How to Get an Iowa Real Estate License


You must hold an Iowa Real Estate License in order to facilitate real estate sales. The Iowa Real Estate Commission governs these licenses and sets forth standards for licensing candidates. The following guidelines outline those standards.

General Requirements for an Iowa Real Estate License

  • 18 years of age or older
  • 60-hours of pre-licensing education plus 3 additional courses
    • 12-hours Developing Professionalism and Ethical Practices
    • 12-hours Buying Practices
    • 12-hours Listing Practices
  • Pass the licensing exam (both state and national portions)
  • Have a sponsoring broker
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Not have had your application denied in any state in the past 12 months or license revoked in the past two years

Iowa Real Estate Pre-Licensing Education

Prior to taking the real estate salespersons’ exam, you must complete a total of 96 hours of pre-licensing education. It is imperative that you choose a school that complies with Iowa’s standards and is pre-approved.

Only the first 60-hour pre-licensing education is required to take the examination. The 12-hour courses can be taken after the examination but must be taken before applying for a license. You will need the education certificate of completion for the 60-hour coursework in order to take the licensure examination.

Take the Iowa Real Estate Course Online

You can take the Iowa Real Estate Prelicensing Course completely online and at your own pace. If you are considering getting your real estate license, this is the easiest means of meeting the educational requirements. You can even save 10% by entering coupon code “NEWAGENT” at checkout.

Registering to Take the Iowa Real Estate Licensing Examination

Iowa commissions PSI, LLC to regulate and administer the licensing exam. You need to register with PSI prior to scheduling your exam. The exam must be taken within 12 months of completing the 60-hour coursework. You can register online to take the Iowa Real Estate Exam, over the phone (800-733-9627), by fax (702-932-9666), or by mail. If registering by fax or mail you will need a registration form found at the end of the Candidate Bulletin. If registering online or by phone there is no waiting period before you may schedule your exam appointment; registering by mail requires a two-week waiting period and fax requires a four-day waiting period. You must remit $90 for the examination fee at the time of registration. Your registration is only valid for 90 days; if you do not take the test within 90 days you will lose your registration fee.

Taking the Iowa Real Estate Licensing Examination

It is recommended that you arrive 30-minutes prior to your scheduled test time to allow for the check-in procedures. You will need to bring two forms of identification (one must be government-issued bearing your photograph and signature and the other must have a signature and pre-printed name) and your certificate of completion from your real estate coursework.

The test is given on computer and all questions are multiple choice. You will have a tutorial showing you how to navigate the computer’s features and you may begin the test once you are comfortable using the technology. There are 120 questions on the salespersons’ exam; 80 questions for the national portion and 40 questions for the state portion. You must answer 84 questions correctly to achieve a passing score (70%).

Test Scoring

Your score will appear on the computer screen once you have completed your exam. You will be furnished with a complete printed report before you leave the testing center.

If you fail one section of the exam you may retake it alone. You must submit a new registration form and pay additional fees.

Applying for an Iowa Real Estate License

The testing center will provide you with a licensing application once you have successfully passed both sections of the salespersons’ exam. Once you have passed the exam you have six months to complete the following requirements and submit your application:

  • Complete the three 12-hour courses
  • Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance
  • Have your signature notarized on your application
  • Obtain your employing broker’s signature on your application

You must submit the $125 licensing fee and your examination score report with your application.

Official Resources for the Iowa Real Estate License


2 Responses to “How to Get an Iowa Real Estate License”

  1. fa commented on November 23, 2015

    I passed a Iowa 60 hours course, but failed the state examine, back in 2009 or so. Will i have to start the 60 hours course all over again in Iowa?

    • Chris commented on February 24, 2016

      Yes, you will.

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