Obtaining a Real Estate License in South Carolina


Bordering the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by southern charm, South Carolina has a long and varied history that entices new visitors and residents each year. Its cultural heritage draws people from all over the country, and realtors in this state can take advantage of the area’s natural appeal to cultivate a successful business. Those considering a realty career in South Carolina may wonder how to get a real estate license. To begin, the real estate industry in this state is governed by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission (REC) under the larger governing body of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Registration. This article addresses entry-level licensing, which in South Carolina means a real estate salesperson license. The following guide will be useful to individuals seeking real estate licensure in the state of South Carolina.

Basic Prerequisites

The South Carolina REC requires applicants for a real estate license to meet outlined prerequisites in order to apply for a license. Generally speaking, candidates for a South Carolina realty license must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent certificate
  • Complete the necessary pre- and post-licensure coursework
  • Submit an official application with appropriate fees
  • Pass the licensing exam

Applicants also must submit to a credit report and disclose any negative criminal history to the licensing committee. The application fee for a salesperson license is $35, which includes the credit report fee, and once licensed, realtors must pay an additional $25 new license fee.

Training & Education

South Carolina realty applicants must take 60 hours of prelicensure coursework. Once candidates have passed the licensing exam, they have one year from the date of passing to apply for a provisional salesperson license under the supervision of a licensed broker-in-charge. During the year following initial licensure, licensees must complete 30 hours of post-licensing coursework, as well as submit the appropriate fees and forms, in order to receive a permanent license. The South Carolina REC maintains an online document regarding specifics for education providers.

PSI, Inc. handles the licensing exam for the South Carolina REC. Applicants should schedule exams independently through the testing service; however, according to the commission website, a link to a detailed handbook will be provided to applicants once they have received approval to sit for the exam.

South Carolina requires only 8 hours of continuing education every two years, and residents in other states who hold an active license in their state can count their CE hours towards South Carolina’s CE requirements. 

Additional Information

The South Carolina REC offer reciprocal licensing to realtors in Georgia and West Virginia. All other states must adhere to the same application process as new licensees, but they may have portions of their exam and educational requirements waived in some circumstances. For a detailed list of reciprocal requirements and out-of-state licensure, individuals should study the guidelines found on the commission’s website.

This article offers information for real estate salesperson licenses, which are entry-level positions in South Carolina. The state also recognizes realty brokers and other advanced real estate professionals for licensure, licenses for which require additional education and experience. Individuals interested in a career as a broker or other realty professional should visit the state commission website to learn more about supplemental licensure qualifications.

The South Carolina REC oversees the licensing and maintenance of real estate licenses on a state level. For national and international regulations, organizations exist. The National Association of Realtors and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) develop and maintain standardized principles for the practice of real estate worldwide. This ensures that realtors and realty commissions around the globe adhere to a standardized code of ethics and business practices.


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