January 2012

LEGAL UPDATE: A Transition Tale of Three Licensees

By Elizabeth A. Urbance | IAR Legal Hotline Attorney; Associate, Sorling & Northrup, Ltd.

Are Your Ready? Make it your #1 New Year’s Resolution to complete your transition early in 2012

Here are some resources to help you, compiled by experts from IAR legal counsel and Carrie Elliott, Education Manager.


Joe Quick - “One Bite of the (Transition) Apple”

Meet Joe Quick. Joe held an Illinois salesperson’s license on March 1, 2011. He was very excited about the possibility of using transition provisions to obtain his Illinois broker’s license. He even found a pre-license school offering the proficiency exam option before

May 1, 2011, the first official day of the transition period under the Illinois Real Estate License Act of 2000 (the Act). He dutifully went to a preparation course that was not required for the proficiency exam but he thought it would help him pass the test on the first try. Mr. Quick was so excited about all the new things he had learned that he signed up and took the salesperson to broker proficiency exam on April 15, 2011. He passed the proficiency exam and immediately after May 1, 2011, the official beginning date of the transition period, he applied for his new broker’s license. He received his freshly minted broker’s license on June 15, 2011.

Mr. Quick figured while he was on a roll, he would go ahead and take the proficiency exam to transition from broker to managing broker license status. “Whoa, Joe!” While Joe’s optimism and focus are qualities to be admired, the Act allows for only one transition option to be used by a licensee to move from one license category to another.
Therefore, Joe needs to follow the provisions of Section 5-28 in the Act to move to the managing broker’s license category. In other words, he must be at least 21 years old; be of good moral character (true for any licensee); have been licensed as a broker or salesperson for at least two of the last three years; take a 45-hour pre-license course; and, pass the state exam (Applied Measurement Professionals or AMP is the current state testing service). Then, of course, he would need to complete his application and pay the appropriate fee.

Good luck, Joe Quick! 

Key Lessons:

  • The Act allows for only one transition option to be used by a licensee to move from one license category to another.
  • If you transitioned from salesperson to broker, to go from broker to managing broker requires the steps outlined in Section 5-28 of the Act (not the transition options).

Sophie Slowpoke - “Beware the Ides of March (2012)”

Meet Sophie Slowpoke. Sophie is a procrastinator. It is that simple. She knows that she needs to transition from her salesperson license to a broker license before April 30, 2012 because if she does not go through some transition process her salesperson license will vanish and she will be effectively unlicensed.

What if Sophie waits until March 15, 2012 to take her proficiency exam for transition? Well, March 15 (the Ides of March), 2012 is the absolute last day that she could take the proficiency exam according to the Illinois Real Estate License Act of 2000 Administrative Rule. See Rules Section 1450-1120(c). While we can’t be positive there will be a rush at the end of the transition period, we can be pretty sure the volume of those needing to transition their licenses will be much higher at that time than today. If we assume Sophie takes her test on March 15, 2012 it is very safe to also assume that she may not receive her test results in time to meet the April 30, 2012 transition deadline.

What is Sophie to do? If she does not have her exam results, she will need to go to www.idfpr.com and download a paper application for transition and renewal of her broker’s license. That application will be on the same form but will require two fees, the transition application fee and the broker license renewal fee. She will need to complete that form as completely as possible, which will not show her proficiency exam results; and make sure she mails that, both the transition application and renewal fees, and a statement confirming that she has completed her continuing education requirements to IDFPR postmarked by April 30, 2012. If she does not mail these forms to IDPFR with an April 30, 2012 or earlier postmark, she will not be able to use the transition provisions to obtain her broker’s license and she will be unlicensed as of May 1, 2012.

Go get ‘em Sophie Slowpoke!

Key Lessons:

  • Don’t wait!
  • March 15, 2012 is the last day you can take your proficiency exam according to IDFPR but you still run the risk of not getting your results back in time for the April 30, 2012 transition deadline due to the sheer volume expected.
  • Applications must be postmarked by April 30, 2012 to IDFPR or you will be unlicensed as of May 1, 2012.

Undura Rock - “To Thine Own Self be a Managing Broker Licensee”

Meet Undura Rock. Undura has been a sole proprietor managing her own office for 30 years. She is a very accomplished broker in her area and she has been so busy that she just hasn’t given much time or attention to these “transition requirements.” In fact, she is not quite sure what they are but she figures since she is only in charge of herself, she should not be affected. Ms. Rock will be surprised to learn that she does need to transition to the managing broker license in order to remain the “managing broker of record” at IDFPR for her sole proprietorship. See Rules Section 1450.700(h).

So Undura needs to either take the proficiency exam no later than March 15, 2012 or take the 45-hour course and exam at the end of that course before April 30, 2012 in order to transition to managing broker if she wants to continue managing her own shop. If Undura decides she has had enough management in her career, she could remain a broker licensee and find another sponsoring broker; in which case she would only need to complete 12 hours of regular continuing education to renew her broker’s license by April 30, 2012. In this case, she would need to move her license to a new sponsoring broker.

Undura might also change from a sole proprietor to some other business organization like a corporation. If she created a corporation to be the sponsoring broker, she could still be the owner of the company but she would need to hire a managing broker licensee to manage the brokerage activities of her business after April 30, 2012. Undura could remain as a sponsored licensee of the company she owns. These would be some options for Undura. But if Ms. Rock wants to continue to manage her own sole proprietorship after April 30, 2012, she must transition to managing broker before that date.

