Obtaining a Real Estate License in Illinois

Illinois, like other states, requires certain licensing procedures for its professionals, including and especially real estate agents. People interested in a real estate career in Illinois may wonder how to get a real estate license. Under the governing authority of the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, the Illinois Real Estate Division works to maintain rules and regulations for standardizing the practice of realty in the state. The following guide outlines some of the basic requirements and education necessary for those interested in becoming a real estate agent in Illinois.

Basic Prerequisites

The Illinois Real Estate Division requires certain prerequisites of its real estate applicants. A real estate salesperson in Illinois must:

  • Submit an official application
  • Be 21 years or older
  • Be of good character
  • Complete 45 ours of prelicensing coursework
  • Submit a valid application
  • Pass the final exam for licensure

Applicants should note that the minimum age requirement of 21 can be waived in certain circumstances. Applicants who are 18 years or older and have complete four semesters of post-secondary coursework may be eligible to apply for a real estate license. 

Training & Education

A real estate salesperson must complete 45 hours of prelicensing coursework at an accredited institution or private school. The Illinois Real Estate Division maintains a list of qualifying schools and programs as well as basic information requiring eligibility.

The Illinois licensing exam is given by Applied Measurement Professionals, and a handbook is available online for detailed information regarding testing.

Educational requirements may be waived in certain circumstances, such as proof of a 4-year degree or admission to the Illinois state bar. Applicants who meet these requirements and other special circumstances should contact the Illinois Real Estate Division to find out if they qualify for a waiver.

Additional Information

The state of Illinois has a variety of fees depending on the type of license issues. A detailed breakdown is available here.

The Illinois Real Estate Division recognizes the following states for reciprocity: Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Detailed information regarding what realtors in these states need to do in order to obtain an Illinois license can be found in the handbook listed on the website.

While Illinois state maintains its own regulations on real estate, several organizations exist to govern the practice of real estate on a national and international level. Among these, the National Association of Realtors and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) are two prominent organizations. Potential realtors might wish to explore the standardized codes of ethics maintained by these associations for a broader look at the real estate industry.

Illinois recognizes other types of real estate licenses, including brokers and property managers. This article applies only to those interested in real estate salesperson licenses. Those interested in other professions within the realty industry should visit the Illinois Real Estate Division website for more information.

Applicants should note that the preceding information is based on a salesperson license, which became invalid as of May 2012. For a detailed breakdown of the specific real estate licenses available in the state of Illinois, potential realtors should visit the Illinois Real Estate Division regulations page.

In general, the information contained herein still applies in some parts, such as the age limit and educational requirements, though brokers need additional educational credits and leasing agents may need less. Though no longer called a salesperson license, a potential realtor in the state of Illinois still must meet the basic prerequisites and educational requirements in order to practice real estate in this state.

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