FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

DRE Sponsor No. 4295

Who are you?  Why are you here?

Mr. Chuck Milbourne is 45HourOnline‘s owner, author, and website developer.  He founded 45HoursOnline in May 2006 with the purpose of providing easy yet informative continuing education for California real estate licensees.

In the three decades prior to founding 45HoursOnline, Mr. Milbourne worked as a computer consultant developing applications on a wide variety of platforms (mainframes to PCs) using a number of computer languages but primarily FOCUS, a fourth-generation computer language, and Visual FoxPro.  In 2005, Mr. Milbourne began the development of this site while studying the real estate brokerage industry.  Since 2006 he has held a California broker’s license (DRE:  01765249) and since 2019 he has been a member of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors®.    

Why should I choose your school?

Inexpensive :  We know of no other continuing education (CE) school which offers a 45-hour renewal package at a price lower than ours (details).  Our prices are low because our students require little support, our overhead is minimal, and we own our course materials.

Fast and Easy :  We designed our site for convenience and ease-of-use.

Unlimited Course Retakes :  Unlike many of our competing schools, should you fail a course’s final exam, you may automatically retake it until you pass (see this FAQ for details).

Specialized:  We provide CE only to California real estate licensees.  In contrast to most CE providers, we do not offer courses to agents licensed by other states and we do not offer pre-license courses needed to sit for DRE’s licensing exams.  We do not, unlike most of the larger schools, offer CE for other licensed professionals such as appraisers, contractors, and insurance brokers.  Because we are specialized, we keep current with California residential real estate law and our course materials are specific to California residential real estate brokerage.

Above Board :  Unlike most other schools, we provide a detailed explanation of how our courses are administered.  We provide samples of our materials and a Demonstration Course so you may know what to expect should you choose to purchase our package.

DRE Compliant :  We work closely the Education and Research Section of the California Bureau Real Estate to maintain compliance with CE regulations.

Quality Course Materials :  Our materials are current, well-written, and relevant to the practice of California residential real estate brokerage.  To view a sample of any course’s textbook, including its table of contents, just click its name in the following list:  Ethics, Agency , Trust Funds , Fair Housing , Risk Management , and Management & Supervision , and Consumer Protection Reader. 

Do you provide technical support?

Yes, we are available by phone ((818) 716-1028) during business hours (8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m. PST) and by e-mail at all times.  Owing to the number of spam and robo calls we receive each day, we may not answer your phone call unless your caller ID identifies you by name.  When calling about any problem or question concerning your account, please be logged into your Course Work Page.  

Are your courses approved by the State?

Yes, all our courses have been extensively reviewed and approved by the Department of Real Estate.

To view our DRE listing, click here, and then enter 45Hours in the first text box like so:    

What have some of your students said about your courses?

Our site provides a Comments Page permitting students to leave comments regarding our packages.  Almost all of our comments are favorable.  In particular, we are proud of the comments from these two students (used with their permission):

This course was TREMENDOUS.  I recommend it highly.  The materials were clear.  I could study where and when I wanted.  And not only did I qualify to renew my license, but, more trouble and keep smiles on my clients faces.  Four stars, two thumbs up, this is the course to take.

      — Walter Moore, Real Estate Broker & Attorney  [Please do not contact.]


Hi,I just recently completed your course.  I have been an agent for 21 years and taken many courses over the years.  I have found that the content in the majority of courses, especially for continuing education and licensing requirements, has very little relevance to practicing real estate day to day.  It basically feels like a waste of time.  Your course, in particular the Consumer Protection Reader portion, is profoundly relevant and helpful for practicing day to day!  It is truly the best content and style I have ever seen for helping agents have an overview of what they need to know to be a helpful and efficient to our clients.  I think it should be mandatory reading for any agent, especially as a new agent license requirement.  If you haven’t made this into a book that can be purchased, I think you should.  With your permission, I would like to print the entire CPR and keep it for reference.  Your whole site/ program is set up very well.  I am so glad I found it.  Congratulations, job well done!!  Feel free to post this feedback on your site.  I will be referring your site to other agents in my office.  Thank you!

