Q: I am a licensed real estate salesperson, and my license is coming up for renewal. However, I have yet to complete all my necessary continuing education credits. After my license expires, do I have a grace period during which time I can continue to conduct my real estate activities? What are the consequences of failing to complete my credits and renewing my real estate license on time?
A: There is no grace period for continuing to conduct real estate activities if you have not completed your continuing education credits prior to the expiration of your real estate license. If you do not complete your credits prior to the expiration of your real estate license, you will not have a valid license and therefore cannot conduct any activities that would require such license. You will, however, have two years from the date that your real estate license expires to renew your license (after you complete your continuing education requirements) without having to pass the New York State real estate examination.
A real estate licensee who fails to meet the continuing education requirements necessary to renew a license and continues to conduct real estate activities will potentially be subject to: (i) the loss of commission, (ii) a fine imposed by the Department of State, (iii) suspension of their license by the Department of State and/or (iv) revocation of their license by the Department of State.
Important Tip: The Department of State has informed us that they are conducting random audits of real estate license renewal applications. These audits will require licensees to provide proof of completion of the requisite continuing education classes. These audits have revealed that some licensees have not completed their continuing education requirements even though they indicated that they had done so on their license renewal application.
The Legal Line Question by:
Neil B. Garfinkel
REBNY Broker Counsel
Partner-in-charge of real estate and banking practices at Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP