Obtaining a Real Estate License in Rhode Island

Despite its position as the smallest state, Rhode Island actually ranks second highest in population density, just after New Jersey. This indicates that realtors in Rhode Island will face no shortage of clientele. Those interested in a realty career in Rhode Island might wonder how to get a real estate license. To begin, real estate licensing in this state is handled by the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation under the Division of Commercial Licensing and Regulation (DCLR for purposes of this article). Rhode Island grants salesperson and broker licenses, but this article will focus on salesperson licenses since it is intended for those unfamiliar with the realty profession or new to Rhode Island’s specific requirements. As such, the following guide offers practical information regarding education and other requirements for obtaining a real estate license in the state of Rhode Island.

Basic Prerequisites

The Rhode Island DCLR mandates specific prerequisites for its real estate applicants. In general, all candidates for a realty license in Rhode Island must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Submit an application and corresponding fees ($100)
  • Obtain a Criminal History Record from the RI Attorney General Office
  • Disclose any criminal information or previous reprimands
  • Complete prelicensure coursework from an approved provider
  • Pass the licensing exam

Licensees must obtain Errors & Omissions insurance in addition to the above requirements. Nonresident applicants must also supply a criminal history report from their state in addition to the CHR from the RI Attorney General. Candidates should also furnish an affidavit of taxpayer status and ID verification.

Training & Education

Licensees must complete 45 hours of prelicensure coursework to include a 3-hour course on New Agency Law from an approved provider. In addition, all new licensees must complete a 3-hour course on lead hazards/poisoning. 

Pearson VUE administers the licensing exam for Rhode Island applicants. Detailed information regarding testing eligibility and requirements, scoring and applicable fees may be found by visiting the testing service’s official website. Applicants should note that they must complete the licensing exam prior to submitting their official applications, as scores must be presented at the time of application.

Licensees in the state of Rhode Island must renew their licenses every two years by April 30th. There is a $130 fee for renewal along with 24 hours of mandatory continuing education. Of the 24 CE hours, 6 must be from core courses. Realtors must also provide an updated criminal history report and taxpayer affidavit, and nonresidents must additionally supply a criminal history report from their resident state.

Additional Information

Rhode Island offers reciprocal licenses to realtors in Connecticut and Massachusetts. For specific details regarding qualifications and necessary paperwork, applicants from those states and other nonresidents should study the guide online.

As mentioned above, Rhode Island also grants broker licenses to qualifying agents. However, the purpose of this article is to offer information on an entry-level basis. Individuals interested in a broker license should visit the division’s website to learn more about the supplemental education and experience requirements for becoming a licensed Rhode Island broker.

The Rhode Island DCLR regulates licensing and ethical concerns of its realtors on a state level. On a national and international level, two organizations exist to standardize the practice of real estate. These are the National Association of Realtors and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). Both associations work to develop and maintain codes of ethics and conduct worldwide, ensuring that realtors and commissions around the globe provide universally agreed upon business standards.

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