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What is Real Estate License Reciprocity?

By WebCE
May 24, 2023

What is Real Estate License Reciprocity

Real estate license reciprocity is an agreement between states that reduces requirements for licensed real estate agents to earn an additional state license. Reciprocity expands business opportunities and career flexibility by making it easier for real estate professionals to enter other markets.       

Each state’s reciprocity agreements vary, however. So much so there are three types of reciprocity. What are the three types of reciprocity? And why might someone earn a license in another state?   

Types of Real Estate License Reciprocity

When assessing your own requirements for a real estate license in another state, it is always good practice to check for yourself the agreements the new state holds with your current state(s).

Below are definitions for the three different types of real estate license reciprocity agreements states can share, followed by a real estate reciprocity chart categorizing every state as either full, selective, or no reciprocity.

Full Reciprocity

Full reciprocity reduces requirements for prospective licensees no matter what state they are licensed in. All states are accepted as credit toward earning a new license in a state with full reciprocity, reducing prelicensing requirements—even waiving exams, in some cases. Just how much credit you get, however, varies by state. It’s always good practice to check for yourself.

For example, Colorado offers full reciprocity. This means any license from any other state can count as credit toward a license by reducing requirements for a Colorado real estate license. The same is true for all states with Full Reciprocity. See a complete list of full reciprocity states in the real estate license reciprocity chart below.

Selective Reciprocity

Selective reciprocity means a state only accepts out-of-state licenses from a select number of states, not every state. If you are licensed in one of the approved states, you qualify for credit toward a new license. If you are licensed in a state that is not approved, you must complete all licensing requirements.

For example, Rhode Island shares reciprocity with Connecticut and Massachusetts. If you have a real estate license from either of these states, you meet the requirements for Rhode Island’s selective reciprocity. However, if your license is from Texas, you will have to complete all Rhode Island’s real estate licensing requirements since Rhode Island does not share reciprocity with the state of Texas.

No Reciprocity

States that do not offer real estate license reciprocity require all real estate professionals to complete all state licensing requirements in full, regardless of other licenses. No credit is given for previous licenses earned.

For example, California has no reciprocity with any other state. Say you are licensed in Vermont. Or Texas. Or any other state. To California, it does not matter. California has no reciprocity, so no other licenses are transferable. Because California has no reciprocity, all real estate professionals must complete California’s real estate requirements in full for a state license.

Real Estate License Reciprocity Chart

The real estate license reciprocity chart below lists all 50 states based on Full, Selective, or No Reciprocity.

Full Reciprocity Selective Reciprocity No Reciprocity
New HampshireLouisianaNew Jersey
North CarolinaMarylandNew York
South CarolinaMassachusettsSouth Dakota
 New Mexico 
 North Dakota 
 Rhode Island 
 West Virginia 

Who Benefits Most from Real Estate Reciprocity?

Real estate license reciprocity is ideal for licensees who live close to a state border since they can easily cross state lines. Seasonal work in different states to account for demand or follow leads is another popular reason licensees turn to reciprocity.

Here are five other reasons why a real estate professional might consider a reciprocal real estate license:

  • Increased Market Footprint – Access to another state grants access to a new pool of clients and properties.
  • Broader Network & Client Base – The more connections you make, the more referrals and collaboration opportunities.
  • Expanded & Diversified Portfolio – New markets mean varied types of properties and investments.
  • Personal & Professional Growth – Navigating different state regulations and market dynamics often develop new skills.
  • Relocation Flexibility – With roots elsewhere, you are free to relocate without disrupting business.

Real estate reciprocity is not the only option for conducting business out of state, however. Real estate portability offers more flexibility for those looking to conduct just a few transactions, rather than earn an entirely new license.

While our blog reviews real estate reciprocity essentials, checking with a state’s real estate prelicensing and continuing education regulations should always be the first step toward earning and keeping a license in another state.

No matter the state, WebCE offers industry leading online real estate continuing education courses. We even offer a multi-credit catalog to earn CE credit for multiple licenses at the same time!

Visit WebCE’s Real Estate CE Course Catalog, or call 877-488-9308 to speak with a member of our award-winning Support Services team.