This article is part of a larger series on Real Estate Agents.
Texas real estate license renewal is required for every Texas agent every two years. As an active real estate salesperson or broker, you must complete at least 18 continuing education (CE) course hours and submit the appropriate documents by the due date with your renewal fee, which ranges from $110 to $457.
If you’re looking for an easy online education solution, consider Real Estate Express for first-time renewal. Not only do you get all of the required CE courses taken care of on your schedule, but you get an education concierge and active discussion board to help you through difficult topics. Plus, it’s a very affordable $249. Learn more about this top-rated renewal package.
These are the four steps to complete Texas real estate license renewal.
1. Determine Your Coursework Requirements
To determine exactly what courses you need to renew your Texas real estate license, you need to know how the requirements differ for agents, brokers, inactive professionals, and first time renewals. Generally, first-time renewals will be required to complete a much larger number of credit hours, while agents and brokers will have only 18 required hours.
Active Sales Agent: First Time Renewal
For your first real estate license renewal, you will have to complete 98 hours of approved Sales Agent Apprentice Education (SAE) courses. This is made up of eight hours of legal updates and 90 hours of elective continuing education courses.
The 98 hours of SAE requirements are only necessary during your first license renewal. When you are shopping for CE packages, look for one that specifically states that it meets the SAE requirements.
Active Sales Agent: Subsequent Renewals
If this is not your first Texas real estate license renewal and you are an active sales agent, you will have only 18 hours of required continuing education courses to complete. Eight of these hours must be mandatory legal updates and the remaining 10 hours can be elective CE courses.
Active Broker License
Real estate brokers have the same requirements for first and subsequent renewals; you must complete 18 hours of CE courses. Just like active real estate agents, eight of these hours must be legal updates, and the remaining 10 hours can be elective CE courses.
You may additionally be required to take the six-hour Broker Responsibility course, which will teach you more about management, operation and supervision of a brokerage in Texas. This course is part of your 18 required hours, not additional. You only need to take this course if you:
- Have sponsored one or more sales agents
- Served as the designated broker for a business entity that sponsors sales agents
- Have been made a supervisor of other license-holders
Inactive Sales Agent or Broker
If you do not renew your sales agent or broker license by the due date, you immediately become an inactive agent or broker; you cannot practice real estate with an inactive license. If you become an inactive agent or broker and want to keep your license without activating it, you can apply for renewal without completing any additional continuing education courses.
If your license has been inactive for over six months or less than two years, you can submit this form to apply for reinstatement. In order for it to be accepted, you must have had two years of active real estate experience sometime over the four years before your reinstatement application.
If you are an inactive real estate agent, your license will only be reinstated in inactive status. You can only reactivate your license with a sponsoring broker and by completing a sponsorship request through the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) online services or by mail.
If you are an inactive real estate broker and you want to activate your license, you must have the required number of CE courses submitted within the two years before your application.
2. Choose a Real Estate School
There are hundreds of schools where you can take your continuing education courses for your Texas real estate license renewal. You have the option of choosing either online or in-person courses, but the school offering those courses must be approved by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). To find a comprehensive list of every school and location approved for Texas real estate continuing education courses, check here.
Here are five of the most popular schools for Texas real estate license renewal:
Courses from 360 Training are online and meet all credit hour requirements and updated laws. Individual courses cost between $25-$60, and packages range from $50-$79. When you choose a CE package, you can customize which elective courses you want to include. Here are their package options:
- Texas 18 hour CE Package: $80
- Texas 18 hour Broker CE Package: $50
- Texas Salesperson CE with Luxury Designation: $50
- Texas 8 hour Legal Update 1 and 2 Package $50
You can easily tell which of these packages will fit you, since they are designed specifically for agents and brokers, respectively. If you don’t want one of these packages, you can purchase individual courses for $25 to $60 each.
Aceable Agent is the only online school with a mobile app, so you can take your courses on any device. They offer two CE course bundles, and individual classes for $26 to $30 each. The course bundles are:
- Agent Bundle (18 hours): $89
- Legal Update Bundle (8 hours): $45
The agent bundle includes all the required credit hours for your renewal, and you can see exactly which elective classes are included on the Aceable Agent site. The legal update bundle includes only the mandatory eight hours of legal updates.
Real Estate Express
A leading online real estate school, Real Estate Express makes first-time renewal for Texas agents easy with its single $249 all-inclusive package. Individual courses are also available for $99 each.
If you purchase the SAE First-Renewal Package, you will also get an education concierge to help with study and have access to a discussion board to chat with fellow students about course materials.
The CE Shop
The CE Shop is one of the most well-known real estate schools in the country because of its high quality coursework, affordability, and accessibility across the country. For Texas real estate license renewal, you can choose a package to fulfill your CE hours for between $55 to $139. Here are its package options for broker and salesperson licenses:
- Continuing Education/Sales Agent Apprentice Education (SAE) Legal Update Package with Ethics Course (8 hours): $55
- Texas Continuing Education Electives (10 hours): $85
- Texas Continuing Education Package #1 (18 hours): $139
- Texas Continuing Education Package #2 (18 hours): $139
Keep in mind that you only need a package with the SAE course when it is your first time renewing your license. You can see exactly which courses come in each bundle in the course details, so you can choose the one that fits you best. Individual elective and legal courses from the CE shop are between $29 and $59 each.
