Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) announced that the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC), a professional regulation board, recently approved the two-year reduction of biennial license renewal fees for certain active licenses beginning with the renewal cycle for licenses expiring September 30, 2019.
The announcement follows Governor DeSantis’ “Deregathon” held on January 31st in Orlando with DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears and Florida’s Professional Licensing Boards to identify areas to eliminate fees and harmful regulations on Florida businesses and professionals.
“I’m proud that our efforts to deregulate Florida’s occupational licensing regime are producing real results for the hard-working men and women of our state,” said Governor DeSantis. “This new fee reduction is a direct outcome of my administration’s Deregathon and means more than 200,000 licensed real estate professionals will be able to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. We have got to stop nickel-and-diming our businesses and professionals and I will continue to be bold in reducing barriers to opportunity for the people of Florida.”
The temporary fee reduction, which lowers license renewal fees by fifty percent for licenses of real estate brokers, real estate sales associates and real estate broker branch offices, will continue through the renewal periods of licenses expiring March 31, 2020, September 30, 2020, and March 31, 2021.
“When Governor DeSantis hosted the Florida Deregathon in January, ideas like this fee reduction helped chart the course for reducing regulatory burdens in Florida’s professional licensing system,” said Secretary Beshears. “Now, within months of starting that conversation, we’re recognizing real progress as the FREC and other boards take the steps to follow through on the recommendations presented earlier this year.”
Effective July 1, 2019, the biennial license renewal fee for an active licensee will drop from $72.00 to $36.00 for licensure renewal as a real estate broker and from $64.00 to $32.00 for licensure renewal as a real estate sales associate or broker branch office. The Commission, in action taken at its business meeting on March 13, 2019, voted to initiate the rule development necessary to implement the reduction of fees as established in Rule 61J2-1.011, Florida Administrative Code. Based on licensure and renewal rates from the past two years, the upcoming license fee reduction is projected to result in an estimated savings of over $8.8 million dollars for eligible license holders in Florida.
“License holders expect the Commission to establish reasonable license fees and to act on the authority Florida law provides to reduce these fees when financial circumstances allow,” said Florida Real Estate Commission Chairwoman Patricia Fitzgerald. “I am proud of the work our Commission has done in identifying this recommendation and acting on this opportunity for a fee reduction as part of a broader deregulation call by Governor DeSantis.”
In January, the Florida Real Estate Commission joined sixteen other professional licensing boards at the Florida Deregathon, a one-day event for the discussion, debate and identification of regulations that could be modified or eliminated to improve Florida’s regulatory framework and strengthen the state’s economy. At the conclusion of the Florida Deregathon, Commission Chair Patricia Fitzgerald presented the FREC recommendation to reduce fees for initial licensure and license renewal. Pursuant to section 455.219, Florida Statutes, the Commission is authorized to implement a waiver of license renewal fees for a period not to exceed 2 years when the profession’s trust fund moneys are in excess of the amount required to cover the necessary functions of the FREC.
More information regarding the Florida Real Estate Commission, including meeting dates and license information, is available at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/real-estate-commission/.