Ohio Real Estate Reciprocity States: Expanding Your Business

Blog, Real Estate

Each state has its own real estate licensing requirements. However, many states allow licensed agents in other states reciprocity, meaning they can become licensed in another state without starting from scratch and completing all the pre-licensing requirements.

(Reciprocity should not be confused with portability, which occurs when a state allows a real estate agent from another state to conduct business in their state without having that state-specific license.)

Update: It’s worth noting that many states are making it easier for licensed professionals to cross state lines. December 2023 Ohio laws simplified the process for real estate professionals working in other states to become licensed in Ohio. Please refer to the last section of this article for up-to-date information. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Nevada, and West Virginia offer license reciprocity to Ohio real estate agents.
  • Reciprocity allows licensed agents in one state to become licensed in another state without starting the licensing process from scratch.
  • Each state has specific requirements, often involving exams and additional coursework.
  • December 2023 laws changed how out-of-state licensees can earn a real estate license in Ohio.

Clear as mud? Keep reading if you are licensed in Ohio but want to be licensed in another state — or if you are a real estate agent in another state who wants to become licensed in Ohio. 

What You Need to Know About an Ohio Real Estate License Transfer

Real estate license reciprocity is complicated. There’s a lot of contradictory information online as to what states allow license reciprocity. The best source of information can be found on each state’s real estate licensing websites.

Before we go into the details of Ohio reciprocity, it may help to understand the different types of reciprocity in real estate.

Types of real estate reciprocity

Here are three different types of real estate reciprocity.

Full reciprocity

Some states offer full reciprocity. Those states recognize real estate licenses from other states and only require experienced real estate agents to take the state-specific portion of the exam and/or a shorter pre-licensing course to get licensed.

Selective reciprocity

Other states have selective reciprocity, meaning only licensed real estate agents from specific states qualify for fewer pre-licensing requirements. 

States that offer selective reciprocity may still allow licensed real estate agents in other states to become licensed without fulfilling all the exact requirements of someone without experience. However, those agents must jump through more hoops than real estate agents from preferred states.

No reciprocity

A handful of states, including Texas and California, require real estate agents to complete their entire pre-licensing process, regardless of whether they are active real estate agents in other states.

States That Offer Reciprocity with Ohio

A few states offer selective reciprocity for Ohio real estate agents. Here are those states and a summary of requirements.

  • Arkansas: Current Ohio real estate salespeople must pass the Arkansas law portion of the exam with a score of at least 70 to become licensed in Arkansas. For more information, visit the Arkansas Real Estate Commission website.
  • Connecticut: Current Ohio real estate salespeople must pass the state portion of the Connecticut Real Estate Examination. You can schedule your exam with PSI once your application is approved. For more information, visit the Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection website.
  • Kentucky: Current real estate salespeople must complete a 40-hour reciprocal license law course and pass a licensing exam to get a Kentucky real estate license. For more information, visit the Kentucky Real Estate Commission.
  • Nevada: A current Ohio real estate salesperson must pass the Nevada state exam to become a licensed non-resident real estate agent for Nevada. For more information, consult the state’s Department of Business and Industry’s Real Estate Division.
  • West Virginia: Current Ohio real estate salespeople must pass the West Virginia portion of the real estate exam to get licensed in WV. For more information, visit the West Virginia Real Estate Commission webpage regarding reciprocity agreements.

Many other states will recognize the work you had to do to become an Ohio real estate agent. However, most states don’t have specific requirements for Ohio agents wanting to get licensed in their state. Instead, they have general requirements that all licensed real estate agents from other states must complete to become licensed.

To learn more about state-specific reciprocity requirements, visit that state’s real estate licensing website.

Transfer Your Real Estate License to Ohio (Updated May 2023)

As a result of a December 2023 Ohio law, there are different options an out-of-state person can select when seeking an Ohio real estate sales license.

Option 1: You have a similar real estate license from another state and would like to be licensed in Ohio.

You may be eligible to hold an Ohio real estate sales license if you have a “substantially similar” out-of-state real estate sales license (or if you are from a state that does not issue a real estate sales license). You must have held this license for at least one year and have been actively engaged in the profession for at least one out of five years. 

If this describes your situation, complete the following steps to be certified in Ohio:

  1. Complete an application and be sponsored by an Ohio real estate broker. (Pay an $81 application fee.)
  2. Complete a criminal background check showing you have not been convicted of a disqualifying offense.
  3. Provide a letter of good standing for all jurisdictions in which you hold an out-of-state sales license or government certification.  
  4. Complete a consent to service of process statement.
  5. Pass the state portion of the Ohio real estate sales examination.

Option 2: You are from a state that does not issue a real estate license (but you hold a private certification), and you wish to become a real estate agent in Ohio. 

If you have held a private certification for at least two years and have been actively engaged in the profession for at least two out of five years, complete the following steps to become a real estate agent in Ohio.

  1. Complete an application and be sponsored by an Ohio real estate broker. (Submit $81 along with the application.)
  2. Complete an Ohio and national-level background check. 
  3. Provide a letter of good standing from the certificate issuer.  
  4. Complete a consent to service of process statement. 
  5. Pass the state portion of the Ohio real estate sales examination. 

Option 3: You are from a state that does not issue a real estate sales license or government certification in the profession, but you’ve been actively engaged in the practice and want to become a real estate agent in Ohio. 

If you have been working as a real estate agent for at least three out of five years and want to become a real estate agent in Ohio, complete the following steps:

  1. Complete an Ohio real estate salesperson application and be sponsored by an Ohio real estate broker. (Submit an $81 fee with your application.)
  2. Complete the state and national criminal background check showing you have not been convicted of a disqualifying offense.
  3. Complete a consent to service of process statement.
  4. Pass the state portion of the Ohio real estate examination.

If you only have to pass the exam to get licensed in Ohio, turn to Hondros College for exam prep materials. We offer many affordable options, including the Exam Prep Boot Camp, our one-day Crammer Sales Review Course, and a session on reviewing real estate math. Hondros College offers online, livestream, and in-person test prep options. If you have a question about the licensing processchat with one of our career advisors today.

Sources:

  1. “Kentucky Real Estate Commission,” January 9, 2024. https://krec.ky.gov/newstatic_info.aspx?static_id=206.
  2. “New Applicant.” Arkansas Real Estate Commission, January 4, 2024. https://arec.arkansas.gov/licensing/new-applicant/.
  3. “Real Estate – Reciprocal.” CT.gov. Accessed January 9, 2024. https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/License-Services-Division/All-License-Applications/Real-Estate—Reciprocal
  4. “Real Estate Salesperson.” Initial License Requirements. Accessed January 9, 2024. https://red.nv.gov/Content/Real_Estate/Salesperson/Initial_License_Requirements/.
  5. “Reciprocity Agreements.” West Virginia Real Estate Commission. Accessed January 9, 2024. Reciprocity Agreements (wv.gov).
  6. “Section 2109.21: Residence Qualifications of Fiduciary.” Section 2109.21 – Ohio Revised Code | Ohio Laws. Accessed May 13, 2024. https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/section-2109.21. 

Launch Your Career

Select your education program

Select your state

Select your course

Go!