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
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

Renewal Deadline Approaching for Real Estate CE Instructors

June 30, 2012, is the deadline for all Illinois real estate CE instructors to complete their required education. The Association of Illinois Real Estate Educators (AIREE) conference taking place on June 1 is approved by the IDFPR for instructor renewal.   Hot topics included in the program are:

  • Foreclosure: Victoria Ogunsanya, staff attorney at the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) in the Affordable Housing Project, focuses on the foreclosure process, time frames, tenant rights and interesting cases that LCBH has been involved in.
  • Fair Housing: Professor Allison Bethel, Director of the Fair Housing Clinic at John Marshall Law School, discusses recent fair housing cases, updates on fair housing and the importance of spreading awareness of discrimination in housing.
  • Legislative Update: Scott Toban, founder of Toban Legal & Consulting, shares valuable insight on the “Community Association Manager License Act,” regulations targeting brokerage of short sales and initiatives of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
  • IDFPR Update: Jill D. Johnson, IDFPR Real Estate Coordinator, provides an update on the division since her appointment, disciplinary issues, examiner matters and the recent license transition.

For more information about AIREE, call 877-290-3458 or visit

IDFPR Releases Transition Application and Renewal Questions and Answers

This week, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) posted frequently asked questions to help all real estate licensees complete the transition and renewal process.  There is also important information about what will appear on the “License Look Up” webpage on the IDFPR website after the transition deadline.  Although all salesperson and broker licenses expire on April 30, 2012, your license will continue to show “active” while the IDFPR finishes processing the transition/renewal applications.  This may take up to 30 days.  Click here to view the IDFPR FAQs.

Real Estate Institute also has comprehensive transition and continuing education frequently asked questions.  To view our transition FAQs, click here.  To view our continuing education FAQs, click here.

Why Can’t I Pay My License Transition Fee Online?

Good question! Every day, hundreds of Illinois real estate licensees call to ask us about this. The IDFPR created different application and payment processes for the two transition options: Proficiency Exam and Transition Education. 

Transition by Proficiency Exam
Licensees who transitioned with the Proficiency Exam are allowed to submit their payment online because the state was automatically sent their results. As a reminder, this state-based exam is no longer available.  The last date to take the exam was March 15.

Transition by Transition Education and Exam
For the 30 and 45 credit-hour transition courses, the IDFPR does not accept online applications and payments.  Why, you ask?  Schools are not permitted to report transition course completions directly to the IDFPR.  Instead, students are responsible for providing proof of their course completion to the state.  This means you must mail a paper transition/renewal application with your fee and course certificate of completion. 

If you wish to mail the application to the IDFPR immediately, you may visit our website to print a copy of the required license transition application:

Additional instructions with answers to frequently asked questions about the license transition and renewal process are available here:

Have You Completed All 3 Steps to Transition Your Real Estate License?

If you are an Illinois real estate salesperson transitioning to the new broker license, make sure you complete ALL three simple steps, or you will lose your license on May 1.

  1. ENROLL. If you have not done so already, immediately sign up for the 30-credit-hour transition course.  This course can be completed by self-study. (You are exempt from CE for this renewal period.)
  2. TEST. Schedule your proctored exam. Spaces are filling up fast.
  3. SUBMIT.  You must submit your transition and renewal application, including fees and certificate to the IDFPR.  It must be postmarked by April 30.

Remember, there is no “late transition.” If you miss the deadline, you will no longer be able to earn referrals or commissions and will need to start the licensing process all over again.  That means having to complete a 90-credit-hour broker pre-license program.  Don’t pass up transitioning to broker status. Luckily, you still have a few more weeks.  There’s still time!

Attention, Brokers! Are You Sure You Need to Renew Your License Now?

You may have received a Broker renewal application from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).  DO NOT SEND IN THIS APPLICATION if you are a Broker who plans to transition to the new Managing Broker license.  Managing Brokers do not renew their license until next year (April 30, 2013).  However, your deadline for transitioning to the new Managing Broker license remains April 30, 2012.  Make sure your transition application and fee are postmarked no later than April 30. 

