How to Get Your Tennessee Real Estate License

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

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How to Get Your Tennessee Real Estate License

Getting your Tennessee Real Estate Broker License is the first step to becoming a real estate affiliate broker in Tennessee. Nowadays, this process can be done almost entirely online. You will still need to take your Tennessee 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 broker in Tennessee 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 Affiliate Broker in Tennessee

Becoming a real estate affiliate broker in Tennessee 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.

Tennessee Real Estate License Requirements

The requirements to become a real estate affiliate in Tennessee are:

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

How to Get Your Real Estate Affiliate Broker License in Tennessee

Step 1. Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

To begin the process, you are required to complete your real estate pre-licensing education.

Individuals seeking an affiliate broker license in Tennessee must complete a total of 90 hours of real estate education. 60 of those hours must cover the topic of real estate principles/fundamentals and must be completed in order to qualify to take the licensing exam with PSI. The remaining 30-hour course for new affiliates must be completed before a license will be issued.

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 affiliate broker.

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Tennessee 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. Tennessee Real Estate License Exam

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

The fee to take the exam is $39 per attempt.

The Tennessee Real Estate Exam consists of 120 questions. This includes 80 for the National section and 40 for the State section.

You will have 240 minutes (4 hours) to complete the entire exam. The National section time is 160 minutes (2 hours and 40 minutes) and the State section time is 80 minutes (1 hour and 2 minutes)A passing score for the Tennessee Real Estate Affiliate Broker Exam is 56/80 on the National section and 28/40 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.

Upon successful completion of the examination, you should get your application photo taken at the testing center.

How Hard is the Tennessee Real Estate Exam

The passing rate for the Tennessee Real Estate Affiliate Broker 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!

Step 3. Fingerprinting and Background Check

After passing your exam, the next step is to complete your fingerprinting and background check. The Tennessee Real Estate Commission requires that all applicants have a background check performed before they can become a licensed real estate affiliate broker in Tennessee.

Licensees will need to make an appointment with IdentoGO who will transmit the applicant’s fingerprints to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for processing. Please input the service code 28TZ99 and if also required, OIR number TN920784Z in IdentoGO.

The fee to complete your fingerprinting services is $35.

Completing and turning in your fingerprints will begin the background check process. The Tennessee Real Estate Commission will review any findings in your background report 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 Tennessee. If this is the case, you will need to submit a copy of your conviction record as well as an affidavit providing details of each charge. It will also have to include the disciplinary action taken by the local, state or federal agency, as well as the factual and legal basis for each action, as applicable.

You may be asked to appear before the Tennessee Real Estate Commission so a determination can be made of whether the conviction, arrest or disciplinary sanction constitutes grounds for denial of a license. They will also decide whether the applicant may move forward with the licensing process. You should ensure your principal broker is present.


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

Once you have gotten fingerprinted, it’s time to get your errors and omissions insurance. The Tennessee Real Estate Commission requires that all candidates for an affiliate broker license obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy before applying for a license.

The Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) selected RISC to provide the state group E&O insurance policy, which is issued by Continental Casualty Company, a CNA insurance company. The program is designed specifically for Tennessee licensees and exceeds state minimum requirements. The state group 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 Affiliate Broker License Application

Now that you’ve met all requirements and completed all steps, it is time to apply for your Tennessee affiliated broker’s license. You will need to apply within 6 months of passing the state licensing exam.

The fee for this application is $110.

You will need to apply for your license via the Tennessee Comprehensive Online Regulatory & Enforcement System (CORE) page.

In making your affiliate broker’s license application, you will need to include the following:

  • License application with your photo. This is the photo that was taken at the PSI testing center after passing the state licensing exam
  • Diploma or other proof of high school graduation (or equivalent)
  • Proof that you have satisfactorily completed the 30-hour course for new affiliates
  • Proof of your errors and omissions insurance policy
  • Proof that you have had your fingerprints done (submitted through IndentoGO)

Step 6. Application Review

Once you’ve completed your application, you will only need to wait for your license to be issued. In most cases, this process should take between 20 days (due to delays). After this, you should receive an email from TREC with a license document. If you have any questions at this point, you should contact TREC at (615) 741-2241 or Ask.TDCI@TN.Gov.


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 7. Real Estate License Sponsorship

When you receive your initial Real Estate License in Tennessee, your license will be in an “inactive” status. This means that you cannot transact real estate yet.

In order to “activate” your license, you will need to be sponsored by a licensed real estate broker in Tennessee. If you already have a broker in mind or have an agreement with a real estate company, you can apply for sponsorship on the TREC CORE website and fill out the Designate Principal Broker Form.

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

TDCI – Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance

Mailing Address: 

Tennessee Real Estate Commission
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0565

Phone: (615) 741-2241

Email: Ask.TDCI@TN.Gov


Tennessee Real Estate License FAQ

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

To obtain a real estate license in Tennessee, prospective affiliate brokers must enroll in real estate courses by a state-approved real estate school. The total estimated cost for this process ranges from $590-$760. This includes all Tennessee fees, approximately $190, and the real estate pre-licensing education, which can cost between $399-$565.

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

There’s no licensing for a real estate agent in Tennessee. Instead, you will need to directly apply for an affiliate broker license. To get this license, you need pre-license education and test preparation. These steps may take three to six months on average. We recommend that you take your time to study for the real estate licensing exam.

How to Get a Tennessee Commercial Real Estate License?

To sell commercial real estate in Tennessee, you only need a standard Affiliate Broker or Broker license, as there is no specific “commercial real estate license.” If your career goal is to focus on commercial real estate, it’s important to choose a sponsoring broker experienced in the types of deals within the commercial sector.

Are There any Real Estate Jobs Open Around Me?

If you’re seeking a real estate career in Tennessee, particularly as an affiliate broker, StateRequirement Jobs offers a wide range of real estate broker job listings across Tennessee. While there’s no licensing requirement for real estate agents, we can help you find broker opportunities that match your skills and career goals.

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