Can You Use Your Illinois Real Estate License In Another State?

Real estate agents and brokers are an essential part of the real estate industry. They advise their clients on the availability of property, negotiate deals on behalf of their clients etc. In fact, in the US, a real estate agent can even represent his client in legal matters.

However, property laws are complex, and a person has to be duly qualified to represent his client in a court of law. Hence, people who wish to have a career as an agent or broker in any US test need a license.

What Is A Reciprocal License?


There are many schools in the US that help students get their real estate licenses. They help their students crack the exams and complete the requirement of continuing education. They also help crack exams for reciprocal licenses.

A reciprocal license is an excellent way of continuing as a broker or an agent in another state in the US when you already have a license in one state. So, for instance, you are a broker in Illinois, and you are shifting to Colorado.

You will not need to go through the entire process of getting a fresh license. In this case, the Illinois real estate license reciprocity will come to your rescue. All you will have to do is appear for some exams that test your expertise in state-specific property laws.

In Which Us States Can You Use Your Illinois Property License Reciprocity

In the above example, a broker who shifts base from Illinois to Colorado has very little to do with broker properties in Colorado. However, the rules vary from one state to another in the US. So based on the rigidity of rules, all the states in the US can be broadly classified into three types, as discussed below.

States Which Only Require A Re-registration


Some states are very liberal when it comes to granting a license to practice in dealing with properties. So if you already are a qualified broker or an agent in Illinois, then you need not take all the courses for the license all over again. You only have to pass the papers that deal with state-specific laws.

Land laws and property succession in the US are complicated. The complexity arises mainly because of two reasons. The first reason is that property laws in the US are a vestige of British feudal laws. And secondly, land and transfer of property are guided by several provincial laws.

And each province has its own set of rules and regulations. So this is the reason that even if two states allow full reciprocity of license between them, you will at least have to pass the module that deals with state-specific laws.

However, there are a few other conditions that you must fulfill before you can start brokering properties in a new country. So the status of the current license that you are holding should not be expired.

If the license on which you are applying is expired, that means there is no guarantee of your competence as per the existing standards. So a valid and active license is a must for re-registration in a new country.

Also, most state authorities will carry out a background check. So if you have a record of any disciplinary action against you or cases of ethical misconduct, you might be in trouble.

So if you want the process of re-registration in another state to be smooth, you must clear all pending cases against you in another state.

So if you already have a permit from the state of Illinois, then you can start working as a broker with minimal formalities in states like Alabama. Maine, Colorado etc.

States Where Differential Rules Exist For Different States


In some places, the rules are different based on the home state from which you obtained your original license. Some regions of the US have similar property laws, so if you are moving between adjoining states, then the rules are not really complex.

However, if you are shifting bases from the west coast to the east coast, you might have to go through all the exams and formalities all over again.
Apart from territorial proximity, some places allow complete reciprocity in case the property laws are very similar. Again, some places have very strict regulations for certain states based on political relations between them.

So if you are moving to Georgia, you might have to go through all the examinations and continuing education years if you are to sell and broker properties there.

Reasons Why You Need A Permit To Broker Properties In The USA


Several regulations govern the sale, transfer and inheritance of land in the US. There are conditions like adverse possession where one party can claim the right to property if they have occupied it for quite some time. However, the conditions under which one party can claim property rights on another’s property vary based on provincial laws.

Again, there are issues of co-ownership or where the property is owned by a major and a child (minor). The rules of co-ownership and inheritance are also quite complex and vary based on provincial laws.

So the National Association Of Realtors conducts exams and sets benchmarks for brokers so that all land-related transactions happen in consonance with federal and provincial laws.



Brokering property and taking care of the client’s best interest is not easy. If a person is to represent his client in all matters related to his property, he must be competent. So the exams and mandatory courses that the National Association Of Realtors sets for all brokers and agents are a necessity for upholding land-related laws.

However, if you have already worked hard and passed the requisite exams or completed several courses, you need not go through the entire process again if you are shifting bases. You can take advantage of a reciprocity agreement and just complete certain parts of the module in a new provincial jurisdiction.