What Illinois REALTORS® need to know about getting a Florida real estate license

If you are a licensed broker or managing broker in Illinois, and have considered moving to Florida or maybe one day taking advantage of their warm winter months – you now have the opportunity to obtain a similar license in Florida.

That’s according to Illinois Association of REALTORS® Education Manager Carrie Elliott, who says the agreement between the two states is not the same as reciprocal programs Illinois has with other states. Florida has a “Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)” with Illinois.

“The agreement between the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is most attractive to Illinois licensees who plan to retire or spend winter months in Florida but have not yet purchased property there,” says Elliott. “Florida refers to the agreement as a Mutual Recognition Agreement and requires broker and managing broker candidates to meet four qualifications for an equivalent license.”

Illinois brokers and managing brokers seeking Florida licenses must:

  •  Be 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  •  Possess a valid and current Illinois license, be active and in good standing.

They can’t:

  •  be a Florida resident at time of application.
  •  claim mutual recognition if they obtained their license in the mutual state by reciprocity.

The agreement allows Illinois licensees to sit for the Florida state-specific law examination.  You are required to still complete post-license education.  These requirements include:

  •  Due prior to the first renewal period.
  •  Newly Licensed Brokers – equivalent to the Salesperson category in Florida – need 45 classroom hours of education
  •  Newly Licensed Managing Brokers – equivalent to the Broker category in Florida – are required to complete at least 60 classroom hours of education.

“In summary, the agreement with Florida recognizes the education and experience earned in Illinois to obtain Illinois licenses, but once licensed by mutual recognition in Florida, licensees will be required to complete the post-license requirements regardless of the type of license they seek,” Elliott says. “We are in the process of researching sites that offer practice exams and/or study materials for the Florida state-specific exams and will add that information to our website for future reference.”

Florida has mutual recognition with eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

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