Frequently Asked Questions
Select the “Ctrl” button along with “F” to open the "Find" feature on your web browser. Put in one or two words that relate to your question and if found below, this should navigate you to that question.
Q: I have a real estate license that expires on December 31, 2020. When can I renew that license?
A: The renewal period for all licenses that expire on December 31, 2020 begins on November 16, 2020. Your renewal application should be available at that time when you login into My Iowa PLB. All renewal applications MUST be submitted electronically through your account at "My Iowa PLB" As of Septembber 11, 2017, paper applications are no longer accepted by the Commission.
Q: I created a "My Iowa PLB" account, searched for my license my inputting my social security number, and subsequently received a system notification that my social security number is already being used. What does this mean?
A: It is likely that you have previously created a My Iowa PLB account with a different username (e-mail address). Please contact Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 725-9022, Ext. 8.
Q: Can I submit my application or request to the Iowa Real Estate Commission using the old, paper form?
A: No. As of September 11, 2017 all applicants and/or licensees will need to go to My Iowa PLB create a user account and then submit their application/request/change electronically (all processes are called “applications”). At their initial login, if an individual has a current license or lapsed license, they will link their current or past license to their contact by clicking on "Don't See your License? Click Here To Find Your Existing Licenses." Individuals SHOULD NOT try to link another license other than their own broker (BXXXXX000) or salesperson (SXXXXX000) license to their "My Iowa PLB" account.
Q: How do I know if I created a “My Iowa PLB” account?
A: If an individual is unsure or if they forgot if they have created a "My Iowa PLB" account, please contact Commission staff at email@example.com or (515) 725-9022, Ext. 8, as there should only be one account/login per user. Your username for “My Iowa PLB” will be the e-mail address that you used for your initial login, unless it has since been changed by Commission staff. As a general rule, anyone that has an active or inactive salesperson or broker license, should have a "My Iowa PLB" account already created.
Q: How do I reset my password for my "My Iowa PLB" login?
A: At the bottom of your login link select "Forgot Your Password?" You will be asked for your username, which is the e-mail address originally used to set up your account (if Commission staff has not changed it pursuant to your request). Click "Submit". You will receive an e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org with a link that you must click on. Enter and confirm your new password and then select "Change Password". You will then be logged into your "My Iowa PLB" home. Please review this document for screen shots of this process.
Note: You will want to add email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts to avoid e-mails from My Iowa PLB being delivered to your spam folder.
Q: How can I ensure that I am receiving all e-mails from My Iowa PLB?
Some company mail servers have a firewall or blocker. You may need to speak with your IT department to allow e-mails to come through.
Also, make sure your preferred e-mail address is current and up-to-date. Licensees will be able to update their e-mail address by clicking on "My Contact Information" while logged into "My Iowa PLB." If you want your "My Iowa PLB" username updated or changed, contact Commission staff at email@example.com or (515)725-9022, Ext. 8.
Q: When do I need to complete my continuing education in order to renew my active license? What are the continuing education requirements?
A: Continuing education must be done within the three years of your renewal cycle AND prior to your submission of your renewal application. For those renewing licenses that expire on 12/31/20, your renewal cycle consists of the years 2018, 2019 and/or 2020.
You DO NOT have a 30-day grace period to complete education. If you do not have your continuing education completed by the expiration date of your license you must renew to the inactive status.
Please click here to review the continuing education requirements.
Q: I have a licensed real estate brokerage where I am the sole broker officer or I am licensed as a broker sole proprietor. Can I renew to inactive status?
A: You cannot renew to inactive status without going through the steps of first notifying the Commission of the closing of firm or sole proprietorship, along with placing all affiliated licenses on inactive status. If you are unable to meet the continuing education requirements to renew to active status, please contact Commission staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 725-9022, Ext. 8.
Q: When I submit my renewal application, will I be required to upload my continuing education completion certificates?
A: No. On their renewal application, licensees will either attest to the total number of continuing education hours taken, manually report their continuing education hours, or submit a Non-Resident Affidavit for those jurisdictions that Iowa has an educational reciprocity agreement with.
Q: I took the real estate examination in lieu of continuing education. When I submit my renewal application, will I be required to upload my pass notices?
Q: If I want to remain on inactive status, do I still have to renew my license?
A: Yes, you must submit a renewal application and pay the applicable license fee and your license will be current and in full force and effect for another three years. If you do not renew your license, it will lapse. To renew inactive you will not be required to report continuing education. Also, while on inactive status you are not required to maintain errors and omissions insurance.
Q: I had a real estate license that expired on December 31, 2019. Can I still renew that license?
A: No. The renewal period for licenses that expired on 12/31/19 ended on January 30, 2020. You can reinstate your license by submitting the applicable reinstatement application type:
Reinstatement Application –
Branch/Tradename/Additional Broker Officer
Reinstatement Application – Firm
Reinstatement Application – Individual
Q: What web browser is most compatible with the new licensing system?
A: For best results, users should use Google Chrome as their web browser; however, Safari and Firefox are also supported browsers.
