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How Do I Get My Iowa Real Estate License?

Iowa real estate agent showing a house to her clients

If you're considering starting a real estate career in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, or any other city in the state, you'll need to earn an Iowa real estate license.To earn your real estate license in Iowa, you must be at least 18 years of age, complete 60 hours of approved education (plus an additional 12 hours on an approved topic of your choice), pass the Iowa salesperson licensing exam, submit to a background check, and secure errors and omissions insurance. While the process to become a real estate agent is similar in most states, each state has unique steps that must be adhered to. The six steps to becoming an Iowa real estate agent are as follows:

Step 1: Be at Least 18 Years of Age

In addition to being at least 18 years of age, you must also be a US citizen or permanent resident alien and show proof of high school graduation or equivalent.

Step 2: Complete Your Required Education

Before you can apply for the exam, you must complete a 60-hour Principles Course, as well as 12 hours in each of the following topics: Buying Practices, Listing Practices, and Developing Professionalism and Ethical Practices.

Select the course that's right for you on the Iowa Salesperson Licensing Course page.

View Licensing Packages

Step 3: Take the Iowa Salesperson Licensing Exam

Register and pass the salesperson’s exam with the exam provider, Psychological Services, Inc. (PSI). The licensing exam costs $95 and includes national and state questions. To schedule your exam, visit the PSI website or call PSI at 855-898-0712.

Step 4: Undergo a Background Check

Undergo a criminal history and background investigation. The Real Estate Commission conducts a check for felony and misdemeanor convictions through the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Iowa Courts Online. These reports are reviewed for final approval once the Commission receives a completed application for licensure. The background check is valid for 210 calendar days. More information on background checks can be found on the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau website.

Step 5: Get E&O Insurance

Obtain errors and omissions insurance. All active licensees must carry uninterrupted E&O insurance coverage in Iowa. Proof of coverage must be provided with all new applications.

Step 6: Apply for Your State License

Complete and submit the Iowa Real Estate Commission Application for Individual License. If you pass the exam, you will receive a real estate license application form with your score report. You must submit your application to the Iowa Real Estate Commission within 6 months of your exam date. On the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau website, you can apply online and learn more information about applying.