WIth its sandy beaches, sunny days, and some of the world’s most popular attractions, there are plenty of reasons to move your real estate business to the Sunshine State. According to a 2021 study,* Florida was one of the top-10 most moved-to states in the country. Between its natural beauty and coveted destinations, people have plenty of reasons to flock there. So why not you?
Moving a professional license to a new state, however, can be tricky. States will sometimes offer license reciprocity, which is a mutual agreement between states that allows specific types of licenses to be transferred when the license holder moves. This could mean waiving an exam or allowing the licensee to bypass a training program.
Real estate license reciprocity can vary dramatically from state to state. Each has its own requirements for license mobility, based on its overall licensing procedures — and Florida is no exception. So let’s dive into Florida real estate license reciprocity procedures.
If you’re trying to transfer your real estate license to Florida, you have a few options available to you.
For a select few states, Florida has real estate license mutual recognition. This means that you can transfer your licenses between any of those particular states without having to complete education requirements. You need only to complete the licensing requirements in order to obtain an equivalent Florida license.
Don’t live in a mutually recognized state? You still have options. If you’ve held an active real estate license in another state for at least two years of the past five, that experience may allow you to waive the Florida sales associate licensing exam and obtain a Florida broker license instead. You will, however, still need to complete the broker pre-licensing course, as well as the state exam. More on below.
If you don’t meet the two-year requirement, your third option is to get your sales associate license. While this isn’t license reciprocity, it can save you some time and effort. Broker licensing is a more intensive process, with a particularly rigorous course and exam. Opting for the sales associate license is a far less extensive licensing process. You will need to complete the respective licensing course and pass the state exam.
If you live in a mutual recognition state (more about those later), there are still some requirements that must be met in order to reciprocate your license.
Let’s circle back to mutual recognition. Florida has agreements with ten states. Which begs the question: Which ones? Read on to find out more about reciprocity in frequently inquired-about states.
Georgia is one of the states in the mutual recognition agreement with Florida. In order to qualify, you must be at least 18, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and not be a resident of Florida at the time of application. Full list of qualifications can be found here.
Florida does not offer mutual recognition with North Carolina. If you hold a North Carolina real estate license consider looking into the two-year licensing exemption described earlier in this article, or pursue a sales associate license.
Like North Carolina, Florida unfortunately does not offer mutual recognition with Texas. Again, the best course of action may be to look into your other options.
Florida does extend mutual recognition to Illinois real estate license holders. As with Georgia, you must meet the age, educational, and residency requirements. Additional criteria can be found here.
New York is not among the states that Florida offers reciprocity. New York real estate license holders transfering to Florida should consider the two previously described alternatives.
Florida offers mutual recognition for real estate license holders based out of Connecticut. Just like Georgia and Illinois, the same age, residency, and educational requirements apply, as well as the requirements listed here.
Tennessee real estate licenses are not mutually recognized in Florida. The alternative avenues for getting a Florida real estate license may be available, as with North Carolina, Texas, and New York.
In addition to Georgia, Illinois, and Connecticut, the following states’ real estate licenses are mutually recognized in Florida:
You can find details on these states’ requirements here.
Broker license reciprocity in Florida, as with real estate sales licenses, will depend on your issuing state. The mutual recognition with the nine states listed above also applies to broker licenses.
If you hold a license that isn’t from one of the mutually recognized states, your license won’t reciprocate. However, if you have at least two years’ experience as a sales associate in the past five years, that experience can be applied toward obtaining a Florida broker license. However, the pre-licensure course and full exam are still required. More about the examination process can be found here.
If you’re a licensed appraiser looking to relocate to Florida, you might be wondering whether your appraiser license will reciprocate. Well, the good news is that you may be able to apply for reciprocity. The bad news is that full reciprocity is not offered, as additional requirements must be met. Here’s what you need to know.
Appraisers licensed outside Florida can apply for Florida licensure. Your application will include:
Every small business owner knows that running a business isn’t all happy and sunshine. Whether you’re starting a business from the ground up or trying to manage moving your business to a new state, we know you’ve got a lot on your plate. So, we can help.
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After several years of working in insurance while also freelance writing, I've finally found where the two interests intersect. I'm a writer with Simply Business with an insurance processing background and a love of research.
Kristin writes on a number of topics such as small business trends, license reciprocity, and BOP insurance.
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*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated insurance carrier by AM Best. Harborway Insurance is a brand name of Harborway Insurance Agency, LLC, a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. California license #6004217.