How to Get a Real Estate License in Michigan

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

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In order to kickstart your real estate career in Michigan, it’s essential to obtain a Michigan 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 Michigan 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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Michigan Real Estate License

In order to get your Michigan real estate license and start working in the real estate 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. Submitting a License Application
  4. Passing the Michigan Real Estate Exam
  5. Finding a Sponsoring Broker

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

Step 1: Meet the Michigan Real Estate License Requirements

Before continuing ahead with your application for a Michigan real estate license, you’ll first need to confirm that you’re actually eligible for it by ensuring you meet the following prerequisites:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Be of good moral character
  • Consent to Service of Process (if you’re a non-Michigan resident)

If you have any convictions or civil actions against you, the Department will consider these on a case-by-case basis when determining whether you satisfy the good moral character requirement.

Be aware that the Department cannot use any of your prior convictions, in and of itself, as a basis for claiming you don’t satisfy this requirement under MCL § 338.42. However, certain serious crimes (such as embezzlement and fraud) may seriously harm your application.

If you’re concerned about whether your criminal record will impact your application, you can request a Good Moral Character Preliminary Determination online to find out whether you’re eligible or not for this license.

Note: It’s worth noting that this preliminary determination is not binding — the Department retains the right to later reject your application if it feels you don’t satisfy the good character requirement at the time of application.

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 a Michigan real estate license.

In particular, you’ll be expected to successfully complete 40 hours of pre-licensing education approved by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) according to MCL § 339.2504 — at least four of these hours must be spent on civil rights law and equal opportunity in housing.

Once you finish this course, you’ll receive a Certificate of Completion that you must submit alongside the rest of your licensing application online (see Step 4).

Keep in mind that you’ll need to complete this mandatory pre-licensing education within the 36-month period immediately prior to the date of your application. The only instance in which this isn’t required is if you’ve held an active salesperson license in another state during that time.

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: Submit a License Application

After passing the state real estate exam and satisfying all other licensing requirements, you’ll be ready to move onto submitting your license application.

This is normally done online through the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Professional Licensing’s MiPLUS portal and will cost you $88 to submit.

Shortly after submitting your real estate salesperson license application, you should receive an email containing your Exam Candidate ID number — which you’ll need to complete the next step. After this, you’ll have a year to pass the licensing exam and complete the rest of the application process.

For more information on how to submit a license application, we encourage you to check out this PowerPoint Presentation developed by the Michigan Bureau of Professional Licensing as it provides a step-by-step breakdown of how to use MiPLUS.

Note: Be aware that non-Michigan residents will also be required to submit a Consent to Service of Process form as part of their application.

Step 4: Pass the Michigan Real Estate Exam

The next step you’ll need to complete is to pass the Michigan real estate exam. This three-hour exam, which is administered by PSI, is made up of 115 questions spread across two portions.

The first portion will test your knowledge on general real estate principles and practices, while the second will be more focused on Michigan-specific state laws and rules.

In order to schedule your real estate exam date, you’ll need to head over to the PSI website and make an online reservation using your Exam Candidate ID number. If this is your first time using the platform, you’ll be required to create an account, after which you’ll be shown step-by-step instructions on how to complete the reservation.

When scheduling an exam, you’ll be required to pay a fee of $79 for each attempt you need.

To pass, you’ll need to obtain an overall score of 70% — which equates to a raw score of 80 (out of 115). You’ll be shown a score report letting you know whether you scored enough to pass the exam immediately after finishing.

Note: You can find out more information about this exam in the PSI Michigan Real Estate Candidate Handbook.

Step 5: Find a Sponsoring Broker

The final step you’ll need to complete before you can obtain your Michigan real estate salesperson license is to appoint a qualified individual broker or broker company as your sponsor.

This is a licensed real estate professional who’s responsible for supervising and mentoring you, ensuring you abide by professional and ethical regulations as you learn about the industry. Despite being a legal requirement, it’s important you don’t treat this as just a rule you need to follow.

This is because these real estate brokers provide essential training, support, and access to valuable networks that will help you to learn the industry, avoid pitfalls, and grow your business effectively.

Upon passing the Real Estate Salesperson exam, you’ll be required to provide your sponsoring broker’s information online to complete the licensure process.

To do this, you’ll need to log into your MiPlus account, click on the “Modification” option that can be found next to your application number, and input your employing broker’s license number (which should be ten digits long).

Be sure to take your time on this step to ensure you choose a sponsoring broker that best fits your individual needs and goals for the future.

Step 6: Application Review

If you’ve managed to get this far, congratulations! As soon as your employing broker approves your request, you’ll receive email confirmation and your license should be issued shortly.

Please note that this email won’t contain the license itself; it only serves to notify you that your application has been approved. In line with MCL § 339.2506, your license will be delivered or mailed to the real estate broker that sponsors you — this individual will then give you your pocket card.

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: You won’t be able to begin acting as a real estate salesperson until you’ve received your pocket card from your sponsoring broker.

Michigan 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 every three years.

This is typically done online through the Michigan MiPLUS portal for a fee of $78 and is due by the deadline indicated to you by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

In addition to submitting your renewal application, you’ll also be required to complete at least 18 hours of acceptable continuing education (CE), including the following courses each year of a renewal cycle:

  • Laws, Rules, and Court Cases Regarding Real Estate (2 hours)
  • Compliance With Local, State, or Federal Fair Housing Market Laws (1 hour)

We always encourage our readers to think of the post licensing course they take as an investment in their future career — higher quality, more reliable course content is a central part of ensuring you continue to grow professionally.

Recommended: Interested in getting started? We recommend The CE Shop’s online post licensing education packages due to their high-quality study resources, money-back-guarantee, and flexible pricing.

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Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Mailing Address: 

Michigan Bureau of Professional Licensing
PO Box 30670
Lansing, MI 48909

Phone: (517) 241-0199

Email: BPLHelp@Michigan.gov

Website: http://www.michigan.gov/realestate

Michigan Real Estate License FAQ

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

It will typically take a few months to become a real estate agent in Michigan, which involves completing 40 hours of pre-licensing education, passing the state licensing exam, submitting the application, and finding a sponsoring broker.

Check out our How to Get a Real Estate License guide for more information on each of these steps.

How much is it to get your real estate license in Michigan?

The cost of obtaining a real estate license in Michigan includes several components: a pre-licensing course that will vary between $200 and $300 in cost, a $79 state exam fee, and a license application fee of $88.

The most important factor influencing your total cost is the course provider you choose, though the number of attempts you need to pass the licensing exam will also play a role.

How hard is the Michigan real estate exam?

The Michigan real estate exam is considered challenging as it requires an understanding of a variety of topics (e.g., property ownership and the real estate market) and requires a score of at least 70% in order to pass.

For more information on this exam, see our How to Get a Real Estate License in Michigan guide.

Can you take the Michigan real estate license exam online?

No, prospective Michigan real estate agents cannot take the license exam online — it must be taken in person at a designated testing center.

The exam is administered by PSI, and you must be taken at one of their locations throughout the Michigan area by scheduling an appointment.

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