5 Steps to Obtaining an Illinois Real Estate Broker License

Published Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Before we dive into the process, you must first learn about a few things...

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), Division of Real Estate is the regulatory body responsible for issuing Illinois real estate broker licenses.

A broker (individual) is any person, who for compensation and for another, is employed either directly or indirectly by a licensed sponsoring broker (business entity) to perform certain acts such as: to sell, offer to sell, buy, offer to buy, negotiate the purchase, sale exchange of real estate; or to negotiate leases thereof or improvements thereon. A real estate broker must work under the direction of a real estate managing broker.

Individuals who wish to conduct licensed activity in Illinois are required to have an Illinois real estate brokers license.

An applicant for an Illinois real estate broker license must be a minimum of 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED and complete the following 5 steps:

Step 1:  Complete 75 Hours of Pre-license Education

You must complete a curriculum of 75 class hours of Real Estate courses at a real estate school approved by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in the following manner:

·  A 60-credit hour course including, but not limited to, the following topics: Introduction to License Law, Real Property, Current State and Federal Law, Real Estate Transactions, and Real Estate Career Paths.

·  A 15-credit hour Applied Real Estate Principles course, presented in the classroom, by interactive webinar, or by online distance education.

Step 2:  Pass the State Licensing Exam

You must pass an examination to confirm that you have attained at least a minimum level of knowledge regarding the principles, practices, statutes, and regulations relating to real estate. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has contracted with PSI Services LLC (PSI) to conduct the examination. PSI works closely with the State to be certain that examinations meet local as well as national requirements in basic principles and examination development standards.

The test has 140 multiple-choice questions, 100 of which are national real estate questions, and the remaining 40 being state related. You'll have 3 ½ hours to complete the exam, and a score of 75% on each portion of the examination (state and national) is required to pass.

If you do not pass the exam, you will receive a diagnostic score report showing your percentage on the examination. If you pass one portion of the exam you will need to wait until the next day or later to be rescheduled for the failed portion. Candidates who pass only one portion must retake and pass the other portion within one year of passing the first portion. Failure to do so will result in having to take the entire examination again.


Step 3:  Select a Sponsoring Broker

 A sponsoring broker is a business entity licensed as a sponsoring broker that may sponsor residential leasing agents, brokers, or managing brokers. You must be sponsored by an Illinois licensed sponsoring broker by written agreement and may only have one sponsoring broker at a given time. The agreement establishes whether you are an independent contractor or employee and defines your relationship, including supervision, duties, compensation, and termination.

The choice of a sponsoring broker is critical to your real estate career. They provide the support and training necessary for you to launch a successful career. Because the brokerage firm you choose will represent you and you will represent them, it’s important to find the right fit. Here are some questions to consider during your search:

·       What is your mission statement?

·       What is your reputation within the marketplace?

·       What type of training do you offer?

·       Who will be training me?

·       Do you mentor new agents?

·       Do you offer errors and omissions insurance?

·       What types of marketing tools do you offer?

·       What is your commission structure?

·       What costs will I incur?

·        Do you use and furnish up-to-date technological tools?

Step 4:  Complete the IDFPR Online Application Process

When you pass the examination, you will receive a score report with instructions for applying for a license at the IDFPR Online Services Portal at

Step 5:  IDFPR Processes and Issues License

Congratulations! You are now a registered Illinois real estate broker and ready to begin your new and exciting career!


Questions about this information or information about obtaining a residential leasing agent license or managing broker license may be sent to mail@yourhouseacademy.com
If you are passionate about real estate, interested in investing in real estate, or just looking for a new career with growth potential, a real estate license could be the right move.  People can get started in real estate investing without a license and do ok. But those who want to take their investments to the next level, have control of their assets, build their network, and have direct access to the MLS need to get realtor training and get their real estate license. Does this sound like you? If so, give us a call at 630-844-0222 or check out our Real Estate Courses link on the main page to get started in real estate today and build your new career now!  We would love to help you get there.

Sources: Illinois Real Estate License Act and Administrative Rules
               IDFPR Division of Real Estate Candidate Information Booklet. http://documents.goamp.com/Publications/candidateHandbooks/ILREP-handbook.pdf

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A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, (NAR) the largest trade group in the country.

Every agent is not a REALTOR®.  You become a REALTOR® after you pass your real estate course, pass the state license exam, join a real estate company and then join the National Association of REALTORS®.

According to the NAR, the term REALTOR has one, and only one, meaning:
"REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics."

Michael Fair, President and Director of Your House Academy is an NAR member.