After successfully completing this topic, you will be able to
• distinguish between active and inactive license status,
• understand the regulations regarding involuntary inactive status,
• explain the purpose of multiple and group licenses,
• distinguish between void and ineffective licenses,
• identify situations that cause a license to cease to be in force, and
• describe situations that cause a license to be canceled.
Before a licensee can perform real estate services, the individual must have a current active license. A sales associate or a broker associate’s license must be registered under a broker or owner-developer.
An individual whose license is inactive cannot perform real estate services or receive a commission or any type of referral fee. There are two types of inactive licenses: voluntary and involuntary.
Voluntary inactive status. Sometimes, licensees decide to not practice real estate and keep their real estate licenses inactive. These individuals must do the required continuing education and pay their renewal fees every two years. The licensees may stay in this category indefinitely. They can change to active status at any time by sending a form to the DBPR for no additional fee.
Involuntary inactive status. The license of a person who fails to renew the license before the expiration date (except for the first renewal) will become involuntary inactive. The person has only two years in that status before the license becomes void. If the person wants to reactivate the license, he or she will have to take a FREC-approved course and pay a late fee and a renewal fee. The course type depends on how much time has elapsed since the license expired.
• If the license has been involuntary inactive for 12 months or less, the person must complete a 14-hour continuing education course.
• If the license has been involuntary inactive for more than 12 months, the person must complete a 28-hour reactivation education course.
A sales associate’s or a broker associate’s license may also become inactive if his or her broker retires, dies, or is disciplined with suspension or revocation. Because the associate no longer has an employer, the license becomes inactive. The associate, in order activate the license, must register the license under another broker.
Ineffective—the license exists, but the person can’t use it.
A person has an ineffective license if the license is voluntary or involuntary inactive, or if the license has been suspended. The individual has a license, but cannot legally perform real estate services.
Void—the license no longer exists.
A license is void if
• the licensee failed to complete the required post-licensing course before the first renewal.
• the licensee was involuntary inactive for more than two years.
• the licensee requests that the license be canceled. Cancellation occurs voluntarily, and is not a result of disciplinary action.
• the license has been revoked. The revocation is permanent unless the revocation was because of false information on a license application. The licensee will be allowed to apply for a license again after five years.
Ceases to be in force—Has a license, but cannot conduct business.
For example, a broker may have moved the office without notifying the FREC, or a sales associate has changed offices without proper notification. A licensee or brokerage firm that changes address must report the new address to the DBPR within ten days, or the licensee may face disciplinary action. The licensee may not conduct business until the notification has been sent to the DBPR.
When a broker reports a change of address, the broker must also report any licensees who are no longer with the office. The broker’s change of address notice satisfies the requirement for sales associates who are registered with the broker.
Multiple licenses. Brokers can hold more than one broker license and be the broker for many different entities. Because there is one broker license for each entity, the broker has multiple licenses. Sales associates and broker associates can hold just one license.
Group license. Many owner-developers control as many corporations as they need to provide legal protection to different projects and subdivisions. The owner-developers may wish to employ licensed sales associates to sell the properties of the different entities. Normally, a sales associate or a broker associate can be registered with, and be paid by, only one employer. However, if the entities are all controlled by the same individual(s), the DBPR will issue a group license, allowing the sales associates to be paid by any of the entities.
Accredited colleges and universities are not required to be registered with the FREC to teach classes leading to a real estate license, but their courses must meet FREC requirements.
Proprietary real estate schools must be registered with the Commission. Proprietary schools may not
• guarantee that students will pass the state examination,
• obtain a list of questions from a previous state exam,
• offer a list of questions that are represented to be from a state exam,
• offer a refund to students who fail the exam, or
• recruit for employment opportunities for any real estate brokerage firm during classroom instructional time.
Each school permit holder must post in every classroom and administrative area, and read at the beginning of each course the following statement:
“Recruiting for employment opportunities for any real estate brokerage firm must be accomplished outside the prescribed classroom instructional time. Noncompliance should be reported to the Commission.”-61J2-17.015, FAC
Schools may not advertise statements that are false, misleading, inaccurate, or exaggerated. Schools may not advertise or promise to employ a student unless the school offers an employment contract.