      — Pam Sortor, Prudential California Realty [Please do not contact.]

Is your package really the least expensive?

Once a quarter we conduct a survey of our competitor’s prices for their 45-hour packages.  Our last survey was conducted on August 18th, 2022.  That survey revealed that our standard (undiscounted) price of $44.00 is the lowest price available for any 45-hour package.   A Colorado provider (Empire Learning) has the second lowest price of $49.


Is it safe to use my credit card?

Absolutely.  We provide four levels of security:

First, the details you enter on our Payment Page (see figure at the bottom of this section) are sent by your browser to our server via a secure connection (using https protocol).  This means that your transmission with your credit card number can not be intercepted by a hacker en route to our server.

Second, your browser automatically verifies our site’s identity using an SSL certificate from Comodo Cybersecurity.  This means you can be confident you are sending your credit card number to us and not to a site pretending to be us.

Third, our server transmits your payment details to Authorize.Net, the Internet’s largest payment gateway.  We do not record your credit card number in our database (except for its last four digits).  This means that should anyone ever hack our site and steal our database they would not find your credit card number within it.  We never know your credit card number.  If  we need to give you a refund, we do so by reference to a unique number assigned to your transaction by Authorize.Net.

Picture of Authorize.Net’s Verified Merchant Seal

Fourth, you may verify our status as a registered merchant with Authorize.Net by clicking their seal as displayed on our Payment Page.  When clicked, your browser sends our server’s domain name to Authorize.Net.  Authorize.Net sends back a report which your browser displays in a popup window (see sample to right).  The report states that the server’s domain is ours (not a domain pretending to be us) and that our domain is registered as a merchant with Authorize.Net.

If, in spite of our security, you still are uncomfortable using your credit card, we’ll be happy to accept a check or PayPal payment.  To pay by check or PayPal, register first but when prompted for payment, push [Don’t Pay] instead of [Process Payment].  When you push [Don’t Pay], we give you instructions for mailing a check or for making a PayPal payment.


What is the “Referral Discount"?

To encourage our customers to let other licensees know about our services, we offer a 20% “Referral Discount.”  To take advantage of the Referral Discount, you must enter the license ID of a former customer when registering for one of our products.  We define "customer" as someone who has purchased one of our products and has passed at least one course (not including the Demo).  The Demo Discount may not be taken with the Referral Discount.


Do you accept checks?

Yes.  To pay by check, register without paying.  To do this, first register and when prompted for a credit card push [Pay Later] — the page which follows gives instructions for sending your check.

When we receive your check, we will mark your online record as “paid” and send you a confirming email (which you will have entered when you registered).  Your waiting period (the time you must wait before you can take your first exam) starts when we mark your registration record as paid.  Since this method of payment is error prone due to glitches in mail delivery, please contact us by email ( 45HoursOnline@gmail.com) if you don’t receive payment confirmation within three business days. 

Do you accept PayPal?

Note:  If you don’t know what PayPal is, skip this FAQ.

Yes.  To pay by PayPal:

  1. Register without paying.  To do this, register for the product you want but when prompted for a credit card push [Pay Later].
  2. Log into PayPal, send your payment to 45HoursOnline@pobox.com.

PayPal will automatically send us a notice of your payment.  When we receive it, we will mark your registration record as “paid” and send you a confirming email.  If you do not receive confirmation within one business day, please contact us at 45HoursOnline@gmail.com.

Can I get a refund?

We always give a full refund provided you haven’t passed any exams (other than the Demo).  We will also give a full refund even if you passed some or all of your exams if your license has permanently expired (in other words, if you don’t renew your license within the two-year grace period following your license expiration date).  Otherwise, we will give you a partial refund using this formula:  PERCENT-OF-UNPASSED-HOURS x .5 x COST.  For example, if you passed only our three hour Ethics course in our 45-Hours package for which you paid $45, we will refund you 42/45 x .5 x $45=$21.

To obtain a refund, please e-mail (45HoursOnline@gmail.com).  Be sure to give your DRE#.  We will need your DRE# to find your Authorize.Net approval code in our records (Authorize.Net is the payment gateway we use for processing your credit card payment).  Please understand that we don”t store your credit card number and we dont need it to give you a refund. 

