Real estate license reciprocity allows a real estate licensee in one state to fast-track the process of getting their license in another state. For example, if you’re a real estate agent in Texas and want to move to Colorado, you’re in luck because Colorado offers real estate license reciprocity with every other state in the country. However, if you want to conduct just one transaction in another state—you’ll need to understand that state’s portability regulations. 

The good news is that while this all sounds complicated, we’ve done the research to make it easy for you. In this reference guide, we’ll help you understand where your current license can be used (portability) and which states nationwide will allow you to apply for a license using your current credentials (reciprocity). 

License Reciprocity vs Portability

Real estate license reciprocity allows licensed real estate agents to essentially transfer their licenses to a new state (typically, without going back to school). Instead of starting from scratch and taking all of the prelicensing courses and exams, reciprocity usually means that agents are exempt from most of the education and examination requirements when applying for a new license in a new state. Usually, the agent is moving to that state to conduct business long term.

To illustrate: If you move to Colorado, a state that offers reciprocity to all other states, for example, you’ll only need to pass the portion of the Colorado real estate licensing exam that covers Colorado-specific topics. You’ll also need to provide documentation, complete a background check, and pay the required fees.

On the other hand, Texas offers no reciprocity. If you move to Texas as a Realtor from another state, it’s as if you’ve never had a license before. You’ll need to fulfill all of the education requirements and pass both the national and state portions of the Texas real estate licensing exam.

In a different scenario, if you are hoping to only do a handful of deals in a state where you aren’t licensed, you should explore real estate license portability.

Real estate license portability describes state-specific rules that apply to real estate agents who want to conduct business in a state where they are not licensed, but who may have clients in their home state who want to buy or sell real estate in another state. 

To illustrate: If you live in New York and have a client who wants to buy a house in New Hampshire, the real estate license portability agreement between those two states allows you to help that client (and get paid) without having to get a New Hampshire real estate license.

Real Estate License Reciprocity

Let’s dig in a little deeper. Often, a reciprocal agreement between states means that an agent is exempt from education, examination, and experience requirements. However, applicants will still need a portion of the state exam (that covers state-specific real estate topics) and/or a specific law course, do a background check, and provide their license history. States can offer one of three tiers of reciprocity. 

  • No reciprocity: States that deny reciprocity to all out-of-state licensees
  • Partial reciprocity: States that require limited education and examination for agents from only certain reciprocal states
  • Full reciprocity: States that allow you to transfer your real estate license from any state, with minimal additional requirements
RECIPROCITY FLOW
Full-shaded circle iconHalf-shaded circle iconCircle icon
Full ReciprocityPartial ReciprocityNo Reciprocity
You have a SC Salesperson LicenseYou have a GA Salesperson LicenseYou have a SC Salesperson license
You want to do business regularly in GeorgiaYou want to do business regularly in New MexicoYou want to do business regularly in Texas
Georgia checks your background, license history, and that you passed SC state examNew Mexico only has reciprocal agreement with three states, including Georgia; you're exempt from education and exam requirementsThere is no reciprocity in Texas; you must fulfill all the salesperson requirements from the beginning
You apply for and obtain a reciprocal real estate licenseYou apply for and obtain a reciprocal real estate licenseYou take the courses, pass the salesperson real estate exam and get a Texas license
You can conduct real estate business in GeorgiaYou can conduct real estate business in New MexicoYou can conduct real estate business in Texas
RECIPROCITY FLOW
Full-shaded circle icon

Full Reciprocity



You have a SC Salesperson License



You want to do business regularly in Georgia



Georgia checks your background, license history, and that you passed SC state exam



You apply for and obtain a reciprocal real estate license



You can conduct real estate business in Georgia


Half-shaded circle icon

Partial Reciprocity



You have a GA Salesperson License



You want to do business regularly in New Mexico

New Mexico only has reciprocal agreement with three states, including Georgia; you're exempt from education and exam requirements



You apply for and obtain a reciprocal real estate license

You can conduct real estate business in New Mexico


Circle icon

No Reciprocity



You have a SC Salesperson license



You want to do business regularly in Texas

There is no reciprocity in Texas; you must fulfill all the salesperson requirements from the beginning



You take the courses, pass the salesperson real estate exam and get a Texas license

You can conduct real estate business in Texas


States can also use their own nomenclature to refer to real estate license reciprocity. For example, Alaska calls a reciprocal license a license “by endorsement.” Agents from another state with an active license in good standing can apply for an Alaska license by taking a six-hour Alaska-specific course and the Alaska portion of the state licensing exam. 

