Can an Illinois Managing Broker Exchange Their License for a Broker License?

Managing Broker License Step DownThis real estate license renewal season, there has been an increasing number of Managing Brokers considering whether this license type is right for them. They want to know what it takes to “step down” from their current Managing Broker license to a Broker license. Although the Illinois Real Estate License Act was amended in 2013 to include this option, administrative rules to support this procedure have not yet been established. In other words, it’s complicated.


Some Background

Illinois real estate professionals might obtain a Manager Broker license for any of the following reasons:

  • To self-sponsor their own license
  • To sponsor other licensees
  • To act as a managing broker

However, the Illinois Real Estate License Act permits Managing Brokers to act in the capacity of a Broker (and be sponsored by another Managing Broker).  Presently, more than 40% of Managing Brokers are sponsored by some other licensee.  Many of these sponsored Managing Brokers acknowledge that they don’t intend to change roles and would prefer to “step down” to a Broker license.

In August of 2013, Illinois license law was amended so that Managing Brokers have an option to “return” their license and receive a Broker license in exchange.

Considering the Pros and Cons

If You Keep Your Managing Broker License… If You “Step-Down” to a Broker License…
Work Independently
(Self-Sponsored)
You can sponsor yourself. You must be sponsored by another Managing Broker.
Work Independently or Sponsor Other Licensees You can be sponsored or sponsor yourself and other licensees You cannot sponsor other licensees.
Date of License Renewal Your license renewal deadline is
April 30, 2015 (and April 30 of subsequent odd-numbered years).
Your license renewal deadline is April 30, 2016 (and April 30 of subsequent even-numbered years).
CE Requirement 12 credit hours of Core and Elective CE plus
12 credit hours of Broker Management CE
You must complete 12 credit hours of
Core and Elective CE


Increased Interest Preceding the License Renewal

In response to the additional continuing education requirements (and related expense) for Managing Brokers, there have been more inquiries from licensees who are interested in “stepping down” to a Broker license.  These licensees want to avoid completing the 12-hour Broker Management CE requirement, which is an interactive course (and self-study is not permitted).

It’s Not Really An Option … Yet

Although the license law was updated over a year ago, the administrative rules that enable the IDFPR to support this change have not yet been updated.  Without this update, there is a lack of guidance regarding the forms, fees, and other details  necessary to implement this feature of the license law.  As a result, Managing Brokers are in a holding pattern and cannot actually complete this process.

Coming Soon, But Not Too Soon

The Real Estate Division is actively working to propose administrative rules that address this and other inconsistencies in the currently approved rules.  Given the process required to implement rule changes, it’s very unlikely that Managing Brokers would be able to “step down” before the April 30, 2015 license renewal.

What Should You Do?

If you are among the licensees waiting to make this change, you may be tempted to skip the Broker Management CE requirement and wait for the green light to exchange your license.  Don’t Do It! 

The license exchange option will only be available to active licensees (who renewed their license).  This means you must first complete your current compliance requirements, in order to be eligible for this change.  For details about your current license renewal requirements, look here.

Also, be aware that if you ever decide to give up your Managing Broker license, there’s no undo button. To become a Managing Broker again, you would need to have been licensed for two of the past three years, and then complete a 45-credit-hour pre-lciense course and pass the state licensing exam. (You would need to do this even though you formerly held a Managing Broker license.)

Still Have Questions?

No problem, call and chat with one of Real Estate Institute’s knowledgeable customer representatives:  800-995-1700

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