Virginia FAQ

Virginia Real Estate Licensing- Frequently Asked Questions

What is the examination like?

The Virginia Salesperson examination is 120 multiple choice questions, divided into two parts: the National portion [80 questions long, to be answered in 105 minutes or less] and the State portion [40 questions long, 45 minutes to complete.]

In order to pass the exam, you must correctly answer at least 56 of the National questions and at least 30 of the State questions.


Where and how often is the state sales examination given?

The examination is offered by appointment during regular business hours Monday - Friday at various locations throughout the state.


How does one apply for the exam?

All testing is done on a reservation basis. If you are applying for a license by examination from your education provider, you must register via internet, mail, telephone, or fax. Your education provider will provide your eligibility to PSI. After your school has submitted your file to PSI, please go to or call (800)733-9267 to request and schedule an exam. The cost for the exam is $60 and is payable upon scheduling of the test.


Would my Virginia courses or license be honored in other states?

Each state sets its own criteria for licensing and required education. One must contact the Real Estate Commission in a particular state to determine current standing. A call to your Howard Hanna office will assist you in obtaining specific answers.


How long does it take to become licensed?

Individual circumstances and processing procedures make a definite answer impossible. Most applicants can be licensed within 2 to 3 months. This time frame would permit one month for the course, the examination that follows, and the processing of license application by the state.

What do I have to do to keep my license current once I have it?

Newly licensed individuals must complete 30 hours of post-license education within one year of activating their license. Post-licensing is available both online and through various live courses taught through the Howard Hanna Education Department.

Should the 30 hours of post-license education not be completed within 365 days of license activation, the individual’s license is placed on inactive status. All real estate related activities must cease until the license has been reactivated… by completing the PLE courses and paying an activation fee.

Once the real estate license has been renewed for the first time [2 years after activation], licensees are required to complete 16 hours of continuing education every two years. New Salespersons must wait until their first two-year licensure term ends before they can begin to take their 16 hours Continuing Education courses.


How long is my license valid?

The state renewal period is every 2 years from licensed year by the last day of the month licensed.


What happens to my license if I do not renew it?

Real estate licenses are renewed every two years, with the renewal fee and applicable continuing education completed two years from the last day of the month in which the license was issued.


What is broker sponsorship?

Our real estate associates are hired as independent contractors. Their income is paid from the commissions associated with closed transactions. There are no company-paid benefits provided. The Company’s “Secure Advantage Program” makes a variety of group benefit and financial programs available for our associates to participate in, if desired. 

Would I be an employee of Howard Hanna?

No, you would be considered an independent contractor. Your income will be commission only and there would be no company-paid benefits. There are, however, group benefit programs available for your participation, if needed.


What is an independent contractor?

In real estate, working under an independent contractor status means that for tax purposes, you are considered an entrepreneur in business for yourself. There will be no taxes taken from your commission income and you will be responsible for filing your own quarterly taxes. Actually, you will be operating as a “business within a business.”

In Virginia, licensees who affiliate with a real estate company fall under the responsibility of their supervising broker. All of our associates’ real estate-related activities – including interactions with consumers, writing purchase agreements, listing a property, etc. – are conducted under the watchful eye of their supervising broker.