If you need to take a real estate exam for a reciprocal license, do your exam prep with Real Estate Express’ Exam Prep Master program. With more than a dozen full-length practice tests and plenty of other resources, their study program is a must for anyone preparing for an exam in a new state.

Visit Real Estate Express

Real Estate License Portability

State portability map

If you’re hoping to just conduct a one-off transaction in another state, you’ll need to understand that state’s portability regulations. There are three basic classifications of real estate license portability laws: cooperative, physical location, and turf.

Infographics physical location, and turf Portability



If you are prohibited from conducting real estate in a state but have a client who needs help, try NuOp. NuOp is a free referral service that not only connects you to agents in other states, but allows other agents to find and refer clients to you as well.

Visit NuOp
PORTABILITY FLOW
Users iconHouse iconWarning sign icon
Cooperative Portability
Physical Location Portability
Turf Portability
You have a New York Salesperson LicenseYou have a New York Salesperson LicenseYou have a New York Salesperson License
A client wants to buy a home in AlabamaA client wants to buy a home in HawaiiA client wants to buy a home in Utah
You team up with a local agent who has an Alabama license in a co-brokerage agreementYou can identify properties, schedule showings, and negotiate from New York, but not in-person in HawaiiYou cannot practice any real estate business in Utah without a Utah real estate license
You help your client buy the home in Alabama even without having an Alabama licenseYou help your client buy the home in Hawaii without having a Hawaii licenseYou refer your client to a local brokerage
File your co-brokerage agreement with the local real estate board and receive your commissionYou may receive a commission through the local Hawaii agent’s brokerageYou cannot receive any compensation for real estate activities within the state of Utah
PORTABILITY FLOW
Users icon

Cooperative Portability



You have a New York Salesperson License



A client wants to buy a home in Alabama

You team up with a local agent who has an Alabama license in a co-brokerage agreement



You help your client buy the home in Alabama even without having an Alabama license

File your co-brokerage agreement with the local real estate board and receive your commission



House icon

Physical Location Portability



You have a New York Salesperson License



A client wants to buy a home in Hawaii

You can identify properties, schedule showings, and negotiate from New York, but not in-person in Hawaii



You help your client buy the home in Hawaii without having a Hawaii license

You may receive a commission through the local Hawaii agent’s brokerage


Warning sign icon

Turf Portability



You have a New York Salesperson License



A client wants to buy a home in Utah

You cannot practice any real estate business in Utah without a Utah real estate license



You refer your client to a local brokerage

You cannot receive any compensation for real estate activities within the state of Utah


Related Article
Real Estate Referral Fees: How They Work & Best Practices for 2022

License Reciprocity & Portability in all 50 States

When our readers inquire about real estate license reciprocity, they often ask: “I live in state X. I am moving to state Y. Can I transfer my license there?” We’ve done the research to help you understand your options. Choose the state where you want to get a new license or conduct business and learn the rules of real estate license reciprocity that apply to you.

Alabama: Complete a six‐hour course in Alabama real estate law and take and pass the corresponding Alabama portion of the licensing examination; submit an official “Certificate of Licensure” form (license history) issued within 120 days of reciprocal license application.

Portability: Cooperative State

Alaska: Called reciprocity “by endorsement,” complete a six-hour Alaska real estate course; complete the Alaska state portion of the real estate exam; provide a license history; must have proof of carrying errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.

Portability: Physical Location State

Arizona: To have your out-of-state license recognized (instead of formal reciprocity), provide education and license certificates; proof of legal presence and residency in Arizona; license history; fingerprint clearance card; and complete a six-hour contract writing course.

