How To Get Your Real Estate License in North Dakota

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: February 28, 2022  •  8 min read  •  Real Estate
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When you decide a career in real estate is right for you, getting your license is usually the first step. Learning how to get your real estate license in North Dakota will help lead you down this path. The awesome part about it is you can do the entire process online, except for the exam.

A top online real estate school can provide everything you need. Most of these schools even provide access to exam prep, continuing education, and more.

Understanding the process to get your real estate license in North Dakota is pretty easy. It will take some time and you will have to pay some fees along the way. Let’s look at the necessary steps to follow.

North Dakota Real Estate License

How To Get Your Real Estate License in North Dakota in 9 Steps

Step #1 – Meet the Basic Requirements

The state of North Dakota only requires that you’re at least 18 and a citizen of the United States to get a real estate license. You can also be a lawfully admitted alien if you’re not a citizen. As long as you meet these basic requirements, you can start the rest of the process.

Step #2 – Complete the Application

The entire process starts with the real estate license application. It will need to be mailed to the North Dakota Real Estate Commission. A fee of $150 will also need to be included.

You will also need to complete the Criminal History Record Check form to ensure you’re eligible. This comes with an $8 credit report fee. You can actually pay the fees online through the NDREC Pay Bill website.

Along with the application fee and the credit report fee, you will also pay a $20 fee to the North Dakota Real Estate Recovery Fund.

Step #3 – Complete the Background Check and Fingerprinting

After the NDREC has received your application, you will have to do a fingerprint kit. This will be mailed to you with instructions, two fingerprint cards, a tamper-proof seal, and a list of locations to get your fingerprinting done.

You will have to complete the fingerprinting cards and send a check or a money order for $41.25 made out to the North Dakota Attorney General to the NDREC. Once your fingerprints are received, the background check will begin. The NDREC will review what they find to ensure you are eligible before you move on to the next step.

Step #4 – Complete the Pre-Licensing Course

After completing your fingerprints, you can start the pre-licensing education. This is the most time-consuming step in the process. You will need to complete 90 hours of coursework before you can take the real estate exam in North Dakota.

The course can be taken online. Many online real estate schools offer a self-paced option. Some will also offer a Livestream or a webinar format. Either option will fulfill this requirement, as long as the course is state-approved.

It’s common to find packages with exam prep materials and career resources. You might want to consider getting a complete package so you have everything you need to pass the exam and kickstart your real estate career.

The pre-licensing course will cover the following topics:

This is just 45 hours of the pre-licensing education.

Step #5 – Pass the North Dakota Real Estate Exam

After you have completed the pre-licensing course, you will need to pass the exam. This exam costs $131 per attempt. If you fail it, you will have to pay to retake the exam.

The North Dakota real estate exam consists of 140 total questions. You will answer 100 questions on the national section and 40 on the state section. The entire exam must be completed in four hours.

A passing score is 70 out of 100 correct on the national section and 30 out of 40 correct on the state section. You will receive a report showing if you passed or failed as soon as you complete the exam. You may pass both portions, one portion, or neither portion.

If you have to retake either section, it will need to be done within 12 months of the first attempt. Waiting any longer will require a new application and fees to be paid.

Step #6 – Get E&O Insurance

Errors & Omissions Insurance is required in the state of North Dakota. You will need to get the proper coverage before you will be issued a real estate license. There are several insurance companies that offer this type of insurance for real estate agents.

Step #7 – Go through the Application Review Process

At this point, all you can do is wait. You’ve completed the pre-licensing education, passed the exam, and paid for your E&O insurance. The NDREC will review your application and issue a license, as long as you have been approved.

This process will likely take five to ten business days. Once approved, you will receive an email with your license document.

Step #8 – Find a Sponsoring Broker

You will need a North Dakota Sponsoring Broker to be fully licensed as a real estate agent. This part of the process is necessary and often you will do this before you work towards getting your license. However, you might wait to find a sponsoring broker until you have passed the exam.

Step #9 – Complete Post-Licensing Education

You will have one year from receiving your license to complete the post-licensing education. This is a 15-hour course that every agent will need to complete. Many pre-licensing course packages will offer options including the post-licensing course. It’s smart to get it all in one package.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Real Estate Agent in North Dakota

How much does a real estate agent make in North Dakota?

You will be paid on commissions, in most cases, so you have some control over your income. Real estate agents often earn a commission on the purchase price of a property when they help the seller or the buyer. The commission percentage depends on the agreement with your sponsoring broker. has the average agent in North Dakota earning about $83K per year. However, some of the top brokers have agents earning well over $100K per year.

The salary range, according to is about $27K to $95K. They put the median salary at about $64K and the average at about $49K.

What is an “inactive” real estate license in North Dakota?

You are allowed to go through all the steps to get your real estate license and get an “inactive” license in North Dakota. This status means you have not purchased E&O insurance and/or you have not found a Sponsoring Broker. Once you do both of these things, you can resubmit your final application and gain active status for your license.

What will it cost to get my North Dakota real estate license?

The actual fees in North Dakota are $535. They will go up if you have to retake the exam, however. As long as you pass the exam on the first attempt, you won’t have to pay additional fees.

You will also need to purchase the pre-licensing course. This can vary in price from about $500 to $900. The total cost you can expect to pay to get your real estate license is between $1,000 and $1,500.

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

Most applicants will need between three to six months to get their license. Even if you complete your pre-licensing course in three weeks, it will likely take around two months to complete the process.

It’s often better to take your time with the pre-licensing course. It’s not just something to check off the list. You want to learn the material as it will apply to your day-to-day work as a real estate agent.

The process to get your real estate license can be delayed if you have a criminal record or you don’t pass the exam the first time. This can cost you time and cause the process to take longer than just a few months.

Does North Dakota offer reciprocity with any other state?

Yes, there are four states that North Dakota has a reciprocity agreement with, which are:

If you have a real estate license in one of these states, you may not have to complete the full licensing requirements.

When you want to learn how to get your real estate license in North Dakota, just follow the steps above. With these steps, you can start a new career as a real estate agent. It may take a few months and you will have to pay some fees, but it can be well worth the time and money.

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. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story is coming soon!