How To Get A PA License, If Already Licensed Elsewhere

Can I get a PA real estate sales license if I hold a license elsewhere?

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Individuals who hold real estate sales licenses in other states regularly ask about obtaining a similar license in Pennsylvania.

  • If you live in – and are licensed in – a state that has reciprocity with Pennsylvania, you can apply for a reciprocal license in Pennsylvania. This applies only to residents of Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Learn more about reciprocity here.
  • If your state is NOT among those (above) that honor reciprocal licenses from Pennsylvania, keep reading below.

I already hold a real estate sales license in another state, but it does not have reciprocity with Pennsylvania. Now what?

Requirements for real estate salesperson licensing in Pennsylvania are on a par with surrounding states, with few exceptions. Pennsylvania requires 75 hours of pre-license education: 45 hours in a course called Real Estate Practice, and 30 hours in a course called Real Estate Fundamentals. Your proficiency in license knowledge is measured on three exams: one each on the content of both courses, with passing grades of 70; and a state-administered license exam, with a passing grade of 75.

If you do not qualify for a license by reciprocity, you are best positioned to obtain a salesperson’s license in Pennsylvania if the state in which you are already licensed also requires a minimum of 75 or more hours of license education. You must currently be licensed or had been actively licensed in your state within the past 5 years. If so, you should contact your state’s Real Estate Commission, let it know of your intent to be licensed in Pennsylvania, and ask it to issue a certificate or certified letter attesting to your license history. Some states charge a fee for this service.

This “certificate of license history,” as it is sometimes called, then gets sent by you directly to Pennsylvania’s testing vendor, along with your application to be tested for a Pennsylvania salesperson’s license and the appropriate examination fee. The certificate must be issued within 90 days of your registration with the national testing company. The application, fee schedule, and expanded detail in licensing requirements and instructions will be found here.

Although you may have completed as much or more salesperson pre-license education than is needed in Pennsylvania, and although you may have already passed a written salesperson license exam covering uniform real estate knowledge in your state, you nonetheless will need to score a passing grade (75 or higher) on a 30-question Pennsylvania real estate law exam. The 80-question “uniform knowledge” or “national” exam likely will be waived.

The PA State Real Estate Commission requires proof that you know and are familiar with Pennsylvania real estate license law; hence your need to take the 30-question law test.

Once you:

  • pass Pennsylvania’s 30-question law test with a score of 75 or better;
  • pass a criminal background check conducted by State Police in the state in which you currently reside
  • can demonstrate (with a diploma or other documentation) that you are a high school graduate or hold an equivalent certification; and
  • are affiliated with and supervised by a Pennsylvania licensed real estate broker, then

… the PA State Real Estate Commission will consider granting a license. The timing for this process depends on both the time you take in passing the exam and the commission’s work backlog.

  • If you hold a broker’s license (not a sales license) in a non-reciprocal state and want to obtain a Pennsylvania broker’s license, please click here.

Preparing for the Pennsylvania Law Test

Because you will need to brush up on Pennsylvania real estate license law and prep for the law portion of the Pennsylvania test, we recommend that you …

1) Enroll, if possible, in Polley Associates’ Out-Of-State Exam Prep course. See our current Broker class listing, here, for when it’s next scheduled.
2) If you prefer, enroll in our online CompuCram “Real Estate Sales Exam Prep – Pennsylvania Portion Only” course, here. It is highly rated and gets great student reviews.

The Out-Of-State Exam Prep course is only a half-day (9 a.m. to noon), costs only $95, and reviews Pennsylvania real estate law material on the exam for which you’ll be tested. However, because this course is held only every other month and only at our Newtown Square (suburban Philadelphia) PA facility, it may be an impractical option for some out-of-staters.

3) Visit Polley Associates’ online bookstore to find related study aids.

One recommended aid is the textbook titled “Real Estate Exam Prep Booklet for Pennsylvania.” We make it available for purchase online.

If you lack sufficient education …

If you do not have 75 or more hours of completed salesperson pre-license education, you will need to complete either the 30-hour PA pre-license RE Fundamentals, 45-hour RE Practice courses offered by Polley Associates, or equivalent courses in your current state of licensure.

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Last updated 20180911 

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