REAL ESTATE LICENSING INFORMATION
(PLEASE READ CAREFULLY)
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BROKER'S AND
Two types of licenses are issued by the Nebraska Real Estate Commission to individuals operating in the real estate business.
SALESPERSON'S LICENSE - With this type of license, the licensee is permitted to engage in all phases of the real estate business, if employed by and under the direct supervision of a licensed broker at all times.
BROKER'S LICENSE - With this type of license, the licensee is permitted to engage in all phases of the real estate business either independently, as a self-employed broker, or as an associate broker employed by and under the direct supervision of a licensed broker at all times.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS
The Nebraska Real Estate License Act requires all applicants for original licensure as a real estate salesperson or broker to undergo a criminal background check utilizing fingerprints. This includes both resident and nonresident applicants.
The license application must be completed, signed and on file at the Commission office before the fingerprint cards, used to complete the background report, will be released to the applicant. We recommend submitting this application form and payment immediately so that we can send you the necessary cards and you can proceed through the fingerprinting process most expediently.
Upon receipt of the cards, pursue the fingerprint process early. Your application will not be considered complete until all required materials are supplied to the Commission including the criminal background report. It is currently taking four to six weeks, on average, after submitting the fingerprints for the report to be received by the Commission. Please follow the recommended procedures attached to the fingerprint cards to submit both completed cards to the Nebraska State Patrol. Failure to follow the procedures attached to the fingerprint cards could cause delay in processing.
Applicants must be at least 19 years of age to be issued a Nebraska real estate license. Completed applications, fees, and all required documentation must be submitted to the Commission. The staff of the Real Estate Commission will process the application materials, prequalify applicants, and notify applicants of approval to sit for the examination. If you choose to utilize the electronic application you must follow the instructions specific to that option located at https://www.nebraska.gov/NREC/real/.
Prior to proceeding with the electronic filing of an application, it is strongly recommended that you carefully review the Checklist Help Guide and the Screen Guide Menu. Print a copy of these documents to assist you throughout the process. APPLICATION DEADLINES REMAIN THE SAME FOR ANY METHOD UTILIZED.
All applicants for a Nebraska Real Estate License are subject to a real estate license history data search to determine whether any disciplinary action has been taken against the applicant in any other real estate jurisdictions. Applicants with criminal convictions and/or a history of disciplinary action in this or in other jurisdictions are subject to the guidelines specified in the Policies and Interpretations section of the License Law Manual.
Nebraska statutes require all applicants to be high school graduates or hold a certificate of equivalency. If an applicant has received a GED (General Equivalency Diploma) a copy of the diploma must be enclosed with the application.
FOREIGN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
Applicants with foreign high school education must meet the same academic requirements as applicants who have received their high school education in the United States. To be used as a basis for issuance of a real estate salesperson or broker license, documentation indicating that the foreign high school degree is at least the equivalent of a high school degree granted in the United States must be submitted as part of the application.
The high school degree must be determined equivalent by one of the following documents:
1) A transcript from a United States college that indicates that the individual’s high school education was sufficient to allow the individual to be admitted into a post-secondary education program.
2) Document-by-Document Evaluation Report verifying the equivalence of the foreign high school graduate’s education to that of an American high school education.
The Document Evaluation should be conducted through an education credential evaluation service that holds membership in the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Information about NACES and a contact list of its member credentialing services can be found on the Internet at: www.naces.org or may be obtained by contacting NACES at:
C/O International Education Research Foundation, Inc.
Post Office Box 3665
Culver City, CA 90231-3665
Phone: 310.258.9451 ext 140
We suggest that this documentation be obtained early in the application process or prior to application being submitted.
Each applicant for a salesperson's license who wishes to take the examination must furnish evidence that s/he has completed two Commission-approved courses in real estate subjects composed of not less than thirty class hours of study each, or completed equivalent distance education courses approved by the Commission.
Each applicant for a broker's license who wishes to take the examination must either (a) have first served actively for two years as a licensed salesperson or broker, and furnished evidence of completion of two Commission-approved courses in real estate subjects composed of not less than thirty class hours each, in addition to the hours required to take the salesperson examination; or (b) furnish a transcript that s/he has passed course(s) of at least eighteen credit hours (6 courses) in Commission-approved courses in real estate subjects at an accredited university or college, or completed six courses in real estate subjects composed of not less than thirty clock-hours each in Commission-approved courses, or completed equivalent distance education courses approved by the Commission.