We will also grant full refunds to licensees who, because of time restrictions, can not renew their licenses on time or to licensees who are renewing late (within the two-year grace period) and because of time restrictions can not renew their license in time to avoid the termination of their license.

What is the four-day study period?

The Four-Day Study Period is the minimum number of study days required before you may take your first final exam.   It begins when you pay for the package.  (Note:  the “quiz” is not the final exam.  The quiz is a study-aid, required by DRE regulations, which must be taken to advance to the course’s final exam.)

The Study Period for the 45-Hour package is four days (precisely 96 hours).  The time the Study Period ends is displayed on your Course Work Page under the column heading “Exam Status” (see below screen shot).

Note in the screen shot below the red check mark next to the word “Quiz”:  The check mark means that the student has taken the quiz for the corresponding course.  To get credit for a course, you must pass its final exam but in order to take a course’s final exam you must first take its quiz.  (No quiz has a passing score although we do give you your score after you have taken a quiz).  When an exam is ready, the student will see a link reading Take Final for course-name.

The Four-Day Study Period should not be confused with a course’s “Recovery Period” — that is, the period that a licensee must wait should he fail a course’s final exam twice in succession.  The Recovery Period for the three-hour courses is just three hours while the Recovery Period for the two 12- and 15-hour courses is two days (48 hours).  During the recovery period you may not take the failed exam nor any other final exam until the Recovery Period expires.

We wish you to know that both the Study Period and the Recovery Periods are imposed not by us but by DRE’s regulations.  DRE’s purpose in imposing the study period is to ensure that the student has sufficient time to study the course materials for the entire package.  DRE’s purpose in imposing the Recovery Period is to ensure that the student has sufficient time re-study the course materials for the course that he failed.

What are your textbooks like?

We provide a textbook for each course except for the two Consumer Protection Reader courses (Part 1, and Part 2) which together share the same book.  Each textbook has approximately ten pages per course hour (the minimum allowed by DRE regulations).  Thus, the textbook for our three-hour Ethics course has about 30 pages (not counting pages without content such as the title page and preface). 

The textbooks are formatted as ebooks in PDF format.  As such, they may be read online, downloaded and read offline, or printed and read on paper. 

Each of the major browsers (Edge, Chrome, FireFox, Safari, and Samsung Internet) has its own built-in PDF reader for displaying PDF files linked through the Web.  Each of these built-in PDF readers provides features such as text searching, adjustable text size, rotation, download, and printing.

You may download our PDF files and view them offline.  One way of viewing an offline PDF file is to drag it from its file listing to an open browser window.  You can also right-click on the file’s listing to choose your browser using the “Choose Another App” option.

Perhaps the best free PDF reader is the original now named “Adobe Acrobat Reader DC” available for download here.

To view a sample of any course’s textbook, including its table of contents, just click its name in the following list:  Ethics , Agency , Trust Funds , Fair Housing , Risk Management , and Management & Supervision , and Consumer Protection Reader. 

What purpose do the quizzes serve?

According to DRE’s regulations, you must take a course’s quiz (or quizzes) before taking its final exam.

We provide just one quiz for each course.  A common misconception is that you must pass the quiz to advance to its final exam BUT, although we give you a score after you have taken a quiz, no quiz has a passing score.

Each quiz has as many questions as its corresponding final.  Thus, for each of our six three-hour courses, each has one quiz and one final consisting of 16 questions; and for our two 12- and 15-hour “Consumer Protection Reader” courses, each as 30 and 40 quiz and final questions respectively.

The quizzes are nothing like the finals.  We do not require you to answer every quiz question but we do require you to answer every question on a final.  No quiz has a time limit, but each final has a time limit equal in minutes to its number of questions.  Many of the quiz questions are long, some difficult, some ambiguous, and some even tricky; while nearly all final questions are short, straightforward, unambiguous, and never have more than three possible answers.  But the most significant difference between a quiz and its final is that after you take the quiz we give you its answers; something we can not do for its final as DRE regulations forbid us to do so.

