How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Hawaii

Hawaii Real Estate License Requirements

To apply for a license to become a real estate agent in the state of Hawaii, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time of take the exam
  • Be a citizen, national or an alien authorized to work in the United States at the time of the exam
  • You must have a Social Security Number
  • You must complete a 60-hour salesperson pre-license course
  • Receive approval for your application
  • Pass exam with 70% minimum

Hawaii Real Estate License Costs

  • Real Estate Agent Education in Wyoming: $500
    to $800 (approx.)
  • Exam Fee: $61

Helpful Tips

STEP 1: Hawaii Pre-licensing Education

If you plan to become a real estate salesperson in Hawaii, you will need to have completed 18 years of age, be a citizen or national of the United States. If you are from a different country, then you should have authorization to work here. You must have a Social Security Number.

The first step is to submit your application to the Real Estate Branch before registering for the examination. A form-fillable form is available on the Commission’s website which you can fill online or take a print and fill legibly using black ink.

HREC also expects you to report any civil or criminal charges. It holds discretionary power to grant or deny permission to apply for pre-license application.

You should then complete 60 hours of real estate pre-licensing course accredited by the Hawaii Real Estate Commission except in the case of having been granted a pre-licensing education equivalency, obtained prior to the examination. The Real Estate Commission will review and approve the pre-licensing education equivalency based on its discretion and the certificate is valid for two years from the date of issuance. If you need an extension of time, you will need to submit a new application.

You can study online or in a classroom environment at one of the authorized schools providing real estate education depending on your convenience. A school like The CE Shop offers online, mobile-friendly courses at costs ranging from $450-$650.

STEP 2: Submit a Completed Application

Where to Apply

Applications are given to candidates who pass in the course completion exam. Once you have completed filling up the form, make sure you do submit well in time to be granted and receive a pre-licensing education equivalency certificate prior to taking the examination, if you are applying for one.

You can fill the form online and submit it on the Commission’s website. Or you can take a print out, fill it legibly using black ink and mail it to the following address:

DCCA, PVL, Licensing Branch
P. O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801

You can also deliver it to the office location at:
335 Merchant St., Room 301
Honolulu, HI 96813

Along with the form, you must submit:

  • The fee will be indicated in the score report non-refundable application fee payable to Commerce & Consumer Affairs
  • The original certificate in case you have completed a degree in law from an accredited law school in the US, pre-licensing Education Equivalency Certificate for Real Estate License Exam and, if applicable, Equivalency to Uniform Section of Examination Certificate
  • Documentation as stated in the score report
  • Documents regarding prior convictions, disciplinary actions or complaints/charges by a licensing agency of any state or jurisdiction

If you are applying for equivalency, you must submit your current license. This should have been active one year immediately prior to the date of the equivalency application as a salesperson in another state. You must also have completed a similar or superior pre-licensing education.

Application Fees

You must pay a $50 non-refundable fee to Commerce & Consumer Affairs at the time of submitting your application. You can register through PSI Exams Online and pay a fee of $61.

If your check to CCA is dishonored but you have already received the license certificate, your license will be considered invalid and you cannot do business under that license. You will also have to pay $25 as a service charge.

In case you are denied the license/certificate for any reason, you can make an appeal for a hearing under Title 16, Chapter 201, Hawaii Administrative Rules, and/or Chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes. You must submit a written request for a hearing addressed to HREC within 60 days of your application for a license/certificate being rejected.

Proof of Pre-licensing Requirements

To be eligible to take the exam for pre-licensing for real estate salesperson, you must complete the commission approved pre-license course given in Hawaii before the date of the examination. Or, you must apply for pre-licensing Education Equivalency—Real Estate.

You will receive a school completion certificate upon the successful completion of the 60-day pre-license course. This should be presented at the examination venue. On passing the examination, the certificate should be submitted with the application for obtaining the real estate license.

The school completion certificate is valid for two years from the date of issuance.

If you have completed four years of degree in law from an accredited law school in the US, submit the certificate with the application. Also submit Pre-licensing Education Equivalency Certificate for Real Estate License Exam and Equivalency to Uniform Section of Examination Certificate if relevant.

For those of you applying for equivalency, submit your current license that has been active within one year immediately prior to the date of the equivalency application as a salesperson in another state. A similar or superior pre-licensing education must have been completed for it to be valid.

If you have a questionable background issue, you must submit relevant documents.

Legal Document Requirements

You must submit your social security number which is used to verify your identity for licensing purposes. This is also mandated by Federal Laws 42 U.S.C.A. §666 (a)(13), which requires the social security number of any applicant to be recorded on the application for a professional or occupational license.

If you are a licensed health care practitioner applying for a real estate salesperson pre-license, you must submit your social security number as part of 45 C.F.R., Part 61, Subpart B, §61.7. This is mandatory for Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB) to eliminate any adverse licensing action against a licensed health care practitioner.

§576D-13(j) of Hawaii Revised Statutes also requires the Social Security Number to be recorded on the application for the license. As per §436B-10(4), HRS which requires you to provide your social security number and the licensing authority is authorized by federal law to require the disclosure.

If you have any questionable background issues such as pending lawsuits or any charges against you, you must submit the relevant official documents. You must also state the reasons, your experience and education in the time since the action was taken. You must also provide statements from employers and business associates since the action and proof of payments and/or payment plans in case of financial crimes.

