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IREC FAQ COVID 19

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Frequently Asked Questions about IREC licensing during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Emergency Proclamations in Iowa:

1) I am applying for an Iowa real estate broker or salesperson license and I am unable to get fingerprinted at an authorized fingerprint service. Can I still get licensed?
A: No. In  Section Seventy-Eight  of the Governor's April 30, 2021 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, it was stated that Iowans should not expect the suspension of the required background check to be extended beyond May 30, 2021. As anticipated, the May 27, 2021 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency is silent on the background check suspension/relief; as a result, all real estate broker and salesperson applicants shall be subject a national criminal history check through the federal bureau of investigation as required by Iowa Code   § 543B.15(9).


To summarize:
 Your application will be NOT processed without the fingerprint card/background check.
 All fees (background check and licensing) will apply.
 Applicants must answer all questions on the application and disclose any serious misdemeanor conviction, aggravated misdemeanor conviction or felony conviction (a conviction of operating while intoxicated [OWI] MUST be disclosed). A "conviction" includes a guilty plea, a deferred judgment prior to discharge, and a finding of guilt by a judge or jury. ALL convictions must be disclosed regardless of the date when entered or whether the criminal record has been expunged. IF IN DOUBT - DISCLOSE!

2) I am applying for an Iowa salesperson license and my 60-hour real estate principles and practices course completion certificate expired. Am I eligible to take the real estate examination?
A: Maybe. In  Section Ninety-Two  of the Governor's April 2, 2021 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, it was stated that Iowans should not expect the suspension of the provisions in 543B.15(8) to be extended beyond May 2, 2021. As anticipated, the April 30, 2021 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency is silent on the suspension of the provisions in 543B.15(8); as a result, all 60-hour course completion certificates dated after May 2, 2020 do not qualify for any extensions or relief to sit for the Iowa real estate salesperson examination.
However, The Commission recognizes that the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency has prevented or could prevent applicants from meeting certain deadlines of completing education requirements prior to examination and application for initial licensure for a real estate salesperson license and some applicants could be eligible to sit for the real estate salesperson examination even though their course completion certificate is older than one-year-old.

To summarize:
 For all 60-hour course completion certificates dated between March 19, 2019 and May 2, 2020, the Commission has granted a six-month extension for examination candidates to sit for the salesperson licensing examination (e.g. the course completion certificate dated 03/19/20 can be used to sit for the exam and apply for a salesperson license until 09/19/21) and submit a completed application. The Commission voted to grant this this extension or relief sunsets on November 2, 2021.

3) I am applying for an Iowa broker license and my 72-hour broker prelicense education course completion certificates have expired. Am I eligible to take the real estate examination?
A: Maybe. In  Section Ninety-Two  of the Governor's April 2, 2021 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, it was stated that Iowans should not expect the suspension of the provisions in 543B.15(7) to be extended beyond May 2, 2021.  As anticipated, the  April 30, 2021 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency  is silent on the suspension of the provisions in 543B.15(8); as a result, all 72-hour broker prelicense course completion certificates dated after May 2, 2019 do not qualify for any extensions or relief to sit for the Iowa real estate broker examination.
However, the Commission recognizes that the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency has prevented or could prevent applicants from meeting certain deadlines of completing education requirements prior to examination and application for initial licensure for a real estate broker license and some applicants could be eligible to sit for the real estate broker examination even though their course completion certificates are older than two-years-old.

To summarize:
 For all 72-hour broker prelicense education course completion certificates dated between March 19, 2018 and May 2, 2019 or later, the Commission has granted a six-month extension for examination candidates to sit candidates to sit for the broker licensing examination (e.g. the course completion
certificate dated 03/19/19 can be used to sit for the exam and apply for a broker license until 09/19/21 and submit a completed application. This extension or relief sunsets on November 2, 2021.


