Any student failing an end-of-course final examination must wait at least 30 days from the date of the original exam to re-test. A student may re-test a maximum of one time within one year of the original examination. Otherwise, students failing the end-of-course examination must repeat the course (61J2-3.008, F.A.C.).
For classroom students, the end-of-course final examination may not be administered to anyone having absences in excess of 8 classroom hours. Makeup classes to enable a student to take the end-of-course final examination and makeup examinations (due to student or family illness) may not extend more than 30 days beyond the scheduled end-of-course examination without prior approval by the FREC. No provision is made for administration of the final examination after the scheduled examination date for any other reason (6132-3.020, F.A.C.).
Pursuant to the law, the satisfactory completion of pre-license courses requires the satisfactory completion of a timed examination. The distance learning timed examinations for the pre- and post-license courses are not required to be monitored or given at a centralized location.
Denial of Application If the FREC denies an application, a copy of the denial is sent to the applicant. The applicant has 21 days from the date of receipt to request a hearing in accordance with Chapter 120, F.S. (61J2 2.030, F.A.C.).
Any licensee who has received a 4-year degree in real estate from an accredited institution of higher education is exempt from the post-license education requirements (61J2-3.020, F.A.C.).
An active member of the Florida Bar who is otherwise qualified for licensure as a real estate sales associate is exempt from the FREC-prescribed education course for licensure as a sales associate. This must be noted on the application by attaching a copy of the applicant’s current bar card (61J2 3.008, F.A.C.). An active member in good standing with the Florida Bar who is otherwise qualified under the real estate license law is exempt from the continuing education requirements (61J2 3.009, F.A.C.).
An Individual who has taken and satisfactorily completed real estate courses offered by an accredited college, university, community college or real estate school licensed in Florida (covering the same material, hours of attendance, and completion standards as prescribed by the FREC as a prerequisite to licensing as a broker or sales associate) may be deemed to have satisfactory completed the educational course.
Change of Address
All licensees are required to notify the DBPR in writing within 10 days of any change in the licensee’s mailing address. The mailing address is defined as the current residential address used by the licensee to receive mail through the United States Postal Service (6132-10.038, F.A.C.). When a broker changes its business address, it must file a notice of change of address and the names of licensees no longer associated with the firm (Chapter 475.23 F.S.).
Mutual recognition allows the FREC to enter into written agreement with similar licensing authorities. These agreements allow nonresidents of Florida to complete a 40-question examination with no pre-license course requirement. Applicable post-license education requirements still apply (Chapter 475.180, F.S. & 61J2-26.001, F.A.C.). The FREC currently has mutual recognition licensing agreements with Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
For this situation, a nonresident currently resides in Florida but does not intend to reside in Florida for 4 calendar months or more, beginning on the date that the person began the current period of Florida residence (61J2-26.002, F.A.C.).
The subject area of the examination consists of general real estate knowledge with particular emphasis on Chapters 455 and 475 of the Florida Statutes and Chapter 6112 of the Florida Administrative Code (6122-26.001, F.A.C.).
LICENSING AND REGISTRATION
A real estate license is a written instrument issued by the DBPR certifying that the licensee is or was duly licensed and in good standing for the license period indicated. The following appear on the license:
- name of the licensee
- mailing address of the licensee
- license number
- date of expiration
- seal of the State of Florida
- name of the governor
- name of the secretary of the DBPR
Placing the licensee’s name and business address on file with the DBPR is registration. If a sales associate wishes to be an active licensee, the name and business address of the sales associate’s employing broker or owner-employer must also be put on record. Brokers, broker associates, and sales associates are licensed, whereas brokerage corporations, brokerage partnerships, and branch offices are registered.
A current and valid license in the possession of the licensee is prima facie evidence (reputable presumption) that the holder is licensed and entitled by law to the rights and privileges of that type of license.
Professional service. Real estate licensees are defined in Chapter 475, as professionals rendering
a professional service. The law requires licensees to function at all times as professionals, act in the best interest of their employer, and deal honestly, fairly, and candidly with third parties.
Being defined as a professional provides a maximum 2-year period in which legal action can be Initiated for professional malpractice. The time period begins from the time the cause of action is discovered with the exercise of due diligence (Chapter 475.01 & 95.11[a]).