If you are a Broker and do not transition to Managing Broker, you must complete the 12-credit-hour continuing education requirement and submit the renewal application and fee by April 30, 2012. By renewing as a broker, you will also lose your right to manage other licensees or sponsor your own license.

If you are unsure about your remaining requirements, please call the Real Estate Institute. You’ll speak with trained experts who have access to extensive resources.  We’ll review your license status and help you stay on the right track.

Deadline Approaches for Illinois Real Estate Proficiency Exam

If you plan to take the proficiency exam (state-based transition test), make sure you schedule your test NOW.  All students enrolled for the proficiency exam must test by March 15, 2012.  There are no extensions to this IDFPR deadline!

Exams must be taken at approved real estate pre-license schools.  Test times are limited, so contact your school immediately to schedule your exam.  Real Estate Institute has opened additional test times to accommodate our students.

Real Estate Institute is also offering students additional time and testing convenience to meet the state license transition requirements.  Real Estate Institute students who are currently enrolled for the proficiency exam may transfer their registration to our ALL-in-ONE transition education program. This gives our students an extra 45 days! We will apply the full cost of their previous enrollment with our school toward the cost of this more flexible transition solution.  If you are a Real Estate Institute student who would like to take advantage of this exclusive offer, please contact us at 800-995-1700.

Before You Renew Your Real Estate Broker License – READ THIS!

The IDFPR has begun mailing Broker license renewal forms. If you’re a Broker who has transitioned or plans to transition to Managing Broker, DO NOT USE this form.  This is strictly for renewal as a Broker licensee.  

This renewal form should ONLY be used by the following licensees:

  • Brokers licensed on or before 4/30/11 who are NOT transitioning to the Managing Broker license.
  • Brokers licensed after 5/1/2011 who transitioned from the Salesperson license. 
  • Brokers licensed after 5/1/2011 who completed a 90 credit hour pre-license program before passing the state exam and applying for their license.

As a reminder, the deadline for Broker renewals is 4/30/12.   Continuing education (CE) must be obtained from an IDFPR-approved real estate school. Your CE course provider must report your CE course completion. 

Salesperson licensees will not receive renewal forms since this license type expires permanently on 4/30/12.  Click here for information on how to remain a licensed real estate agent.

Real Estate Broker License Renewal Now Available at the IDFPR

Today, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) updated the online license renewal page at their website to include Real Estate Broker renewal. Agents who hold a license number that begins with 475 may submit their renewal application and $150 fee to the state.  Broker renewals are due by April 30, 2012.

If you are transitioning your license and have not submitted your transition application, you must use the combined transition/renewal form found here.

If you are a Salesperson who has transitioned and have received your new Broker license or are a Broker who is NOT transitioning to the new Managing Broker license, click here to go to the IDFPR for access to the online license renewal information.

Important Real Estate Transition News – IDFPR Releases Combined Transition/Renewal Application

On February 1, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation released a new salesperson-to-broker transition application that combines the transition AND renewal fees on the same form.  Starting today, you MUST use this combined form.  There is a new online and paper-based application available at the IDFPR’s website.  Here’s a link to the application forms. All Real Estate Institute students who complete our 30-credit-hour transition course will receive the new combined application with their certificate of completion along with an envelope addressed to the IDFPR.  Your application, certificate and fees must be postmarked on or before April 30, 2012. 

 Please note: Salespersons who fail to meet the April 30, 2012, transition deadline will lose their licenses.  There is no late renewal. A salesperson who does not transition will need to take a 90-credit-hour broker pre-license course and pass the state exam to continue earning commissions and referrals.

If you have questions about the new combined transition/renewal application, please call the IDFPR at 217-782-3414.  If you have questions about satisfying the transition education and testing requirements, we have the following comprehensive resources available for you:

  • Transition Education Requirements and Online Enrollment – click here and select your license type.
  • Transition Frequently Asked Questions – click here.
  • Continuing Education Frequently Asked Questions – click here.
  • Transition/Renewal Next Steps – after you have completed your education and testing, click here for instructions on what you do next.
  • Real Estate Institute customer service representatives are available Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer your questions and complete your enrollment.  Call 800-995-1700.