The real estate industry is a vast, interconnected network of professionals dedicated to helping individuals buy, sell, or lease properties. In the U.S., each state has established its own unique set of requirements for becoming a licensed real estate agent or broker. While there are many similarities between states, there are also distinct differences that set them apart. Minnesota, known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” is no exception. This article aims to elucidate the process of obtaining a real estate license in Minnesota and how it stands out from other states.

Minnesota Real Estate License Requirements:

  1. Age and Eligibility:

Prospective agents must be at least 18 years old.

  1. Education:

Minnesota requires aspiring real estate agents to complete 90 hours of pre-license education from an approved provider. These hours are typically divided into three 30-hour courses.

  1. Examination:

After the coursework is completed, candidates must pass the state real estate examination. This exam consists of both a national and state-specific section, ensuring that agents are proficient in general real estate principles as well as Minnesota-specific laws and regulations.

  1. Background Check:

Minnesota requires applicants to undergo a background check. This helps protect consumers and ensures that those entering the profession have a clean record.

  1. Application and Fees:

Upon passing the exam, candidates must submit an application to the Minnesota Department of Commerce along with the necessary fees.

  1. Affiliation with a Broker:

New agents must be affiliated with a licensed Minnesota real estate broker. This allows them to work under the guidance and mentorship of experienced professionals.

  1. Continuing Education:

Once licensed, real estate agents in Minnesota are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years to renew their licenses.

How Minnesota Differs from Other States:

Education Hours:

The requirement of 90 hours of pre-license education in Minnesota is more than in some states but less than in others. For example, California requires 135 hours, whereas Pennsylvania requires only 60 hours. This places Minnesota in a middle ground when it comes to education hours.

Broker Affiliation:

Some states allow new agents a grace period to find a sponsoring broker, while Minnesota mandates immediate affiliation upon licensing.


Minnesota has reciprocity agreements with some states but not all. This means if you’re a licensed agent in a state with a reciprocity agreement, you might not have to complete all the requirements or take the state-specific part of the exam. The specifics of these agreements can vary, making it essential for out-of-state agents to check the particulars when considering moving to or operating in Minnesota.

Background Checks:

While many states require background checks for aspiring real estate agents, Minnesota’s background check is quite thorough, ensuring a high standard of professionalism in the industry.

Renewal and Continuing Education:

The requirement for 30 hours of continuing education every two years in Minnesota is comparable to many states. However, the specific content and focus of the coursework might vary. Some states might emphasize ethics, while others could focus on recent legal changes or emerging market trends.

In conclusion, while the journey to becoming a licensed real estate agent has many common elements across states, Minnesota’s approach aims to ensure that its agents are well-prepared and professional, and operate with the utmost integrity. Whether you’re considering a career in real estate in Minnesota or any other state, it’s crucial to understand and meet the specific requirements of that state to ensure success in the industry.