How to Get a Washington D.C. Real Estate Broker License

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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How to Get a Washington D.C. Real Estate Broker License

Becoming a Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. Real Estate Broker License is a fairly simple process, but it does require you to complete four 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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Washington D.C. Real Estate Agent vs Real Estate Broker

Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C.

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 Washington D.C. Real Estate License guide. If you’re working on the Washington D.C. real estate broker license, keep reading this page!

Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C.

These prerequisites are:

  • Must have two years as a licensed real estate broker or salesperson either in the District or elsewhere. Your experience must immediately precede the date of application
  • Must submit two years equivalent real estate experience. Qualifying professions include real estate builder, investor, land/condo developer, or attorney
  • Must have logged at least 1,920 hours per year for the past two years to qualify to become a broker, if in a related profession
  • Must have an active broker or salesperson license, though it will not need to be for a full two years
  • If you do not have the required two years as a licensed broker or salesperson in D.C. or another jurisdiction, you will need to prove successful completion of at least six transactions in related fields

How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Washington D.C.

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

Step 1: Complete a Washington D.C. Broker Pre-Licensing Course

The first step to getting your real estate broker license in Washington D.C. is to take 135 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 before submitting your broker’s license application.

The required 135 classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses including the following mandatory topics:

  • Real Estate Law
  • Fair Housing Law
  • Real Property Ownership/Transfer
  • Principles and Practices for Brokers
  • Agency Relationships/Principles and Practices for Brokers
  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • Real Estate Financing
  • D.C. Real Estate Licensing Law and Regulations
  • Code of Ethics

Washington D.C. offers reciprocity, so if you’re an agent (or broker) in a different state during the previous two years, you only have to pass the D.C. exam and take a fair housing course.

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 D.C. Real Estate Commission (DCREC) recommends submitting your completion documents via online services through the D.C. Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP).

Step 2: Submit a Washington D.C. Broker License Application

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

The application fee is $235.

To submit your broker license application, you must use Washington D.C.’s AccessDC portal.

Washington D.C. does not require fingerprints to receive your broker’s license. However, the Real Estate Commission will review your experience and history before making a final decision.


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 3: Pass the Washington D.C. Real Estate Broker Exam

After completing the steps above, you must take the real estate broker licensing exam via PSI.

The fee for the broker exam is $69.

In D.C., brokers take the same national section as real estate agents which consists of 75 scored questions. The state-specific section of the broker’s exam consists of 40 scored questions. You must complete the D.C. real estate broker exam within 210 minutes (three hours 30 minutes total).

The passing rate is 75% for the Washington D.C. Real Estate Broker Exam.

You must apply within six months of passing the test. If you fail one portion, you are only required to take the failed portion again. You have unlimited chances to pass the test within the six month timeframe.

For more information on the exam, PSI provides a Candidate Handbook containing the D.C. Real Estate Broker Exam content outline.

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 4: Application Review

After passing your broker exam, you will only need to wait for the D.C. Commission to review and approve your application. The process should take between 5-10 business days.

After this, you will receive your license electronically to the email address you have on file. If you have any questions at this point, you should contact DCREC at (866) 270-9817 or


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.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Broker License Renewal and CE

In Washington D.C., you must renew your real estate broker license every two years. The renewal and continuing education (CE) due date is on every February 28 of odd-numbered years.

As part of your license renewal, you are expected to complete 15 hours of CE. The 15-hour CE requirement includes nine mandatory hours in D.C. Fair Housing, Ethics, and Legislative Updatethree hours in Property Management, and three hours in Broker Supervision.

When you log in to your AccessDC account, you can see additional requirements and instructions on how to renew your license.

DCOPLA – District of Columbia Occupational and Professional Licensing Administration

Mailing Address:

Washington D.C. Real Estate Commission
1100 Fourth St., SW
Washington D.C. 20024

Phone: (866) 270-9817 


Washington D.C. Real Estate Broker License FAQ

How much does it cost to get a real estate broker license in Washington D.C?

The costs of getting a real estate broker license in Washington D.C. can range between $513 and $703.
The cost breakdown is as follows:
Pre-license education courses: $209-$399
Application fee: $235
Broker exam fee: $69

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 Washington D.C?

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

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