Become a REALTOR®

Become a REALTOR®

There are so many reasons to choose real estate as your career. Here are the basic steps to getting started.

Get a Real Estate Salesperson License

Congratulations on your decision to pursue a career in Real Estate. Outlined below is a checklist of things you will need to do in order to get your Iowa Real Estate license. In addition, the REALTOR® Expectations brochure gives some helpful tips as you consider a career in real estate.

Meet Licensing Requirements

1. A salesperson must be assigned to (work for) a licensed broker or firm and cannot conduct business independently.

2. You must be 18 years of age or older. (You may actually sit for the exam before you are 18, but you MUST be 18 before you make the application for a license, which must be within six months after you pass the exam.) An applicant is not ineligible because of citizenship, sex, race, religion, marital status, or national origin, although the application form may require citizenship information.

3. You must not have had an application rejected for licensure in this or any other state within twelve months prior to the date of application, and whose real estate license has not been revoked in this or any other state within two years prior to the date of application.

Take a 60-Hour Pre-Test Course

An Iowa Real Estate Commission-approved course is required before you may take the Real Estate Exam.

Our courses are approved by the Iowa Real Estate Commission, and we offer the following options:

Weekday Classroom - 60 Hours


More Info

Weekend Classroom - 60 Hours


More Info

Online Self-Study - 60 Hours


More Info

Can't decide which option is for you? View the Pre-License Comparison

Complete a Background Check

A criminal background check is required by Iowa law of all real estate licensee applicants. This process can take 8-10 weeks to complete, but you do not need to wait for your completed background check before applying for your license.

Key points regarding the background check

  • Request a fingerprint packet from the Iowa Real Estate Commission by sending a written request with your name and address by email to Renee.Paulsen@iowa.govor fax: 515-725-9032. You MUST use the Iowa Real Estate Commission's fingerprint card. No other fingerprint card from any other institution will be accepted.
  • Send the completed fingerprint card, signed waiver, and check or money order for $51 to the Iowa Real Estate Commission at 200 E Grand Suite 350 Des Moines, IA 50309. Make checks payable to the Iowa Real Estate Commission. Please allow 8 to 10 weeks for the fingerprint card to be processed.
  • You do not need to wait for your background check to be approved to send in your license application.
  • Once the background check has been reviewed by the commission the report is only valid for 210 days.
  • An applicant for a real estate salesperson license who has been convicted of forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, theft, extortion, conspiracy to defraud, or another similar offense, or of any crime involving moral turpitude, in a court of competent jurisdiction in this state or in any other state, jurisdiction, territory, or district of the United States, or in any foreign jurisdiction, may be denied a license by the commission on the grounds of the conviction.
  • &ldquoConviction&rdquo is defined in Iowa Code section 543B.15(3) and rule 193E&mdash2.1(543B).

Pass the Iowa Licensing Exam

The licensing exam costs $100 and is comprised of the following sections, with a required minimum score for each section.


# Questions

Passing Score

Time Allowed




120 minutes




60 minutes

Combined Total



180 minutes

More information is available in the PSI Exam Bulletin.

Key Points Regarding the Licensing Exam

  • The exam is administered by PSI Examination Services at locations around the state. Register for the computer-based exam by calling 800-733-9267 (24 hours) The cost is $101 (Beginning July 1st, 2015) each time you take the exam. View PSI Exam Locations
  • Do not register for your exam until you have a completion certificate for the Commission-approved 60-hour Pre License course. Your certificate will be issued by the Iowa Association of REALTORS.
  • Examination results are confidential and will only be reported to you and the Iowa Real Estate Commission.
  • If you pass the examination, you will receive a real estate license application form with your score report. You are responsible for submitting your application to the Iowa Real Estate Commission no later than the last working day of the sixth month after the qualifying examination date.
  • If you do not pass, you must retake the examination before you can be licensed. Submit a new registration form and the appropriate fee to PSI and schedule an appointment to retake the examination.
  • Click here for online drill and practice study materials, or visit our book store if you&rsquod prefer study materials by mail.

Complete Additional Required Courses

An applicant applying for an original salesperson license must provide evidence of successful completion of the following courses:

This course work must be completed during the 12 months prior to license application. This education is in addition to the 60 hours salesperson pre-license test course. These four courses can be taken in any order.

Apply for a Real Estate License

You will be provided with a license application upon successfully passing the licensing exam.

When applying for a license you need to submit the following:

  • Complete and notarized Iowa Real Estate Commission-provided application. You must have your signature notarized on the license application form.
  • Completed background check submitted to the Iowa Real Estate Commission.
  • A license fee of $125.
  • A pass notice from the PSI Examination Services.
  • Proof of completion of the 60 hour pre-license course in the form of a completion certificate. (completed during the 12 months prior to license application)
  • Proof of completion of the approved additional 36 hour pre-license course work in the form of a completion certificates (completed during the 12 months prior to license application).
  • Proof of Errors and Omissions insurance.
  • You must provide the signature of your employing broker on your license application form.

For questions regarding licensing, please contact:

Iowa Real Estate Commission
200 E. Grand Suite 350
Des Moines, IA 50309

Consider Joining the Iowa Association of REALTORS®

Not all real estate licensees are equal only members of the Association of REALTORS® can use the term REALTOR®.

If your broker is not already a member of the Association, talk with your broker about the membership benefits of the Association of REALTORS®.

Section: Education
Subscribe: Subscribe To Education