4) My license expired on December 31, 2020. Do I need to renew?
A: In  Section Forty-Nine  of the Governor's June 25, 2021 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, it was stated that Iowans should not expect the temporary suspension of administrative rules which apply to license renewal during the period of this disaster emergency to be extended beyond July 25, 2021.  As
anticipated, the  July 23, 2021 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency  is silent on the temporary suspension of administrative rules which apply to license renewal; as a result, all real estate licenses with a December 31, 2020 expiration date are expired effective July 25, 2021.

To summarize:
 For all licenses with a December 31, 2020 expiration date, the Commission will process license reinstatement applications between July 25, 2021 and December 31, 2023.
 All reinstatement applications MUST be submitted electronically through licensee’s user accounts at "My Iowa PLB"
 All licensing fees and applicable reinstatement penalties will apply.
 Thirty-six (36) hours of continuing education are required, but the requirement that only 24 hours can be taken via distance education is temporarily suspended for all licenses set to expire on December 31, 2020. The thirty-six (36) hours shall comprise of 8 hours of “Law Update”, 4 hours of “Ethics” and
24 hours of Commission approved electives. 
 For all licensees with an active license as of January 1, 2021 AND for all licensees that are continued to practice real estate without submitting a renewal application in reliance upon an applicable provision of the Governor’s emergency proclamation that the State Public Health Emergency Declaration is extended, errors and omissions insurance is IS required. See Iowa Code § 543B.47(1). Failure of a licensee to carry insurance on an uninterrupted basis may be subject to discipline by the Commission.
 If licensees fail to reinstate their salesperson or broker license on or before December 31, 2023, they shall be treated as if they have never been licensed before in Iowa and they will be required to start over in the licensing process.   See 193E Iowa Administrative Code §§ 3.6(3) and/or 4.6(3).


5) My salesperson or broker license is set to expire on December 31, 2020 or December 31, 2021 or December 31, 2022. Can I take all of the required continuing education (36) hours via distance learning?
A: Yes. The Commission recognizes that the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency has prevented or could prevent licensees from completing the required 12 hours of continuing education that is to be taken via live instruction. In  Section Forty-Eight  of the Governor's June 25, 2021 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, it was stated that Iowans should not expect the temporary suspension of the requirements for in-person continuing education requirements during the period of this disaster emergency to be extended beyond July 25, 2021.  As anticipated, the  July 23, 2021 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency  is silent on the temporary suspension of the requirements for in-person continuing education requirements; as a result, all real estate licenses with a December 31, 2023 expiration date will need to comply with 193E Iowa Administrative Code § 16.4(4) and at least 12 hours of continuing education must be taken by live instruction.

193E—16.1(543B) Definitions. For the purpose of these rules, the following definitions shall apply:


“Distance learning” means a planned teaching/learning experience with a geographic separation of
student and instructor that utilizes a wide spectrum of technology-based systems, including computerbased
instruction, to reach learners at a distance. Home-study courses that include written materials,
exercises and tests mailed to the provider for review are included in this definition.
“Live instruction” means an educational program delivered in a traditional classroom setting or by
electronic means whereby the instructor and student have real-time visual and audio contact to carry out
their essential tasks.


To summarize:
 Thirty-six (36) hours of continuing education are required, but the requirement that only 24 hours can
be taken via distance education is temporarily suspended for all licenses set to expire on December
31, 2020 and December 31, 2021, and December 31, 2022.
 The thirty-six (36) hours shall comprise of 8 hours of “Law Update”, 4 hours of “Ethics” and 24 hours
of Commission approved electives. 

 For all licenses set to expire on December 31, 2023, 193E Iowa Administrative Code § 16.4 is applicable.


Please do not hesitate to contact Commission staff at realestatecommission@iowa.gov or (515) 725-9022, Ext. 8 if you have any questions. Also, please be patient as the volume of phone calls and e-mails spike considerably between the time period of November 16th – January 30th. Many questions may also be answered by visiting the Commission’s FAQ page.