Obtaining a Real Estate License in Virginia


Populous and affluent, the state of Virginia promises great success for licensed real estate professionals. With its designation as a Southern state, its proximity to the nation’s capital and its large military presence, Virginia offers residents and professionals the unique advantage of being a cultural crossroad. Realtors in this state may find that business will be particularly lucrative. Governed by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, the Virginia Real Estate Board oversees all real estate licensing in this state. Those interested in how to get a real estate license in Virginia should examine the following information for basic requirements.

Basic Prerequisites

The Virginia Real Estate Board has outlined certain prerequisites for obtaining a real estate license in this state. All applicants for a Virginia salesperson license must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent education
  • Pass the state and national licensing exam
  • Complete 60 hours of prelicensure coursework
  • Pass the state and national licensing exam
  • Submit an application and pay a $170 fee

Training & Education

Applicants for a Virginia real estate license must complete 60 hours of prelicensure coursework from an approved provider. The prelicensure course is called “Principles of Real Estate” and is mandatory for all applicants, including those applying for reciprocal licenses. 

Potential realtors in Virginia must take and pass the licensing exam prior to submitting an official application for licensure. Exams are administered by PSI, Inc. Applicants must pay and register for the exam prior to sitting for it, and they must pass both portions (state and national) in order to apply for licensure. There is a $60 fee for the exam, which should be paid directly to PSI.

New salespersons are required to complete 30 hours of post-licensing education within one year of becoming licensed. This exempts them from the normal continuing education requirements for experienced salespersons. After the initial renewal period, a Virginia license is valid for two years. During this time, real estate agents must complete 16 hours of continuing education. Half of the educational requirements must be met with core courses; the remaining half may be made with relevant electives. Continuing education and post-licensing education courses are not interchangeable. Virginia offers a five-year extension for license renewal if a realtor meets military qualifications.

Additional Information

Military spouses stationed in Virginia may be eligible for expedition of their application and should contact the board regarding this eligibility.

Virginia has an expansive reciprocal licensing program, meaning that they offer reciprocal licensing to realtors in all other states, provided that they submit the appropriate paperwork. This paperwork includes verification from the state in which they are licensed and proof of completion of the 60 hour “Principles of Real Estate” course. Essentially, reciprocity requirements mirror those of new licensees, but realtors from other states must present proof of active status in their licensing state.

Virginia also recognizes additional real estate professional licenses, which this article does not address. Because the information presented assumes no prior knowledge, advanced topics have not been covered. Individuals who are already licensed salespersons may find information on becoming a licensed broker or appraise by perusing the state website for additional education and experience qualifications.

The Virginia Real Estate Board oversees the regulation of real estate professionals in this state, but broader organizations exist to monitor realty activity on a national and international level. The National Association of Realtors and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). These associations prescribe a set of business ethics to which real estate commissions and agents must adhere in order to meet global standards.