The answers we give you to the quizzes are detailed.  For each quiz question, we give you not only its answer but a detailed explanation as to why the answer is correct and, often, why the other proposed answers are incorrect.  All answers are supported with citations from the course text book.  Click here  to see a sample of a “Quiz Explanations” document.

The quizzes are designed to be a study aid to help you pass the finals.  By taking care to study the topics corresponding to the quiz questions that you got wrong or else got right by chance, you can considerably improve your chances of passing the course’s final.  A recommended method for learning from our quizzes is explained in the document: “ Recommendations for Taking our Final Exams ”.

What are the final exams like?

Each course has one quiz and one final exam.  You must take a course’s quiz before you may take its final exam.  You can’t pass the course’s quiz because the quiz has no passing score (but we do give you a score).  You must pass the course’s final with a score of 70% or better to get credit for the course.

Each course has two versions of its final exam, each with different questions; its “Original,” which you take first; and its “Retake,” which you take only if you failed the Original.  Both versions of the course’s final have the same number of questions as its quiz and the questions on the final address the same topics and in the same order as for its quiz.

If you should fail both versions of the course’s final, the DRE requires us to fail you on the course – not the package, just that one course.  “Failing the course” does not mean you must repurchase the course or the package, but it does mean that you must start that one course over.  When you fail the course, you enter the “Study Period’ for that course – its length is three hours for our three-hour courses and two days (48 hours) for all courses of 12 or more hours.  During or after the course’s study period you are expected to reread the course’s textbook and re-take its quiz.  You must wait for the course’s study period to pass before you may be permitted to take the course’s final exam.  During the course’s study period, you may not take any other course’s final exam.

Consistent with DRE regulations, 90% of all questions on each final exam are multiple-choice and 10% are true/false.  All multiple-choice questions have three possible answers.

Our final exams have the minimum number of questions permitted by the DRE.  The DRE’s minimum is based on the duration of the course as measured in credit hours.  (The actual minimum number of questions for a three-hour course is 15 but we use 16 because it is a little easier to reach the 70% threshold with 16 questions than it is with 15.)

Once you begin a final, there are just two possible outcomes:  you pass or you fail.  Although you can cancel a final exam, should you do so, you will fail the exam with a score of 0%.  If for any reason you are interrupted by a technical failure such as a loss in your Wi-Fi connection, then you will fail the exam.  If you should close or navigate off the tab containing the final, you will fail with a score of 0%.  If you should start the final and then fall fast asleep, you will fail.  Once you begin a final, the only way to avoid failing it is to answer 70% or more of its questions correctly and then to initiate the grading process by either clicking [Grade My Final] or reaching the time limit.  These unforgiving examination rules we enforce at the insistence of the DRE.

All final exams are “open book,” that is, you may open the course textbook in one tab while taking the final exam in another.  However, we do not recommend taking our exams open book for three reasons:  (1) most questions do not include keywords sufficiently unique to make for a good search term, (2) time spent searching is time lost from the task of answering questions, and (3) the more you switch between tabs the greater the chance you will inadvertently close the tab in which the final is displayed thereby resulting in an abrupt failure with a score of 0%.

Finally, the DRE requires a time limit for each final exam equal in minutes to its number of questions.  If you should run out of time when taking a final exam, unanswered questions are counted as “incorrect” and your exam is graded accordingly.

How does the 15-Credits-Per-Day Rule work?

The DRE limits the rate at which you may complete your CE to 15-credit hours per 24-hour period.  Accordingly, when the Course Work page is rendered it “looks back” to determine the number of hours of CE you have completed during the preceding 24 hours.  Suppose that number were three.  In that case, the Course Work page would make available the final for any course of 12 hours (15hrs less 3hrs) or less (providing the four-day study period had already ended).

Our 45-hour package is designed to take advantage of this rule in that the eight courses are so arranged on the Course Work page that if you were to complete each in the order presented, you could pass 15-hours per day after the study period had ended.  Alternatively, you may take the courses in any order you prefer excepting for the Consumer Protection Reader, Part 2 exam which must be taken at least 24-hours after you have passed the Part 1 exam.

