How to Get a Rhode Island Real Estate License


Facilitating the buying and selling of real estate in Rhode Island requires a Salesperson License. The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation sets forth guidelines and requirements for any person wishing to become a real estate agent.

General Requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • 45 hours of pre-licensing education plus a 3-hour course in Lead Poisoning/Lead Hazard Mitigation
  • Satisfactory criminal History report
  • Three Rhode Island residents who will attest to your good moral character and reputation

Rhode Island Real Estate Pre-Licensing Education

The Rhode Island Real Estate Commission requires that each applicant complete 45 hours of pre-licensing coursework plus 3 hours in Lead Poisoning/Lead Hazard Mitigation. In addition, if the 45-hour coursework does not include 3 hours of curriculum on New Agency Law, you must supplement your education with that coursework. All coursework should be completed with a licensed educational provider. Real estate schools are located in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

You may take the licensing examination prior to completing the coursework, however, your license will not be issued until the educational requirement is met. Your exam scores are only valid for one year.

Scheduling a Rhode Island Real Estate Examination

Pearson VUE is the testing company retained by the Rhode Island Real Estate Commission to administer and manage all examinations. In order to take the examination you must make an appointment through Pearson VUE; walk-in testing is not permitted. You may make your appointment online, over the phone (800-274-8922), or by fax (registration forms and instructions are found at the end of the Candidate Handbook. The testing fee of $70 is due at the time of registration and can be paid by credit card, debit card, voucher, or electronic check. Pearson VUE maintains one testing center in Rhode Island and four in Massachusetts, you should choose the testing center most convenient for you.

Taking the Rhode Island Real Estate Examination

On the day of your scheduled examination, Pearson VUE recommends that you arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. You will need two forms of identification to be admitted to the test; one ID must be government issued with your photo and signature, the other must bear your signature. The testing center will also take your photograph for your score report. You will be shown to a computer to take your exam. The time you spend becoming acquainted with the operation of the computer and going through the tutorial will not reduce your testing time.

The examination is divided into two sections: General Knowledge and Rhode Island. The General Knowledge section is made up of 80 questions regarding standard real estate information. You will be permitted 2.5 hours to complete all 80 questions. The Rhode Island portion contains 40 items regarding laws and policies specific to Rhode Island. You will have 1.5 hours to complete it.

Once you complete both portions and submit your answers you will receive an official score report from the testing center staff. If you pass the examination, your score report will simply state “pass” and give further instructions for obtaining your license. If you fail the examination, your score report will show a numeric score and diagnostic information to assist you in preparation for a re-take.

Examination Scoring

Pearson VUE administers multiple versions of the examination to decrease the chances of cheating. In order to maintain the same difficulty level between versions, scores are calculated as scaled scores, not percentages. The passing score for each version is 70.

Applying for a Rhode Island Real Estate License

Once you have passed your examination, the next step towards licensure is submitting an application with the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation. You must submit the following documents with your application:

  • Original score report from Pearson VUE
  • Verification of completed coursework (Certificate of Completion) including certifications for the New Agency Law and Lead Poisoning coursework
  • Certificate of Errors and Omissions Insurance
  • Criminal History Record from the Rhode Island Attorney GeneralĂ­s Office
  • Tax Payer Status Affidavit / Identity Verification (included on application)

Your application must be notarized and signed in appropriate places. You are also responsible for the application fee and $25 “Real Estate Recovery Account” fee. The application fees vary depending on the time of year you submit your application.

Official Resources


26 Responses to “How to Get a Rhode Island Real Estate License”

  1. Kevin Keating commented on November 5, 2013

    I have a MA real estate brokers license. How can I obtain a RI real estate license?

    • Chris commented on November 5, 2013

      Thanks for the question, Kevin. If you are a resident of Connecticut or Massachusetts and hold a real estate sales
      or broker’s license in those states, you are eligible to apply for a RI reciprocal real
      estate license, without examination, provided you have been licensed by
      examination and the license is active and in good standing. For an application and
      more information, contact the R.I. Department of Business Regulation at (401)
      462-9546. You can also visit their website at http://www.dbr.ri.gov/documents/divisions/commlicensing/realestate/RE-non-res-app-inst.pdf

  2. Ellyn DiRienzo commented on April 2, 2014

    I am a resident of Massachusetts. I do not have a MA Real Estate license. I took a RI real estate course and passed the exam for the license and am in the process of applying for a license but noticed somewhere that it stated for “those non-residents looking for a RI license who already have an out of state license…” Did I need a Massachusetts license first in order to be able to get my RI license. I have a real estate office in RI that I was interested in working for and then obtain my reciprocal for Mass. Did I do this wrong. WasI supposed to have had my mass license first? Do I now have to take a MA course (even though I took one in RI)? Please tell me I didn’t do this wrong…

    • Chris commented on June 13, 2014

      As long as you have a real estate license in one state that is active and in good standing, you can get your license in the other through reciprocity.

  3. Robert Adams commented on May 31, 2014

    I am a real estate broker in NV for over 10 years. I am also a real estate broker in MA for about 6 months now. What do I need to do in order to get my RI brokers license? I am currently a resident of NV. I plan to move to either MA or RI next year.

    Thanks in advance for your time.

    Robert

    • Chris commented on June 13, 2014

      Luckily Rhode Island and Massachusetts have reciprocity. Take a look at the answer to the other comments and you’ll find a link to the form you’ll need to fill out and submit.

