Renewing Your Real Estate License: A Q & A with OCAR’s Education and Programs Director, Cassie Cardenas

Cassie Cardenas has been helping members for 23 years.  Take her advice to heart... she knows what she's doing!

Cassie Cardenas has been helping members for 23 years. Take her advice to heart… she knows what she’s doing!

Q. When should someone start thinking about their license renewal?

A. It’s best to start within one year of the expiration date (not one day before!)  That way you’ll know that the class information you’re learning is up-to-date.

Q. What’s the best way to renew a license?

A. There are a number of different education providers that members can choose to renew their license. Many members choose to buy the renewal materials at OCAR.  They’ve been developed by REVEI [Real Estate Video Education Institute] and cost $70 (+tax) for members.  We don’t offer survey courses. You can either choose to take the tests in person at OCAR Laguna Hills (with me) or take the tests online. To further your professional development, I recommend that REALTORS® get the GRI Designation–it fulfills all your real estate license renewal requirements in addition to providing valuable information.

Q. So they’ve bought their materials at OCAR, what do they do next?

A. Members have to have the study material for at least six days before they can test.  After the six days, they can either contact me to schedule a testing appointment or they can take the tests online.

Q. How many tests can you take at a time?

A. You can only test for 15 hours of credit in one day–so three days of total testing to renew your license.

Q. What’s the next step after the tests?

A. If you test with me, I’ll give you your BRE (Bureau of Real Estate) certificate numbers; if you take your tests online, you’ll receive your certificates electronically.  Once you have your certificate numbers in hand, you’ll go to the BRE’s website and log into the eLicensing system.

Renewing your license online is the best way to do it… no waiting on paperwork to be processed! Once logged in, you’ll input the certificate numbers and your broker’s email address, and pay the renewal fee.  It’s so important that you check to make sure you have your broker’s correct email address and that they receive the email that the BRE sends to them (they have to respond!). 

Once that’s done, you’re renewed for four-years.

Q. How much does it cost to renew right now?

A. Members should always check the fees with the BRE, but right now for on-time renewals it’s $245 for agents and $300 for brokers; late renewals will cost agents $367 and $450 for brokers—it pays to renew on-time!

Q. What should members do if their license has already expired?

A. They have a two-year grace period from the time of the expiration date to complete the 45-hours of continuing education.  Outside of that timeframe , they’ll have to start all over and should contact the BRE for instructions.  They can’t practice real estate during that time, so it’s important that you don’t let your license expire in the middle of a transaction… you can’t collect a commission!

Q. What if someone doesn’t want to use the BRE’s eLicensing?

A. They’ll have to fill out the traditional paperwork and should send it in at least 60 days before it [their license] expires.  Save the headache and just renew online.

Q. What conditions must be met to renew a license online?

A. Visit the BRE’s website here for instructions, here.

Q. Is there a tutorial on how to use eLicensing?

A. The BRE has developed tutorials to help you learn to use eLicensing. Click below to learn how to:

OCAR: Turning Sixty and Still Looking Good

On June 10, 1953, the South Orange County Association of REALTORS® was chartered by the National Association of REALTORS®, and it is to this event that the Orange County Association of REALTORS® (OCAR) traces its beginnings. Thus in 2013, OCAR is turning sixty and, says President Len Herman, “still looking good.”

In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated president of the United States, a truce ended the Korean War, Walt Disney released Peter Pan, the Academy Awards ceremony was televised for the first time, Douglas Aircraft Company introduced the DC-7, and Howard Hughes gave all his stock in Hughes Aircraft Company to the newly formed Howard Hughes Medical Institute, thereby turning that aerospace and defense contractor into a tax-exempt charitable organization.

In this Cold War era, aerospace and defense contracting was important to the nation and to Southern California. Representatives from companies like Douglas, Hughes, and Lockheed Martin visited university campuses throughout the country to recruit graduates to plants in Culver City, El Segundo, Palmdale, and Santa Monica.

A growing freeway system made it possible for these young engineers and their families to live in places like Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Irvine, and Mission Viejo and to commute to work. Tracts of houses appeared on land that had once been bean fields, orange groves, and pastures. Throughout this period of rapid growth and development, REALTORS® played an important role in helping young families find first homes and helping older families move up.

Less recognized, perhaps, is the vital role REALTORS® often played in turning disconnected residents into interconnected neighbors. REALTORS® made available floor plans and area maps. They pointed out the locations of hospitals and shopping centers and explained the intricate workings of school and water districts. They sponsored get-acquainted events and garage sales.

As REALTORS® farmed their areas, they spread the word about women’s club meetings and neighbors in need. In a time before personal computers, smartphones, or websites, their mimeographed newsletters often were the most effective way for neighbors to share good news, discover common interests, extend invitations, offer services, or exchange recipes.

By meeting the needs of clients for both home and community, the real estate industry grew, and OCAR grew with it. In 1989, OCAR had 1,200 REALTOR® members; today, that number is more than 10,000. To learn more about the road over which OCAR has traveled in the past sixty years and about the Association’s recent accomplishments, read Len Herman’s message titled “Celebrating Sixty” on page 4 in the July issue of the Orange County REALTOR®and peruse the sixteen-page Annual Report on pages 23–38 in that same issue.

By Sherri Butterfield

Deck The Halls With “Sparkleballs”

Tis the season for home dwellers everywhere to unite in creating elaborate light shows designed to spread some much needed yuletide cheer. This past weekend we checked out Fullerton’s Yale Ave. Sparkleball display and brought back a few calorie-free photo treats for your holiday fix.


What’s a sparkleball, you ask? Just what it sounds like. A ball of lights that reflects and refracts light out in every direction through bottomless plastic cups placed all over the sphere.


For best results, cover every single tree in your neighborhood with sparkleballs.


Want to make your own? Easy-to-follow directions can be found here.


The holiday festivities don’t end in Fullerton…Here are a couple other blog-worthy OC must-sees…

Fountain Valley home causing a stir:

The fine folk who run the “Lake Forest Christmas” site put together an awesome map to the best local displays (and included links to sights in Fountain Valley, Balboa and more):

Photos courtesy of Miss Ashley Foley


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