The right to issue or reject your request for application for getting the pre-license lies with the authorities.

STEP 3: Pass the State License Test

You can take this test online or in person. It is conducted by PSI Exams Online. There are two parts to the examination: the uniform and state sections. There are 130 questions, with 80 in the uniform section and 50 in the state section. To pass each section, you must have a high score of 70% or higher.

To take the exam, your must application must have been approved and you must have completed 60 hours of pre-license course or meet the equivalency requirements.

You will receive the applications for the license at the test site and on passing the examination. You must submit the completed applications within two years of passing the exam. If you submit after two years, you shall be deemed to have failed and must take the examination again.

Topics Covered in the Course

  • Course Overview: The Real Estate Business
  • Real Estate License Law And Qualifications For Licensure
  • Real Estate License Law And Commission Rules
  • Authorized Relationships, Duties And Disclosure
  • Real Estate Brokerage Activities And Procedures
  • Violations Of License Law, Penalties And Procedures
  • Federal And State Laws Pertaining To Real Estate
  • Property Rights: Estates And Tenancies; Condominiums, Cooperatives, Community Development Districts, Homeowner Associations And Time Sharing
  • Title, Deeds And Ownership Restrictions
  • Legal Descriptions
  • Real Estate Contracts
  • Residential Mortgages
  • Types Of Mortgages And Sources Of Financing
  • Real Estate Related Computations And Closing Of Transactions
  • The Real Estate Markets And Analysis
  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • Real Estate Investments And Business Opportunity Brokerage
  • Taxes Affecting Real Estate
  • Planning And Zoning

Refer to the Candidate Information Booklet to understand the application and examination process better. If there are case studies, refer to them for better understanding. There is a three-hour end-of-course examination that you must take and strive to do well.

Time Given to Take the Test

When you apply for the Hawaii Real Estate Salesperson license, you can take the exams for the national level or the state level. For the national level, the exam is in two parts and is held for 150 minutes. If you go for the state-level license, the exam is for 90 minutes.

What to Bring to the Exam

You can take the test online. It is not an open book test and it is time-bound.

At the time of the exam, you will have to submit your Social Security Number, your pre-license course completion certificate, your degree in law certificate from any reputed university in the US and proof of integrity in case you have a background with a questionable issue.

STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License

The license application is submitted on passing the end of pre-license course exam and after you pass.

Getting the Hawaii real estate license can take three to months required to complete the following:

  • Completing the necessary education
  • Submitting a background check
  • Passing the real estate exam with 70%
  • Procuring an errors and omissions insurance
  • Finding a sponsor in an actively licensed Hawaii broker

The application processing time may vary and so you will be issued a provisional license. This indicates an active status and gives you permission to begin work.

If you fail the exam, you must reschedule the exam after 24 hours.

STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage

Having obtained your license, no doubt you are excited and confused about what your next step should be. Should you start out on your own or work for an established firm? Should it be a national franchise, a boutique brokerage or a virtual one? Should you work only for a commission, only for a salary or for someone who has a hybrid payment mode?

Before deciding, some of the factors you must consider are:

  • The firm’s reputation
  • The commission split
  • Training and support
  • Lead generation

Scout the area you want to work in and find out about the active real estate firms. Speak to different agents to get a pulse of the market and how each one is performing. Once you have identified a few, interview them to understand how they pay, what kind of support they can provide and who will be responsible for lead generations.


These can be of three types:

  • High-Split Plans: They sound tempting because you can even keep 100% commission in return for desk fees that you will have to pay regardless of whether you are earning any commission
  • Traditional Split Plans: This is split 50:50 without no or a small desk fee that will not hurt you financially and is fairer
  • Hybrid Plans: You set goals, and as you achieve them, your percentage share increases

Find out about other fees they charge and get it all in writing so that you can compare offers and choose calmly.

Type of Firms

National Real Estate Brokerages

Large national firms allow their name, branding and business model to be used by brokers for a set percentage of every completed deal.


  • A formidable reputation that can enhance yours
  • Multiple offices across different states, allowing you to relocate
  • Technology advantage
  • Training and support


  • The size can be intimidating and make them impersonal
  • Give you a feeling of being undervalued

Boutique Brokerage

Owned by one small company and managed by one broker they are good because:


  • More individual attention
  • Fewer agents vying for leads
  • Greater teamwork
  • Greater flexibility
  • Room for creativity


  • Smaller marketing budgets
  • Less known
  • Fewer tech resources

Virtual Brokerages

There is no physical office and this saving on infrastructure can translate to a commission.


  • Lower or no desk fees
  • Leverage technology better
  • Greater independence


  • No team to work with

STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements

Each two-year license period from January 1 of odd-numbered years to December 31 of even-numbered years is called the licensing biennium. You should complete 20 hours of approved continuing education courses for this period. The courses include 6 hours for the commission designated core course and 14 hours of elective credit hours. You will be given separate completion certificates for both these courses, which must be verified by continuing education providers.

If you were issued a license in an even-numbered year and applied for renewal at the end of that year, you do not have to complete the continuing education requirement. If you’re looking for a platform that offers continuing education or pre-license training then The CE Shop offers you several options that will satisfy your requirements and help you achieve your desired certifications. The courses offered range from $35 to $199 for the continuing education programs and $585 to $835 for the pre-license course.

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RE Agents Team