To become a real estate agent in North Dakota, you’re required to complete 90 hours of North Dakota Real Estate Commission (NDREC)-approved prelicensing education. In addition, you’ll need to submit an application, get fingerprinted for a background check, pass the real estate exam, find a sponsoring brokerage, acquire errors and omissions insurance, and pay fees. Follow our step-by-step guide to get your North Dakota real estate license and start a successful real estate career.
1. Meet the Legal Requirements for Your North Dakota Real Estate License
The state of North Dakota requires all applicants to be at least 18 years old and possess a good reputation for competency, truthfulness, financial integrity, honesty, and fair dealing. An applicant’s reputation will be considered by the NDREC through their application and criminal background check. Applicants with a criminal record are encouraged to submit an application before moving forward with their prelicensing education to make sure they are eligible to receive their license.
Did you know? North Dakota has reciprocity agreements with Georgia, Iowa, and Minnesota. This means agents already licensed in these states can qualify for licensure by submitting an application, application of issuance, Consent to Suit, and passing the state portion of the real estate exam to earn their license.
Also, North Dakota is a cooperative state in terms of portability. It allows out-of-state real estate agents or brokers to enter the state to conduct real estate business physically. However, for out-of-state agents to work on a real estate transaction, they must have a co-brokerage agreement with a licensee of that state. To learn more about real estate license portability in North Dakota, check out our guide on real estate license reciprocity and portability.
2. Complete Required Prelicensing Courses
Once you’ve met the state requirements for licensure, you can begin with your prelicensing education courses. The NDREC requires you to attend an accredited real estate school to fulfill your 90 hours of initial licensing classes. Prices range from $599 to $1,000 for online or in-person courses and will cover the following topics:
- Agency relationships and contracts
- Real property ownership/interest
- Real property
- Marketing regulations (purchase and rental)
- Property management
- Real estate calculations
- Duties and powers of the Real Estate Commission
- Licensing requirements
- Statutory requirements governing the activities of licensees
- Statutory requirements governing subdivided or out-of-state land sales
- Real estate education, research, and recovery fund
Did you know? Licensing applicants can take the real estate exam prior to completing the prelicensing education requirement. Although, the NDREC will not issue a salesperson’s license until the Certificate of Completion is received by the prelicensing education provider.
To begin your courses right away, consider Cooke Real Estate School comprehensive education packages. Its self-paced learning format is great for aspiring agents who want to complete their classes on their own schedule. In addition, Cooke Real Estate School includes textbooks and a weekly online interactive study group. This will guarantee you’re ready to ace your North Dakota real estate license exam on the first attempt.
3. Apply for Your North Dakota License
After you’ve completed your prelicensing education to become a real estate agent in North Dakota, you can submit your application. The application process is completed online through the NDREC Online Services Portal. Paper applications are no longer accepted.
You will be required to upload your application or complete the application directly on the portal and pay your application fee. The fee is $158, including the $150 application fee and $8 credit report check, which can be paid through the “Pay Bill” portal by debit or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover are accepted).
In addition to the application, you’ll be required to submit the Criminal History Record Check Request form. This form authorizes the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation to release your state and FBI criminal history records to the Commission for review.
4. Get Fingerprints & Complete Background
Once the NDREC receives your application, Criminal History Record Check Request form, and the $158 fee, you will be mailed the Fingerprinting Kit. The Fingerprinting Kit will contain the following items:
- Two fingerprint cards
- List of possible locations offering fingerprinting
- Fingerprint verification form
- Envelope to return to NDREC
- Tamper-proof seal
Determine the most convenient location and schedule your fingerprint appointment in advance. You must bring a valid government-issued ID like a passport or driver’s license and cash for the fingerprinting fee, which varies depending on your fingerprint location.
After getting fingerprinted, you need to mail the completed fingerprint cards and a $41.25 check or money order made payable to the North Dakota Attorney General. The return envelope to the NDREC will be included in your fingerprint kit.
5. Take the North Dakota Real Estate Exam
The North Dakota real estate exam is split into two parts: the national and state portions. You’ll be required to pass both in order to obtain your North Dakota real estate license. Immediately after completing the salesperson exam, which is administered on the computer, you will receive your score report from the testing supervisor.
If you pass, you’ll receive a satisfactory score and be able to continue the licensing process. You’ll also be required to upload the passing score report to the Online Services portal. If you fail one or both portions of the exam, you’ll receive a diagnostic score report that provides detailed information on the failed portions so you can study and retake the exam. You must pass both portions within 12 months of the first attempt. Otherwise, you’ll be required to submit a new application and fees to the NDREC.
North Dakota Real Estate Exam Details
100 nationally focused questions
40 state-specific questions
Items to Bring to the Exam
2 valid forms of identification (ID) with signatures:
To pass the North Dakota Real Estate Salesperson Exam you must score at least 70/100 on the national portion and 30/40 on the state portion
Schedule Your Exam
The North Dakota real estate exam is provided by the PSI (formerly AMP), a national provider for state licensing exams. Once your application is approved, you will be provided with a letter of approval that contains your test ID number. After you’ve received that number, you can schedule your real estate license exam.
To begin scheduling, you’ll be required to create an account on the PSI website, which will then allow access to the scheduling portal. You will receive a copy of the North Dakota Candidate Information Bulletin for additional testing information. The fee to take the exam is $131 and can be paid directly on the website using a credit or debit card.
To guarantee you pass your real estate exam on the first attempt, use an exam preparation program like PrepAgent. PrepAgent will get you ready for both the national and state portions of the North Dakota exam using retention tools like flashcards, audio and video lessons, e-books, and vocabulary worksheets. In addition, it holds live online webinars five times a week, so you can chat with experts to ask questions.
For extra guidance on passing your real estate exam, download our Exam Prep e-book. We include a pre-assessment to test your knowledge as well as helpful information about what’s included in the exam, the length and structure of the exam, study tips, and sample questions from PrepAgent.
6. Pick a Sponsoring Brokerage to Work For
In order to hold an active license in North Dakota, you must find a sponsoring brokerage to affiliate your license and you both must complete the Application to Issue Real Estate License form. To make your choice a little bit easier, check out our in-depth article explaining how to choose a real estate company to work for. Although there are many successful brokerages, below you’ll find some of the top brokerages in the Peace Garden state.
The Erik Hatch Team
Keller Williams Realty
(Source: Real Trends)
7. Acquire & Pay for Errors & Omissions Insurance
After you’ve passed your exam and are ready to activate your North Dakota real estate license, you’re required to have errors and omissions insurance (E&O). This is used to protect real estate businesses from mistakes made during professional service.
NDREC works closely with Rice Insurance Services, LLC to provide affordable options. Otherwise, you’ll have to purchase your own insurance that is equivalent to the required E&O specifications for North Dakota.
8. Pay the Real Estate Education, Research & Recovery Fund
Once you’ve acquired E&O insurance, your last step in the licensing process will be to pay the Real Estate Education, Research, and Recovery Fund. This is a one-time $20 fee that is paid at the time of your license issuance. It can be paid through the Online Services Portal by debit or credit card or paid via mail by check to the NDREC.
9. Start Your Real Estate Career
Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in North Dakota, you’re ready to start your professional real estate journey. For more information, here are some of our articles with content that is perfect for new real estate agents:
- Our article with 14 real estate agent tips covers the basics that every agent should know when they are starting out, including how to write a real estate business plan.
- Learn how to generate real estate buyer leads.
- Get nine strategies to help with real estate seller lead generation.
- Jump-start your career with the top 25 new real estate agent tips from the pros.
- Get the tools you need to build a strong real estate business out of the gate using the best real estate software and tools.