Licensing Requirements in B.C.

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Professionals licensed in some Canadian provinces and international candidates can apply for licensing in B.C. without the need for pre-licensing education.

B.C. Licensing Requirements

If you want to provide real estate services and you are located in B.C. or dealing with B.C. property, you are generally required to have a B.C. licence unless a licensing exemption applies.  

The provision of real estate services in B.C. is governed by the Real Estate Services Act (“RESA”). As per Section 2(1), RESA “applies to every person who provides real estate services to or on behalf of another for or in expectation of remuneration.” Although RESA does not specify where the real estate services must originate or whether the real estate must be in B.C., provincial legislation generally applies when there is a real and substantial connection between the matter and the province. This connection is typically established when a service provider offers services from B.C. or provides services related to a property located in B.C. In some cases, the location of a client could also be a factor that may require licensing.

In practice, scenarios regarding licensing matters can be quite nuanced. If you are unsure whether you need a B.C. real estate licence, you may wish to obtain legal advice. For information on obtaining a licence in B.C., visit BCFSA’s Becoming Licensed page. 

Providing Real Estate Services Outside of B.C. 

If you are currently licensed in B.C. and wish to provide real estate services to clients in relation to real property located outside B.C. where licensing is required, you may be required to be licensed under another jurisdiction, even if you do not travel there and remain in B.C. For example, if you are licensed in B.C. but wish to help a client purchase real property located in Alberta, you may be required to obtain a licence in Alberta.  

If you anticipate that you will be dealing with clients that will have an interest in properties outside of B.C., you should investigate the licensing requirements in the relevant jurisdiction to determine whether you are required to obtain a licence in that jurisdiction, or refer such clients to licensees in that jurisdiction.  

Additional Considerations 

There are no restrictions within RESA that prevent licensees from providing real estate services outside of B.C. Keep in mind, however, that you need a licence to provide real estate services from within B.C., even if the property you are dealing with is located outside B.C. and even if the jurisdiction where the property is located does not require licensing. Be advised that if you are licensed in B.C. (and working from within B.C.) and providing services to a client outside of B.C. that is interested in foreign property, you are still subject to RESA and could be the subject of a disciplinary penalty for professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming. If your scenario falls outside of the above examples, it is recommended that you acquire legal advice to determine the applicable licensing requirements.  

If you are licensed here in B.C. and would like information about becoming licensed in another province or in the United States, contact the regulatory agency in that province or state for information on licensing requirements and processes.

Applicants from Canada

The Canadian Free Trade Agreement ensures that workers certified to practice in one province or territory are entitled to be certified in that occupation in B.C. without having to complete additional material training, experience, examinations or assessments.

If you are currently licensed, qualified to be licensed*, or if you have been unlicensed for less than one year in one of the Canadian provinces or territories listed below, you can apply for licensing in B.C. without writing BCFSA’s licensing examination.

*Qualified to be Licensed: An individual who has completed the required pre-licensing education in their home jurisdiction within the last year and is currently eligible for licensing in that jurisdiction without any additional requirements.

    • Alberta
    • Saskatchewan
    • Manitoba
    • Ontario
    • Quebec
    • New Brunswick
    • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Nova Scotia
    • Prince Edward Island
    • Yukon

You must complete all the steps outlined below in order to become licensed in B.C.

Applicants from the Northwest Territories and Nunavut who have been licensed for a minimum of one year within the past three years should follow the steps for US applicants.

    • Request your licensing history, including your education and disciplinary records, be emailed directly to BCFSA from the regulatory agency in your jurisdiction.
    • You can find contact information for regulatory agencies in North America at
  • The Real Estate Services Rules require that all applicants for licensing must satisfy the English Language Proficiency Requirement. Individuals who have been licensed in another jurisdiction in Canada and have satisfied that jurisdiction’s language proficiency requirements are deemed to have satisfied those requirements.

