Broker Late Renewals: Your Questions Answered

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The deadline for Illinois Real Estate Brokers to renew their licenses on time is only days away, on April 30. Although the vast majority of licensees will renew on-time, many will not. So what happens if you miss the deadline?

There are a few things to think about, including license renewal fees, required education and other compliance considerations.

State License Renewal Fees:

Licensees who miss the renewal deadline will have to pay a $50 late-renewal fee to IDFPR (in addition to the standard $150 renewal fee). Although you might expect the late fee to escalate over time, it does not. The same fee will be due as long as you complete the renewal anytime during the next license renewal period.  However, you only have 30 days to renew online with a credit card payment.  After that, you will be required to print and mail the renewal form with a check or money order.

If you remain in a non-renewed status beyond a full renewal period, you will be responsible for paying any additional missed renewal fees if/when you eventually renew your license. In other words, the IDFPR will require you to “catch up” on all missed fees from the period of time when your license was in a non-renewed status.

This graphic illustrates how the fees escalate over time:

Broker Late Renewal Fee Chart v2

Continuing Education or Post-License Education:

Brokers who renew on time must complete either 12 credit hours of CE or 30 hours of post-license education before renewing their license. (If you’re not sure which one you need, read our prior article.)  The education requirements remain the same for those who complete a late renewal. So, if you miss the renewal and plan to renew sometime in May, be sure to complete your education requirement before applying for your new license. Failure to do so will result in additional fines/penalties.  

Assuming that you complete your education requirement in May 2016 and then apply for your (late) license renewal, take note that the education you completed is retroactively applied to the prior renewal period and may not also be applied to your next license renewal (due by April 30, 2018.)

Individuals who wait more than two years to renew will fall into the “reinstatement” category. At that point, you may be subject to different and/or additional education requirements, as mandated by the IDFPR.

Compliance Considerations:

Late license renewal is no big deal if you are not currently engaged in business that requires you to hold a real estate license. If you just cringed, here’s what you should know:

  • If your license expires and you have active transactions, you may not continue to participate in those transactions. Acting without a license can result in a fine of up to $25,000!  You should immediately notify your sponsoring broker that your license has expired, so that they may take appropriate steps to address the situation.
  • If you are also a REALTOR®, the change in your license status(es) will likely impact your membership(s), including access to the MLS. Contact your local REALTOR® association for more details.

After the April 30 deadline, finding the right education program can be tricky. Real Estate Institute will continue offering our popular 12-hour core/elective CE program and the 30-hour Broker post-license education program that’s required for new licensees.

Call 800-995-1700 if you have any questions about the education required for late renewal.

Quickest Route for Brokers to Beat the April 30th Deadline


Quickest_Route-road-with-motion-cloudsIt’s the second half of April. For Real Estate Brokers in the state of Illinois who have yet to renew their licenses, it can cause panic. But, it doesn’t have to. Follow the two-step process below for a quick and easy way to maintain your license.

Step 1 – Complete Your Education.
Brokers in Illinois are required to completed education before renewing their license. The type of education is dependent upon what date your license was issued. Find out the original issue date of your license by clicking here.

  • Brokers whose licenses were issued before 2/1/14 require 12 hours of core and elective continuing education. While classes are permitted, self-study, is the fastest option. Both class and self-study options require a proctored exam. Real Estate Institute offers convenient continuing education options.
  • Brokers whose licenses were issued between 2/1/14 – 1/31/16 require post-license education. Half of this 30 credit-hour requirement must include live instruction, such as a class or webinar. With limited time remaining, many Brokers choose webinars, which offer more flexible attendance options – review your post-license education options.
  • Brokers whose licenses were issued after 1/31/16 won’t have to renew until 2018, so no education is required at this time. These Brokers should complete their post-license education requirement by 4/30/18.

Step 2 – Renew Your License.
Most Brokers know that they must pay the renewal fee to the IDFPR, but are unsure of the exact process. Read the following for specific details about the renewal process.

  • After completing your required education, you may renew the license. A sponsor and a fee of $150 are also required to renew.
  • The IDFPR strongly encourages Brokers to renew online. You may have received a P.I.N. via e-mail from the IDFPR. However, it’s not needed to renew. The license number, plus one of the following is needed to renew: the social security number, date of birth or P.I.N. A paper-based renewal form is also available with this information.
  • Begin the renewal process by clicking here.

Real Estate Institute has been a leader in real estate education for over 20 years. Our team of experts is standing by to answer your questions about your requirements, our courses and the renewal process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-995-1700.

How to Start a Real Estate Career in the New Year

real-estate-agent-SOLD_signHave you been thinking about making changes to your life in 2016? Considering a new career?