What should I do if I fail the first final exam?

If you should fail the first final exam, the “Original,” you are given a second chance with its Retake exam.  Both versions of the final, the Original and Retake, have the same number of questions with a comparable level of difficulty.  You may take the Retake exam immediately after failing the Original, BUT it is usually a good idea to invest additional study time in the course before attempting to pass it because should you fail the Retake then we are required to fail you on the course — not the package but just that one course.

To prepare for the Retake exam, we recommend that you study the topics corresponding to the questions you missed or guessed correctly on the quiz — in other words, the “iffy questions.”  To discover which topics you should study, click the course’s QUIZ icon on the Course Work Page, note down the question and section number for each iffy question and then, for each, read its answer in the course’s Quiz Explanations document and its associated section in the book.

The amount of additional study you may wish to invest before taking the Retake exam should depend on how badly you failed the Original.  If you failed the Original by a narrow margin, you may need only a little extra time to study just a handful of topics from your iffy list.  But if your score on the Original was close to 38% — the score one would receive by chance alone — then you should consider studying the topics for every question on your iffy list.

Investing additional study after failing the Original to avoid failing the course is especially a good idea if (1) the course you failed is over eight hours and (2) your license is mere days away from its expiration date.  In this situation, the imposition of the two-day study period that results may make it impossible for you to renew on time.

If you renew late, the DRE will require you to pay a “late fee.” The late fee is 50% of the on-time renewal fee.  If you are licensed as a salesperson and you renew late, you will have to pay $367 to renew your license instead of the on-time fee of $245 or if you are licensed as a broker or a corporation, you will have to pay $450 to renew your license instead of the on-time fee of $300.

If your license is expired and you fail to renew it by the end of your two-year grace period, you will lose it and will have to re-pass the State real estate exam to earn it back.

What happens when I fail the final exam twice?

Should you fail a course’s final exam twice in a row, you must start over for that course – NOT THE ENTIRE PACKAGE – just the course.

Starting over for a course means that you must (1) complete the study period for that course, (2) take the quiz (again) for that course (remember, there is no passing score on the quiz), and (3) pass the course’s initial exam or, if you should fail it, pass the course’s retake exam.  Unlike some of our competitors, we do not charge you for taking a course over – one time or 101 times.

When you fail a course’s retake exam and are forced into the study period for that course, you may not take any exam while you are in the study period.  For example, if you fail both Ethics exams (initial and retake), you are then forced into the three-hour study period for that course.  During that three hours we can not permit you to take any exams – not for the Ethics course and not for any course. 

What is the Certificate?

The Certificate lists every course passed and for each shows its “Certificate No.,” the date you completed the course, its name, and DRE’s official classification (aka, “designation”) for the course (e.g., “consumer services,” “consumer protection,” “risk management,” etc.).


Although your certificate is always available on our site you may wish to print it and keep it for your records.  DRE’s Education and Research Section audits a tiny fraction of its continuing education records as submitted by licensees either via eLicensing or by mail.  Commissioner’s Regulation 3013 provides that upon the request of the DRE, “the applicant shall submit certificates of attendance or certified copies thereof from sponsors of approved offerings to substantiate the information provided by the applicant..” A licensee who fails to provide the DRE with course completion certificates as required, may be subject to a fine or potential disciplinary action. 

What must I do to renew my license?

Note: While you may complete your continuing education at any time during the term of your license, you may not renew your license with the DRE any earlier than three months prior to your expiration date.

First print your certificate using the  button from our Course Work Page (the page that lists all the courses comprising the package).  The certificate contains the details needed for renewing your license (see figure to right).   Please note that there is not one certificate number but one certificate number for each course.   When prompted by eLicensing:  for each course, enter its (1) certificate number (e.g., ‘4295-nnnn’ — where ‘nnnn‘ is a four-digit course code), (2) completion date (e.g., ‘03/01/18’) and (3) your registration date (e.g., ‘02/28/18’ – the same date for all courses).   After entering these three items, press the return key.

