This article is part of a larger series on How to Become a Real Estate Agent.
As a Texas real estate agent or broker, you must maintain your real estate license by completing continuing education classes and submitting paperwork every two years. First-time license renewals require 98 hours of continuing education (CE) courses, but subsequent renewals for agents and brokers alike only require 18 hours. Continue reading for the full steps to complete your Texas real estate license renewal.
As you learn how to renew your Texas real estate license, you’ll see that it’s important to choose a real estate school that makes it easy and enjoyable to complete the required courses. Consider Kaplan, which provides the widest variety of course formats and topics to help real estate professionals of all experience levels grow in their careers.
1. Determine Your Required Coursework
For Texas real estate license renewals, the requirements differ based on a few factors. If it is your first time renewing your license, if you’re a broker, or if you are not an active salesperson, you’ll have to meet different requirements than agents who continue to participate in real estate transactions and renew their license every two years. Here are the specific requirements for each type of license renewal:
Hours of education required: 98 hours
Your first real estate license renewal in Texas is called Sales Agent Apprentice Education (SAE), requiring eight hours of legal updates and 90 hours of elective continuing education courses. When you are shopping for online courses to renew your license, make sure to choose one that specifically states that it meets SAE requirements.
Subsequent Sales Agent Renewals
Hours of education required: 18 hours
If it is not your first time renewing your Texas real estate license, the required hours drastically decrease to 18. Within these 18 hours, you must complete three hours of contract-related coursework, seven hours of elective continuing education (CE), and eight hours of legal updates from the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC).
Hours of education required: 18 hours
Real estate brokers have almost identical requirements for license renewals as agents. The only difference is that within the 18 hours of required coursework for subsequent renewals, you must complete the six-hour Broker Responsibility course. It is not an additional part of coursework. This course teaches you more about management, operations, and supervision of a brokerage in Texas.
You only need to complete the Broker Responsibility course if you:
- Are a licensed Texas real estate broker and sponsor one or more sales agents
- Serve as the designated broker for a business entity that sponsors sales agents
- Are a licensed agent who has been made a supervisor of other license holders (i.e., your broker completed and submitted the Notice of Delegation of Supervising License Holder)
Hours of education required: 0 hours to remain inactive, 18 hours to renew active status
If you do not renew your sales agent or broker license by the due date (or fail to submit documents 10 days before the due date), you immediately become an inactive agent or broker. With an inactive license, you cannot practice real estate.
Your license will remain inactive for six months after the original renewal due date. You have two options to maintain your real estate license during this time:
- Complete and submit renewal requirements to become active
- Renew your license on inactive status without completing CE
If your license has been inactive for over six months or less than two years, you will be required to reinstate your license before it can be renewed. This is not as complicated of a process as getting your Texas real estate license for the first time, but is more time-consuming than completing the original renewal requirements.
It is also worth noting that in order for your license to be reinstated, your application will have to show that you have had two years of active real estate experience sometime over the past four years. In addition, Texas real estate licenses will be reinstated as inactive if you submit proof of completing the required continuing education courses within the last two years. To be considered active, you must also obtain sponsorship from a brokerage and submit a Sales Agent Sponsorship.
To reinstate your license, start by submitting the Sales Agent and Broker License Reinstatement form.
2. Choose a Real Estate School
There is a large number of real estate schools approved for Texas license renewals, each offering unique formats, schedules, and types of courses. Some also provide packages that including free books and other valuable resources to help you initially become a real estate agent, as well as flashcards and interview questions that can assist you as you grow in your career.
You can search through TREC’s qualifying real estate providers to find local options that best fit your learning style and interests. However, if you’d rather complete your required coursework online rather than in person, we’ve found top online Texas real estate schools for license renewal are:
Variety of relevant course topics and self-paced or live online formats
Phone, email, or online form
Access to local in-person courses and instructors as well as included study tools
Phone and email
CE Membership option with a variety of course topics, resources, and tools
Phone, email, or online form
Interactive, user-friendly platform and well-known for its Texas real estate exam prep courses
Interactive online platform
Phone, email, or live chat
You can learn more about these options in our guide on the best real estate schools for Texas.
