Obtaining a Real Estate License in Texas


As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. This is true of both its size (largest in the continental U.S.) and population (second largest in the country), which means that realtors in Texas have ample opportunity to develop a successful career in this state. Those curious about how to get a real estate license will find the following article useful. For starters, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) oversees the application process and licensing requirements for real estates in this state. The TREC recognizes three distinct realty licenses: salesperson, broker and real estate inspector. Because this article provides information for entry-level positions, the facts that follow relate specifically to salespersons. The information below will be useful to anyone interested in obtaining a real estate license in the state of Texas.

Basic Prerequisites

The TREC mandates that applicants for a Texas salesperson license meet prerequisites prior to applying for a real estate license. In general, applicants for a realty license in the state of Texas must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal alien
  • Be a legal resident of Texas
  • Complete 180 hours of prelicensure coursework
  • Submit an application and the applicable fees ($153)
  • Submit to a fingerprint/background check

Texas applicants must also obtain sponsorship from a licensed Texas broker prior to becoming licensed as a real estate salesperson. In addition, a background check is mandatory and may reveal the need for further investigation by the commission. If the commission determines that they need to investigate an applicant further, they will first wait until the applicant completes the licensing exam. 

Training & Education

Applicants must complete 180 hours of prelicensure coursework by approved providers, and the specific designation of course hours is listed on the commission website.

Texas licensing exams are administered by PSI, Inc. Applicants must receive approval for testing prior to registering with the testing service. Once approval has been achieved, applicants may register and pay for the test separately on PSI’s website, where they will be able to find detailed instruction on testing requirements and scoring information.

A Texas real estate license expires every two years, and realtors must complete 90 hours of continuing education during this period. This means that new licensees must have completed a total of 270 hours of core real estate courses during the first two years of licensure (combined with the 180 hours necessary for becoming licensed). A detailed summary of the CE requirements may be found on the commission’s website.

Additional Information

Texas does not have reciprocity agreements with other states, but nonresidents or practicing realtors in other states may apply for a Texas real estate license by filling out the appropriate paperwork and paying applicable fees. The commission will determine if any waivers are available.

Brokers and real estate inspectors require separate licensing from the Texas Real Estate Commission, which is not discussed in this article. As this article applies to those unfamiliar with real estate licensing in general and Texas practices in particular, the guidelines listed above pertain solely to salesperson licenses. That said, those interested in a broker or inspector license should visit the TREC website to learn more about supplemental qualifications and requirements necessary for those licenses.

The Texas Real Estate Commission maintains the realty profession on a statewide basis. For national and international regulations, separate entities exist. Two prominent organizations are the National Association of Realtors and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). These associations regulate the practice of real estate on a global level, ensuring that realty commissions and realtors around the world adhere to universal codes of ethics and business practices.


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