Second, decide if you wish to renew via eLicensing (DRE’s online renewal service) or by mail.  We strongly recommend DRE’s online renewal service it is immediate and final.

Note:  If you are renewing a restricted license, a corporate officer’s license, or if the address you have given to the DRE is out of state, then you must renew by mail.

To renew using eLicensing, click the eLicensing icon at the bottom of this section  (you may have to register first) and choose [Salesperson|Broker License Renewal].  eLicensing will prompt you to complete two online forms: (1) Continuing Education Course Verification, and (2) Renewal Application.  Finally, eLicensing will prompt you to make an online payment via a secure connection (for the DRE’s current license renewal rates click here).  Once eLicensing accepts your payment your license is renewed.  (If you would like to preview the license renewal process using eLicensing, click here.)

Note:  If you have a salesperson license and you are employed by a broker then your broker must validate your renewal in a subsequent eLicensing transaction (eLicensing will provide you with instructions).  Your broker’s validation is not required for your new license to be effective. 

If you are renewing by mail, you will need to print and complete form RE#251:  Continuing Education Course Verification (see below note) and, if you are a salesperson RE#209:  Salesperson Renewal Application or, if you are a broker, form RE#208:  Broker Renewal Application.  You then need to make out a check for your renewal application (for renewal rates click here) and then send in your check and forms to the DRE (the forms have instructions printed on page two).

Note:  If you renew by mail, do not send your certificate to the DRE.  The purpose of the certificate is to list the certificate numbers and corresponding dates of completion for you to copy onto form RE#251.

Click this icon to open DRE’s renewal site in another window:   

How do I enter certificate numbers into eLicensing?

Many licensees have trouble with eLicensing when prompted for their their certificates numbersNote that it’s certificate numbers plural — one for each course.  To begin the process, click [Add Course] when prompted with this form:

Then for each Certificate No. enter it together with its Registration Dt and Completion Dt. and then click [Save].  Do this for each course listed on the Certificate.  After you have entered the last Certificate No., click [Validate].

How can I pass your package in a little over six days?

The soonest you may complete our 45-Hours package is six days and three hours (give or take an hour depending on how quickly you take all of your final exams).

  1. Study Time:  Per our agreement with the DRE, we require each student spend at least six days studying the course textbooks before completing our 45-Hour package.
  2. Completion Rate:  DRE limits students to the completion of 15-hours of CE in any given 24-hour period.

Given these two limitations, consider the following example where Sally completes her 45-hours in only six days and three hours:

Sally registers on Monday at 12:00p.m..  Our testing program schedules her for her first exams in four days (96-hours); that is, any time after 12:00p.m. on Friday.

At 12:01pm on Friday Sally begins taking the exams for the five, three-hour courses (15 hours in total).  By 1:00p.m. she passes all five exams.  She now must wait until Saturday at 1:00p.m. to continue taking her exams.

At 1:01pm on Saturday, Sally takes and completes the three-hour Management & Supervision course and the 12-hour Consumer Protection Reader, Part 1 course.   By 2:00p.m. she passes both courses for a total of fifteen additional hours.  She must now wait another 24 hours before she may take another exam; that is, she must wait until 2:00p.m. on Sunday.

At 2:01p.m. on Sunday, Sally begins taking her final exam for Part 2/2 of the Consumer Protection Reader.  She passes the exam by 3:00p.m. thus completing all 45 hours needed to renew her license.

In this example, the elapsed time from when Sally registered to the time she completed all 45 hours was six days and three hours.  

Do you have a final final?

We get this question a lot.  No, we do not have a single comprehensive final examination that tests your understanding of the content for all courses comprising the package you purchased.  Instead we have one final exam for each course which must be passed in order to earn credit for the course.

How are CE requirements changing after 2022?

As of September 2022, we are awaiting DRE’s approval for our new two-hour Implicit Bias Training course and our revised three-hour Fair Housing course with interactivity.  The DRE has written that it expects to give approval for these courses in the first weeks of Fall (beginning September 23rd).  For DRE’s description of these courses, see the lead article in this Real Estate Bulletin.  For a description of what these courses must include, click here and then search for “Implicit Bias.”

