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The recently approved Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) rules changed the number of continuing education hours that all real estate licensees in Texas must complete in order to renew a real estate license. We recently received a notice from TREC on the effect of these changes and how real estate licensees in Texas can comply.
When do the changes apply?
All rule changes will become effective on January 1st, 2016. Effective January 1st, 2016, all licensees must complete 18 hours of CE to renew a real estate license on ACTIVE status. Licensees previously needed to complete only 15 hours of CE each license cycle.
Legal Ethics and Legal Update courses were changed
The Legal Ethics and Legal Update courses will now be called the TREC Legal Update I and TREC Legal Update II courses. Until 2016 these courses were 3 hours in length for a total of 6 hours. After January 1st, 2016, these two new courses will each be 4 hours in length for a total of 8 hours.
Will I have to complete the new courses if I already completed the 2014-2015 Ethics and Legal Course before I renew?
No. Anyone completing the 3-hour Ethics and Legal Update courses prior to December 31st, 2015 will not be required to complete the new 4 hour courses prior to their next renewal. Anyone who does NOT complete TREC's Legal Update and/or Ethics CE courses (3 hours each) before the end of this year must complete the new Legal Update I and/or Legal Update II courses before renewal along with additional CE courses for a total of 18 hours.
If you are a broker who sponsors a sales agent, a designated broker of a business entity that sponsors a sales agent, or a license holder who is a delegated supervisor of one or more license holders for 6 months or more during the current license, your CE must include the above courses as well as 6 hours in TREC's Broker Responsibility course.
If Commission records do not show that you have completed your CE at the time you submit your renewal application, you must pay a $200 CE deferral fee, or renew in INACTIVE status. Paying the deferral fee will allow you to continue to be active in real estate activities and gives you an additional 60 days from your expiration date to complete your CE.
Did the SAE requirements also change?
Yes. Effective January 1st, 2016, sales agents applying for their first license renewal must have a total of 270 qualifying real estate course hours, 4 hours of TREC's Legal Update I, and 4 hours of TREC's Legal Update II posted to their license records prior to submitting a renewal. Qualifying credit will not be granted if you were previously given credit for a substantially similar qualifying course within the previous two year period.
What if I have questions about the changes?
Feel free to give us a call or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist you!