Click here to find out what browser you are currently using.
Q: How do I download Google Chrome?
A: Click here
Q: How do I find my license card and/or reprint my license?
A: From your My Iowa PLB - Home click on your license number to open up the license detail page. At the bottom of that page you license is under the section labeled "Attachments." Click on "View Document" and then print.
Q: I understand the Iowa Real Estate Commission is no longer mailing out license cards. Am I required to carry a license pocket card?
A: Correct, the Iowa Real Estate Commission is no longer mailing license cards. The licenses are being delivered via e-mail to the broker and the licensee at the time of licensure. Licensees can also find their license card when they log into "My Iowa PLB - Home" and click on their respective license number. There is not a requirement in Iowa Code 543B or 193E Iowa Administrative Code that real estate licensees carry a license pocket card.
Q: I have a licensed real estate brokerage or a sole proprietorship. In my place of business, am I required to display all of the licenses assigned to me?
A: No, as of July 1, 2017 Iowa Code § 543B.25 was repealed; there is no longer a requirement that licenses are put on public display. See Section No. 13 of House File 541.
Q: Where do I find my continuing education records?
A: It is the responsibility of the licensee to maintain their own continuing education records. Licensees will be required to retain their completion certificates for a period of at least three years after the effective date of the license renewal.
Q: Can licensees download their CE certificates into My Iowa PLB at any time?
A: Yes. In their salesperson (SXXXXX000) or broker (BXXXXX000) license detail page, licensees will be able to log their completed continuing education for their upcoming renewal, which can be done through the "Log Continuing Education" button. Please note, this is not a requirement, but only an option for licensees to have a place to store their continuing education records.
Q: How do I search for a license or how do I find out the current status of a license?
License searches can be done by name (be sure to choose “Real Estate Commission” under Licensing Board) or by license number.
Q: My license is currently on inactive status. How can I now become active?
A: You should contact Commission staff at email@example.com or (515) 725-9022, Ext. 8 as there is not one answer that fits all scenarios. In most situations, you will submit a “Change of Status from Inactive to Active” application through your My Iowa PLB login portal.
Q: Where do I find the description of application types and corresponding instructions before I log into My Iowa PLB?
Q: I am a real estate broker and I am going through the process of placing an affiliated licensee on inactive status. I am completing the "Request to Change Affiliated Licensee Status to Inactive” application through my My Iowa PLB login portal, when do I input the license number of the individual I am intending to place on inactive status?
A: Once you have completed the "Checklist" you will put the license number (SXXXXX000 or BXXXXX000) of the licensee you are intending to place on inactive status after you click on the "Submit For Review" button. Do not panic, you will not be putting your license or your firm's license on inactive status through this application process.
After the request is fully vetted by Commission staff, the request will be processed and the once affiliated license will be placed on inactive status. You will receive a system generated e-mail with the subject line, "License No Longer Associated To Your License" and your former affiliated licensee with receive a system generated e-mail with the subject line, "License Inactive."
Q: If my license is active and I currently am assigned to a real estate brokerage or sole proprietor, can I place my own license on inactive status through My Iowa PLB?
A: No. As the designated broker of their respective brokerage, your broker will have to initiate the change of status from active to inactive for any license that is assigned to their brokerage. The application type is called "Request to Change Affiliated Licensee Status to Inactive. After the broker’s request is fully vetted by Commission staff, the request will be processed and the once affiliated license will be placed on inactive status. The broker will receive a system generated e-mail with the subject line, "License No Longer Associated To Your License" and the now inactive licensee with receive a system generated e-mail with the subject line, "License Inactive."
Q: How do I change my personal contact information; such as my home address, mailing address, phone number, or e-mail address?
A: Log into My Iowa PLB and click on "My Contact Information", which can be found in the top, left-hand corner of the page under My Iowa PLB – Home. Licensees will have the ability to edit and update their personal contact information (home address, mailing address, preferred e-mail, preferred phone number, etc.). It is asked that licensees list both their residence address and preferred mailing address, even if they happen to be the same.
Q: I created a “My Iowa PLB” account, but I have a new e-mail address and I want to change my username that I use when I login into My Iowa PLB.
Q: I changed my address in my contact information but when I search my license on-line it still has my old address. How do I correct this?
A: The address that shows up on the license search engine is the information found in your license record and changing your contact information does not carry over to your license record. If you have an active license the address on the public search should be your brokerage's business address. If that is not what is showing up, please contact Commission staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 725-9022, Ext. 8 and request that information be updated.
Q: I am trying to get licensed in another jurisdiction or trying to renew my license in another jurisdiction and it is requested that I obtain a license verification from the Iowa Real Estate Commission. How do I request this document?
A: This request will need to be submitted through your My Iowa PLB account and there will be a $25.00 fee assessed. Click here for step by step instructions on how to obtain a License Verification (license and/or Exam History).
Q: Once an application is submitted how long will it take to be processed?
A: The average turnaround time is three to five business days, if the application is complete. That time will be longer if the application is missing any required information/documentation.
