How to Get a Real Estate License in Idaho

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

Last updated:

In order to kickstart your real estate career in Idaho, it’s essential to obtain an Idaho Real Estate License. However, despite the fact that the application process is mainly completed online nowadays, many applicants can still find it quite confusing and complicated.

For this reason, this How to Get a Real Estate License in Idaho article will break down the main steps involved in the licensing process, covering everything from educational requirements to exam preparation and having your fingerprints taken.

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Real Estate License Idaho

In order to get your Idaho real estate license and start working in the industry, there are several key steps you’ll need to complete, including:

  1. Ensuring You Meet the Licensing Eligibility Requirements
  2. Completing the Mandatory Pre-Licensing Education
  3. Passing a Background Check
  4. Passing the Idaho Real Estate Exam
  5. Submitting a License Application

In the sections below, we’ve explored each of these steps in more detail.

Step 1: Meet the Idaho Real Estate License Requirements

Before continuing ahead with your application for your Idaho real estate license, you’ll need to confirm you’re actually eligible for it by ensuring you meet the prerequisites listed below.

It’s important to note, however, that you can request special consideration from the Commission if you believe you have grounds for exemption on any of these qualifications (in accordance with Section 54-2015 of the Idaho Code).

  • Individual Applicant: You must be a person; corporations or other entities are not eligible.
  • Age Requirement: You must be 18 years of age or older
  • Education: You must have a high school diploma from an accredited high school, its equivalent, or hold a general education certificate
  • Clean Professional Record: You must not have had any real estate or other professional license suspended, surrendered, or unrenewed for disciplinary violations involving fraud, misrepresentation, or dishonest dealings in Idaho or any other jurisdiction within the last five years
  • Revocation History: You must not have had any professional license revoked for disciplinary reasons related to fraud, misrepresentation, or dishonest dealings in any jurisdiction. If a revocation has occurred, you may request a review from the Commission after five years to assess your eligibility for a new license

Note: In Idaho, every real estate licensee will need to secure and maintain errors and omissions (E&O) insurance to cover all professional activities in accordance with state regulations.

Prospective licensees will have the option to select insurance through a group plan offered by the Commission or secure it independently, provided that it meets the Idaho Department of Insurance’s criteria.

Step 2: Complete the Mandatory Pre-Licensing Education

In addition to the general requirements outlined above, there are certain educational prerequisites you’ll be expected to meet in order to be able to apply for an Idaho real estate license.

In particular, you’ll need to complete 90 hours of pre-licensing education that’s divided into two main modules:

  • Salesperson Module 1 (45 hours): This comprehensive course introduces fundamental real estate concepts, providing a solid foundation in real estate principles and practices. Topics include property rights, land use controls, legal descriptions, property management, real estate contract law, and real estate financing options
  • Salesperson Module 2 (45 hours): This course delves into the practical knowledge and skills necessary for effectively listing and selling properties as well as closing real estate transactions. It covers areas like market analysis, valuation of properties, negotiation tactics, legal compliance, ethics in real estate, and the handling of escrow procedures

You can choose to take these courses in a traditional classroom setting, through live remote delivery via platforms like Zoom, or via self-paced online studies.

Keep in mind that full attendance is required for each course, and you will need to pass a final exam for each module with a score of 70% or higher. You will also need to complete both modules within the three years immediately preceding the date of your license application.

Important

Even though completing the courses is mandatory, it would be a mistake to think of this step as just “checking a box”. This is because your pre-licensing education is what will prepare you to both pass your exam and become a better real estate agent.

For this reason, we always encourage our readers to invest in high-quality and reliable courses, as their study materials (like real estate practice tests and flashcards) can be invaluable during the exam prep stage.

On top of this, some of the top courses also offer money-back guarantees in the event that you do not pass your exam on your first attempt after taking their course.

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Step 3: Have Your Fingerprints Taken and Pass a Background Check

To fulfill the honesty and integrity requirements under Idaho Code 54-2012, you must submit your fingerprints and undergo a background check in order to get licensed.

To do this, you will need to:

  • Schedule an Appointment: Visit Pearson VUE’s website and log into your established profile or create one in order to schedule an appointment. You will need to choose the option “IDREFPHC—Idaho Real Estate Fingerprint Hard Card” and select the first available date that fits your schedule
  • Submit Your Fingerprints for Collection: Have your fingerprints collected on an FD-258 fingerprint card; you can either print this card from this link or use one supplied by the local agency where your prints are taken. You will need to enter the ORI number “ID920050Z” and “IDC 54-2012 – real estate license” as the reason for fingerprinting on the card
  • Pay the Fee: Pay the fingerprint processing fee of $61.25 by credit card or debit card through Pearson VUE; this fee covers the handling and forwarding of your fingerprints

After paying, you will need to print the Pearson VUE confirmation of payment email and mail it — along with the completed FD-258 fingerprint card — to the following address:

Idaho Appraiser and Real Estate Fingerprints
OHTI, 1125B Avenida High View Rd
Driftwood, TX 78619

Keep in mind that your fingerprints will remain valid for six months; if you fail to complete and submit your licensing application within this period, you will be required to repeat the fingerprinting process.

Note: You can also choose to have your fingerprints taken at local law enforcement agency’s or sheriff’s office, which usually offers this service for a nominal fee.

