License renewal         

Issue and expiration. Licenses are issued for 2-year licensure periods, at the end of which the license needs to be renewed to prevent it from expiring. All licenses expire on and must be renewed by either March 31 or September 30, depending on when they are issued. Consequently, the initial licensure period most likely will be less than 2 years. License law requires that this initial period be at least 18 months but not more than 24 months. So, the expiration date of an initial license will be the March or September date which falls between 18 and 24 months after the issue date.

For example, if John’s sales associate license was initially issued on February 28, 2019, a 2-year license period would mean his license would expire at midnight on February 27, 2021. However, since all licenses expire on March 31 or September 30, John’s license would expire on September 30, 2020, providing John with 19 months of initial licensure, thereby complying with the 18 to 24-month requirement. Once John renews his license the first time, each license period after that will be 24 months (2 years), with John’s license expiring on September 30 each time.

Postlicense education. The licensee must complete the required post-license course prior to renewing his or her initial license. After the initial license period, the licensee must complete continuing education each license period prior to renewing the license.

License renewal and status. The DBPR sends a license renewal notice to the licensee at least 90 days before the license expiration date. The notice is sent to both active and inactive licensees at the last known address or e-mail address.

The licensee then must submit a completed renewal application, renewal fee, and proof of completing either the post-license or the continuing education courses. The licensee is to indicate whether he or she wants to renew in active or inactive status (discussed in an upcoming section). Once the licensee has met all renewal requirements, the DBPR will issue a renewed license with the appropriate expiration date.

If the licensee does not renew by the expiration date, the license automatically becomes involuntarily inactive and may only be renewed when applicable requirements are met (discussed in an upcoming section). The license is deemed delinquent for the following license period. The licensee is not allowed to practice real estate while on inactive status. If the licensee was on active status at the license expiration date, he or she may renew the license within 24 months by meeting renewal requirements and paying a late fee. If the licensee fails to renew within that time period, the license is rendered void.

Members of armed forces.  Active duty members of the U.S. armed forces who are in good standing with the FREC are exempt from license renewal requirements. This exemption is extended to 2 years after the member is discharged from active duty. However, if the member is engaged in real estate for profit in the private sector within Florida while on active duty and for 2 years after discharge from active duty, he or she must meet all renewal requirements but is exempt from paying the renewal fee.

The military member’s spouse or the surviving spouse of a member who died while on active duty is also exempt from license renewal requirements if the member’s active duty is outside of Florida. The spouse must be in good standing with the FREC and not be practicing in the private sector for profit. This exemption is in effect while the member is on active duty and for 6 months after the member’s discharge.

License status            

Active status.  Sales associate or broker licenses are initially issued on inactive status. Since licensees are allowed to practice real estate only if their licenses are on active status, they must activate their licenses before they offer or provide real estate services. Their licenses must also be on active status before the licensee can accept commission or other fees for a real estate service.

A sales associate can activate the license by registering under an employing broker or by having the employing broker activate the license through the broker’s online account. Anyone who practices without an active status license is violating license law and may be disciplined. At any time after a license is issued, the licensee may decide to place the active license on inactive status. During the license renewal process, the licensee may choose to renew in either active or inactive status. Again, while on inactive status, the licensee may not practice real estate activities.

Voluntary inactive status. There are multiple ways a license may become voluntarily inactive: the licensee does not activate the license when it is initially issued; the licensee chooses to renew an active license on inactive status; or a licensee requests the DBPR place the license on inactive status. Most often, licensees choose voluntary inactive status because they have decided not to practice real estate for a period of time.

When a license is in voluntary inactive status, the licensee may reactivate the license at any time by applying to the DBPR, paying a reactivation fee, and meeting all post-license or continuing education requirements.

Just as with active licenses, voluntarily inactive licenses must be renewed every 2 years to remain valid. The inactive licensee needs to apply for renewal on inactive status, complete 12 hours of continuing education for each year the license was inactive, and pay the renewal fee.

Involuntary inactive status. If the licensee does not renew the active or voluntarily inactive license by the expiration date, the license status automatically becomes involuntarily inactive. The license is also deemed delinquent.

The DBPR will send a notice of involuntary inactive status at least 90 days prior to the license expiration date. If a broker’s license is suspended or revoked, all sales associates and broker associates registered under that broker will automatically become involuntarily inactive. Their licenses will remain in that status until the broker is again reinstated or until they register under a new broker.

If these licensees decide not to practice real estate, they may change their licenses’ involuntarily inactive status to voluntarily inactive through their online DBPR account.

Once in involuntarily inactive status for nonrenewal, the license can be renewed if the licensee applies to the DBPR, pays the renewal fee for each year the license was involuntarily inactive plus any associated late fees, and completes the required continuing education based on the time frame of inactive status.

The licensee can renew as either active or voluntarily inactive but must do so within 2 years of becoming involuntarily inactive. If the licensee fails to renew during the 2 years, the license automatically expires and becomes null and void.

Null and void license status. A license may become null and void under any of the following conditions.

Null and void licenses are those that no longer exist unless they are reactivated under the above allowable conditions.

Reporting address changes.  A broker must notify the Commission within 10 days of any business address change. Until the Commission is notified of the address change, the broker’s license ceases to be in force. While the license is in that status, the broker may not engage in real estate activities.

The notice of change of address must include the names of any associates who are no longer employed by the broker. The notice will also serve as change of address notification for associates still employed by the broker. These licensees can notify the Commission of the changes on a Commission-provided form or through their online portal.

All licensees must notify the DBPR in writing of their current residential mailing addresses. They must notify the Department within 10 days of any changes of residential mailing addresses. Failure to do so can result in a disciplinary fine.

Any Florida resident licensee who becomes a nonresident by moving out of the state is required to notify the Commission within 60 days of the change of residency. If the licensee wishes to continue practicing in Florida, he or she must comply with all nonresident requirements. Failure to notify the Commission and comply with the requirements is a violation of license law and can result in disciplinary penalties.