All education requirements must be completed, and proof of such completion must be submitted to the Commission with the application. No license will be issued until official proof of completion of the education requirement is received in the Real Estate Commission Office. This proof can be in the form of transcripts or certificates of completion. Persons taking courses at colleges or universities from which transcripts are the official proof may use letters from their instructors grade reports or as initial proof for application purposes, but no license will be issued until an official transcript has been received from the college or university. Official transcripts must be mailed directly from the college or university to the Commission Office.
QUALIFYING EXPERIENCE FOR A BROKER LICENSE
The words "have first served actively for two years" means that the applicant must have worked full-time at activities which require a salesperson's or broker's license, or, if less than full-time, for a period of time equal to two years of full-time activities. An investigation will be made by the Commission to determine the applicant's level of activity. The experience requirement must be fulfilled by the time of the examination.
Each application for a broker's or salesperson's original license must include a photograph which meets the following criteria: a passport-type, head-and-shoulders photo of the applicant only, at least 2" x 2" in size, which was taken within the last year. Snapshots are acceptable if they meet these criteria.
Applicants for the initial broker's or salesperson's examination must include an application fee and an examination fee with a completed application form. Each time an applicant wishes to re-take the examination, s/he must submit an examination fee with a completed re-take application form. Fees are non-refundable. Any payment returned by an applicant's financial institution will be subject to a $30.00 processing fee. Visa and/or MasterCard will be accepted, Debit Cards will NOT be accepted.
The information supplied on the application is only considered valid for one year from the date the application was received in the Real Estate Commission Office. Therefore, after having an application on file for more than one year, an applicant must complete another application in full, and pay another application fee. The examination fee is valid until an examination is taken, or until the examination fee is forfeited because the applicant canceled an examination appointment, arrived more than 15 minutes late for an examination appointment, or failed to appear for an examination appointment. If the application has been on file for longer than one year, or if the applicant is unsure of the amount of time that it has been on file, please contact the Real Estate Commission Office to find out the exact items needed.
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR CANDIDATES WITH DISABILITIES
No individual with a disability will be deprived of the opportunity to take the examination solely by reason of that disability. Reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities will be provided. Applicants must inform the Real Estate Commission and the examination company of their need for special accommodations when submitting their applications to the Real Estate Commission AND when scheduling the examinations. Applicants requesting special accommodations will be required to submit documentation of their disability from an appropriate professional, e.g., education professional, doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc., to the examination company via fax or mail prior to being scheduled for an examination. All special arrangements will be made on an individual basis.
SCHEDULING AN EXAMINATION APPOINTMENT
After an applicant has submitted a completed application to sit for the examination and received notification of his/her eligibility from the Nebraska Real Estate Commission, the applicant may schedule an appointment to take the salesperson's or broker's examination by calling the examination company. Appointments will only be scheduled for applicants who have been approved by the Commission, and whose names have been referred to the examination company by the Commission staff.
When an applicant calls to schedule an appointment, s/he should be prepared to confirm a date and location for testing, and provide his/her name and Social Security Number. Applicants are required to provide Social Security Numbers for unique identification. Applicants should make a note of the appointment time and location, because no further notification will be given. Applicants arriving more than 15 minutes late for an examination appointment and those failing to appear for an appointment will forfeit the appointment and the examination fee.
At the examination site, applicants will be required to show two pieces of identification, including one of the following: an unexpired driver's license with photograph; an unexpired passport or military identification with photograph; or an unexpired official state identification card with photograph. The second form of identification must display the applicant's name and signature for signature verification. Temporary identification of any sort is not acceptable.
Applicants will only be allowed to take the examination type for which they have applied; no changes in examination type will be made at the examination center. Unscheduled candidates (walk-ins) will not be admitted to the examination center. Please read the Candidate Handbook carefully for more information about the examination.
It is suggested that the applicant study the Real Estate License Manual, and other examination reading materials. The Real Estate Commission supplies a copy of the Real Estate License Act, including the Rules and Regulations adopted by the Commission; pertinent sections of the Title Eight-Fair Housing Act (Federal); pertinent sections of the Nebraska Fair Housing Act of 1969 and a comprehensive bulletin of information. Preparation should also be made covering definitions of real estate terms, listing and purchase offer contracts; deeds, closing or final settlements; legal descriptions; business arithmetic problems; and have a clear understanding of the obligations that exist between the principal and agent.
