Is This Guy Legit? Is the License Active? Who’s Their Broker?

A buyer submitted a good offer, but their agent doesn’t seem completely agent-like. Is this seemingly good deal a bit shady? If you know where to look, it’s easy to verify another Fla. agent’s real estate license and confirm the name of their broker.

ORLANDO, Fla. – In the current climate of seemingly warp-speed transactions, several calls to Florida Realtors® Legal Hotline are from members trying to verify if the person they’re working with on the other side of the deal is actually licensed and what brokerage they work for. Here is a step-by-step guide that shows you how to verify this information quickly.

Does someone have a Florida real estate license?

The first step: Go to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) website, Once there, one of the main boxes in the middle of the front facing page states “VERIFY A LICENSE.” Click on that box.

The next screen has several options relating to the information you want to use to verify a license. You can search by name, license number, city/county or license type.

Remember, this is a database for all types of licenses regulated by DBPR, not just real estate licenses. As such, searching by city/county or license type may not be the best search options to quickly get the results you’re seeking. I’d suggest searching by the individual’s name as a start. There is a blue dot that allows you to choose your option, then hit search.

The following screen is where you enter the first and last name of the person you’re trying to verify has a real estate license. Note you can also enter the name of the real estate brokerage here as well. You can also limit the type of license searched in the lower part of the section, using a drop-down menu that lists different license categories. This may be helpful if the person has a common name, which can generate several pages of results.

After entering your criteria, again, hit search.

The next results page shows all the results of your search criteria. You will be able to see, starting at the left-hand side of the page, the license type, the person’s name, their license number, and, most importantly, their license status as well as when the license expires.

It’s important to note that a real estate license has two status tiers: primary and secondary. The person you’re researching must have a “current/active” license status in order to legally perform real estate activity. “Current/inactive” or “null and void” means that individual should not be performing any real estate activity until their status has changed back to “current/active.”

How to locate a certain licensee’s brokerage – or find out who works for a particular brokerage

Once you’ve located the individual you’re searching for, you can verify the brokerage where their license is hung. To do this, click on the individual’s name. On the resulting page, click on the line in the lower left-hand corner of the page that says, “Review Related License Information.” The next screen takes you to the page that shows the individual’s brokerage firm, including any d/b/a (doing business as) name used by that brokerage.

Conversely, should you want to verify who works for a particular brokerage, you can go back to the search-by-name option covered in the beginning of this article and enter the name of the brokerage in the “Organization/Establishment Name” search box. Once you get your results, click on the correct brokerage name, and you can again hit “Review Related License Information” to find out whose license is hung with that particular brokerage, as well as their current license statuses.

Finally, an important note: The DBPR website allows you to verify if someone holds a current/active Florida real estate license – but it does not tell you if someone is a Realtor. The best way to verify if someone is a Realtor member is to contact your local board for verification.

Meredith Caruso is Associate General Counsel for Florida Realtors

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

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