How to become a Real Estate Agent in California

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How-To Licensing Guide

Kick off your new career in real estate; Begin your pre-licensing education with OnCourse Learning today.
The real estate industry is made for passionate people with an interest in real estate and an entrepreneurial spirit. Follow these easy steps, and get ready for a fulfilling, lucrative career.

Step 1

Meet California’s general licensing requirements

To get a real estate license from the California Department of Real Estate (DRE), you have to fulfill specific general requirements, including:

Step 2

Complete your California real estate pre-licensing education

All real estate agents are required to take 135 hours of California DRE-approved real estate education prior to receiving their license.
Choose from one of the courses or packages below, and start a pre-licensing process tailored to your exact needs:

  • • Individual Course: Real Estate Finance, 10th Edition
  • Package: California Real Estate Pre-Licensing Silver Solution
    • Principles, Practices and Finance Package
    • Support from industry experts
  • Package: California Real Estate Pre-Licensing Gold Solution
    • Includes all Silver Solution products, plus:
    • Prep xL: The study tool that adapts to your learning style
    • Complimentary real estate blog subscription - staying up-to-date is half the battle!
    • Pass The First Time Guarantee: With Prep xL, you have our word you’ll pass your exam on the very first try.
  • Package: California Real Estate Pre-Licensing Platinum Solution (recommended)
    • Includes all Silver/Gold Solution products, plus:
    • “California Real Estate: An Introduction to the Profession,” 8th edition
    • Real estate test-taking tips
    • Real estate exam flashcards

Step 3

Pass the course pre-licensing exam

After your coursework is completed, you need to pass the initial exam. This is different than the final real estate exam; it proves you passed your class, and are ready for the next stage in real estate licensing.

  • 150-question exam
  • Must be taken in the presence of a proctor
  • Required passing score of 70%

Step 4

Select a Sponsoring Broker

To activate your license, you need to be sponsored by a licensed CA real estate broker.

  • Choose and contact a sponsoring broker
  • Apply to your broker with the Sponsoring Broker Statement Application (click here to download)
  • Hand-submit your completed form to your AMP test center (Don’t mail it!)

Step 5

Submit a verified background check

In California, Real Estate license applicants are required to obtain and submit a California Department of Real Estate background check. If you currently reside in California, you will need to visit your local sheriff’s office or police station to obtain your report.
Non-residents can submit a background check processed by their state agency or through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

Step 6

Pass the California real estate license exam

Once you’re ready, you need to register for (and pass) the official California DRE exam.

California real estate continuing education

The California real estate industry changes quickly. To stay on top of it, CA real estate agents are required to complete 45-hours of real estate CE classes.


OnCourse Learning’s CA-approved real estate CE course list offers an array of classes and packages designed to enhance your skill-set, cater to specific interests and fulfill California DRE requirements.

  • 750,000+ real estate student alumni across the country
  • Track record of high pass rates
  • Thousands of online courses nationally
  • 40+ years of experience educating real estate students
  • Courses written by experienced, subject matter experts