How to Get Your Rhode Island Real Estate License

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

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How to Get Your Rhode Island Real Estate License

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

This article outlines how to become a real estate agent in Rhode Island 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.

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How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Rhode Island

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

Rhode Island Real Estate License Requirements

The requirements to become a real estate agent in Rhode Island are:

  • Be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
  • Be 18 years of age or older

How to Get Your Real Estate License in Rhode Island

Step 1. Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

Rhode Island requires that real estate sales agents complete 45 hours of pre-license coursework before sitting for their exam.

Be sure to take the 3-hour New Agency Law Course included in your pre-license. Also, you must complete a 3-hour course in Lead Poisoning/Lead Hazard Mitigation.

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.

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Rhode Island 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. Rhode Island Real Estate License Exam

After you’ve completed your pre-license education, it’s now time to take the Rhode Island Real Estate Exam.

The fee to take the exam is $70 per attempt.

The Rhode Island Real Estate Exam consists of 130 questions. This includes 80 for the National section and 50 for the State section.

You will have 240 minutes (4 hours) to complete the entire exam. The National section time is 150 minutes (2.5 hours), and the State section time is 90 minutes (1.5 hours).

A passing score for the Rhode Island Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 56/80 on the National section and 35/40 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 Rhode Island Real Estate Exam

The passing rate for the Rhode Island Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%. 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 Pearson VUE Rhode Island Real Estate page. On this page, you will find some other helpful resources, 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. Background Check

After passing your exam, the next step is to complete your criminal history record. The Rhode Island Real Estate Commission requires that all applicants have a background check performed before becoming a licensed real estate agent in Rhode Island.

A Criminal History Record may be obtained by visiting the Bureau of Criminal Identification at the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General’s location. To apply for a CHR in this manner, bring a picture-identification showing your date of birth.

You can also apply by mail. Send a notarized copy of a photo ID showing your date of birth, and a signed/notarized letter, giving permission to the DAG to conduct a background investigation, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Whether applying in person or by mail, the cost is $5 and is payable by check or money order to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. For further questions about this process, you may contact the Department of Attorney General at (401) 274-4400.

The Office of Attorney General will mail a letter to your state agency that indicates if you’re either “qualified” or “disqualified” as determined by the individual statute.

The Rhode Island Real Estate Commission will review any findings in your criminal history record to ensure your eligibility. During this process, they may reach out to you to provide additional information or documentation to clear up any findings.

For those who have criminal offenses or judgments against them, there’s a possibility that you may not be eligible for a real estate license in Rhode Island. Make sure to submit supporting documents.


If you aren’t sure whether you are eligible for a real estate license based on your history, check out our article on Real Estate License Eligibility.

Step 4. Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance

To obtain an active license, you must carry Errors & Omissions Insurance. You will need to keep a certificate of it so you can submit them along with your license application.

Rhode Island Real Estate Commission has commissioned RISC to offer real estate errors and omissions (E&O) insurance to Rhode Island licensees. The program is designed specifically for Rhode Island licensees and exceeds state minimum requirements. The insurance carrier for our program is Continental Casualty Company, a CNA insurance company.

The program offers affordable E&O insurance to each and every active licensee by spreading the risk over a large number of insureds.

Step 5. Real Estate License Application

Upon successfully passing the examination, you can now apply for your Rhode Island real estate license.

You can fill out your application online using Rhode Island’s DBR online system.

With your application fee of $140, there will be a $25 fee that goes to the Rhode Island Real Estate Recovery Fund.

Along with your application, be sure to upload these documents:

  • Both pages of the Original Test Score Report from Pearson VUE
  • A completed Real Estate Salesperson Application
  • A Certificate of successful completion of 45 hours of pre-licensing education
  • A Criminal History Record (CHR) from the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General’s office
  • A Taxpayer Status Affidavit / Identity Verification
  • A Certificate of a 3-hour course in Lead Poisoning/Lead Hazard Mitigation
  • A Certificate of Errors and Omissions Insurance
  • A Certificate of the 3-hour New Agency Law Course, unless it is included in the curriculum of 45 hours of pre-licensing education

Step 6. Application Review

Once you’ve passed your exam, you will only need to wait for your license to be issued. In most cases, this application process should take between 7-10 business days. After this, you should receive an email from Rhode Island Real Estate Commission with a license document. If you have any questions at this point, you should contact the Commission at (401) 462-9500 or send a Question Form.


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

RIDBR – State of Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation

Mailing Address: 

Rhode Island Real Estate Commission
1511 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston RI 02920

Phone: (401) 462-9500



Rhode Island Real Estate License FAQ

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Rhode Island?

The total estimated cost to acquire a real estate salesperson license in Rhode Island ranges from $900 to $1,100. The process also involves other expenses, including a $390 fee for all Rhode Island requirements and an estimated $600-$800 for pre-licensing real estate classes.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Rhode Island Real Estate License?

Getting a Rhode Island real estate license typically takes three to six months, with real estate education and test preparation being the most time-consuming steps. If you study full-time, you can complete the steps in just two months. However, it’s advisable for aspiring real estate salespersons to invest enough time in studying for the exam without rushing the process.

How to Get a Rhode Island Commercial Real Estate License?

To sell commercial real estate in Rhode Island, a standard Salesperson or 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?

If you’re aspiring to work in Rhode Island as a real estate professional, check out StateRequirement Jobs to explore real estate jobs near you. This platform offers various opportunities and current listings for real estate agents seeking to embark on or advance their real estate career within the state.

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