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: http://www.InstituteOnline.com/Illinois-Real-Estate-Transition-Resources.asp.
Additional instructions with answers to frequently asked questions about the license transition and renewal process are available here: www.InstituteOnline.com/NextSteps.
What does it take to really complete the license transition? Many agents believe that once they’ve completed the education requirements, they are finished. This misunderstanding may cost you dearly. Completing the education requirement is only the first step in the process.
Either complete a transition education program or pass the state proficiency exam. If you are unsure whether you have satisfied this requirement, please contact the state-approved school where you enrolled. If you passed the proficiency exam, the school was notified and should have contacted you. If you completed a transition education program, you should have received a certificate of completion from the school. You will need this certificate to complete Step 2.
Send in your new license application. All applications for license transition must be received by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) no later than April 30, 2012. To apply for your new license, choose the scenario that applies to you:
Scenario 1: You completed a transition education program.
You must apply for the new license using the state’s paper transition form and pay the state fee.
- Real Estate Institute students received an envelope with their certificate of completion, state transition application form and even an envelope addressed to the IDFPR. Don’t forget to include your check or money order for the transition fee.
- Students from other schools must go to IDFPR RE Transtion and click on “Transition Forms.” You must include your certificate of completion (provided by the school) and payment.
Scenario 2: You passed the proficiency exam.
You have the option of applying for the new license online or on paper. Your results have already been transmitted to the IDFPR by the state’s testing service (AMP).
Scenario 3: You are a broker and do not want to transition to the new managing broker license.
You are not transitioning to a new license type and will lose your ability to self-sponsor or manage other licensees; therefore, you do not need to apply for a new license. You must complete 12 hours of continuing education before your license renewal.
This week, the applications that are required to complete the Illinois real estate license transition became available from the IDFPR. The online and paper applications can be accessed at the department’s website: http://www.IDFPR.com/REtransition.
Please note: The online / electronic application is only available to licensees who elected to transition by completing the proficiency examination. Licensees who opted to complete the transition education program (which we strongly recommend) are required to submit the paper application.
The obvious question that follows is … WHY? The paper form is necessary because there is currently no process for approved schools to electronically report transition course completions to the IDFPR. As a result, licensees are required to submit an original copy of their certificate(s) of completion to the IDFPR with their paper application. Without a copy of the certificate(s), it won’t be possible for the department to verify that the transition requirements were satisfied – so don’t forget to provide this additional paperwork when submitting your application!
The IDFPR has established an electronic reporting process for proficiency exam completions. This one was a bit easier because all of the reporting comes from one vendor – Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP), the company responsible for creating, maintaining, and grading the proficiency exam. It’s not clear how often AMP will be reporting course completions to the IDFPR, so you may not be able to file your online application immediately after passing the proficiency exam. (We’ve already heard from some students who ran into this “roadblock.”)
As a reminder, we offer convenient self-study programs that allow you to satisfy the transition requirements. Call or visit our updated transition website today!
The final rules implementing the Illinois license law transition requirements allow an ALL self-study format for transition education programs. (Originally, a 15-hour live/interactive class component was required.) Under these rules that are in effect, agents can now study and test at a time and place convenient for them.
This change to the transition rules provides a tremendous benefit to licensees. By completing this new transition education program, salespersons transitioning to the broker license only require ONE-STEP! The 30-hour self-study program satisfies the transition requirements and EXEMPTS licensees from having to complete continuing education for their first renewal.
There’s good news for brokers transitioning to the managing broker license too. By completing the 45-hour self-study program, which satisfies their transition education requirements, they are EXEMPT from having to complete a live/interactive Broker Management Continuing Education class for their first renewal. If you have taken BMCE in the past, you know that an exemption from this program offers a huge time and cost savings.
Real Estate Institute Leads the Way … AGAIN!
Real Estate Institute immediately responded to the IDFPR’s announcement as the first approved school to offer the new transition courses. According to Alan Toban, Director at the Real Estate Institute, “I firmly believe that there is no question about how to transition now. Taking a high-stakes, one-attempt exam adds unnecessary stress to the already stressful and confusing real estate changes. Over the years, we’ve found self-study to be the most desired and popular option for our students. We’re strongly recommending this new transition solution to all licensees.”
Apparently Alan’s recommendation is working. Most offices and individual licensees that were originally enrolled to take the proficiency exam have switched to the preferred transition education program instead.