You’ve surely seen the headlines about the real estate market gaining momentum. Now is the perfect time to start a career in real estate. The Illinois education requirement to become licensed as a broker includes successfully completing 90 credit hours of real estate pre-license education. This may seem like a lot, but there are ways to get it done quickly and be fully prepared to pass the state licensing exam.

Here are two recommended course options that will satisfy the Illinois broker pre-license education requirement. You need to decide which one works best for your schedule and learning style.

Flex Path

You can learn on a flexible schedule, with support tailored to your individual needs. This convenient program combines self-study with instructor assistance plus interactive classes or live-broadcast webinars. It is ideal for individuals who prefer to work at their own pace and choose their own schedule and learning environment. You can start immediately with this popular program. You’ll work through a series of lesson assignments, call for help as needed and take advantage of additional perks, including over 650 practice questions. Most candidates (who are busy with work or family responsibilities) complete Flex Path in about six weeks.

Fast-Track Classes

You will complete the entire course in under three weeks with this accelerated program. Classes are offered in Chicago’s Northwest and South suburbs. You will attend all-day classes in a highly motivating and engaging environment. Classes are led by experienced, professional instructors. Fast-Track is ideal for individuals who learn best in an interactive, structured classroom environment and can dedicate their full schedule to this program. You will learn the ins-and-outs of the real estate broker profession, with a focus on what you need to know to pass the Illinois state exam.

Invest in Your Future

By starting your broker pre-license education now, you can get licensed and start working for a real estate company just in time for the busy buying and selling season.


Real Estate Institute has been a top real estate education provider in Illinois for over 20 years. Our students have consistently outperformed other state exam candidates. A reputation for highly-rated instructors and superior customer service explains why we have over 150,000 alumni nationwide.

Real Estate Agents Need to Know … To Tell or Not to Tell?

Real Estate Agents Have a Duty to Disclose

Illinois real estate agents and Realtors® live in an age of disclosure. They are governed by laws that require them to disclose, disclose, disclose.
That seems easy enough, right?

Well, not always…

For example, did Bob the Broker do the right thing in the following scenario?

  • Bob the Broker had a vacancy in an apartment building that he owns with his sister. Bob’s sister is not licensed. Bob and his sister signed a one-year lease with a tenant. Bob did not disclose his status as a real estate licensee to the tenant.

Many real estate agents would do the same as Bob the Broker – not feel the need to disclose their status as a real estate licensee in a personal transaction involving a rental property. There seems to be a lot of confusion on when to disclose your status as a licensee.

What does Illinois law say about disclosure of real estate license status?

  • The Real Estate License Act states, “Each licensee shall disclose, in writing, his or her status as a licensee to all parties in a transaction when the licensee is selling, leasing, or purchasing any interest, direct or indirect, in the real estate that is the subject of the transaction.”

How does Illinois law apply to our hypothetical scenario?

  • Even though his sister is not licensed, Bob the Broker is in violation of the law for failing to disclose his status as a licensee.

What, if anything, could have been done to prevent the problem?

  • Bob the Broker could have disclosed his status as a licensee in writing to the tenant.

Unfortunately, many licensees learn the law the hard way by getting reprimanded by state regulators.

Real estate agents and Realtors® are faced with dilemmas on a daily basis. It’s critical that they understand the possible pitfalls. The state-required real estate post-licensing course is one way for new broker licensees to review real-world scenarios.

Learn more about post-license education at Real Estate Institute, where the goals are to help you become better prepared to handle these challenges, avoid disciplinary actions taken against you, and succeed in your real estate career.

Success Passing Illinois Real Estate Exam

Top 3 Things You Need to Know to Pass the Illinois Real Estate Broker Exam

Success Passing Illinois Real Estate ExamAre you planning to become a real estate Broker in Illinois? If so, follow this advice to improve your chances of success on the state licensing exam.

  1. Do Not Procrastinate: Take the State Exam As Soon As Possible
    As soon as you pass the Illinois Broker pre-licensing course, you will earn a 90-hour transcript that will qualify you to take the state exam with Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP). Earning a transcript means that you have successfully completed the course, passed the final course exams and are now ready to take the next step.

    The next step is to take the state exam while the information is still fresh in your mind.  Schedule the state exam as soon as possible and no later than two weeks after earning your transcript. Refer to the AMP Candidate Handbook for detailed information about the exam.

    For most students, procrastinating will hinder their ability to pass the state exam. The sooner you get there, the more likely you will be able to successfully pass. If more than three months have passed and you were unable to take the state exam, you may benefit from a refresher course.

