How to Get a Real Estate License in New York

NY State Real Estate Salesperson License Requirements
New York Real Estate License

Steps to Get Your New York Salesperson License

The New York Department of State (NYDOS) requires completion of the following steps to order to receive a Real Estate Salesperson License in New York.

  1. Complete 77 Hours of Approved Education
  2. Pass the Course Final Exam
  3. Pass the New York Real Estate Exam
  4. Choose a Sponsoring Broker
  5. Complete the Licensing Application

Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in New York


  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must not have any prior felonies or sex offense convictions
  • You must have a current NY photo driver's license or non-driver ID card
  • You DO NOT need to have a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete 77 Hours of Approved Pre-License Education

    The first step to obtaining a license is to complete the 77-Hour New York Pre-License Course. In this course, you will learn about the following topics:

    • License law
    • Agency law
    • Land use regulations
    • Environmental issues
    • Contract law
    • Real estate finance
    • Commercial properties
    • Real estate investments
    • Property management
    NY Real Estate School Course Topics
    NY Real Estate School Course Topics
  • Pass the Course Final Exam

    After you complete the 77 hours of coursework, you must meet the NYDOS requirement of passing the pre-license course final exam with a score of 70% or higher.

  • Pass the New York Real Estate Exam

    Next, you must take and pass both the state and national portions of the New York Salesperson License Examination with a score of 70% or higher. You will have 90 minutes to complete the multiple-choice exam. There are 75 questions on your exam, which reflect the content in the 77-hour Pre-Licensing curriculum.

    In New York, exam results are reported as either passed or failed. Test takers will not receive a numerical score after completing their test.

    Mandatory COVID-19 Precautions

    Do not appear for an exam if you meet any of the below:

    • Have a temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Have had known close contact with a person confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
    • Currently experiencing ANY of the following symptoms:
      • Cough (new or worsening);
      • Shortness of Breath (new or worsening);
      • Troubled Breathing (new or worsening);
      • Fever;
      • Chills;
      • Muscle Pain (new or worsening);
      • Headache (new or worsening);
      • Sore Throat (new or worsening); or
      • New Loss of Taste New Loss of Smell
      • Have tested positive for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test in the past 14 days
    • If you must reschedule your exam due to illness, email to reschedule.
    • Do not bring anyone with you to the exam site.
    • Do not appear to the exam site unless your requested exam date is confirmed.
    • Wear a face covering or mask to your exam. Face coverings are mandatory at exam sites.
    • Maintain 6 feet from others when possible at an exam site.
    • Be prepared to sanitize your hands before and after your exam. Hand sanitizer is provided by the exam site.
    • Bring two sanitized #2 pencils to your exam.

    Check the DOS for the Latest Updates

  • Choose a Sponsoring Broker

    To become a real estate salesperson, licensees will need to be sponsored by an active New York broker. This person will serve as your mentor as you start your new career.

    Here are some questions to consider during your search for a sponsoring broker:

    • What is their overall reputation?
    • Are they advanced in their specialty?
    • Are they up-to-date with the latest rules and regulations?
    • To what extent do they support their agents?
    • What kind of commission structure do they offer? Are there benefits?
    • What quality of leads and marketing material do they offer their agents?
    • Is there potential to grow within the brokerage?
  • Complete the License Application

    Finally, you will need to apply for a license with the New York Department of State (DOS). You may mail in your application or apply online. Additionally, if you plan on paying by credit card with Master Card or Visa, you must complete a credit card authorization form that will need to be submitted with your application.

    Bureau of Educational Standards
    P.O. Box 22001
    Albany, NY 12201-2001

    Dowland the Application Form
    Dowland the Credit Card Application Form

How Do I Get My Real Estate License In New York?

To earn your real estate license in New York State, you'll need to complete 77 hours of prelicense education with an approved provider, pass the New York State licensing exam, find a sponsoring broker, and complete the licensing application.

I Am a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Another State. Will New York Recognize My License?

New York State used to have reciprocity agreements with a few other states, but that came to an end as of February 1, 2023.

New York State no longer offers real estate license reciprocity, regardless of home state, unless you're a qualifying military spouse. You can submit a written request for an education waiver, but if granted, that only allows you to skip the pre-license course requirement. You'll still need to undergo the rest of the licensing process.

Those with a bachelor's degree with a concentration in real estate are more likely to qualify for the waiver. If you're asking for an education waiver based on another state's pre-license course, you're probably going to have a difficult time obtaining one. Few states have courses that are long enough; NYSDOS requires the courses to be at least as long as the New York State course (77 hours for salespersons and 152 hours for brokers). NYSDOS also won't accept home study or correspondence programs. Courses that meet these requirements are still not automatically accepted. They'll be evaluated based on a detailed outline of the topics and hours.

How Difficult Is The New York Real Estate Licensing Exam?

The pass rate for the New York State Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%. In other words, it's a challenging test, but with enough preparation, most people will be able to pass on the first try. We recommend that you study seriously and take practice tests like the ones we offer with our exam prep.

The exam consists of 75 multiple-choice questions, and the subject matter is based on your pre-license curriculum. You'll be given 90 minutes to complete the exam. A passing score is just over 70% - you need to answer 53 of the 75 questions correctly. You'll learn your score immediately after you've completed the exam.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License in New York?

On average, it takes anywhere from 3-5 months to obtain a real estate license in New York.

However, the amount of time it takes to obtain a real estate license depends on whether the student takes the pre-license coursework online or in a classroom and how much time the student has to dedicate to studying and progressing through their classes.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a New York Real Estate License?

Depending on the real estate school a hopeful licensee decides to attend, it costs between $200 and $425 to get a New York real estate license. The most expensive and vital purchase is that of a real estate school. The cost of pre-license courses depends on whether a student chooses to attend in-person classes or enrolls in an online course. Here are the required fees:

Course Tuition $149.00 - $350.00
Application Fee $55.00
Examination Fee $15.00
Total $200.00 - $425.00