Last-Minute Tips for Brokers and Leasing Agents to Beat the September 30 Renewal Deadline

Deadline Clock

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) previously announced that all professional licenses with expirations between March 30, 2020 and July 31, 2020 were extended through September 30, 2020. As a result, the deadline to complete post-license and/or continuing education was also extended through September 30, 2020. For real estate licensees, this change impacts Brokers (formerly 4/30/2020) and Residential Leasing Agents (formerly 7/31/2020).

The license renewal deadline for Brokers and Residential Leasing Agents is only weeks away. For those who have yet to renew their licenses, this can cause panic. But it doesn’t have to.

Follow the steps below to maintain your license. Each step offers tips on the fastest way to stay compliant (so you can keep working).

Complete Your Education

Brokers and Residential Leasing Agents in Illinois are required to complete education before renewing their license. The type and amount of education depends on when your license was issued. Find out the original issue date of your license using the IDFPR license lookup.

  • Brokers whose licenses were issued before 2/1/2018 require 12 hours of core/elective continuing education (CE). The specific CE requirements have changed for the 2020 renewal and include two new required courses: 4-Hour Core and Sexual Harassment Prevention training. All of Real Estate Institute’s CE courses are compliant with new education requirements. While live classes are permitted and remain available, online distance education is the fastest and most flexible option.
  • Brokers whose licenses were issued from 2/1/2018 – 11/1/2019 are renewing for the first time and must complete a Broker Post-License program (instead of continuing education).
  • Brokers whose licenses were issued after 11/1/2019 were issued licenses that expire on April 30, 2022. While renewal is not required at this time, there are compelling reasons to complete a 45-hour Broker Post-License program sooner, rather than later, including increased supervision requirements until post-license is completed.
  • Residential Leasing Agents whose licenses were issued before 5/1/2018 require 6 hours of core continuing education (CE). Those licensed after 5/1/2018 are exempt from CE because this is their first renewal.

Renew Your License

Most Brokers and Residential Leasing Agents 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. The IDFPR license renewal fee is $150 for Brokers and $100 for Residential Leasing Agents for the two-year period.
    (Tip: This close to the deadline, it is important to find an education provider that will quickly issue your certificate of completion.)
  • The IDFPR strongly encourages Brokers to renew online. You may have received a PIN via e-mail from the IDFPR.
    (Tip: It’s not needed to renew. The license number, plus one of the following is needed to renew: Social Security number, date of birth or the IDFPR-issued PIN. A paper-based renewal form is also available to print with this information.)
  • Licensees who completed a change of sponsor or updated any of their personal contact information after 2/1/2020 may not be able to renew online. If you are unable to renew online, you will need to print a paper renewal form and mail it in with your payment. Mailed renewal forms must be received prior to the renewal deadline to be considered on-time.
  • Reminder: Renewing a license without completing the required education will likely lead to penalties or fees. Make sure your education is complete prior to submitting your renewal.
  • You can begin the renewal process by visiting the IDFPR website.

Real Estate Institute has been a leader in real estate education for over 25 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.


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