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FAQs: DRE Licensing

Updated on March 24, 2020

This content comes from the California Department of Real Estate.



The purpose of these FAQs is to provide information in response to some of the most commonly posed questions related to how the shelter in place orders issued by Governor Gavin Newsom in Executive Order N-33-20, to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), affect licensing processes and business practices.


Will DRE offices be open during shelter in place orders?

All DRE offices are closed to the public until further notice in order to comply with Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20, issued March 19, 2020, ordering all California residents to shelter in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. DRE is still operational by phone, eLicensing and mail.


DRE has many examinee, licensee and consumer processes available online on our website. To reschedule an exam date or conduct licensing transactions, use our eLicensing system. To file a consumer complaint, use our online complaint system.


For processes that cannot be completed online, documents can still be mailed to DRE. Click here for a list of our addresses.


Will DRE’s public information line be open during shelter in place orders?

Yes, however, wait times may be excessive due to staffing restrictions.


I heard that all licensing exams are canceled. Is this true?

Yes. DRE canceled all salesperson and broker license exams in all exam centers from March 18, 2020 to April 7, 2020. This action was taken to comply with multiple county public health agencies ordering residents to shelter in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.


If my exam is canceled, how do I reschedule it?

All examinees can reschedule canceled exams using our eLicensing system for free. If you do not have an eLicensing account, you can easily create one on our website. California Department of Real Estate


If the county I live in has issued a shelter in place order, can I reschedule my exam date?

Yes. If the city or county issues a shelter in place order, your exam will be canceled and an email notification will be sent to you. Be sure to check your spam or junk email folders. When an exam is canceled, examinees are placed in a “self-schedule” status on eLicensing, which allows them to reschedule for free.


My real estate license will be expiring soon. What is the best way for me to complete

my renewal?


The secure eLicensing online system offers expedited processing of salesperson, broker, and officer license renewals any time or day of the week. eLicensing is easy to use, paperless and interactive. Licensees enter information needed for license renewal into eLicensing, including the course number and completion date of continuing education courses taken. If continuing education is required, then Continuing education requirements must be completely satisfied in order to renew through eLicensing. Acceptable methods of payment include VISA, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards or debit cards bearing a VISA or MasterCard logo.


Unfortunately, restricted licensees and officers renewing after the license expiration date cannot use eLicensing. Those renewal applications must be submitted by mail to the Department of Real Estate, P.O. Box 137003, Sacramento, CA 95813-7003.


Remember, you may use eLicensing or submit your renewal application 90 days prior to your license expiration date. Your renewal is on-time if your eLicensing transaction is completed or your application is postmarked before midnight on your license expiration date. If you submit your renew on-time, Business and Professions Code Section 10156.2 permits you to continue operating under your existing license after its expiration date unless notified otherwise by the DRE.


How do I complete continuing education for my license renewal when I have been

ordered to shelter in place?


Licensees can take continuing education courses by various means, including by correspondence or distance learning. Correspondence courses include courses offered online or by mail. You can search here for a list of continuing education courses that are offered by correspondence.


Please remember that continuing education courses follow strict regulations with regards to the amount of time required to be spent on a course and spacing of the final exams. See Continuing Education Regulations (RE 312) for additional information.


Does the shelter in place orders affect other components of the Licensing process?

Live scan service providers may be impacted by shelter in place orders. Please check with individual service providers for their status.


You will likely experience delays with exam and licensing processes as a completed Live scan is required to obtain a license. It is strongly recommended that you use our eLicensing system for those transactions that can be completed online.

Will DRE accept electronic signatures on licensing documents during this time? 


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