  4. Annmarie Sullivan commented on June 13, 2014

    I have a massachusetts real estate agent license, can I obtain a Rhode Island as a reciprocity? Or what would I need to do?

  5. Lisa Colon commented on July 8, 2014

    I live in RI but was originally from MA and was contemplating which state to take the course and get licensed. Is there a way to do both at the same time? If I’m currently a resident of RI looking to get licensed in MA, can I do that and maybe later get licensed in RI?

    • Chris commented on July 8, 2014

      Lisa, please have a look at the other comments on the page. It’s a very common issue with Rhode Island and Massachusetts fortunately.

  6. Lori poirier commented on October 8, 2014

    Where do I take the 3 hour lead poisoning class. I cannot find a link to answer that question. I’m a licensed mass realtor getting my RI license and the one thing I can’t find is the here hour course. Thank you.

  7. Nicole M commented on December 21, 2014

    I am also wondering about the 3-hour lead course. I have looked online, but I have only found a lead course for contractors. Are there Rhode Island approved vendors for this course? I do not want to take the course and have the certificate be invalid.

    Thank you!

  8. imelda bebe commented on January 4, 2015

    Hi,
    I took my pre-licensing course last 10-12 years ago. I got my certificate but never had a chance to take the examination. Can I still use it as a part of my requirements, then just take the additional courses in new laws and lead paint before I take the exam?
    Any feedback would greatly appreciate.
    Thank you.
    Imelda A. Bebe

    • Chris commented on January 6, 2015

      You’re going to have to take the course again I’m afraid.

  9. Darlene lally commented on February 12, 2015

    I need a duplicate copy of passing my exam. They tell me to look under Candidates Handbook on the website, no help. Each time I call they gives the same answer. Please help. 702 683 1574

  10. Martha Warren commented on May 29, 2015

    I am a licensed Realtor in Massachusetts who just moved to Rhode Island. The forms for a Non Resident/Reciprocal are asking for Principal Brokers name and License Number. I am still in contract with my firm in Massachusetts. Who do I put down as my Principal Broker if I have not joined a firm here in RI. Also, do I need to take the 3 hour Lead Poisoning course first?

    • Chris commented on May 29, 2015

      I think you should ask your broker that question as it is more a legal question than a licensing one.

  11. kyle commented on October 4, 2015

    I did my ri course hours through a real estate school about 11 months ago and never got around to take the exam . How long do I have till my course hours are invalid? I would like to take the exam this month.

  12. John A commented on May 17, 2016

    I have an active MA Real Estate License but live in RI. I took it in MA because it was just easier for me. I know that MA and RI are reciprocal but I am also not ready to dive into Real Estate so I do not have a broker or office I will be working from. What do I need to submit to you for a resident salesperson Real Estate License. I have my lead certificate, MA RE License, record check, tax form and application. Do I need a broker to sign? Do I need a Certificate of Errors and Omissions Insurance, Power of Attorney? Everything seems to be for non-resident reciprocal license. Any info will help. Thank you!

  13. MaryJane Hadley commented on September 8, 2016

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am a Licensed Real Estate Sales Agent, in California, as well as Massachusetts. I am contemplating moving to Bristol, RI. What are the requirements I have to fulfill, in order to receive a Reciprocal License, between Massachusetts and Rhode Island?

    I just finished doing my Continuing Ed for my California Real Estate Sales License Renewal. I now know more than I ever needed or wanted to know, about ESCROWS, which you do not have in New England, because you use attorney’s, as well a course in Preliminary Title Reports.

    These are the courses and hours I just completed for California
    (15hrs) Consumer Protection (Home Inspections)
    (3hrs) Agency,
    (3hrs) Fair Housing
    (3hrs) Ethics
    (3hrs) Trust Funds
    (3hrs) Management and Supervision
    (15hrs) Consumer Protection (ESCROWS, which include Preliminary Title Reports, Notary, and more Trust Fund issues),

    Total # Hours 45

    I Fulfilled my Massachusetts Continuing Ed, last year, June 30th, 2015. (Massachusetts Real Estate License # 9026855).

    So, my question to you is, do I still have to do all the Pre-Licensing courses for a Rhode Island Real Estate License, or do I just pay the licensing fee?

    Please let me know what is required to receive a Reciprocal Real Estate License under these circumstance.
    Your help in regard to this matter is greatly appreciated.

    Respectfully yours,
    MaryJane Hadley

  14. paula shevlin commented on October 12, 2016

    Are online courses available or do you have to sit in a class room for the 45 hours?

  15. paula shevlin commented on October 12, 2016

    can the 45 hours education be done online? Thanks for your reply, Paula Shevlin

  16. Dave commented on December 4, 2016

    Hello. I am a new Rhode Island resident, formerly a MA resident, and have an inactive MA broker license up for renewal. Since I don’t live in MA anymore, I can’t renew it as a standard non-reciprocal license. Am I able to get a new RI broker license that is a “resident” / “non-reciprocal” license? In other words, can I become a RI broker without any modifiers like “reciprocal”, without going through the application process from scratch? Thanks!

  17. Shannon commented on March 6, 2017

    I have an active California real estate salesperson’s license. In order to get a Rhode Island real estate salesperson license, am I required to take the complete exam?
    Thank you.

  18. Michael Magee commented on May 2, 2017

    I am a licensed and practicing Attorney in N J for 30 plus yrs. In NJ licensed attorneys can act as real estate brokers, would that respracity apply?

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