FREC didn’t receive course completion reports from some Fla. licensees who took the real estate salesman or broker’s test online between Jan. 2020 and June 2022.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) has started prosecuting new licensees who didn’t submit their pre-licensing course completion report. In a worst-case scenario, a real estate license could be revoked.

These licensees may now receive emails or calls seeking the missing paperwork.

The problem: During COVID lockdowns, FREC expanded from in-person testing only to a new option: Applicants could, if they wished, take the real estate test online.

The result: Some of today’s current licensees who did online testing in 2020, 2021 and the first half of 2022 (January to June) failed to submit their pre-licensing course completion report. When FREC identified the problem, investigators started calling these licensees to obtain the paperwork, or, in some cases, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) started contacting these licensees by email and requesting the missing paperwork.

However, not all licensees responded to the calls or emails, possibly due to concerns about their legitimacy – but they are legitimate in this case.

If agents fail to respond or submit documentation, FREC says they can be prosecuted and have their real estate license revoked. Those who do submit documentation now may be subject to a fine, investigation costs and reprimand – but not a revocation of their real estate license.

Options: If you are contacted by phone or email for this information, don’t ignore the request.

If you haven’t been contacted by DBPR but fit this profile – i.e., you took a test online during the time period noted above – and want to preemptively submit your pre-licensing course completion certificate, you can submit it to DBPR.

Fax it to FREC at (850) 487-9529 with a brief cover letter explaining that it’s proof of your pre-licensing course completion certificate – and retain a copy of the fax.

Unsure if your pre-licensing certificate was submitted? Send a copy in anyway. There is no penalty for duplicating document submission.

Don’t have a copy of your pre-licensing certificate? Contact the provider of the course you attended and ask them for it.

Note: There is currently no way for a real estate licensee to check their DBPR account to verify whether or not they submitted the required certificate.

Also, be aware: Real estate schools do not submit the certificate to DBPR for you. Applicants who took in-person tests at a testing center submitted their certificates there; licensees who took their test online did not. They must now send the required certificate to DBPR if they have not already done so.

Going forward, the documentation issue shouldn’t be a problem for licensees who take tests online. Under a new contract with the vendor who administers FREC’s online tests, the vendor will submit the certificates directly into DBPR’s system. However, this protection is not retroactive for previous licensees who took their tests online.

The short bit of advice? Don’t ignore a call or email from FREC or DBPR. And if you never submitted your pre-licensing course completion report, do so now.

© 2022 Florida Realtors®

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Author: kerrys