How to reactivate a Pennsylvania real estate license in escrow

PA Continuing Education: Re-Activate License In Escrow

Take your license out of “safe-keeping”

An increasing number of Pennsylvania real estate licensees whose licenses are inactive and have been placed in escrow have called Polley Associates to inquire about license re-activation. This FAQ (frequently asked questions) page has been created to help address their needs.

A license must be re-activated if it was not renewed with the state Real Estate Commission before or by its May 31 biennial renewal deadline.

Find and complete the proper re-activation application

Licensees interested in removing a license from escrow should first check the Commission’s web site forms page to ensure they have the most up-to-date application.

A complete application includes:

  1. Answering all questions asked on the reactivation application.
  2. A criminal history background check, completed by the State Police within 90 days of submission of the reactivation application. The Commission reports it takes approximately two weeks to receive this background check by mail and up to three days to receive it online.
  3. A check or money order made payable to “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” in the amount listed in the application.
  4. Evidence that licensees have completed 14 hours of continuing education (CE). The Commission’s website includes a list of approved real estate education providers, as well as approved continuing education courses. Contact education providers directly to obtain finished course date, time and cost information, usually found on a transcript that serves as documentation of course completion for the Commission.

In the event licensees have had a criminal conviction during the time that their license was escrowed or expired, they must include certified copies of their conviction documents, as listed on the application. The Commission reports it may take many weeks to obtain documents from the Court of Common Pleas where the conviction occurred.

Licensees may resume practice upon mailing the completed application to the Commission. A copy of the completed application must be kept on file in the broker’s office.

Five years is your final re-activation deadline. Here’s why …

Under Section 501 of the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act, a license may remain inactive for only a 5-year period from the date that the license was placed in escrow or expired, whichever is sooner. After that date, the license is considered expired and may be reactivated only after the licensee passes both portions of the licensing examination. Licensees who desire to take an expired license out of escrow must submit Form SPOA 2102 (available on the Commission’s web site) in order to take and pass the appropriate real estate examination.

The Commission says it is unable to notify licensees that their 5-year period of inactivity is about to expire. Therefore, the Commission encourages licensees to monitor their license status during this period. They may check the status of their license online, here.

Completed applications for renewal must be received in the Commission Office BEFORE the 5-year deadline. Because this is a statutory deadline, the Commission does not have the authority to extend it. Incomplete or untimely applications will be returned to the licensee. The date the Commission initially received the incomplete application will not be preserved.

Licensees practicing in another jurisdiction while a Pennsylvania license has expired on inactive status may submit a certificate of licensure (dated within 90 days) from the other jurisdiction and take and pass only the State portion of the licensing examination.

Reinstating a revoked license

If a license has been revoked, the licensee must write a letter to the Commission requesting that the license be reinstated. (In most cases, the Commission will hold a hearing to determine whether to grant reinstatement.) If the Commission grants the reinstatement request, the licensee would have to retake all the initial licensure education, as well as take and pass the real estate examination, in addition to any other requirements the Commission may require.

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