Step 4: Pass the Idaho Real Estate Exam

With this out of the way, the next step you’ll need to complete is to pass the Idaho real estate exam. To do this, you will need to visit the Pearson VUE website and choose a convenient date and location from one of the following available testing centers:

  • Boise, ID (three to four days a week)
  • Coeur d’Alene, ID (Tuesdays plus the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month)
  • Nampa, ID (one to two days or four days per week, depending on the facility)
  • Pocatello, ID (Mondays, Wednesday evenings, and one Saturday per month)
  • Twin Falls, ID (two to three days a week)
  • Additional centers include Las Vegas, NV; Reno, NV; Draper, UT; Spokane, WA; and Ogden, UT.

The exam consists of two parts: the general portion, where you’ll have 150 minutes to answer 80 questions, and the state-specific section, which gives you 90 minutes to complete 40 questions.

You will need to pay a one-time fee of $80, which covers both portions of the exam, before your scheduled date because the test center does not accept payments.

On the day of the exam, you will receive immediate results indicating either “pass” or “fail.” If you do not pass, you’ll need to wait at least 24 hours before you can reschedule. Despite this requirement, there is no limit to the number of times you can retake the exam within any given year.

Note: You can find more information about this exam in the Pearson VUE Idaho Real Estate Candidate Handbook.

Step 5: Submit a License Application

After completing your pre licensing education course, you’ll be ready to move onto submitting your license application.

To submit your application, you will need to download the Salesperson Application form, fill it out, and then email it along with the required $160 fee and all necessary documents (e.g., proof of E&O insurance, etc) to irec-licensing@dopl.idaho.gov.

Keep in mind that applications are processed in the order they are received.

Note: The Idaho Real Estate Commission will not give updates on the status of license applications over the phone or by email. Instead, you will know your license has been approved once your name and license number appear in the License Lookup system on the IREC website.

Step 6: Application Review

If you’ve managed to get this far, congratulations! With your application submitted and all the other licensing requirements satisfied, the Idaho Real Estate Commission typically requires a minimum of 10 business days to process your application.

Please note that the Commission processes applications based on their actual submission date without altering the date. This means applications are not processed with earlier (pre-dated) or later (post-dated) dates than the real submission date.

Be sure to take some time to celebrate your accomplishment. You’ve put in a lot of work and effort and deserve a celebration!

Note: An expedited processing service is not offered when it comes to real estate license applications.

Step 7: Find a Sponsoring Broker

Unfortunately, your licensing journey won’t end with IREC issuing your Idaho real estate license. This is because, before you can use your license, you’ll need to be sponsored by an active Idaho real estate broker.

Until you find a sponsoring broker, your license we’ll be seen as “inactive”, meaning you won’t be able to legally perform real estate activities or earn income.

To get an active real estate license, your sponsoring broker must log into their IREC Account and add you to their company roster.

And that’s it, you’ll now be qualified as a practicing real estate agent in Idaho!

Idaho Real Estate License Renewal

In order to keep your license valid and continue working as a real estate sales agent, you’ll need to renew your license periodically.

You must renew your license a year after its issuance with the renewal period ending on the last day of your birth month.

You will need to complete two Commission Core courses and 12 hours of Post License Education for your first renewal, which includes an eight-hour Post License Fundamentals course and one elective of your choice.

After the initial one-year licensing period, subsequent renewals occur every two years. For each of these renewal periods, you must complete two Idaho Core courses and 12 elective hours of continuing education.

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Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses

Mailing Address:
Idaho Real Estate Commission
P.O Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0063

Phone: (208) 334-3223

Email: irec-licensing@dopl.idaho.gov

Website: https://irec.idaho.gov/

Idaho Real Estate License FAQ

How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Idaho?

Becoming a real estate agent in Idaho typically requires at least three months, depending on how quickly you complete the necessary steps.

These include finishing 90 hours of pre-licensing education, passing the state licensing exam, and completing the background check and fingerprinting process.

Interested in finding out more? Check out our How to Get a Real Estate License guide for more information.

How much does it cost to get a real estate license in Idaho?

To become a real estate agent in Idaho, you will need to pay an exam fee of $80 to Pearson VUE, a fingerprinting fee of $61.25 to Pearson VUE for processing, and a $160 salesperson license application fee to the Idaho Real Estate Commission.

You’ll also need to pay for 90 hours of pre-licensing education and obtain Errors and Omissions insurance — the cost of which will vary.

How can I get a real estate license in Idaho?

To get a real estate license in Idaho, you will need to complete the required pre-licensing education, pass the Idaho salesperson licensing exam, undergo a background check, and submit your license application to the Idaho Real Estate Commission.

For more information, see our How to Get a Real Estate License in Idaho guide.

Is the Idaho real estate exam hard?

The difficulty of the Idaho real estate exam can vary for each individual, depending on their preparation and background.

It consists of a four-hour test split into two sections: a general portion with 80 questions and a state-specific section with 40 questions.

Having said that, with adequate study and practice, most candidates will find they have a good chance of passing on their first attempt.

How can I complete my real estate pre-licensing courses in Idaho?

To complete the required real estate licensing courses, all prospective Idaho Realtors should use an online course delivery system due to the flexibility and convenience it offers.

These courses, which total 90 hours, cover essential aspects of the real estate business that you will need to fully understand in order to pass the course exams.

Remember to keep track of your completion dates because the courses have an expiration date after which you will need to retake them.

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