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How to revive an expired California real estate broker’s license

Oct 14th, 2014 | By | Category: Real Estate Broker Law

California Real Estate Broker Licensing Lawyer

BRe broker licensing law firm


Here’s the situation, say you were a California licensed real estate broker in 2007 and your broker license expired in 2011.  Then, assume you failed to renew your real estate license and your broker’s license lapsed in 2011.  What happens when its 2014 and you want to get involved in real estate transactions, mortgages, property managements or commercial real estate but your real estate license is not active? Can you just fill out a form and regain your broker’s license, or do you have to start all over again and get your real estate sales license, take the real estate courses and go down that road all over again?  In California, when your broker’s license expires, you have two years to bring it current (i.e. a two-year grace period).  This is set forth on the California Bureau of Real Estate website which states:

“If you fail to renew your license on-time (prior to your license expiration date), you may renew your license during the two year late renewal period immediately following your license expiration date. However, you cannot perform activities requiring a real estate license until your license has been renewed.”

If you cannot make the deadline, contact us immediately to discuss.

What is the process for renewing your California Real Estate License once it has expired (assuming you are within two years of the expiration of your broker license):

  1. You need to make sure you qualify.  First off, you have to make sure you have been engaged in FULLL TIME real estate activities for 2 of the last five years.  You will need to be prepared to provide proof of your full time employment.
  1. You need to make sure you your coursework is current (contact the BRE licensing unit to check on this issue);
  1. Fill out the DRE employment verification form (See below).  As mentioned, you will need to be able to document your full time experience;
  1. Get started on a new set of fingerprint.  You use the live scan request form attached to this blog to get that going.  Fingerprints always take a while so you want to get started on this as soon as possible;
  1. Send in request for broker or salespersons exam and pay the fees.  The DRE forms are attached hereto and a link to the fee schedule is provided.

Your best bet is to mail in your package to:

The California Bureau of Real Estate

1651 Exposition Blvd.

Sacramento, CA 95815

[I would confirm this address before sending in your application materials, and I would not send it to the P.O. Box you see on their website.   The BRE (formerly the Department of Real Estate) is now organized under the California Department of Consumer Affairs.  Make sure you sign in BLUE INK so they are noticeably originals, and keep a copy for your records, and make sure you get tracking.

What if I have a criminal conviction in my background?

We have discussed this on other blogs.  But if you have a criminal conviction in your background (such as rape, robbery, burglary, assault, battery, criminal copyright infringement, forgery, passing false checks, DUI convictions, etc.) you will need to MAKE SURE YOU FULLY DISCLOSE THESE CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS ON YOUR APPLICATION.  FAILURE TO DISCLOSE THIS COULD RESULT IN A “FOR SURE” DENIAL OF LICENSE APPLICATION.  In short, the Bureau of Real Estate (“BRE”) can deny you a real estate license if you have committed criminal violations that are “substantially related” to the “duties, functions, and qualifications” of a real estate agent and the profession.  This is often times a tough call to make, and we can make the case for you if you are facing this situation.

There is a form to disclosure criminal convictions to the California BRE.  According to this publication, certain defenses are the “most common disqualifying criminal convictions“:

1.  Assault with intent to commit rape

2. Tax evasion

3. Obtaining money by false pretenses

4. Petty theft

5. Grand theft

6. Filing a false police or fire report

7. Bribing public officer or employee

8.  Murder

9.  Burglary

10.  Convictions that requires registration
pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code

11. Perjury

12. Sexually related conduct affecting a person who is an observer or non consenting participant

13. Forgery

14. Embezzlement

15. Criminal conspiracy

16. Extortion

17. Fraud or dishonest dealing

18. Possession of drugs for sale or transport

19.  Soliciting a lewd act from a minor or non
consenting adult.

Nevertheless, these cases are reviewed on a case by case basis and if there are good extenuating circumstances, or mitigating circumstances, you may still be able to qualify for a real estate license.

Can the DRE deny my real estate license if I have only been arrested, but not convicted of a crime?

No.  As set forth on this DRE article regarding due process:

“because of Constitutional rights relating to due process, the Real Estate Commissioner cannot deny the issuance of a license to an applicant who has only been arrested and/or charged – via 2 an indictment, arraignment, or similar charging procedure (even if those charges are still pending at the time of application) — with a crime. Pursuant to California Business and Professions Code section 10177(b), only criminal convictions that are final, meaning the time for appeal has lapsed or the conviction has been affirmed on appeal, can be used as a basis for license denial or license disciplinary action.”

In the meantime, you can read out blog on disclosing criminal convictions to real estate board.

California BRE forms & resources (formerly Department of Real Estate)

1.  Broker renewal application (RE 208)

2.  Request for Live Scan Fingerprinting

3.  BRE how to obtain and maintain a California real estate license

4.  DRE guide on renewing your real estate license

5.  DRE license lookup

6.  BRE employment verification form (RE 226)

7.  DRE application for equivalent experience (RE 227]

8.  Request for reasonable accommodation for examination [RE 413]

9.  California real estate broker exam application [RE 400B]

10.  Requirements to apply for California real estate broker’s license

11.  How to apply for the salesperson real estate license in CA

12.  Experience requirements for CA real estate broker exam

13.  What are the fees to apply for California real estate exam?

Contact a BRE Real Estate Licensing Law Firm

Our firm can help you with a wide variety of real estate broker law matters.  We can be reached at (877) 276-5084.  We offer flexible fees including flat rate legal fees in many cases.  Or you may also fill out the form below to have one of our real estate representatives contact you, usually within the hour.




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We are a business and civil litigation firm with a focus on copyright infringement cases involving illegal movie downloads (torrent cases such as London Has Fallen, ME2 Productions and Malibu Media defense), software audits (ex. Microsoft audits, SPLA, Autodesk audit notification letter, Siemens PLM defense, SIIA, Adobe and Business Software Alliance defense) and other software vendors threatening piracy and infringement. We also handle cases involving internet law, anti-SLAPP, media law, right of publicity, trademarks & domain name infringement, and we have a niche practice area handling California BRE licensing disputes, accusations, subpoena response, statement of issues and investigations. We have offices in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, San Diego & Phoenix, Arizona and accept federal copyright and trademark cases nationwide. All content on our website is general legal information only and not a substitute for legal advice, and should not be relied upon. Decisions to hire counsel should not be based on advertising alone. Blogs, videos and podcasts are authored by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise noted. We can be reached at (877) 276-5084.

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