    You are deemed to have satisfied the requirement if you are from:

    • Alberta (if you became licensed in 2013 or later, confirm with RECA if you are unsure)
    • Saskatchewan
    • Yukon

    You must satisfy the requirement if you are from:

    • Alberta (if you became licensed prior to 2013, confirm with RECA if you are unsure)
    • Manitoba
    • Ontario
    • Quebec
    • New Brunswick
    • Nova Scotia
    • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Prince Edward Island
    • Northwest Territories
    • Nunavut

    You can satisfy the English Language Proficiency requirement in one of these two ways:

    • By achieving a level 7 or higher on each of the four parts (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) of the CELPIP-General test; or
    • By providing proof that you have graduated with a bachelor degree or higher from a recognized university degree program at an accredited university, college, or technical institution where English is the primary language of instruction. Please request the University or post-secondary education institution email your transcript as proof of graduation directly to BCFSA.
    1. Sign up or login to the IRIS Portal to begin your online application.
    2. After you have logged into the portal, select “New Submissions” at the top of the page. Choose “Application for First Time Licence: Individual” in the selection of applications available. Follow the instructions to complete the online application. You can apply to BCFSA for licensing at the same level and category for which you are currently licensed in your home jurisdiction (i.e.: representative, associate or managing broker).
    3. Upload any supporting documentation required. The following documentation is required by all first time applicants coming from another jurisdiction:
      1. A copy of a piece of valid, government-issued photo identification. Check the photo identification requirements
      2. A criminal record check current within the 90 days preceding your submission. If you obtained your criminal record check via the Triton link on the BCFSA website you will be prompted to indicate that in the requirements step in your submission. If you obtained your criminal record check from your local police or RCMP detachment you must upload a copy of the criminal record check document. We do not require the original criminal record check to be forwarded to BCFSA’s office.
      3. A completed Out of Province Certification form
      4. Proof of satisfying the English Language Proficiency Requirement, if applicable.

        You will also need supporting documentation if:
      5. You are on a work permit or are a permanent resident
      6. You need to support your answers to questions in the Reputation and Suitability section of the application.
    4. Have your first time application reviewed and approved by your intended managing broker. Once you have completed the online application, you and your intended managing broker will receive an email prompting the managing broker to approve your application in the Portal.

    Note: applicants who have completed the educational qualifications for licensing but who have never been licensed must register in the applicable Trading Services Applied Practice Course prior to licence application.

    Section 10(b)(i) of the Real Estate Services Act requires real estate licence applicants to be at least 19 years of age.

    Review and Approval

    BCFSA’s licensing staff will review your application. If it is complete and satisfactory, your licence will be issued. You and your managing broker will receive an email notification on the date of issuance advising that you have been licensed.

  • By signing the Out of Province Certification form you acknowledge your obligation to know, understand and conduct your business as a real estate licensee in strict accordance with B.C.’s Real Estate Services Act, Real Estate Services Regulation, Rules, Regulatory Statements, and BCFSA Administrative Processes. A reading list has been prepared for you to achieve this requirement. As a licensee relocating from another Canadian jurisdiction before you begin providing real estate trading services (sales), strata management services or acting as a managing broker in British Columbia, you must review and familiarize yourself with the following materials.

  • Some of the costs you can expect include:

    • Licensing history — Contact your current regulatory agency for information;
    • Required reading list;
    • Study materials — Real Estate Trading Services Challenge Package or the Real Estate Trading Services Licensing Manual and Examination Study Guide may be purchased separately;
    • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program General (CELPIP-General) Test;
    • Criminal record check — costs vary depending on police agency;
    • Licensing fees (includes two-year licensing fee, Errors & Omissions Insurance and Compensation Fund Corporation assessment); and
    • Real Estate Board fees.

International Candidates

BCFSA provides a fair, timely, and transparent international credential assessment process to allow internationally trained applicants to become licensed in B.C. as a representative, associate broker, or managing broker as part of its obligations under the International Credentials Recognition Act.

Read the Licensing Guide for International Candidates for information on BCFSA’s international credential assessment process, including eligibility requirements and detailed step-by-step instructions on how to become licensed in B.C.