3. Select & Complete Coursework
The most straightforward and affordable way to complete your CE requirements is to buy a single package with all the required coursework hours. However, there is a huge variety of elective course topics, and some CE courses will benefit you more than others. For example, here are some of the course topics from Kaplan and McKissock Learning:
- Real Estate Safety: Protect Yourself and Your Clients
- What Everyone Should Know About Their Credit History
- A Breakdown of the Real Estate Market
- Helping Buyers Narrow in on Their Dream Home
- Water: How It Affects Property
- Real Estate Bloopers: Preventing Client Horror Stories
- Financing Update: New Rules for the New World
- Good, Better, Best: When Price, Quality, and Value All Matter
- JMan’s Tech Tools: Serving Clients With Technology
Keep in mind that most online real estate schools give you six months to complete your courses before they expire, and you no longer have access to them. Although a small number of schools allow extensions, this is how each school ensures that your education is accurate and up to date. Once you complete all 18 hours, you’ll receive a certificate of completion to submit to TREC.
4. Submit Documents & Complete License Renewal
To complete your Texas real estate license renewal, you’ll have to submit your certificate of CE course completion, renewal application, and the correct renewal fee, which depends on your title and time of submission. Whether you’re an active or inactive agent or broker, or submitting a first-time or subsequent renewal, you can choose to submit the documents and fees through the online portal or by mail at least 10 days before the deadline.
If for some reason you did not get your fingerprints taken when you originally got your real estate license or at previous renewals, you need to submit them. Once you submit fingerprints to TREC, you will not have to do them for any other subsequent renewals. Review the article How to Get Your Texas Real Estate License for directions on submitting fingerprints.
Every real estate license renewal will require the renewal application and a different renewal fee, but the additional requirements depend on your type of license. Here are the requirements for first-time, subsequent, and inactive real estate licenses:
First-time & Subsequent Agent Renewal Requirements
To renew your license, all Texas real estate agents must submit:
- Certificate of course completion (98 hours of SAE for first-time renewals, 18 hours for subsequent renewals)
- Renewal application
- Renewal fee of $110
For subsequent license renewals, if you do not receive your course completion certificate in time, you can submit your renewal application to extend your active status for 60 days. However, this will incur an additional $200 CE deferral fee.
Deferring renewal requirements is not an option for first-time license renewals. Your license becomes inactive on the expiration deadline, and will not renew until all requirements are submitted.
Broker Renewals Requirements
To renew your Texas real estate broker’s license, you must submit:
- Certificate of course completion (18 hours)
- Renewal application
- Renewal fee of $217 (for individual brokers and business entity brokers)
If you miss the Texas real estate broker license renewal deadline, you become an inactive broker and the renewal fee will immediately increase to $253. After 90 days after the expiration deadline, the renewal fee increases further to $289.
Keep in mind that if your broker license becomes inactive, all sales agents that you sponsor also become inactive, so it’s necessary to keep up to date with your renewal education.
Inactive License Renewals Requirements
If you don’t submit your real estate license renewal documents before the expiration date, your license automatically becomes inactive on the deadline. You are legally prohibited from practicing real estate as an inactive agent or broker.
However, you may renew your license at any time by completing the requirements for first-time or subsequent renewals listed above. The requirements remain the same, although the renewal fee increases to $143 (for up to 90 days) or $176 (from 90 days post-expiration to two years).
If you choose to renew your license on inactive status, you must submit:
- Renewal application
- Correct renewal fee
Real Estate License Reinstatement Requirements
If your Texas real estate license has been inactive for six months to two years, you will be required to reinstate and reactivate it to participate in real estate transactions. To reinstate your agent or broker license, you must submit:
- Sales Agent and Broker License Reinstatement form
- Reinstatement application fee of $150 to $220
Reinstating your license doesn’t mean it will be active. If you want to reinstate your license to active status, you will also have to submit a certificate of course completion.
The Texas real estate license renewal process may seem complicated, but it can be straightforward if you follow the correct steps and avoid having to pay late fees or reinstatement fees. Keep aware of your renewal and expiration dates so you can keep your license active and your real estate business growing.