McKissock Learning offers a TREC-approved CE package specifically for agents and another for brokers, each costing $119. You can also purchase individual courses for $30 each. Its CE “plus” membership gives you access to all CE courses as well as bonus webinars, discounts, and job aids. Here are its CE package options:
- 18-Hour Renewal Package for Sales Agents: $119.95
- 18-Hour Broker Responsibility Renewal Package: $119.95
- Texas McKissock CE Plus Membership: $109 monthly
The courses included in each package are listed in the online description, but you can customize your package with courses that are the most appealing to you. Keep in mind, however, that you need to meet the specific requirements in step 1.
3. Choose & Take CE Courses
Buying one comprehensive package with all 18 hours of CE is the most straightforward and affordable way to complete your requirements. However, there is a huge variety of elective course topics (electives) across all of the real estate schools, and some CE courses will benefit you more than others. Consider these before selecting and completing CE courses.
Select Elective Courses
In order to get the most value out of your CE classes, think about what you need to learn more about to grow your business and make sure to check the details of each package to see what courses are included. You’ll see that there is a huge variety of topic choices like social media marketing, educating homebuyers, and tax advantages.
Here are just a few of the most popular elective courses:
- Using the Internet to Serve Clients
- How to Work with Real Estate Investors
- Real Estate Safety: Protect Yourself and Your Clients
- Finding Your Focus: Niche Marketing for Real Estate
- Lead Alert: A Guide for Property Managers
- So You Think You Can Finance
- New Kids on the Blog: Millennials in Real Estate
- Close-Ups and Closings: Using Video to Market Real Estate
- Advocating for Short Sale Clients
- Did You Serve? Identifying Homebuying Advantages for Veterans
Most online real estate schools give you six months to complete your courses before they expire. Once they expire, you will no longer have access to them. Some schools offer extensions for an additional fee, and other schools do not offer extensions at all. This is how each school keeps their education content accurate and updated.
For this reason, you need to allow yourself enough time to complete all 18 hours of CE courses before the expiration. Once you have your certificate of completion, you must submit it to the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) a minimum of 10 days before submitting your renewal application.
If TREC does not have proof of your completed CE courses when they receive your renewal application, they will immediately charge you a $200 deferral fee. This fee is for agents and brokers who do not have all of their requirements completed on time. By paying this fee, they get 60 more days to finish the necessary courses or paperwork while continuing to practice real estate.
4. Submit Documents and Complete License Renewal
In order to have your license renewed, you will need to have your fingerprints taken and CE hours completed and documented in TREC before your renewal. Then you will submit your renewal application along with your renewal fee.
Collect Required Materials for Texas License Renewal
When your courses are complete, you must use the online services in TREC to submit all your course completion certificates. Even though you can submit your renewal application and fee by mail, your course certifications must be done online. You access the TREC portal by visiting trec.texas.gov and either logging in with existing credentials or clicking on the “Renew License” tab.
If it’s your first renewal, you will also need to submit fingerprints for a criminal background check. Otherwise, you will just need to submit course certifications before submitting your renewal application.
Submit Documents & Pay Texas Real Estate License Renewal Fee
To complete your renewal application, go to the “Renew License” tab on the TREC website. To renew online, click the “online services” link; to renew by mail, click the link that says “Renewal Form for Real Estate Sales Agents and Brokers” and print the application form.
Once your application form is complete, you will be asked to pay your renewal fee. Your Texas real estate license renewal fee may change depending on a few different factors. Real estate sales agents have different fees than brokers. Also, each real estate professional’s renewal fee will depend on when and how they submit paperwork.
If you want to save the most money, you should pay your fee online and before the deadline. Submitting your paperwork by mail will cost an extra $20. If you are late, your Texas real estate license renewal fee will increase by either $99 or $132. For more details on your total renewal fee, check the relevant page on the TREC website under “Renew License” or review fees on the application form.
After you have paid your renewal fee and submitted your application, it will take several weeks to review, after which time you will receive a notification via email and/or mail confirming your license renewal has been approved.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I renew my real estate license after it expires?
If you do not complete all the requirements for your Texas real estate license renewal before the deadline, you may be charged a $200 deferral fee. The deferral fee gives you 60 more days to complete your CE and paperwork while maintaining an active license. If you do not submit your renewal or pay a deferral fee, your license will immediately become inactive.
Can I take CE courses from different schools?
All CE courses you take must be from a TREC-approved school. As long as the school is approved and you complete the required number of mandatory and elective courses, you can take classes from more than one school.
Does Texas accept real estate license reciprocity?
Unfortunately, Texas does not have reciprocity with other states. That means that if you have a real estate license in another state, it does not automatically transfer to Texas. However, that doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. Your education and experience in another state may allow you to have certain requirements waived. Visit the TREC site for more information.
Bottom Line – Texas Real Estate License Renewal
To renew your Texas real estate license, you must complete a minimum of 18 CE credit hours, submit fingerprints and or requisite paperwork, and pay a renewal fee every two years. You can complete all of these requirements online by using online services from TREC, though you can also submit materials by mail.
If you’re focused on building your business as a new agent and have limited time for completing CE, make license renewal easy by signing up for a first-time renewal package from Real Estate Express. All courses are offered online and come with additional features like an education concierge and a student discussion board. Click here to sign up for this affordable $249 package.