Portability: Cooperative State

Arkansas: Arkansas has reciprocal agreements with the following states: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, and West Virginia. If you are a resident of another state, you can request a waiver for the general portion of the real estate exam; complete Arkansas Law portion of the exam; complete fingerprinting and background checks.

Portability: Physical Location State

California: California does not offer any reciprocity with other states; one must complete all requirements to become licensed in California to conduct real estate business.

Portability: Physical Location State

Colorado: Colorado offers full reciprocity with all 50 states. You’ll need to pass the Colorado portion of the real estate exam; complete a fingerprint background check; provide license history. Note that if you’ve been licensed less than two years, you’ll need to complete the required 120 education hours and take both the national and state portions of the exam.

Portability: Cooperative State

Connecticut: Reciprocity agreements exist with the following states: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and applicants will need to submit a copy of license history. Residents of other states (and residents of Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio) will need to take the state portion of the exam administered by PSI.

Portability: Cooperative State

Delaware: Delaware has full reciprocity with all states. In addition to submitting your application and fees, you’ll need to submit your score from the Delaware law portion of the salesperson exam or meet the minimum experience requirements.

Portability: Physical Location State

Washington, District of Columbia: For reciprocity, you’ll need two years of experience as a licensed salesperson in a time immediately preceding the date of application. You’ll also need to take a three-hour DC Real Estate Commission (DCREC) Fair Housing course, pass the DC portion of the real estate exam, pay the required fees, and submit an original letter of license certification from your original jurisdiction.

Portability: Physical Location State

Florida: Considered a mutual recognition agreement, Florida recognizes licenses from the following 10 states, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. These residents will need to pass a Florida-specific real estate law exam consisting of 40 questions.

Portability: Physical Location State

Georgia: Georgia has reciprocity agreements with all states (but note that Florida residents must take the state portion of the real estate exam). Applicants with active licenses in good standing will need to pass background checks and submit their license history.

Portability: Cooperative State

Hawaii: Hawaii doesn’t have reciprocity agreements with other states but one can apply for an Equivalency to the Prelicense Education Requirement and/or the Equivalency to the Uniform Examination.

Portability: Physical Location State

Idaho: Idaho does not offer reciprocity with other states but applicants can request a waiver for the national portion of the real estate exam, prelicensing education, and experience requirements.

Portability: Physical Location State

Illinois: Illinois has reciprocity agreements with these eight states: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Applicants will have to take the Illinois State supplemental exam.

Portability: Physical Location State

Indiana: Contact the Indiana Real Estate Commission at (317) 234-3022) for the most up-to-date information on reciprocity.

Portability: Cooperative State

Iowa: Offers reciprocity agreements with Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, and North Dakota. Residents of these states will need to have had a license within the past six months, show proof of errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, and complete a background check.

Portability: Physical Location State

Kansas: While Kansas doesn’t offer formal reciprocity, licensees can apply to waive the national portion of the real estate exam but must complete the Kansas-specific 30-hour prelicensing course (Kansas Practice Course) and take the Kansas portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Cooperative State

Kentucky: Kentucky offers reciprocal agreements with Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Residents of these states will have to complete a 40-hour reciprocal license law course, take the reciprocal license exam, provide proof of errors and omissions (E&O) insurance coverage, their license history, fees, and a background check.

Portability: Turf State

Louisiana: Louisiana has a reciprocal license agreement with Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Applicants will need to complete a certified license history, a background check, and provide proof of errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.

Portability: Cooperative State

Maine: Maine recognizes licenses from all 50 states. Applicants must pass a Maine law exam and background check, and provide proof of being licensed in good standing in their home state.

Portability: Physical Location State

Maryland: A reciprocal agreement only exists with Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, and you must have obtained your first license in one of these states. You’ll also need to have an active license in good standing and submit a license history, fees, and a background check. Applicants from all other states may apply for an Out-of-State License Recognition waiver.

Portability: Cooperative State

Massachusetts: Residents of Connecticut, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Nebraska, Iowa, Tennessee, Mississippi, Colorado, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico can apply for a reciprocity license. Oklahoma residents who have been licensed for two years may also apply. New York Brokers licensed for at least two years have complete reciprocity. New Hampshire applicants must apply with an Education Waiver, which exempts them from the prelicensing courses but not the state portion of the exam. Maine brokers licensed for at least three years have reciprocity. Residents of all other states may apply to waive the prelicensing coursework but will need to take the state and national portions of the exam.

Portability: Physical Location State

Michigan: Michigan does not have reciprocal agreements with any other state. Applicants must meet all education, examination, and experience requirements for licensure.

Portability: Cooperative State

Minnesota: Residents in Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Oklahoma are eligible for a reciprocal license; however, a Minnesota-licensed primary broker can submit the application. Applicants from Wisconsin must take a 13-hour reciprocal prelicense course and pass the state portion of the salesperson exam. Applicants from all other states must take required prelicensing courses and pass the state portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Physical Location State

Mississippi: There are currently no reciprocal agreements with other states, but you may be able to waive certain requirements with equivalent experience and education. Contact the Mississippi Real Estate Commission at (601) 321-6970 for more information.

Portability: Cooperative State

Missouri: There is a reciprocity agreement between Missouri and all 50 states. Applicants with a current, valid license must take a 24-hour real estate practice course and pass the law portion of the Missouri state exam.

Portability: Turf State

Montana: Montana does recognize any formal reciprocity but applicants can pass the state portion of the exam and provide proof of licensure in your current state. Contact the Montana Board of Realty Regulation at (406) 444-6880 for more information.

Portability: Physical Location State

Nebraska: Applicants from out of state may apply for license “recognition.” To do so, you must be in good standing with your current regulatory jurisdiction. You’ll need to pass a Nebraska License Law Course, submit your license history, provide proof of errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, and complete a background check.

Portability: Turf State

Nevada: There is a reciprocal agreement for a salesperson license with the following states: Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia. Applicants will need to take the Nevada portion of the real estate exam, submit a license history, and complete a notarized Consent to Service of Process form.

Portability: Cooperative State

New Hampshire: While New Hampshire does offer limited reciprocal agreements, we encourage applicants to contact the New Hampshire Real Estate Commission for a complete list of state-specific regulations at (603) 271-2152.

Portability: Cooperative State

New Jersey: New Jersey does not have reciprocal agreements with any states. However, in certain circumstances, you may be able to apply for an education waiver or reduced education and examination requirements. Contact the New Jersey Real Estate Commission at 609-292-7272 for more information.

Portability: Turf State

New Mexico: Currently, there is a reciprocity agreement with Louisiana, Georgia, and Massachusetts. Residents from these states are exempt from the education and examination requirements but will need to submit a license history and proof of errors and omissions (E&O) insurance with their application.

Portability: Turf State

New York: Residents from Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are eligible for a salesperson reciprocal license. Additionally, Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Mississippi brokers can apply for a reciprocal broker’s license. You must also be sponsored by a home-state broker who is also licensed in New York.

Portability: Physical Location State

North Carolina: Applicants with real estate licenses from other states that have been active for the previous three years and are equivalent to the North Carolina provisional or full-broker license may waive the 75-hour prelicensing course and the national portion of the real estate exam and either take the state portion of the exam or waive that exam and be issued a provisional license (until you complete the postlicensing education requirements).

Portability: Cooperative State

North Dakota: North Dakota has reciprocity agreements with Georgia, Iowa, and Minnesota. Applicants must pass the state portion of the real estate exam, complete a Consent to Suit form, and provide evidence of a Real Estate Trust Account (or an account waiver form) and a license history.

Portability: Cooperative State

Ohio: Ohio has reciprocity agreements with Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Residents from these states who have had their license for at least one year must take the Ohio Real Estate Law course, complete a background check, submit a Consent to Service of Process form, and prove affiliation with an Ohio-based broker.

Portability: Cooperative State

Oklahoma: If you are a resident of Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, North Dakota, or South Dakota and have any experience in the past five years, or if you have at least two years of experience within the past five years in another state, you must only take the Oklahoma portion of the exam. Otherwise, you’ll need to take both the national and state parts of the exam. You’ll also need to provide a license history, background check, proof of citizenship, and complete at least one hour of continuing education in each of three categories: Broker Relationship Act, Code and Rules, Contracts and Forms.

