Prelicensing FAQ's

Prelicensing FAQs




What are the license qualifications requirements? License qualification requirements are provided on p4 of Real Estate Licensing in NC (RELINC).


What are the fees associated with getting a license? Prelicensing course registration fee, application fee, exam registration fee, & criminal background check. For details, see pp 4-11 of RELINC.


Can I take the Broker Prelicensing course online? Yes. The Prelicensing course is offered in variety of formats – in-person, via synchronous distance learning (aka, “live online” instruction using Zoom or similar technologies), or via distance courses (self-paced online courses).


Where can I sign up for a Broker Prelicensing course? The list of Education Providers (EPs) currently certified to offer the Prelicense course is available on the Commission’s website. Contact the EPs directly regarding registration.


What is the best Prelicensing Education Provider (EP)? The Commission does not recommend EPs. Click here to view the License Exam Performance Report by Education Provider.


Where can I buy the Prelicensing textbook? Ordering info for various student resources is provided in the Prelicensing Syllabus. Contact your Education Provider about what materials will be required.


Can I apply for my license online? Yes, if you are applying for a broker license. Click here to access the Commission's online application system. Applications for Firm Licenses and Limited Nonresident Commercial Licenses must be submitted via paper forms. Visit the Forms page of the Commission’s website to download the paper application forms.


I lost my application username and password. Help! The username should be your email address & you can choose to “reset password”. Also, you may contact the Commission for assistance.


How do I obtain my criminal record report? Contact Criminal Record at 877.272.0266 or . Criminal Record Check (CRC) is the only approved criminal record provider for the NC Real Estate Commission. Reports from other agencies will not be accepted.


How much will the criminal record report cost? If you have only lived in NC during the past 7 years, your report will likely cost less than $30. However, you must submit a criminal record report for any state or country in which you lived during the past 7 years. Fees are assessed for each state and/or country. Also, checks must be performed for all names and aliases. Read more on pp 10-12 of RELINC.


I ran a criminal background check a year ago. Do I need to order a new report? Yes, you need to order a new report. Only a report prepared by CRC within the previous six months is acceptable. See pp 10-11 of RELINC.


I took (and passed!) the Prelicensing course last year. May I apply now or do I need to retake the class? You may apply now. You do not need to retake the course at this point. The Broker Prelicensing course must have been successfully completed within 3 years prior to application. See p5 of RELINC.


What is a certificate of license history? A license history is an official document published by the real estate governing agency in the state you hold a license. It is not a wall license pocket card or certificate. It shows the type of license you hold, how you received your license, the duration of your license, your status, and any disciplinary actions.


How soon after I submit my application will I be able to take the licensing exam? Assuming the Commission determines you meet the qualification requirements and have submitted a complete application, you will be sent a “Notice of Exam Eligibility” that will enable you to register for the licensing exam. If you filed an online application, the notice should be sent to you via email within 3-4 business days of receipt of your application. If you filed a paper application, it will be sent via US mail within 7-10 business days of receipt. Read more on p17 of RELINC.


How do I schedule my exam? 1 business day following receipt of the Exam Eligibility Notice, go to to create an account and schedule a testing appointment or call 855.579.4638. See p19 of RELINC.


Once I get a Notice of Exam Eligibility, how long do I have to take the exam? The Exam Eligibility period is 180 days. See p17 of RELINC.


What is the passing score on the licensing exam? 57 of the 80 National Section scored questions and 29 of the 40 State Section scored questions must be answered correctly to pass
See pp 13-23 of RELINC for details regarding exam format & content.


How long is the licensing exam? The exam is 3 1/2 hours & includes 135 questions, of which 80 are National and 40 are State-based questions. The remaining 15 questions are unscored, pretest questions. See p23 of RELINC for details.


How many times can I take the exam in my 180-day eligibility? Applicants are not allowed to retake the licensing exam for at least 10 calendar days following a failed or missed exam. Other than that waiting period, there is no limit to the number of attempts during the 180-day eligibility period. Refer to pp 23-24 of RELINC.


If I pass the National section but not pass the State in the 180-day exam eligibility period, will I have to take the entire exam again? You must pass both sections within the same 180-day period. If you pass only one section and are applying to retest within the same 180-period, you need only take the portion that you did not pass. However, if you have exceeded the 180 day period, you must submit a new license application to the Commission, including new criminal record report, and take the entire exam (both sections) again. See p14 of RELINC.


How can I request a special accommodation to take the exam? Candidates requesting special accommodations must call PSI at 1-800-367-1565, ext. 6750, to schedule their examination. Refer to p19 of RELINC.


What is the “character review” process? All applicants must successfully complete the Broker Prelicense course (unless exempt), submit an application (with appropriate fee and background check), and pass the licensing exam. At this point, the Commission will evaluate any character issues that were disclosed on the application or background report.
Every application is considered individually. If character issues were reported, the application is first evaluated by the License Application Analyst and Executive Director. If necessary, the application may be then referred to the Commission for review at the next monthly Commission meeting. The Commission may make a decision regarding licensure at that meeting or may choose to invite an applicant to the Commission office for a “character conference” the following month. An applicant will be notified in writing of the Commission’s decision.


I want to teach the Prelicense course in North Carolina. What are the qualification requirements and how do I apply? NCAC 58H.0302 explains the criteria and procedures for Commission approval of Pre/Postlicensing and Update instructors. The "Real Estate Prelicensing, Postlicensing, or Update Instructor Application for original approval (Form REC 3.76)" is available on the Commission's website under Forms.