If you have already registered for our 45-hour package and your license expires on or after January 1st, 2023, then please be aware that you will must complete these two courses before the DRE will renew your license.  As soon as our courses are approved, we will notify you of their availability and them you may register for them at no additional cost.

For those of you with a license expiring on or after January 1st, 2023 and have not yet registered for our 45-hour package, we recommend you wait until we have obtained DRE’s approval to offer these courses.  To be notified when we have incorporated these two new courses into our 45-hour package, please click here.

What are my CE requirements?

Every California real estate licensee requires 45-hours of DRE-approved continuing education (CE) to renew his license.  The only exception is the licensee who has held his license for 30 continuous years in good standing and is 70 years of age or older on the date his license expires (details).

DRE's official description of their CE requirements can be found here, but you need only know that by completing our 45-Hour Package you will have all the CE needed to renew your license regardless of how you are licensed ("salesperson," "broker," etc.) and regardless as to how many times you may have renewed before.


Unfortunately, a standard form letter from the DRE sent to alert each licensee that his license is due to expire within the next three months (see this excerpt in the first box to the right) falsely states that subsequent renewals (licensees not renewing for the first time) must take an eight-hour survey course covering the six mandatory topics.  This false statement is belied by the DRE’s official description of a licensee’s CE requirements which states that a licensee in lieu of the eight-hour survey course may take the six mandatory subjects separately as we make available in our 45-Hour Package.

What if DRE’s renewal site is down on my license expiration day?

On rare occasions and usually during the weekends,  DRE’s renewal site (eLicensing)  goes down either for scheduled maintenance or due to a technical problem.   If eLicensing happens to be down the day you wish to renew and if that day is your expiration day, the DRE may not grant you an extension.

If eLicensing is down on your license expiration day and you must renew on that day to avoid a late fee, you should renew by mail.  As long as your renewal application is postmarked by midnight of that day (or the next day for which there is mail service), the DRE will accept your renewal application without insisting you pay a late fee. 

When may I take CE and when may I renew my license?

You may complete your continuing education (CE) at anytime during the term of your real estate license (which is four years for all real estate licensees to matter how each is licensed) or during the two-year grace period that follows. 

You may not renew your license with the DRE any earlier than three months prior to your license expiration date.  When you renew on time, the term of your new license begins the day after your current license expires.

If you renew your license during the two-year grace period, your new license begins the day after you renew it.  So, for example, if you were to renew your license on the last day of your two-year grace period, your new license would begin on the day following.

Please understand that during the two-year grace period while your license is expired you are not permitted to sell real estate.  Also, when you renew during the grace period, the renewel fee is 150% of the on time renewel fee.  (See DRE’s renewal fees here.)

If you fail to renew your license before the end of your two-year grace period, then you will lose your license for good.  If the were to occur and you wished to reinstate it, then you would have to apply for a new license.  This application process would include the requirement that you pass the real estate exam again.  (See the DRE’s instructions for applying for the salesperson exam here or their instructions for applying for the broker exam here.)

If you are in the two-year grace period and wish to retain your license, consider doing it this way:  Complete your CE now (or at any time during the year following its date of purchase) and then print your completion certificate and file it away for safe-keeping (although it will always be available on this site).  Then, should you suddenly have the need to renew your license, you will be able to do so without much delay by simply going to the DRE’s renewal site, entering the certificate numbers from your certificate, and paying DRE’s renewal fee.

Can I apply my surplus CE to my next renewal?

No, all CE hours must be earned during the term of your current license or, if your full license is expired, during the two-year grace period provided by the DRE following the original date of your license expiration.  The CE hours for a given course are earned upon passing the course’s final exam. 

Can I be exempted from my continuing education.

If you are over seventy years of age and have held your license in good standing for thirty years you may be eligible for an exemption.  Click here for details. 

Will you grant me an exclusion from DRE’s waiting periods?


The DRE requires us to enforce the waiting periods.   Sorry.