Applicants are permitted to bring and use a calculator or slide rule during the real estate examination. Only silent, hand-held, solar- or battery-operated calculators without printing capabilities or alphabetic keypads may be used. The use of a calculator that does not meet this description constitutes grounds for immediate dismissal from the examination. Calculator malfunction during the examination does not constitute grounds for challenging examination scores or requesting additional examination time.
Examination administrators must be extremely cautious. They must be alert to devices that could compromise the security of the examinations. Candidates may be required to exchange equipment which, in the opinion of the examination administrator, does not meet security guidelines. Substitute calculators will be provided ONLY when exchanges are requested by the examination administrator. Applicants who wish to use a calculator must bring suitable calculators to the examination.
RELEASE OF APPLICANT NAMES FOR MAILING PURPOSES
At the time of the examination, applicants may be given an option of having their names released for mailing purposes. In Nebraska this is public information, and is not optional.
FAILING THE EXAMINATION
All applicants will be issued an official score report immediately following the examination. If an applicant has not received a passing score, s/he may obtain a re-take application at the examination site, or from the Commission office. Each time an applicant wishes to re-take the examination, s/he must submit an examination fee with a completed re-take application form to the Commission office.
SALESPERSON EXAMINATION CANDIDATES PLEASE NOTE: Those taking the salesperson examination who pass either the national or the state-specific section of the examination but fail the other section will be allowed to retain credit for the section of the examination they pass. The applicant will retain said credit through three subsequent administrations of the examination or six months, whichever comes first. Should the candidate fail to pass the additional section of the examination within this framework, he/she will be required to retake both portions of the examination again and the retention schedule will begin again from that point forward, and so on. Candidates are advised to take care with their original passing score report as they will be required to submit it to the Commission as part of their license application. Because the staffing needs and site commitment remain the same, the full examination fee will be required whether two parts of the examination are being taken or one.
Each time an applicant wishes to re-take the examination, s/he must submit an examination fee with a completed re-take application form to the Commission office.
PASSING THE EXAMINATION
All applicants will be issued an official score report immediately following the examination. Applicants who pass the examination are required to submit their original score report to the Commission, with the picture intact, in order to obtain a license. Photocopies will not be accepted. Applicants must complete the licensing process within thirty (30) days of being notified that a passing grade has been received. Applicants will also need to indicate, in writing, whether the license should be issued on active or inactive status, provide the required documentation on how they will be employed or doing business, and pay the appropriate licensing fee. The licensing fee pays for a license which will be valid for the balance of the calendar year. All licenses must be renewed for every calendar year, whether on active or inactive status.
ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE
Applications for issuance of an original or renewal license on active status will not be approved until the Real Estate Commission Office has received proof that the applicant obtained Errors & Omissions (E & O) insurance coverage.
An E & O insurance policy is available to all licensees under a group plan offered through the Commission=s Program Administrator. E & O insurance may also be acquired from any qualified carrier, as long as the coverage is equivalent to that made available through the Real Estate Commission.
Any qualified carrier as long as the coverage is equivalent to that made available through the Real Estate Commission. An enrollment form and additional information on the Commission's plan, as well as an Errors and Omissions Fact Sheet and Certification of Equivalent Coverage Form, will be sent to applicants when they have been approved to take the examination.
NOTE: Applicants should wait until they have received their licensing examination pass notice before acquiring errors & omissions insurance.
OBTAINING THE LICENSE
Computerized examinations allow instant score reporting. Applicants who pass the examination will be able to proceed with license issuance in a timely manner. Instruction on how to proceed with this process will be available from the Commission Office and from the Examination Center.
Administrative procedures in the Commission Office require that an applicant must complete the licensing process within thirty (30) days of being notified that a passing grade has been received. Please Note: When you pass the exam, you will be required to send to the Commission the original score report that you receive at the examination site, before we can license you.
The licensing fee will entitle the applicant to a license which will be valid for the balance of the calendar year. All licenses must be renewed for every calendar year. No license will be issued until official proof of completion of the education requirements is received in the Real Estate Commission Office (see explanation in the Application Procedures section above).