MULTIPLE AND GROUP LICENSES
Multiple licenses are issued only to active brokers. An active broker may be issued active broker licenses in more than one capacity only if it is clearly shown that such additional licenses are necessary to the conduct of legitimate business, and that no opportunity exists for such licenses to be used in a manner prejudicial to the public or to the business associates of the license holder.
A licensee may not hold a license as an active broker and one as an active sales associate or active broker associate at the same time.
Group licenses are issued only to active sales associates or active broker associates employed by owner-employers. The license issued to the active sales associate or broker associate shall be in the usual form.
Active sales associates or broker associates may have only one employer in the real estate business. A group license may be issued if proof is submitted that various properties are held in the names of various individuals, corporations, or partnerships and all such owners are so connected or affiliated that such ownership, for practical purposes, is substantially in the same ownership entity.
Licensees as a Limited Liability Company
The commission shall license a broker associate or sales associate as an individual or, upon the licensee providing the commission with authorization from the Department of State, be licensed as a professional corporation, limited liability company, or professional limited liability company. A license shall be issued in the licensee’s legal name only and, when appropriate, shall include the entity designation. This section shall not operate to permit a broker associate or sales associate to register or be licensed as a general partner, member, manager, officer, or director of a brokerage firm under Chapter 475.15, F.S.
Florida real estate licenses are either active or inactive. Inactive licensees can be either voluntary inactive or involuntary inactive.
In general, an active licensee is either a broker who chooses to supervise him- or herself and/or others or an active sales associate or broker associate who is supervised by an employing broker.
An inactive licensee is one who is not being supervised and not working with the public on real estate transactions.
Broker individual. The active broker individual license lists the name of the broker, his or her trade name (if applicable), and his or her residence address. If a broker is an active officer and/or director of a brokerage corporation or limited liability company, the broker must have an active broker individual license that indicates name and residence address.
If a broker is an active partner in a brokerage partnership or limited liability partnership, the broker must have an active broker individual license that indicates name and residence address.
Brokerage corporation or limited liability company.
This license lists the name of the brokerage corporation or limited liability company and business address.
Brokerage partnership or limited liability partnership.
This license lists the name of the brokerage partnership or limited liability partnership and business address.
Broker associate individual. The active broker associate individual license lists the broker associate’s name and residence address. An active broker who desires to become an employee or an active broker or owner-employer must request an active broker associate’s license. While this license may show the individual’s status as broker, he or she is actually working as a broker associate. The removable stub on the right-hand side of the wallet ID card will indicate broker associate and the employer’s name and address.
Sales associate individual. The active sales associate individual license lists the sales associate’s name and residence address.
Broker branch office. The active broker branch office license lists the name of the active broker, brokerage corporation, or brokerage partnership and the business address of the branch office.
There are 2 types of inactive status, voluntary and involuntary; in neither case may a licensee perform real estate services.
Voluntary inactive license. A person who maintains a current license status but is not actually performing real estate services may request and receive an inactive individual status. Inactive individuals must meet the continuing education requirements, pay renewal fees, and properly renew the license to remain current. A licensee may remain voluntary inactive indefinitely.
Involuntary inactive license. A person who does not renew his or her license will automatically revert to involuntary inactive status. This generally occurs when a licensee fails to renew at the end of the license period, whether voluntary or involuntary.
A licensee who fails to complete the 14 hours of continuing education will also become involuntary inactive. If a licensee has been involuntary inactive for 12 months or less, the licensee may activate by completing the 14 hours of continuing education. If a licensee has been involuntary inactive for more than 12 months but less than 24 months, he or she may activate by completing a 28 hour reactivation course.
An individual may remain involuntary inactive for only 2 years. At the end of the 2-year period,
the license will be null and void.
Broker, sales associate, or broker associate. The inactive broker or sales associate license lists the name and residence address of the broker or sales associate.
There is no inactive license status for real estate brokerage corporations or partnerships, broker associates, or branch offices. A broker associate who desires to be inactive would request an inactive broker status.
If an active licensee (either sales associate or broker) does not complete the FREC-approved, –license education prior to initial renewal, the license will become null and void. Requalification by completing pre-license education and passing the state exam is required after a license has become null and void.
when FREC suspends or revokes a broker’s license, licensees under that broker are canceled.
