How to Get a Rhode Island Real Estate License

The Steps to Becoming a Rhode Island Real Estate Salesperson

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

How do you become licensed to sell real estate in Rhode Island?

There are a few steps you’ll need to take before reaching your destination, but fortunately, the path is clearly laid out for you. In fact, there’s a shortcut you can take to become a Rhode Island real estate agent even faster that the traditional path. We’ll cover what you need to know to get your Rhode Island real estate license.

Meet the Requirements for Obtaining Your Rhode Island Real Estate License

What are the requirements to become a real estate agent in the state of Rhode Island? Fortunately, Rhode Island doesn't impose a ton of requirements on those interested in pursuing a real estate license. In addition to being 18 years of age or older, here are the basic requirements that you must meet If you wish to work as a licensed real estate agent in Rhode Island:

Now let's break down each one of these requirements.


Complete a Pre-Licensure Education

The state of Rhode Island requires that you take pre-licensure education at a state-approved school. Course work must be completed before you can sit for a salesperson exam. In fact, you will need to provide proof that you actually took a pre-licensure course before you can take the salesperson exam.

Your Rhode Island real estate pre-licensure coursework includes 45 hours of instruction in all aspects of real estate law, including state and national law. Here are just a few of the topics you'll learn when you take a pre-licensure real estate course:

In addition to your 45-hour course work, you will also need to take a three-hour course on the topic of lead paint and toxicity issues. This one-time course should be taken after you have already completed your 45-hour pre-licensure coursework. In this course, you can expect to learn more about the potential health problems associated with lead paint, lead poisoning, and lead hazard mitigation.

Not sure if you can even fit school work into your busy schedule?

Fortunately, the state of Rhode Island makes it easy for adults to take the necessary coursework without having to leave their day job. You can actually take all of your pre-licensure education online. There are real estate schools that offer Rhode Island pre-licensure real estate education completely online. You can complete your course on a self-paced basis at a time that is convenient for you. Most of us can't afford to quit their day job to pursue a career in real estate, and with this option you don't have to. You can work through your real estate salesperson education on your schedule, including evenings, weekends, or even on your commute to and from your day job.

Pass the Rhode Island Real Estate salesperson exam

After you've completed your salesperson pre-licensure course, you are eligible to sit for the Rhode Island Real Estate salesperson exam.

First thing’s first: make a reservation. You will not be able to walk in and take the test without an appointment.

In Rhode Island, the official test administrator for the real estate salesperson exam is the global testing company Pearson VUE. You can make a reservation directly through Pearson VUE by visiting or calling directly. Your reservation must be made at least 24 hours ahead of your examination date.

When making the reservation for your real estate test, be prepared to pay the examination fee of $70. This can be paid by credit card or debit card. Be advised that you cannot pay at the test center. Also note that examination fees are nonrefundable.

On the day of the exam, be sure to bring proper identification along with any other required materials specified at the time of your reservation.

The Rhode Island real estate salesperson exam consists of national and state sections. You will have four hours to complete the entire exam.

The first part of the exam is the national, or general knowledge section. This is the longest part of the exam. You will have two and a half hours to complete this portion of the exam. It consists of 80 questions. Here are some of the topics you will be tested on:

The second part of the exam will focus on Rhode Island-specific real estate laws. This portion of the exam consists of 50 questions and must be completed in one hour and 30 minutes. In this portion of the exam, here are some of the topics you will be tested on:

Please note that if you are sitting as a broker for your Rhode Island real estate license, you will be tested on additional topics including escrow accounts, sanctions, and record keeping.

In order to pass the Rhode Island Real Estate salesperson exam, you will need to answer at least 56 out of the 80 questions correctly on the national section, and at least 35 out of the 40 questions correctly on the state section. The exam will be graded on the spot and you will get your test results right away.

If you have passed the exam, you will have the opportunity to apply for your license. If you fail the exam, you will receive a report that provides insight into your areas of weakness. This will give you guidance on what you should focus on if you decide to take the exam again.

The good news is that if you fail one part of the exam, but pass the other part of this exam, you won't need to take both sections of the exam again if you decide to sit for a second exam. For example, if you pass the state section but fail the national section, you’ll only need to take the national section.

Complete a Background Check

Before you can apply for your real estate license in Rhode Island, you will first need to get your criminal history record directly from the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General.

If applying in person, be sure to bring a photo ID. If you apply by mail, send a notarized copy of your photo ID and a signed letter that gives consent to conduct a background investigation of your criminal history.

The Office of the Attorney General will conduct the investigation and return a letter that indicates if you are qualified or disqualified from obtaining a real estate license in the state of Rhode Island.

Obtain Errors and Omission (E&O) Insurance

Before you can become a licensed real estate agent in Rhode Island, you must carry errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. E&O insurance is a special type of liability insurance that protects you in the event that you make a mistake, provide inaccurate advice, or are in some way negligent as a real estate salesperson. This insurance can cover the cost of attorneys and court fees and can help cover any settlements or judgments found against you.

Apply to Work at a Licensed Real Estate Brokerage

As a real estate salesperson, you will not be able to work for yourself. Instead, you will need to work under the supervision of a licensed broker. Before you can obtain your real estate license you must be sponsored by a broker. Don’t just choose any broker. Shop around to find a broker who can help you reach your career goals. Strongly consider going with a broker who offers a solid mentorship program.

Apply for Your Rhode Island Real Estate Salesperson License

Your final step is to apply for your Rhode Island Real Estate salesperson license. As part of your application, are you will be required to submit the following:

The Rhode Island Real Estate Commission should process your application within 10 business days.


A Shortcut to Receiving Your Rhode Island Real Estate License

Did you know that there was a shortcut to receiving your Rhode Island real estate license? That's right! If you have a Massachusetts real estate license, you can apply right away to receive your Rhode Island real estate license. Why? Massachusetts and Rhode Island have real estate license reciprocity. This means that if you have been licensed in one state, you can automatically get licensed in the other state. One course, two licenses.

But what if you don't have a license in Massachusetts either?

You can take your real estate license education in Massachusetts first. Why Massachusetts first? Massachusetts only requires 40 hours of pre-licensure courses. Rhode Island requires 45 hours of pre-licensure courses. You can actually save time by taking the Massachusetts real estate course.

Please note that to receive your Rhode Island real estate license, you will also need to complete the 3-hour lead paint course.

You can take your course directly from us at Freedom Trail Realty School. We offer flexible and convenient online classes that you can take on your own time and at your own pace. And we guarantee that you’ll pass your real estate salesperson test if you take your course with us. Learn more about our Pass or Don't Pay Guarantee guarantee here.

Here's yet another bonus to getting a license in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts: You'll also be eligible to get a real estate license in Connecticut automatically. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut share real estate license reciprocity with each other. If you're keeping score, that's one course for three licenses.

Learn more about how you can obtain your Rhode Island real estate license by taking a Massachusetts real estate course.

Final Thoughts

Now that you've learned about the magic of real estate license reciprocity, it's time to collect. Click here to get started on earning your real estate license in the state of Massachusetts and become eligible to get your Rhode Island real estate license automatically, too.

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