- Click on “Upload” under the "Actions" column.
- Click on “Choose File.”
- Select the file that you are intending to upload and click on “Open” in the pop-up box.
- Click on “Upload” again.
- A message should appear in yellow stating "Attachment uploaded
- Click on “Save” at the bottom of the page before you leave the Manage Submissions page.
Q: What does the status of my application mean?
A: Please review this webpage.
Q: My application status is "Approved - Ready for Payment." How do I make a payment?
A: From your My Iowa PLB Home you have two options for payment:
1. Click on the application number to open up the application detail. Click on the "Pay Fees" button and follow the instructions.
2. From your My Iowa PLB Home on the left hand side select "View/Pay Fees" and select the fee(s) you wish to pay. Click on "Next" and follow the instructions.
Q: I am a real estate licensee trying to transfer from my current real estate brokerage to another real estate brokerage using the “Transfer Form” application while logged into My Iowa PLB. Where do I put the license number of the firm I am transferring to?
A: Once you have completed the "Checklist" and attached any required documents (PDF format preferred) in the "Review Submissions" section the "Submit for Review" option becomes available. After you click on the "Submit for Review" button, you will be required to submit the license number of the licensed real estate firm (FXXXXX000) or licensed real estate broker sole-proprietor (BXXXXX000) that you are intending to transfer your license to.
Q: What will the effective date of license transfer be?
A: Only after both brokers have electronically signed the transfer application is the transfer request deemed complete. Once Commission staff has reassigned the license to the new affiliated broker; e-mail notifications will be sent to the licensee, the releasing broker, and the new affiliated broker. The new license card will be e-mailed to the licensee and the new affiliated broker. There are no costs incurred when transferring an active license from one real estate brokerage to another.
Q: How do I request a fingerprint/background packet to initiate the national criminal history background check?
A: Please review this webpage.
Q: I am looking to pursue a real estate license but I have a felony conviction and/or a criminal conviction offense involving forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, theft, arson, extortion, conspiracy to defraud, or an offense involving a criminal breach of fiduciary duty. Will that prevent me from obtaining a license?
A: Possibly. Please review Iowa Code § 543B.15(3). An applicant that has been convicted of a felony and/or has been convicted of a serious or aggravated misdemeanor offense (or equivalent) specified in Iowa Code § 543B.15(3)(a)(1) shall not be considered for licensure until five years have elapsed following completion of any applicable period of incarceration, or payment of a fine or fulfillment of any other type of sentence. After expiration of the applicable time period, the Commission may deny a license application based on the grounds of the conviction. See Iowa Code § 543B.15(6). If you wish to seek further clarification, please contact Commission staff at email@example.com or (515) 725-9022, Ext. 8 as there is not one answer that fits all circumstances.
Q: I do not have a real estate license in another state. How do I obtain an Iowa salesperson license?
A: Please review the requirements by clicking here.
Q: I am a potential applicant, seeking to obtain my Iowa real estate salesperson license. Can I take the 12-hour "Buying Practices", 12-hour "Listing Practices", and 12-hour "Developing Professionalism and Ethical Practices" courses via distance learning?
A: No. These courses must be completed via live instruction. “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.
Q: I have a real estate license in another state. How do I use that license to get licensed in Iowa?
A: Please review this webpage for details. You will have the option to either get licensed through reciprocity or 193E Iowa Administrative Code § 5.3.
Q: How do I convert my salesperson license to a broker license if I am only licensed in Iowa?
A: Please review the requirements by clicking here.
Q: How do I convert my salesperson license to a broker license if I am currently a licensed broker in another state?
Q: Where do I find information about the errors and omissions insurance requirements for Iowa real estate licenses?
A: You can find information about errors and omissions insurance by clicking here.
Q: How do I file a complaint on a licensee?
A: Complaints are now accepted electronically Please be sure to attach documentation that will support your complaint.
Q: How do I file a complaint on someone who may be practicing real estate in Iowa without a license?
A: Complaints are now accepted electronically. Please be sure to attach documentation that will support your complaint. NOTE: Complaints filed against persons who are not licensed, registered, or certified by a Board or Commission within the Bureau are public records open for public examination under Iowa’s Public Records Law, Iowa Code chapter 22. A copy of your complaint, in its entirety, may be given to the subject of the complaint.
Q: What is the difference between the Iowa Real Estate Commission (IREC) and the Iowa Association of Realtors (IAR)?
A: The Iowa Real Estate Commission (IREC) is a state agency that issues your license, governs real estate practices, and enforces license law. All Iowa real estate licensees must abide by the statues and regulations under the jurisdiction of the IREC. Real estate licensees must also renew their license with the Commission and comply with continuing education requirements. The Commission and staff are not attorneys and are prohibited by Iowa law from providing legal advice.
The Iowa Association of Realtors (IAR) (and local Realtor Associations/Boards) is a private industry group that provides member services, such as the MLS, and advocates on behalf of the real estate industry. In many areas, the local association governs the MLS rules and regulations.