The state’s budget woes will soon be felt by Illinois real estate licensees. Last week, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) advised that it will not mail license renewal notifications. This means that there will be no reminder postcard sent in early February before brokers’ deadline. Many brokers don’t give much thought to the license renewal or the education that must be completed until they receive this reminder. This could cause a late rush of continuing education completions and renewal applications being submitted to the state.
The good news is that the IDFPR will begin sending renewal reminders via e-mail. The bad news is that the IDFPR has never required real estate licensees to provide their e-mail addresses, so the department’s database is incomplete. This is a perfect time for you to update your contact information with the state. To easily update or add your e-mail address, click here.
The IDFPR will start accepting Broker license renewal applications in just a few weeks. It’s important that you follow these instructions for a timely renewal.
Step 1 – Complete Continuing Education or Post-License
Illinois real estate Brokers need 12 hours of core/elective continuing education (CE) every renewal period, EXCEPT Brokers who are in their first renewal period. Brokers in their first renewal period are required to complete a 30-hour Broker Post-License course. The current Broker renewal period began May 1, 2014 and ends April 30, 2016. If you complete CE or Post-License education with Real Estate Institute, our school reports your course completion directly to the IDFPR.
Step 2 – Submit Your New License Application
After you have completed your CE or Post-License requirement, you must renew your license with the IDFPR. There are two ways to renew your license:
Apply Online – The IDFPR permits online license renewal applications to be submitted up to 90 days before the license expires. This option allows you to complete the entire renewal application and pay online. Click here to apply online.
Mail Your Application – The IDFPR typically mails licensees a copy of the renewal application 60 days before the license expires. However, with the budget cuts, it’s likely that this mailing will be discontinued too. The application can be completed online, printed and mailed with payment. If you use the paper application, we strongly recommend that you send it to the IDFPR via USPS Certified Mail so that you receive confirmation of delivery to the IDFPR. Delivery confirmation will be critical in the event of a delay in license renewal. It will likely take the IDFPR several weeks to process your application.
If you have questions about your education requirements for renewal, please call Real Estate Institute at 800-995-1700 to speak to one of our compliance experts. More information can also be found at InstituteOnline.com/NextSteps.
April can be a stressful time for Illinois Real Estate Brokers. Not because of rising interest rates, income taxes, or hay fever, but because of the biennial continuing education requirement due on April 30 every even-numbered year.
But continuing education doesn’t have to be stressful. Actually, it can be done quickly and painlessly. First, let’s break down who needs what.
A Broker who has renewed his/her license before, either as a Salesperson (who transitioned) or as a Broker, must complete 12 hours of core and elective continuing education.
A Broker who is renewing for the first time must complete a 30-hour post-license course.
The quickest and easiest way to complete your education is with a self-study program. That way, YOU DECIDE how much time you spend studying.
Brokers who must complete continuing education can complete THE ENTIRE program via self-study.
Brokers renewing for the first time can do HALF of the 30-hour post-license requirement via self-study. The other half must be in an interactive environment, which usually means a physical classroom or a live broadcast webinar.
Once you’ve completed the above, you are required to pass a proctored exam. Perhaps this is the most stressful part of the educational requirement. Maybe learning the facts will help you breathe a little easier.
IDFPR rules stipulate that for every 3-hour continuing education course, there must be a minimum of 25 questions on the exam, and Brokers must achieve a score of at least 70%. That means, if you are taking a 25-question test, you can miss SEVEN and STILL PASS.
IDFPR rules stipulate that post-license exams must contain at least 25 questions for each 15- credit-hour course, with a passing score of 75%. That means you can miss SIX on each test and STILL PASS.
Feel better? If not, maybe this will help you relax. Most Brokers successfully pass the first time when taking the exam with our school. But, in the rare event that you fail, you’re permitted to retake the exam.
While we know that most people don’t enjoy taking exams or required education, we hope that knowing the facts will help you relax a bit. For questions about your licensing requirements, give us a call at 800.995.1700.
If you need last-minute CE or post-license education, visit our website or call us. Real Estate Institute offers programs specifically designed for busy professionals.
This time of year, thousands of Illinois Brokers are completing the continuing education or post-license education needed to renew their real estate licenses. If you are one of those Brokers who has already passed your course exam, you may feel confident that you’re finished. But will you be prepared for the state to audit your education records? Failure to produce the proper course completion documents can result in disciplinary action.
IDFPR-approved schools are required to provide Certificates of Course Completion to Brokers; however, the state does not want you to send this certificate with your renewal application. Instead, it is your course provider’s responsibility to report your credit hours to the state of Illinois and provide the Certificate of Course Completion to you for your records.
Most providers report the course completions to the state on a monthly basis. With the April 30 deadline only weeks away, chances are good that those completions will not be reported before the deadline. The good news is that there is a safety net in place to protect you. The license renewal process allows you to attest to the timely completion of your required CE or post-license education. As part of your renewal application, simply check the box that indicates you’ve fully complied with the education requirement for the renewal of your license. After completing the online or paper-based form and submitting the $150 renewal fee, you’re finished!
After the IDFPR processes all of the license renewals, the audits begin. The state will match renewals with course completions. If your course provider failed to submit your completion to the state, you likely will be contacted. It is a good idea to have your Certificate(s) of Completion on hand. This will prove to the state that you are compliant. If you or your course provider is unable to furnish proof of completion, you may be subject to disciplinary action and fines.
It’s not too late to complete your required education. For questions about continuing education and post-license education, call our compliance experts at 800-995-1700 or visit www.InstituteOnline.com. Our students may request supplemental copies of their Certificates of Course Completions at any time.
Real Estate Institute wants to make sure that you clearly understand that Post–License Education and Continuing Education are two completely different requirements.
Brokers renewing their license for the first time need to fulfill the 30-hour Post-License requirement. All other Brokers need to do the 12 hours of Continuing Education.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will not give credit to any licensee who enrolls in the wrong course. Post-License credit will not be accepted as Continuing Education credit and vice-versa.
In order to qualify to renew your Broker license, the appropriate course must be successfully completed, and the IDFPR must process your renewal application PRIOR to April 30, 2014. We highly recommend that you start your required education NOW. Once your education is complete, submit your renewal application and fee to the IDFPR. (The IDFPR renewal window opens in just a few weeks.) Procrastinating will severely affect the status of your license and your ability to practice real estate.
If you are still confused, call Real Estate Institute immediately at 800-995-1700. Our friendly and knowledgeable customer service representatives are compliance experts. They will assist you and make sure that you are enrolled in the appropriate course.
Let’s Make It Simple…
Start today! Click here to learn more about CE and Post-License courses. Convenient self-study, classroom and webinar programs are available.