cap) for the year. 

It’s important to be realistic about your earning potential in the first few months. It takes time to launch your new business. Some new agents choose to work part time so they can still bring in additional revenue as they’re learning the ropes. And if your brokerage does charge fees, you’ll have to pay them regardless of whether you’re closing deals or not.

Here are some questions to consider during your broker search:

  • What is their reputation, both locally and nationally?
  • What kind of real estate agents are they looking for?
  • Are they technologically advanced and up to date with the latest systems?
  • How do they support their agents with education and training?
  • What kind of commission structure do they offer?
  • Do they offer benefits?
  • Do they provide agents with leads and marketing material?
  • Is there room to grow with the brokerage?

As mentioned above, you must be employed or under contract with a sponsoring broker to activate your license. Your supervising brokerage will be required to complete part five of your application to confirm you will be affiliated with their company.

5. Complete the Licensing Process

  • Cost: $80
  • Time commitment: 1-2 weeks

The final step is a simple one. With all the above tasks completed, prepare your materials to apply for that hard-earned salesperson license. This license allows you to handle real estate transactions, including buying and selling properties, as well as manage the rental process.

You can apply for your license via mail with a paper application or through the MBRR’s online portal. Regardless of which method you choose, you’ll need to attach the following documents to your application:

  • An $80 application fee. If applying by mail, pay with a check or money order. If applying online, pay via electronic check or credit card.
  • A completion certificate confirming you’ve completed 70 hours of prelicensing education.
  • Your exam results showing you passed the state and national portions of the Montana Real Estate Salesperson Exam.
  • Your official license verification from any states or jurisdictions in which you hold or have ever held a professional license, if applicable.
  • If you answered yes to discipline questions, a detailed explanation on the events and documentation from the source, such as a licensing board, federal agencies or programs, or court proceedings such as charging or judgment documents.

If you have a criminal history, make sure you disclose it on your application and include any necessary documentation regarding your charges. The MBRR will classify your application as non-routine and review it on a case-by-case basis. For more information, read the Licensing Real Estate Professionals Performance Audit.

As mentioned above, you must apply for your Montana real estate license within 24 months of completion of the prelicensing education and within 12 months from the date of passing your licensing exam.

In most cases, your application review should take between five and 10 business days. Upon successful application review by the MBRR, you will be recognized as a Montana salesperson in real estate.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Montana: FAQs 

Still not sure about the path forward? Get answers to common questions about how to become a real estate agent in Montana below.

More Career Resources From The Close

Now that you’ve learned how to get your real estate license in Montana, you’re likely to have more questions. Luckily, The Close is here to answer them for you.

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