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Law Index -- Real Estate License Related Law

Licensing by Administrative Rule 5.3

An applicant may qualify under Rule 5.3 to sit for the Iowa portion only of the salesperson or broker real estate examination based upon their license from another state.  Rule 5.3 applies to:
  • Applicants from states that do not have reciprocity agreements with Iowa.  These states are AK, AL (effective 10-09), AZ, CO (effective 2-1-09), CT, DE, DC, FL, HI, ID (effective 3-23-09), IL, IN, KS, KY (effective 7-15-09), MD, ME, MI,  MO, MT (effective 12-12-08), NC (effective 9-30-12), NE (effective 7-18-08), NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD (effective 7-1-09), TN (effective 10-1-12), TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY (effective 5-1-09) and all US territories.
  • CA licensees must take the whole exam (both National and State)
  • Applicants who do not qualify for reciprocity
  • Applicants who move into Iowa and apply based on their license in another state.  (Reciprocity does not apply once applicants have moved into Iowa)

The steps in obtaining your Iowa license are:

Contact your state licensing agency and obtain a certificate of license history (letter of good standing.)  Send the license history to the Iowa Real Estate Commission along with a written request to take the Iowa portion of the exam.  If you qualify you will be sent the authorization letter required for the Iowa portion only along with an informational booklet from the testing service.  You must have the authorization letter before taking the exam.

To qualify to take the Iowa portion only of the exam you must either have an active license as a salesperson or a broker or  your license cannot be inactive or expired more than 6 months immediately preceding the date of your successful Iowa exam.   If your license has been inactive or expired for a longer period you may be required to take the entire examination or to qualify for the salesperson license as an original applicant, starting with the pre-licensing courses.  Contact the Commission to find out how to become licensed.

Submit to a state and national criminal history background check through the Iowa Real Estate Commission.  To receive the required fingerprint packet please contact Jill Simbro at the Iowa Real Estate Commission via e-mail ( or by fax at 515-725-9032.  Your request will need to include your name and mailing address.  All licensing questions should be directed to Iowa Real Estate Commission or 515-725-9022.

Once you’ve successfully passed the examination and have submitted the required information for the criminal history background check you can submit a completed application (the testing service will give you one of our applications when you pass the exam) for licensure and include the following:
  • The letter from the Commission authorizing you to sit for the exam;

  • Pass notice from the testing service;
  • Proof of errors and omissions insurance coverage in Iowa;

  • Licensing fee ($125 for salespersons, $170 for brokers).

If we receive your licensing application prior to the background being completed the application will be processed with the license being held by the Commission.  Once the background is completed, reviewed and accepted a license will then be issued to your employing broker.  During the time a license is held by the Commission you are not authorized to perform any acts that require an active Iowa license, unless you currently hold an active Iowa salesperson license.

Broker officers will also need to license their firm if the firm is not yet licensed in Iowa.   Please contact the Commission for details.

If you have any questions about real estate licensing please contact our Licensing Specialist at 515-725-9022 or by e-mail Iowa Real Estate Commission

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