She has a couple options for her transition to managing broker. If she takes the proficiency exam and passes she could do her transition application online. However, if she waits until the last minute to take her proficiency exam (the deadline for the proficiency exam is March 15, 2012), she might not receive her test results in time to complete all transition requirements and to meet the April 30, 2012 deadline. If she does not have the results, she should download the paper application from www.idfpr.com, fill it out as completely as possible and make sure it is post-marked by April 30, 2012. If she takes the proficiency exam she could do her transition application online. If she takes the 45-hour course she would not have the online transition application option and would have to mail the paper application to IDFPR postmarked by April 30, 2012.

Good luck, Undura Rock!

Key Lessons

  • Sole proprietors must transition to the managing broker license by April 30, 2012 in order to remain the “managing broker of record” at IDFPR.
  • Another option exists for sole proprietors - remain a broker licensee (and take 12 hours of CE by the 2012 renewal) and find a new sponsoring broker. 

Q&A with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, Division of Real Estate

Q: What will happen to licensees who completed the education requirements of the transition, but did not realize they had to complete the transition application process? Will there be a late penalty or extra fee?

IDFPR: There will be no late fees or penalties, as no late applications will be accepted. All licensees must submit a transition application and fee in addition to the required hours no later than April 30, 2012.

Q: AMP results are posted two to three weeks after taking a Proficiency Exam, but in some cases have taken up to six weeks when there was a problem. Although the Proficiency deadline is March 15, if a licensee takes the exam on that day and does not get their results prior to April 30, will there be an extension to complete their transition application?

IDFPR: There will be no extensions. If you do not know if you passed and it is getting close to April 30, you should make every attempt to contact IDFPR to see if there was a problem processing your exam. Since the online system will not let you transition unless there is a pass score recorded, you will need to download a paper application and mail it with a check postmarked no later than April 30, 2012.

Q: If the online transition application is not working for any reason on April 30, what steps will IDFPR take to allow licensees to complete that requirement?

IDFPR: If the online application does not work, you will have to print the paper application, complete it and mail with an April 30, 2012 postmark.

Q: Can a reciprocal salesperson licensee transition to broker if their reciprocal broker does not transition to managing broker?

IDFPR: Yes, but they will need to find a new sponsoring broker with an Illinois managing broker license.

Q: Does IDFPR have any specific requirement on the core CE for the 18 hours of continuing education required for the upcoming renewal cycles for broker and managing broker?

IDFPR: Those licensees who are required to complete the 18 hours of continuing education should complete one Core A, and two Core Bs and 9 hours of Elective coursework. Salesperson to broker licensees will need to complete the hours by April 30, 2012 and broker to managing broker licensees by April 30, 2013.

Q: When will the required 12-hour Broker Management course be available for managing brokers?

IDFPR: The Broker Management course outlines are being reviewed by the Education Advisory Council and will be distributed to the schools by the end of 2011. The schools will all write their own curriculum following the outlines distributed by IDFPR and submit them for approval. Since the managing brokers do not need to complete their continuing education including the 12-hour Broker Management course until April 30, 2013, there is still plenty of time to complete the Broker Management course.

Important Links and Resources

IDFPR Transition Guide - www.idfpr.com/dpr/re/RETransition.asp

IDFPR Online Transition Application – Online Option for Proficiency Applicants Only! - https://www.idfpr.com/applications/onlinelicensing/

IDFPR Paper Transition Applications - www.idfpr.com/DPR/RE/Forms/TransForms.asp
If a licensee took a 30- or 45-hour transition course instead of the proficiency exam, they will be required to mail the transition application and include a copy of their transcript.

Paper applications may take 4-6 weeks to process and licensees who have not had their form processed by April 30, 2012 will not be able to perform licensed real estate activities.

IDFPR CE Look-Up - https://www.idfpr.com/applications/CE_Lookup/
Note: If you have already transitioned, the license history does not get transferred to the new license so you will have to pull up both the old and new license CE history.

IDFPR Licensing Division - 217-782-3414

IAR Education Look-Up - www.illinoisrealtor.org/lookup 
Real Estate Licensees who took their education through IAR or one of its CE branches can look up their education on IAR’s Education Look-Up, which will show pre-license and continuing education credit and will show the history from your previous license if you have already transitioned.

IAR License Law Reference Site - www.IARlicenselaw.org

IAR License Transition & Proficiency Hotline - 877-538-5861

Breakout Text: 

KEY DATES:

2012

March 15 – Last day to take a proficiency exam

April 30 – Transition period ends for salesperson to broker; and broker to managing broker

April 30 – Broker licensees license renewal deadline

Every application to transition MUST be POSTMARKED by April 30, 2012. If you miss this date YOU START ALL OVER.

2013

April 30 – Managing broker license renewal deadline


FEES:

There will be two fees payable to IDFPR:

For Salesperson Transitioning to Broker:

Transition fee ($125)

License renewal fee ($150)

For Broker Transitioning to Managing Broker:

Transition fee ($150)

License renewal fee ($200)

Transition is NOT the SAME as renewal!


LINKS:

IDFPR Transition Guide - www.idfpr.com/dpr/re/RETransition.asp

www.IARlicenselaw.org

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