How To Get Your Real Estate License in Illinois

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: November 14, 2022  •  8 min read  •  Real Estate
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Learning how to get your real estate license in Illinois is a big step. If you want to become a real estate broker, you will need to complete this step. It’s important to follow the steps and do this correctly.

Those looking to start a new career in real estate will need to be properly prepared. While you won’t need to go back to college, you will need the right education. Let’s look a bit closer at the steps to get your real estate license in Illinois.

Illinois Real Estate License

How To Get Your Real Estate License in Illinois in 7 Steps

Step #1 – Meet the Basic Requirements

Before you can complete the rest of the steps to get your license, you have to meet a few basic requirements. In the state of Illinois, you have to be at least 18 years of age and legally able to work in the state. This means you have to be a lawfully admitted alien or a citizen of the United States.

The state of Illinois also requires that you complete a high school diploma or get your GED. As long as you meet these three basic requirements, you can work towards getting your Illinois real estate license.

Step #2 – Complete the Pre-Licensing Course

You will need to complete a 75-hour pre-licensing course. This course will include a 60-hour Real Estate Broker Course and a 15-hour Broker pre-licensing Applied Real Estate Principles course. Make sure you complete both courses or you won’t be able to take the real estate exam.

You can take all 75 hours of the necessary education online. This can be done through one of the top online real estate schools in Illinois. Many of these schools will also offer exam prep materials to better prepare you for the real estate exam.

While you do need to complete the pre-licensing course, it shouldn’t just be something you cross off the list. You want to make sure you learn the material so you can pass the exam and use it as a real estate broker in Illinois.

Step #3 – Pass the Illinois Real Estate Exam

You will need to schedule an appointment to take the real estate exam. The exam will include 140 total questions with 100 for the national section and 40 for the state section. You will be given 3.5 hours to complete the entire exam.

It’s necessary to get 75 of 100 questions correct on the national section and 30 of 40 correct on the state section to pass. Your score will be delivered immediately after you complete the exam.

If you fail, you will receive a breakdown of your score in different areas of the exam. This can help if you decide to retake the exam.

Your real estate exam in Illinois can be taken through the PSI Illinois Real Estate Page.

Step #4 – Submit Your Application

After you pass the exam, you will still need to submit your real estate exam. This is done through the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. You will need to create an account and log in to submit your application.

The cost for the application is $125, which must be submitted with your application.

Step #5 – Application Review Process

After you have submitted your application, you will need to wait up to 10 business days for your application to be reviewed. Once you have been approved, you will receive your real estate license.

Illinois allows you to practice as a real estate agent under the supervision of a managing broker for 45 days. You can work while you are waiting on your application to be processed. This is a good time to start working towards becoming a successful real estate agent.

Step #6 – Activating Your License

You will be given an inactive real estate license, at first. It’s necessary to file a 45-Day Permit Sponsor Card form to activate your license. This must be done within 24 hours of receiving a sponsor card to apply for licensure as a broker.

Step #7 – Post-License Course

While you technically have a real estate license in Illinois, at this point, you will still need to complete an additional course. All those receiving a license need to complete 45 classroom hours to gain active license status. There are three 15-hour post-license courses you need to complete:

Some real estate schools will offer these three courses in a package with your pre-licensing education course. It’s a good idea to get it all together since it will all be required to make your Illinois real estate license active.

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Your Real Estate License in Illinois

How much can I make as a real estate agent in Illinois?

According to, the average real estate agent in Illinois will earn about $85K per year. This amount can be higher with experience. Some of the top real estate companies have agents earning more than $100K per year.

Real estate agents are paid on commissions, however. Most do not earn an actual salary or an hourly wage. Instead, they are paid a commission after helping a client sell or buy a home. Often, the commission will range from 1% to 3% of the purchase price, depending on the agreement with their sponsoring broker.

How long will it take me to get my real estate license in Illinois?

The actual process will only take about 10 business days, if you have a sponsor, already. However, this doesn’t include finishing your pre-licensing course. This can take as long as six months or as little as three weeks. For most people, the process takes three or four months.

However, it’s possible to get your license even faster. Just be sure you are prepared for the exam the first time. If you don’t pass it, you will also end up with a longer process.

Is the real estate exam in Illinois difficult?

Yes, it’s difficult and about one out of four people will fail it on the first try. While this means there is a better chance you will pass, if you’re not fully prepared, you might not pass this exam. With the right exam prep course, you can pass on the first attempt, however.

What if I don’t pass the real estate exam the first time?

If you don’t pass the exam, you can retake it up to three times. However, you will have to wait until the next day to take it again. If you don’t pass the exam on the fourth attempt, you will need to retake the entire pre-licensing course before you can take the exam again.

Each additional attempt will also come with a retake fee.

What is the cost to get a real estate license in Illinois?

You will pay $200 in fees to get your license in Illinois. This doesn’t include the cost of your pre-license education. The course you get can cost anywhere from about $250 to $1,000, depending on the package and the provider. If you opt for a package with exam prep and the post-licensing courses, it may cost a bit more.

These fees don’t include the fee for the Multiple Listing Service or any association fees. Most agents will need to pay both of these after getting their real estate license.

Does Illinois offer license reciprocity with any other states?

Yes, the state of Illinois offers licensing reciprocity with Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Connecticut, Georgia, and Nebraska.

Will I need to renew my real estate license in Illinois?

When you first become a real estate agent, you will need to complete the 45-hour post-license course before you can renew your license. This will also end with a 50-question exam you will need to pass.

Once the first renewal is completed, you will need to complete 12 hours of continuing education and one hour of sexual harassment prevention training.

You can renew your license up to three months before it expires. As long as you have met the education requirements, you just need to pay the renewal fee.

Can I get my Illinois real estate license online?

Yes, you can complete everything you need to get your license online, except the exam. The pre-licensing course, application, and even the post-licensing course can all be done online, at your own pace. However, you will need to take the real estate exam at an approved testing site.

If you want to enter into a career as a real estate broker in Illinois, you need to follow the steps above. The first step towards success as a real estate agent is getting your license. Without a real estate license in Illinois, you cannot work as a broker.

Make sure you meet the minimum requirements before you start the pre-licensing course. It’s also important to choose a good online real estate school for your education. If you choose a package with the 45-hour post-licensing course, you will have all the educational resources you need to get started.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path.