In the state of California, the licenses of real estate brokers are regulated by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE). To check on the status of a real estate broker’s license, you can call the DRE directly or perform a license check on the DRE website. If a real estate broker is not licensed, you can file a complaint to notify the California DRE that the broker is conducting unlawful business.
1. Access the real estate license search tool.
- Go to the California DRE website provided to you in the Sources section of this article.
- Click on the “Department of Real Estate” logo located at the very top of the website. This action will take you to the DRE’s main page.
- Click on the square icon that reads, “Real Estate License Look-up” on the right side of the web session. This will take you to the “Public License Information” search tool.
- Enter the first and last name of the real estate broker or the broker’s company name into the field for “Licensee or Company Name.” To narrow down your search results, you can also enter the city in which the broker practices business within the field for “Mailing Address City.”
- If you have the real estate broker’s license number, enter that number into the “License ID” field instead of entering the broker’s name, company name, or city.
- Click on the “Find” button. The real estate license search tool will then search the database for the broker’s information based on the criteria you provided, and display a list of search results.
- Click on the link for the License ID number next to the broker’s name. The web page will then display all the public information about the broker’s license; such as license status, mailing address, and the expiration date of their real estate license.
- The license status will be displayed next to the “License Status” field. The status may read as “licensed” or “expired.” A “licensed” status means the license is active; whereas an “expired” status means the broker should no longer be practicing real estate.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the license information to review the comments section. The comments section will indicate if the real estate broker has suffered any disciplinary action on behalf of the California DRE, or if any complaints have been filed against them in the past.
- Call the DRE at 877-373-4542 to check the status of a real estate broker’s license. This phone number is only to be called for checking a license.
- Send a fax requesting the real estate broker’s license status to the DRE at 916-227-0925. On the cover letter, you can provide your own fax number or contact information so the DRE can provide you with the license status of the real estate broker.
- Call the DRE headquarters in Sacramento at 916-227-0864 to report and file a complaint about the unlicensed real estate broker.
- You can also file a complaint on the Internet by revisiting the DRE website. Point to the Consumers tab, then click on the “Complaints” link. A process will be outlined on that page regarding how to file the complaint on the Internet.