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Have a question about the real estate exam? Find the answers to all your real estate license questions here:

What are Pennsylvania Real Estate License Requirements?
Real estate license requirements vary from state to state. Here are Pennsylvania requirements:

  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • Must complete a background check.
  • Must complete required state approved pre-licensing courses (75 credit hours).
  • Estimated cost of total fees and license: $175

How Hard is the Pennsylvania Real Estate Exam?
The real estate exam is a rigorous and challenging test that weeds out those who are not committed to being skilled agents. In Pennsylvania, the score to pass is 70 and 23. With a total of 110 questions (80 national and 30 state), that means the score to pass is 70 for the national and 23 for the state.

How Many Times Can You Take the Pennsylvania Real Estate Exam?
There are no limits to the number of times you can take your real estate exam in Pennsylvania, but you must pay the $49 exam fee each time you retake it.

What Is on the Pennsylvania Real Estate Exam?
The 110 multiple-choice questions on the salesperson examination cover a variety of topics that are relevant to Pennsylvania real estate license law. Here are what topics you are expected to know:

  • Pennsylvania State Portion:
    • Real Estate Commission
    • Licensure
    • Regulation of Conduct of Licensees
  • Pennsylvania National Portion:
    • Property Ownership
    • Land Use Controls and Regulations
    • Valuation and Market Analysis
    • Financing
    • General Principles of Agency
    • Property Disclosures
    • Contracts
    • Leasing and Property Management
    • Transfer of Title
    • Practice of Real Estate
    • Real Estate Calculations


The Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission requires each applicant for licensure to have a criminal record check complete. This Criminal Record Check may not be older than 90 days from the date the Commission receives your application.
Pennsylvania residents may apply for a record check online at https://epatch.state.pa.us.

Please note that it takes approximately two weeks to receive this background check by mail and up to three days to receive it online.

Please note:

  • Any record checks received that are older than 90 days will be returned and the application will not be processed.
  • If there is not a STATUS listed on the record check, obtain documentation from the State Police or Court System showing the status of the conviction(s).
  • Criminal Record Checks must be completed by the State Police in the state where the applicant currently resides. Applicants from outside of Pennsylvania must contact the State Police in the state of residency to obtain this information. You might wish to check to see if the State Police in your state provides online services.

For applicants who reside in PA:

The instructions are subjected to change. They were provided to us by the Pennsylvania State Police. Any questions concerning this procedure should be directed to the State Police.

The Pennsylvania State Police telephone number is 717-783-5593

*Online Pennsylvania State Police Record Check: https://epatch.state.pa.us

After you have completed a request on PATCH, you will receive a screen that shows a control number (this begins with an R), the name of the person being checked, the date of the request, and either no record, under review, pending.

This is NOT the form which needs to be submitted.

If you have no record, just click on the control number and all information entered to obtain this record check will appear on the screen. Around the middle of the screen click on “Certification Form”. Once the Certification Form appears, click on print (upper right hand corner).

This is the form you are required to submit. It includes your identifying information (social security number, date of birth, etc.) needed for verification.

If a request shows pending or under review, you can check your status periodically using your assigned controlled number. A pending request normally takes a short period of time and usually means a lot of users are using this site.

If the pending requests are for a long period of time (a couple of days) you should notify the State Police Help Desk at the number published on their website.

If it is under review, the completion time could be up to 3 weeks. If there is NO record, you may print the Certification Form. If you do have a record, your results will be mailed to you at the address entered when the record check was done.

If you have ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or pled guilty or nolo contendere, your application may be delayed and/or denied for licensure. You must submit the following documentation to the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission along with your application for licensure:

  • The conviction summary information provided by the State Police
  • Certified copies of court documents;
  • Letter from Probation Officer, dated within 90 days, indicating current probationary status/completion date;
  • Police incident reports;
  • Employment History (resume);
  • Detailed description (in applicant’s words) of the circumstances surrounding the conviction, the basis for the conviction and the disposition of the conviction;
  • A signed and dated reference letter from the employing broker, on the company letterhead, indicating that the broker is aware of all conviction(s) and is willing to hire the applicant;
  • Two signed and dated character references from individuals who are not related to or residing with the applicant.

How to Apply for a Professional License

What Happens to My Application?

  1. Sign in or create account at www.pals.pa.gov
  2. Once you are logged in, scroll to the bottom of your dashboard and click on “Apply for New License,” then select “Real Estate Commission” and “Real Estate Salesperson – Reciprocal” OR “Real Estate Salesperson – Standard.”
  3. Answer the survey questions and click on “Next” to open the application.
  4. Complete the application, upload the required documents, and click on “Send to Broker.” You do not need to click “Save” prior to clicking “Send to Broker”, but if you wish to save the application and continue it at a later time, you must click “Save” before exiting out of the application.
  5. Once you click “Send to Broker,” your prospective employing broker will be notified to log onto the PALS account associated with the broker office license. Your application will be in the “My Queue” section of their dashboard, at the bottom. The broker of record will review and approve your application, certifying that they are willing to hire, train, and supervise you as required by the Law and Regulations.
  6. Once the employing broker has approved your application, log back in to your PALS account, scroll to the bottom and locate your “My Queue” section.
    • Click on “Review” to re-open the application and complete the legal questions.
    • Click on “Submit” and then review the application before clicking on “Add to Cart.”
    • You will now pay for the application and submit it to the Commission. At this point, the processing time as referenced in this Guide will begin.
      To upload additional documents to your application, you must return to your dashboard, then locate the application in the “Activities” section.
    • Click on the blue “plus” sign next to the application reference number and then click the checklist item that you wish to upload a document to. The system will not show that a document has been uploaded, however, if you get a “check mark” after the upload process, it was uploaded successfully.

Please be aware that the status of checklist items will not change until your application is reviewed by a reviewing officer under the timeframe provided. If there are documents missing or information that needs to be corrected, you will receive an e-mail at your registered e-mail address with details on how to resolve the missing or incorrect information.

Once your license has been issued, you will see it immediately under the Professional License Details banner of your dashboard. You will receive the license at your broker’s main office in 7-10 business days after date of issue.