Yep—selling properties across Virginia Beach, Charlottesville, Roanoke, Richmond, and Norfolk sounds enticing. And whether you’re an aspiring real estate agent or an out-of-state salesperson moving to Virginia, we’re here to help.

We’ll guide you through the steps, discuss the time commitment and costs involved, and answer your questions about getting licensed.

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  • Complete Required Courses: Enroll in and complete the state-specific pre-licensing courses provided by Colibri.
  • Prepare and Pass the Exam: Use Colibri’s study aids and practice tests to prepare, then pass the state licensing exam.
  • Apply for Your License: Submit your application and necessary documents to the state, and activate your license if needed.

How to Get a Virginia Real Estate License

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How to Get a Virginia Real Estate License
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Complete a 60-Hour Prelicensing Course
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Pass the Virginia Real Estate Exam
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Pass a Background Check
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Join a Virginia Real Estate Brokerage
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Apply for Your Virginia Real Estate License

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

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

1. Complete a 60-Hour Prelicensing Course

The first step to getting your Virginia real estate license is to complete a 60-hour prelicensing course. You can check out this PDF from the Virginia Real Estate Board’s website to find a list of approved real estate schools.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly online school for your online course and exam prep, consider The CE Shop. They’re known for providing high-quality and affordable prelicensing courses. Or take a look at our list of the five best online real estate schools; each one offers classes in Virginia.

Readers of The Close can save 30% on any of The CE Shop’s prelicensing and business-building courses. Use promo code TheClose30 at checkout.

In Virginia, you must complete a course exam before you can apply to take your state license exam. Your prelicensing course exam must be proctored, either in person or virtually.

2. Pass the Virginia Real Estate Exam

Once you’ve completed your coursework and class test, you’ll need to prepare for the Virginia real estate license exam. You’ll have 2.5 hours to complete the 120 multiple-choice-question exam. The license exam is administered by PSI; you can schedule your test and pay the $60 exam fee on its website.

Breakdown of the Virginia Real Estate Agent Exam

National portion 80 questions 105 minutes
State of Virginia portion 40 questions 45 minutes
Total 120 questions 150 minutes

There are 7 testing locations across Virginia and neighboring states:

  • Charlottesville
  • Richmond
  • Roanoke
  • Vienna
  • Virginia Beach
  • Johnson City, TN
  • Salisbury, MD

When it comes time to study, you might consider purchasing an exam prep package from a real estate school. Test prep packages ensure you walk into your license exam with confidence. They include practice questions and simulated exams, as well as flashcards or study guides.

We recommend checking out The CE Shop’s standard package, which is designed to ensure you know everything you need for both national and state portions of the Virginia real estate license exam.

Check Out The CE Shop
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How to Study for the Real Estate Exam: Tips & Strategies

Arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time. You must show two forms of valid identification at the PSI testing facility:

  • One government-issued ID that has your signature and photograph
  • Another that has your signature and preprinted name

Your score report will immediately appear on the screen when you complete the exam. If you get at least 56 questions correct on the national portion and 30 right on the state portion, you’re all done! If you don’t pass the exam, you’ll see an unsuccessful notification on the screen. Be sure to grab a registration form for the exam retake at the testing center. You’ll have to pay another $60 to take it again.

3. Pass a Background Check

Before applying for your real estate license, you must complete a fingerprinting background check. There’s no need to make an appointment—fingerprinting is done on a first-come, first-served basis at PSI Testing locations and costs $52. Note that only the PSI testing locations in Richmond, Charlottesville, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, and Vienna offer fingerprinting. You can find more information on this fingerprinting guide from the PSI Testing website.

It can take four to six weeks to complete your background check, so consider starting this process before sitting for your exam if you’d like to apply for your license shortly after your exam.

4. Join a Virginia Real Estate Brokerage

In order to apply for your Virginia real estate license, you’ll need to be employed by a sponsoring broker. Brokers have generally spent many years in the real estate industry and will be able to offer you guidance as you navigate your new career.

Begin your search for a job by visiting real estate agencies in your area. Make sure that you understand your contract with the brokerage that hires you and take note of these terms:

  • Split: This is how the company will divide your share of commissions between you and your broker. Some brokerages will ask for an even 50-50 split on commissions; others will offer you a larger share.
  • Desk fee: You may be charged a monthly fee for office support, which your broker will collect whether you earn a commission that month or not.
  • Cap: This is the maximum amount that the brokerage will take from the commissions you’ve earned throughout the calendar year. Everything that you make above that cap is yours to keep.

5. Apply for Your Virginia Real Estate License

  • Cost: $170
  • Time commitment: 1 hour
  • Helpful resource: DPOR website

Now it’s time to apply for your Virginia real estate license. First, fill out the real estate salesperson application from the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation’s website. The license application fee is $170, and you’ll need to complete, sign, and mail the application to the state.

Be aware that you need to submit your license application within 45 days of getting fingerprinted. If they don’t receive your license application during that time frame, you’ll have to pay to be fingerprinted again.

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

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Quick Facts

Virginia Real Estate Governing Body:

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR)


Prelicensing Requirements:

60 Hours


Price Range for Prelicensing Courses:



Total Estimated Costs:


It costs just under $600 to get your Virginia real estate license. Some of these costs are fixed, such as the application, exam, and fingerprinting fees. The cost of your prelicensing course, on the other hand, can vary depending on the package you choose.

Most schools offer several tiers of packages to suit your needs, and you can typically choose from live, in-person, self-paced, or livestream classes.

Related Article
5 Best Online Real Estate Schools

Sample Virginia Real Estate License Costs

Prelicensing classes (60 hours) $259 (via The CE Shop)
Exam registration $60
License application $170
Fingerprinting $52
Total cost $541

(Virginia real estate license costs as of July 2023)

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in Virginia?

According to Indeed, Virginia real estate agents make an average of $88,781 per year. Remember that real estate is a commissioned-based career, so the sky’s the limit as to your earning potential. With persistence and hard work, you can have a lucrative and successful real estate career in Virginia.

How to Get a Real Estate License in Virginia: FAQs

Now you have a comprehensive look at how to become a real estate agent in Virginia. We’ve also assembled answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the process here. If you have additional questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!

More Resources from The Close

We hope our step-by-step guide to getting your Virginia real estate license has you excited to start your new career. At The Close, we’re committed to providing actionable strategies for every stage of your career.

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