But we are willing to grant any student a full refund who is unable to complete his CE before his license expires or before the end of his two-year grace period.  (Note:  when we grant a refund, we delete the student’s registration and the student loses any CE credits he may have earned.)

Why won't you let me see which answers I got wrong?

Again, this is a DRE requirement.  It is based on Commissioner’s Regulation 3007.3(a)(1)which reads:

The final examination shall provide for the testing, examination or evaluation of participants.  The sponsor shall take steps to protect the integrity of the examination and to prevent cheating in an examination.

How long do I have to complete my package?

DRE regulation (3006(m)) states that “All offerings shall require completion within one year from the date of regulation.”  As this rule applies to our offerings (aka, “packages”), this is the date that you paid for the package.  You can find your registration date by clicking [Display Receipt] on your product’s Course Work Page.

All courses already completed within the one year period following your payment date, are acceptable to the DRE; any course completed after that period is rejected.  (A course is completed when its final exam is passed.)

What is “seat-time”?

We do not enforce a “seat time” requirement nor does DRE require that we do so.  Instead, we enforce an initial study period of four days to ensure that students have sufficient time to read their course materials.

Seat-time is a requirement that each student spend at least the full number of course hours interacting with the course material.  This requirement is enforced no matter how quickly the student reads or how well the student already knows the course material.

For example, a seat-time requirement for a 15-hour course would require the student to maintain an online connection to its course material for at least 15 hours over one or more online sessions.  To maintain that connection, the student must press one or more keys every so often to indicate that he is actively reading the material.   Should he fail to do so, then he must log back in to reestablish the connection.

To ensure that the student isn’t just clicking through the course material without reading it, the CE provider requires the student to pass a quiz to demonstrate his understanding of the most recently completed section before he will allow the student to move to the next section.

How do I overcome the “PDF Link-and-Return-In-Place” problem?

Note:  If you use Firefox to access our course materials, skip this FAQ as Firefox is not afflicted with this problem.

The ProblemUpon returning to a PDF after having viewed one of its linked pages, the browser resets the position of the PDF to its beginning.  So, for example, if you were to click a link on page 32 of our Ethics book, the browser would return you to its first page.  Ugh!

Depending on the device and the browser you use, we recommend the following ways to mitigate this problem.

Edge and Chrome (except when using Chrome on an iPad or iPhone)

Position the mouse over the link and right-click it.  In response, the browser will display a pop-up-menu from which you may select “Open link in new window(see adjacent screenshot).  Using this option, the browser will place the linked document in a new tab such that when you close it, the browser will return you to the source PDF document with it’s position unchanged.

Safari on the Mac

On the Mac, we recommend you read our PDF’s in “Preview Mode.” (see first screen shot on left);  To enter Preview Mode (see second screen shot on left) after accessing the PDF document, right-click anywhere in the document (on the Trackpad, a right-click is simulated using <Ctrl><Click>) and then select “Open with Preview” from the resultant pop-up menu.  When clicking links in Preview Mode, the Mac will display those links outside of Preview Mode using Safari.  You can then toggle between the two apps, Preview and Safari.

Chrome and Safari on iOS Devices such as iPhones and iPads

As far as we know, the only way to avoid this problem — and this way is admittedly crude as it requires several steps — is to right-click the link in the PDF and select “Copy” from the resultant pop-up menu (see screen shot to left)(You can simulate the right-click on an iPad or iPhone by holding your finger on the link and releasing it once your device displays a pop-up menu).  Next, open a new tab in Safari and on its address line paste the link and click “Paste and Go(see screen shot to right).

How do I take an exam with an open PDF book?

To open a textbook while taking a test, do the following:  (1) Login, (2) Click the PDF icon corresponding to the course for which you are taking the exam this opens the textbook in a new window/tab, (3) switch back to the originating window (using <Alt><Tab> or by clicking its tab), (4) Click [Take Test].  See the below figure for details.


How long do you keep your records?

We keep your records indefinitely.  You may login in at any future time to see your records; however, once you pass a final exam, you may not take it again. 

How do I send my evaluation to the DRE?

You can send your evaluation of our courses to the DRE by clicking here