How To Get Your Illinois Real Estate License

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

    Getting your Illinois Real Estate License is the first step to becoming a real estate broker in Illinois. Nowadays, this process can be done almost entirely online. You’ll still need to take your license exam in person, but the rest of the process can be completed entirely online!

    This article outlines the process to get your Illinois Real Estate License in an easy to understand, step-by-step manner. You’ll learn how much it will cost, how long it will take, what is on the exam, and much more.


    How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Illinois

    Becoming a real estate broker in Illinois is as simple as getting your license and getting to work selling real estate! As long as you fulfill the below requirements, you are already on your way to your goal.


    Illinois Real Estate License Requirements

    The requirements to become a real estate agent in Illinois are:

    • Be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
    • Be 18 years of age or older
    • A high school degree or the equivalent (GED)


    How to Get Your Illinois Real Estate License


    Step 1. Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course


    To start, you must successfully complete 75 hours of approved pre-licensing courses. This consists of 60 hours of Real Estate Broker Topics and 15 hours of Broker Pre-License Applied Real Estate Principles – Interactive.


    Most people choose to take their pre-license education course online. The majority of online courses are self-paced and include study materials like real estate practice exams and flashcards. Some also come with a “guarantee” that you will pass the exam on your first attempt if you complete their course. These benefits are all dependent on the education provider and package you choose, so be sure to get the course that best suits your needs. 

    Remember that the point of these courses isn’t just to check a box and complete a requirement, but rather to prepare you to pass your exam and become a better agent.

    Recommended Course

    For real estate license exam courses and study tools, StateRequirement recommends: The CE Shop

    Illinois does not require the final pre-license exam to be supervised by a proctor. This is not the same as the state exam. This test is provided by your pre-license education company and is an indication that you have completed and retained the information from your pre-license education course.

    Similar to the state exam, this test is closed-book and closed-note. You are allowed a basic-function calculator and scratch paper, but no cell phones or outside internet access.


    Step 2. Illinois Real Estate License Exam


    After you’ve completed your pre-license education, it is time to take the Illinois Real Estate Exam.

    The fee to take the exam is $55 per attempt.

    The Illinois Real Estate Exam consists of 140 questions. This includes 100 for the National section and 40 for the State section.

    You will have 210 minutes (3.5 hours) to complete the entire exam. The National section time is 150 (2.5 hours) and the State section time is 90 minutes (1.5 hours).

    A passing score for the Illinois Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 75/100 on the National section and 30/40 on the State section.

    Immediately after completing your exam, you will receive a scoring document that states whether you passed or failed. If it is marked “Fail,” then you will see a breakdown of your score in the different areas of the exam. If you decide to retake the exam, use this as a guide for your studies.

    How Hard is the Illinois Real Estate Exam?

    The passing rate for the Illinois Real Estate Broker Exam is 75%. This test is purposefully difficult, but not impossible. Be sure to pay attention during your pre-license course and take studying seriously. If you put the proper effort forth, we know that you can pass on your first attempt!

    You can register to take your exam on the PSI Illinois Real Estate page. On this page, you will find some other helpful resources as well, including the Candidate Handbook and  Content Outline.

    Before taking the exam, check out StateRequirement’s guide on how to pass the real estate exam. This in-depth guide works as a great partner to your pre-license course to prepare you to pass on your first attempt!


    Step 3. Real Estate License Application


    Lastly, you will need to apply for your Illinois Real Estate Broker License with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.

    The fee for this application is $125.

    You’ll need to create a log-in profile with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation to submit your application.


    Step 4. Application Review


    Once you’ve completed your application, you would just have to wait for your license to be issued. In most cases, this process should take not more than 10 business days. You may contact the Illinois Division of Real Estate at (800) 560-6420 or [email protected].



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


    Step 5. Real Estate License Sponsorship


    In order to “activate” your license, you must file a 45-Day Permit Sponsor Card form. This form must be submitted within 24 hours of the issuance of a sponsor card in order to apply for licensure as a broker.

    If you don’t yet have a broker to work with check out StateRequirement Jobs for a real estate salesperson opening in your area.


    Illinois Post-Licensing Education

    Licensees must satisfy the post-licensing education requirement of 45 classroom hours to be eligible for active license status. The post-licensing education program is divided into three 15-hour courses.

    Three of the post-licensing courses you need to take include:

    • Applied Brokerage Principles Course
    • Risk Management /Discipline Course
    • Transactional Issues Course


    There’s a chance that your pre-license education package came with these post-license courses in the package, so be sure you check before you buy another course.

    Check out StateRequirement’s recommended post-license course provider for access to these courses.


    Illinois Real Estate License FAQ


    How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Illinois?

    All Illinois fees: $200

    Real Estate Pre-Licensing Education (Estimated): $329-$593

    The total estimated cost to get an Illinois Real Estate license is $550-$800.


    How Long Does it Take to Get an Illinois Insurance License?

    The two steps that take the most time when getting your license are pre-license education and test preparation. The average amount of time that people take from start to finish is generally 3-6 months.

    If you dedicate a full-time schedule to this process and study hard, you could possibly complete this process in 2 months. We wouldn’t recommend trying to go any faster than this. Take your time to study and prepare yourself for the exam.


    How to Get an Illinois Commercial Real Estate License

    To sell commercial real estate in Illinois, a standard Broker license is all that you need. There is no specific “commercial real estate license”.

    If you wish to take on a career selling specifically commercial real estate, choose a broker that handles the types of deals that you want to be a part of.


    Are There any Real Estate Jobs Open Around Me?

    Check out StateRequirement Jobs to find open real estate jobs in your area!

    IDFPR – Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

    Mailing Address: 

    Illinois Division of Real Estate
    320 West Washington Street, 3rd Floor
    Springfield, IL 62786

    Phone: (800) 560-6420

    Email: [email protected]


    Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in December 2020.

    Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. StateRequirement is not affiliated with any state, government, or licensing body. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance.

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