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How to Get an NC Real Estate License If You're Already Licensed in Another State

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Are you already a licensed real estate agent in another state, and looking to gain licensure in North Carolina?

Given national migration trends of the past few years and the emergence of the Tar Heel state as a site for big businesses such as Meta, Google, and Apple, there are plenty of real estate sale opportunities here. But what does it take to get a real estate license in North Carolina if you are already licensed in another state?

No Reciprocity Agreements with Other States

First and foremost, North Carolina is a broker-only state, and all real estate brokerage activities are overseen by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, or NCREC. Conveniently, the NCREC does not require that your place of residence be located in the state in order to apply for and hold an active brokerage license.

One important aspect to keep in mind when considering licensure is that North Carolina does not have reciprocity agreements with any other state. This means that a license in another state does not automatically allow an agent to conduct business in the state without gaining a North Carolina-specific license. If you already hold an active license in good standing in another state, then a provisional license will be issued to you following your application to the NCREC. In order to conduct real estate business with a provisional license, you are required to work under the supervision of an active broker-in-charge or BIC. Following the issuance of provisional licensure, you will have 18 months to complete the 90 hours of Post Licensing classes to remove the provisional status from your license.

Option 1: Pass the State Exam

For the first option, you will need to take and pass the State-specific section of the licensing examination. Given that being actively licensed in another state implies that you have already passed the National portion of the exam, you will not need to take that section again. After passing the State section of the exam, you will have the opportunity to request a waiver for exemption from having to complete 90 hours of post-licensing education courses typically required by the NCREC.

If you have taken courses similar in length, structure, and instructional material, you may be eligible for a partial or complete waiver of the post-licensing requirement. If you have any questions regarding previous coursework, you should reach out to the NCREC for clarification. The Commission is the only institution that may determine whether or not previous experience can replace the 90-hour course requirement.

Option 2: Take All 3 Post Licensing Classes

The second option available to agents is similar. You will still need to complete and submit your application and Federal background check for NCREC approval, but then you may opt to not take the North Carolina section of the licensure exam. However, this will automatically require that you complete all of the required post-licensure courses without the option of a waiver.

We recommend this option to students most often because the NC State exam is not an easy one to pass! Additionally, few states offer courses of similar length and content to NC post licensing classes so most students are not able to waive all 3 classes. Most students find it easier to simply take our 3 post licensing classes (with unlimited final exam attempts) than to study for and pass the State Exam.

Keeping your NC License Active

Once you have completed one of these two options and received approval and full licensure by the NCREC, you will need to make sure to complete the annual Continuing Education course requirements and license renewal application to maintain your active status in North Carolina. This is a common requirement for professional licensure in any state, and North Carolina is no exception. Completing Continuing Education Classes will not be required for your first renewal. For each year following, you will be required to complete a required 4-hour annual General Update course, and a 4-hour elective course by the 10th of June, every year.

Skyline School is here to help you gain your license and keep it active! We offer online, self-paced courses to fulfill any and all post-licensure education requirements, with the option to purchase each course individually or as a discounted bundle of all three classes.

We here at Skyline look forward to helping you experience and reap the benefits of real estate brokerage in North Carolina. Let’s get started!

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