Effective and Expiration Dates
License issues are valid for a license period of up to 2 years and are staggered on a year expiration schedule. Licenses expire on either March 31 or September 30 of the appropriate year. Although licenses may be issued for a 4-year period, the current license period is a minimum of 10 months to a maximum of 2 years (Chapter 455.203).
The first license an applicant requests is an initial issue for the license status to which he or she is entitled. The effective date is the date licensure is granted-usually the date the applicant receives official notification in writing of passing the state exam. Since the application does not contain the signature and address of either the sales associate’s employing broker or owner employer, a sales associate may not begin operating until the DBPR has confirmed this information.
A sales associate may activate his or her license by sending a form to the DBPR by mail to the address printed on the form or by fax. A licensee may not begin operating until the license has been activated.
Prior to the expiration date of his or her license, the licensee should request a renewal issue. Approximately 90 days prior to the end of the license period, the DRE mails a notice of renewal to the licensee’s last known address. A properly completed renewal form with appropriate fees included is validated as of the date of receipt by the DBPR. This allows the licensee to continue to perform the services of real estate.
Sales associate. A sales associate must complete 45 hours of FREC-approved online or classroom post-license education. The license is null and void for any sales associate who does not complete this course prior to initial license renewal (6132-3.020, F.A.C., & Chapter 475.17 F.S.).
Broker and broker associate. A broker must complete 60 hours of FREC-approved online or classroom post-license education. The license is null and void for any broker who does not complete this course prior to initial license renewal. If a broker does not complete the post-license education for brokers, a sales associate’s license can be issued upon request. Completion of the 14-hour continuing education course within 6 months of broker license expiration would be required to obtain a sales associate’s license (61J2-3.020, F.A.C., & Chapter 475.17 F.S.).
The new license becomes effective as of the beginning date of the new license period, which is the day following the expiration date of the licensee’s previous license. The expiration date of the new license period is printed on the license (Chapter 455.273 F.S.). All license renewal requests are considered affirmation that the licensee has completed the appropriate educational requirement.
It is unlawful to perform real estate services with an expired real estate license, The FREC’s usual action will be to impose a penalty of a 3-year suspension or revocation on licensees practicing real estate without a valid and current license (Chapters 475.42[a][w] & 475.42[b][x]F.S.).
All licensees must complete 14 hours of FREC-approved continuing education for each license renewal after initial renewal. This may be accomplished by distance learning (correspondence or online) or classroom instruction (6132-3.009, F.A.C.).
A licensee requests a reissue when his or her current license is about to become, or has become, invalid; the effective date is the date the DBPR receives the properly completed request form. A reissue is required in the following situations:
- An active broker (individual, corporation, or partnership) changes the main office address. The broker must file a notice of change for licensees no longer associated with the firm. Anyone licensed under the firm must also obtain a reissue. When a broker changes business address, a notice of change and the names of licensees no longer associated with the firm must be filed (Chapter 475.23).
- A branch office is closed and later reopens in the same location during the same license period.
- A branch office license cannot be reissued or transferred from one location to another; therefore, a new, initial issue license is required when an active broker (individual, corporation, or partnership) opens or moves a branch office.
- A license is lost or destroyed, or the licensee’s name (or trade name, if any) is legally changed.
- An affidavit attesting to the circumstances also must be submitted.
- A period of suspension has ended.
- A licensee changes employers.
A licensee who changes his or her residence address must notify the FREC records department within 10 days. No reissue is required.
Exception for Armed Forces Personnel
Chapter 455.02, F.S. has a renewal procedure exception for members of the armed services.
Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States now or hereafter on active duty who, at the time of becoming such a member, was in good standing with any administrative board of the state and was entitled to practice or engage in his or her profession or vocation in the state shall be kept in good standing by such administrative board, without registering, paying dues or fees, or performing any other act on his or her part to be performed, as long as he or she is a member of the Armed Forces of the
United States on active duty and for a period of 6 months after discharge from active duty. The out-of-state exemption applies to a licensed spouse if absent from the state because of the spouses’ duties with the Armed Forces [Chapter 455.02(1)(2)].