Portability: Physical Location State

Oregon: If you are a resident of Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, South Dakota, or Alberta, Canada, you are eligible for a reciprocal license. However, you’ll need to contact the Oregon Real Estate Commission, (503) 378-4170, directly for specific information on the requirements.

Portability: Cooperative State

Pennsylvania: There is currently a reciprocal agreement with Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York. Residents cannot apply until they have an employing broker with a valid Pennsylvania real estate license. They will also need to undergo a background check in their current state and every state they’ve lived and worked in the past five years.

Portability: Turf State

Rhode Island: Residents of Connecticut and Massachusetts can apply for a reciprocal license after completing a three-hour continuing education course in lead poisoning, a criminal history record, providing certification of errors and omission (E&O) insurance, and a letter of good standing from your current state’s licencing authority. Florida residents may also apply for a reciprocal license but will need to take the state portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Cooperative State

South Carolina: Residents of other states will need to provide proof of licensure for at least six months before applying and submit proof of licensing for any state where you’ve conducted business in the past five years. You’ll then need to sit for the South Carolina portion of the real estate exam. If you have been a resident of South Carolina for more than six months, you’ll be required to take the 60-hour Advanced Real Estate Principles class.

Portability: Cooperative State

South Dakota: While South Dakota doesn’t have formal reciprocity agreements with other states, agents moving into South Dakota can apply for an equivalent license by taking the state portion of the exam, doing a background check, submitting a license history, and providing proof of errors and omission (E&O) insurance.

Portability: Cooperative State

Tennessee: While Tennessee doesn’t offer any formal reciprocity agreements, resident and non-residents of Tennessee who are licensed in other states may petition for their license and experience to waive the state requirements for examination, education, and/or experience.

Portability: Cooperative State

Texas: Texas does not have reciprocity with any other states. One must complete all Texas state requirements to become licensed.

Portability: Physical Location State

Utah: In Utah, one may apply through reciprocity or apply for an education waiver. The reciprocity agreement is with Georgia, Mississippi, and Alberta, Canada. To apply, submit the required documents, fees, fingerprinting background check, fingerprint waiver, and license history. For all other states, you may apply for an education waiver but still need to take the national portion and/or the state portion of the real estate exam.

Portability: Turf State

Vermont: Vermont allows licensees to apply for an endorsement if your home state’s courses and exams are equivalent to Vermont. Most state residents are exempt from the 40-hour prelicensing course, except for Indiana and Rhode Island. Residents of most states have exemptions to the national portion of the real estate exam, except California, New York, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico.

Portability: Physical Location State

Virginia: Applicants for a salesperson license through reciprocity in Virginia must have a current license from another state, pass the state portion of the real estate exam, complete the 60-hour course, Principles of Real Estate, and submit letters of certification.

Portability: Physical Location State

Washington: Washington recognizes real estate licensees from all states and offers a broker license (what is called a salesperson license in most states) once you’ve taken the state portion of the real estate exam, done a fingerprinting background check, and submitted a certificate of history or license affidavit.

Portability: Cooperative State

West Virginia: One can apply for a non-resident salesperson license if you have an active license in your home state by submitting a national criminal background check, providing a certificate of licensure, passing the state portion of the licensing exam, and having a sponsoring broker with an active West Virginia broker license.

Portability: Physical Location State

Wisconsin: Wisconsin has a reciprocal licensing agreement with Illinois and Indiana. Licensees holding an active non-managing broker or salesperson license can pass the state portion of the real estate exam. If your license is not currently active but has been active within the past two years, you can apply for a salesperson license by endorsement, which also requires the passing of the state portion of the exam, in addition to certain education requirements.

Portability: Physical Location State

Wyoming: Wyoming does not offer any reciprocal agreements but one can apply for a salesperson license by taking a Wyoming law course, the Salesperson II course, passing the state exam for salespersons, and submitting two fingerprint cards.

Portability: Cooperative State

Bringing It All Together 

If your business presents you with the opportunity to work with clients in another state, be sure to review the real estate license reciprocity and portability regulations in this article. Do you have any experience with real estate license reciprocity or portability? Do you have a question about your specific situation? Leave us a comment below!

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