  2. Stay In the Zone – Stay On Track
    From the time that you earn the transcript, to the time that you take the state exam, allow NO DISTRACTIONS. Try to avoid any activity that will take you away from staying in the zone. For example, avoid scheduling vacations during this time.

    Stay focused by continuing to study. Review some of your weakest testing areas by rereading those chapters, retaking the practice quizzes and making sure that you understand the key terms.

  3.  Be Confident
    Being confident is easier said than done, especially when test stress gets in the way. For many, taking an exam is a very stressful experience. You made it through one hurdle by passing the 90-hour pre-license final exams but it’s still not over – The “big one” is next!

    If test stress begins to multiply and interfere with your positive mind set and ability to pass the state exam, consider enrolling in our test prep course.  This course will add a dose of confidence by teaching you additional test-taking skills and strategies to pass the state exam.

For more information about Illinois real estate licensing or licensure requirements, visit www.idfpr.com or www.InstituteOnline.com/RElicensing

IDFPR Announces Managing Broker Transfer Application

Escalator down_Managing Broker to Broker License Transfer
Breaking News: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation – Division of Real Estate posted a new form on its website that allows Managing Brokers the ability to transfer their real estate license to a Broker license.

Why now?

The unexpected release of this form (and the related process) is the result of efforts by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® to gain clarity on a process that has been part of Illinois real estate license law, but up until now not implemented by the IDFPR.

Buyer Beware

It may seem like the license transfer is a very desirable option for Managing Brokers who no longer need the additional benefits of this license type. However, as we noted in our blog post, “Can an Illinois Managing Broker Change Their License to a Broker License?”, there is no “undo button” if you decide to transfer your license. To become a Managing Broker again, you would need to have been licensed for two of the past three years, complete a 45-credit-hour pre-license course and pass the state licensing exam again. (You would need to do this even though you formerly held a Managing Broker license.)

If you crunch the numbers, you’ll find that the financial benefits of transferring your license would be minimal in the first two years. If you transfer from a Managing Broker to a Broker before April 30, 2015, you’ll be required to pay a license transfer fee now and complete core and elective CE. Then, you would once again have to pay a license renewal fee in 2016, when all Brokers renew their licenses.

How the License Transfer Works

Here are the specifics about the license transfer as noted on the IDFPR Transfer Application form.

  1. A Managing Broker license may transfer to a Broker license only if the Managing Broker license is currently in active status subject to the Department’s review and approval. Pending disciplines will be transferred to the new Broker license.
  2. Upon the transfer of a Managing Broker license to a Broker license, the Managing Broker license will be cancelled. To obtain a Managing Broker license after transferring to a Broker license, a transferee shall meet the requirements of a new applicant for Managing Broker as set forth in the Act and Rules.
  3. All Brokers must have a sponsoring Broker. If you are currently a self sponsoring Managing Broker, you need to find a new sponsoring Broker, complete the 45 Day Permit Sponsor Card, and pay an additional non-refundable $25.00 fee.
  4. All licensees required to complete continuing education (“CE”) shall have (i) renewed their Managing Broker license in the previous renewal period with the required CE and (ii) completed the following at the time of application: 12 CE credit hours, which included a minimum of 6 hours of Core CE as set forth in Section 1450.540(b)(3)(A).

Need Help Deciding What’s Right For You?

A license transfer is definitely the right move for some Managing Brokers. It’s crucial that you understand the pros and cons of this important decision. If you need help, call Real Estate Institute’s customer representatives at 800-995-1700.

3 Steps to Start an Illinois Real Estate Broker Career in the New Year

Successful Illinois Real Estate Brokers

If you’ve already forgotten about your resolutions, Real Estate Institute can help you get back on track. January is a great time to get organized and set your goals for 2015. If one of your goals is to start a career in real estate, now is a perfect time. By starting now, you can get licensed and start working for a real estate company just in time for the prime buying and selling season.


Illinois requirements to become licensed

In order to become a broker in Illinois, you must meet certain requirements. State requirements for licensing are:

Once you’ve met those criteria, you are ready to get started!

3 simple steps to becoming a licensed real estate broker in Illinois

  1. Complete a state-approved broker pre-license program.
  2. Pass the Illinois state exam.
  3. Become sponsored by a real estate company.

If you meet all the licensing criteria and complete the three simple steps, you can make 2015 your year for taking charge of your career and earning potential.

For more information about Illinois real estate licensing, visit the IDFPR website.

Why Brokers Cannot Renew Their Illinois Real Estate Licenses

You’ve renewed your Illinois real estate license in the past, so you know it’s not complicated to complete the online renewal process at the IDFPR website. Why is this year different?

Brokers call our compliance experts every day with this question. As the April 30, 2014 deadline nears, the anxiety level for Brokers is bound to increase. We’ve uncovered one of the stumbling blocks to a successful renewal.

