How to Get a Virginia Real Estate Broker License

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

How to Get a Virginia Real Estate Broker License

Becoming a Virginia real estate broker is a strong step forward in your career. Not only does this advanced license look great on a resume, it also allows you to work independently, open real estate brokerage firms, and manage other agents within these firms.

Getting the Virginia Real Estate Broker License is a fairly simple process, but it does require you to complete five steps, and have a few prerequisites before applying or taking the broker’s exam.

This guide covers all of these requirements in a simple, easy to understand way that will make it easier for you throughout this process.

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Virginia Real Estate Agent vs Real Estate Broker

Virginia offers two different types of real estate license: Sales and Broker.

sales agent’s license is the initial license that real estate agents get in order to sell real estate.

A broker’s license is an advanced license that allows the license holder to operate at a higher level within real estate businesses in Virginia.

People often confuse sales agents and brokers. A simple way to look at the difference is that holders of the sales agent’s license are called real estate agents, while holders of the broker’s license are called real estate brokers.

If you are working towards getting your first license, check out our Virginia Real Estate License guide. If you’re working on the Virginia real estate broker license, keep reading this page!

Virginia Real Estate Broker License Requirements

First, to be eligible for a real estate broker’s license, you must meet the prerequisites to become a real estate broker in Virginia.

These prerequisites are:

  • Complete 180 hours of pre-license education
  • Must be actively engaged with real-estate on a full-time basis (40 hours per week) for 36 of the past 48 months

Actively engaged means that you must have an active licensure with a licensed real estate firm. Some people in Virginia may choose to get their salesperson license first, which will require 60 hours of education (this doesn’t count toward the 180 hours of pre-license education.

Note that the Virginia Real Estate Board may waive the active engagement requirement depending on the circumstances.

How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Virginia

Once you meet all the requirements listed above, you can follow these five steps to easily help you get your real estate broker license in Virginia.

Step 1: Complete a Virginia Broker Pre-Licensing Course

The first step to getting your real estate broker license in Virginia is to take 180 classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses.

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These real estate courses mostly cover the fundamentals of working in real estate and must be completed within two years of your broker’s license application.

The required 180 classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses can be fulfilled by either taking broker-specific courses:

  • Real Estate Law
  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • Real Estate Finance

Or you may take two broker-specific courses and one broker-related course. The related course could be be any of the following:

  • Real Estate Abstracting
  • Real Estate Contract Law
  • Real Estate Economics
  • Real Estate Feasibility Analysis
  • Real Estate Investments
  • Real Estate Math
  • Real Estate Property Management
  • Real Estate Property Law
  • CCIM designation
  • CRB designation
  • GRI designation
  • SIR/SIOR designation
  • Business Law
  • Commercial Mortgage Lending
  • Land Planning and Use
  • Urban Development

You can also take approved courses via an accredited university, college, or community college, as long as each course is worth at least three semester hours (the equivalent of 45 hours clock hours).

Virginia offers reciprocity. If you’re an agent (or broker) from another state who has taken the equivalent of the above courses and passed the state exam, you can apply for a reciprocal license via fax, email, or mail. However, courses taken to meet sales agent continuing education (CE) requirements are not acceptable for broker pre-license credit in Virginia.

After completing the courses, you must also pass the final broker course exam. The minimum passing grade is 70%. The final pre-license exam is to be supervised by a proctor, whether on-site or online. This is not the same as the state broker exam.

After passing your broker course exam, your pre-license education provider will provide you with your course completion documents. The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) requests that you submit your transcripts when applying for your license.

Step 2: Pass the Virginia Real Estate Broker Exam

Once you meet the broker pre-licensing education requirements and pass the course exam, you must take the real estate broker licensing exam via PSI.

The fee for the broker exam is $60.

In Virginia, brokers will take a national test of 75 questions in 105 minutes and a state exam of 50 questions with a time limit of 55 minutes.

You will have one year to pass the Virginia real estate broker exam. To pass the broker exam you must achieve a score of 60 on the national and 38 on the state portion. You are allowed to retake the test if you need to.

Taking an exam prep course provides you helpful tools and materials, such as quizzes and specific state-only practice exams, to increase your chances of passing your broker license exam the first time.

Step 3: Submit a Virginia Broker License Application

Once you meet the broker pre-licensing education requirements and pass the course exam, you can now apply for your license.

To submit your broker license application, you can either mail or fax the form. You can also email or fill out an interactive form on Virginia’s DPOR website.

The application fee is $210.

If you don’t want to file online, you can fill out a paper application.

Step 4: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check

After submitting your license application, you must have a fingerprint-based background check (unless you’re a licensed salesperson in Virginia). You must submit your fingerprints via either PSI or Fieldprint.

To begin the fingerprinting process, visit either Fieldprint Virginia to see the qualifying locations and make an appointment or visit a PSI center between these hoursThe fingerprinting fee is $52.

Please note that you are required to get these fingerprints done within 45 days of your completed application. If you are applying from another state, you are highly encouraged to get the fingerprints done at a center in Virginia, as it will speed up the processing times.


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 5: Application Review

After passing your broker exam, you will only need to wait for DPOR to review and approve your application.

The process should take between 15 to 20 business days. Applications are reviewed in the order they are received, and no questions will be answered about individual applications.

When DPOR has issued your license, the License Lookup online database will reflect this status. Your physical license will be sent via US mail.


Now that you’ve successfully passed the broker licensing exam and obtained your license, there are a few things you need to do to keep your broker license active and updated.

Virginia Real Estate Broker License Renewal and CE

In Virginia, you must renew your real estate broker license every two years.

To renew your license, visit the DPOR online services portal and use your login information to complete the process. You can also return the renewal card that you receive in the mail with your payment or fax/mail a credit card form to pay the renewal fees.

As part of renewing your broker license, you must also complete 24 hours of CE requirements. This includes:

  • Broker Management (six hours)
  • Broker Supervision (two hours)
  • Ethics (three hours)
  • Fair Housing (two hours)
  • Legal Updates (one hour) Agency (one hour) and Contracts (one hour)
  • Remaining eight hours can be real estate electives

VADPOR – Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation

Mailing Address:

Virginia Real Estate Board
9960 Maryland Dr., Suite 400
Richmond, VA 23233

Phone: (804) 367-8526 


Virginia Real Estate Broker License FAQ

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

The costs of getting a real estate broker license in Virginia can range between $531 and $721.
The cost breakdown is as follows:
Pre-license education courses: $209-$399
Broker exam fee: $60
Application fee: $210
Fingerprint-based background check: $52

How long does it take to get a real estate broker license?

The steps that typically take the most time when getting a broker license include taking pre-license education courses and exams. The average amount of time to get a broker license is generally three to six months.

What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?

Real estate agents focus on working with clients on individual real estate transactions, while real estate brokers have more experience with the added responsibility of managing a team of real estate agents or brokerage business. See our Real Estate Agent vs. Broker vs. Realtor page for more information.

How much does a real estate broker make?

Real estate brokers get paid just like real estate agents by earning commissions on their agents’ sales. Brokers can also charge the real estate agents they manage a fixed monthly fee or have the option to earn money on commission sales by helping their own clients buy and sell property. According to Payscale data, brokers earn $61,314 per year in base salary, with anywhere between $10,000 and $147,000 in commissions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the median broker salary is $62,010.

How do I get a job as a real estate broker in Virginia?

Browse through available real estate broker jobs in your area using our StateRequirement Job Board!

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