Follow these steps and you’ll be on the right track.

  1. Complete your 12-credit-hour continuing education requirement. Real Estate Institute offers last-minute CE. Click here for details.
  2. Print out this instruction sheet with tips from the IDFPR on how to pay by credit card.
  3. Renew Online. The IDFPR allows you to complete the entire renewal application and pay online.
  4. Track down your pocket card with your license number. Here’s where the problem lies. With the license transition, all licenses with the prefix “476” were eliminated and will not be accepted. You must use your new Broker license number, which begins with “475.”
  5. Decide which identifier you will enter (PIN, SSN, or Date of Birth) along with your license number.
Remember: your license number will start with 475, NOT 476
Remember: your license number will start with 475, NOT 476

6.  Once you successfully log in, complete the requested information and submit your $150 renewal fee to the state.

Remember, it’s important to renew before April 30 to avoid late fees.

5 Broker License Renewal Myths

Success + Failure SignMyth #1: Broker post-license education is a type of continuing education.
Many education providers are calling post-license education a CE option. This is not the case. Post-license education is actually a follow-up to your pre-license training, and it takes the place of continuing education for newly licensed brokers. It is a one-time requirement. Post-license education must be provided by an IDFPR-approved pre-license provider. Education providers that are only approved as continuing education providers cannot offer this course. Importantly, post-license credit will not be accepted by the IDFPR as continuing education credit and vice-versa.

Myth #2: If you transitioned from the Salesperson to Broker license, this is your first renewal.
If you transitioned your license, this is not your first renewal. You must complete 12 credit hours of continuing education (not 30 hours of post-license education) by April 30, 2014.

Myth #3: Ethics is required by the state for renewal.
The state does not have an ethics requirement. The IDFPR does require 12 credit hours of core and elective education. Specific provisions for core courses can be found here. Some real estate boards require ethics, but this is not needed for your license renewal. (Real Estate Institute includes an ethics elective in its 12-hour CE package.)

Myth #4: Attorneys are exempt from all broker renewal requirements.
Active Illinois attorneys are exempt from the continuing education requirements, but they must submit the renewal application and fee to the IDFPR by April 30, 2014.

Myth #5: Out-of-state licensees have different license renewal requirements.
If you live out of state and hold an Illinois Broker license, you must complete the same requirements as a Broker who lives and works in Illinois. Brokers licensed prior to February 1, 2012 must complete the 12-credit-hour continuing education requirement. Brokers licensed on or after February 1, 2012 must complete 30-hour post-license education. Brokers must also submit the renewal application and fee to the IDFPR by April 30, 2014.


Real Estate Institute is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Pre-License Provider #510.000158 and Continuing Education Provider #562.000161. Each year, thousands of licensees choose Real Estate Institute for its flexible continuing education and post-license education programs. If you have questions about your education requirements, our compliance experts are available at 800-995-1700 from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

What Every Broker Needs To Know About Post-License Education and Their First Renewal

It’s quite an accomplishment to complete the state-mandated 90-credit-hour broker licensing program in Illinois. You finish the coursework, pass the state exam and are ready to take advantage of the rebounding real estate market. But wait, did you know your license might be expiring soon? Time to check your pocket card for your license expiration date. Most Illinois real estate Brokers must renew their license by April 30, 2014. It seems like a long way off, but if you are a new Broker, you need to get started now to satisfy the education requirements for renewal.

Post-License, Not CE
If you are a new Illinois real estate Broker, you are not required to complete continuing education for your first license renewal. Many of your colleagues who have been licensed for a while will be completing 12 credit hours of CE. This is not the case for newbies. Instead, new Brokers must complete post-license education. Your subsequent renewal periods will require CE.

Plan For Post- License Now
The Illinois post-license education requirement is a 30-credit-hour, state-approved program. Post-license is a two-part course. You must complete the 15-credit-hour Post-License Topics course (self-study or live). You must also attend a 15-hour Applied Real Estate Principles course. This must be a live interactive class or webinar.

After you have completed the entire 30-credit-hour program, the state requires a proctored final exam. The good news is that there is no requirement to take another state exam … you’ll do everything directly with your school.  You will want to enroll for the courses now to ensure you have the education requirements completed before you renew your license at the IDFPR website.

Keeping It Simple
Real Estate Institute offers state-approved post-license education. Busy Brokers benefit from our simple, straightforward program. A combination of self-study with regular classes and webinars helps Brokers satisfy their requirement quickly. Find out why Illinois Brokers recommend that their colleagues complete post-license education with our school. Call 800-995-1700 or click here for more information.