License Number Disclosure Requirements for Real Estate Agents and Brokers

Updated August, 2017


Because there are more than 500,000 real estate licensees in California, many with the same or similar names, verifying Bureau of Real Estate license status can sometimes be challenging. To assist with identification, California real estate agents and brokers must disclose their BRE license number on:

  • all “solicitation materials intended to be the first point of contact with consumers”; and
  • “real property purchase agreements when acting as an agent in those transactions”.

There are also laws and regulations that require certain phrases and license numbers in advertisements. More information about these requirements, (Business & Professions Code §§10140.6, 10235.5, 10236.4 and 10 CCR §2770.1 and 10 CCR §2847.3), is available in a BRE publication at

Before January 1, 2018, there was an exception to this requirement for advertisements in printed format such as magazines, newspapers, etc., as well as on electronic media. This exception was eliminated by AB 1650 effective January 1, 2018. An exception remains for open house, “for sale”, “for rent or for lease” and directional signs, as long as no identifying licensee information is included (or only the broker’s name appears).

Real estate licensees should include their name and license number, and the responsible broker, on all solicitation materials, including business cards, stationary, advertising flyers, advertisements on television, in print, or electronic media, signage, and other materials designed to “solicit the creation of a professional relationship between the licensee and a consumer.”

Additionally, if a licensee is a mortgage loan originator, the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry identifier must also be included.

The BRE has a chart (RE 559) showing the required licensure disclosures for real estate-related advertisements, available at

The text of the laws and regulations discussed appear in the pdf version of this article.

Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP is a full service real estate law firm representing residential and commercial property owners and managers. This article is for general information purposes only. While KTS provides clients with information on legislative changes, our courtesy notifications are not meant to be exhaustive and do not take the place of legislative services or membership in trade associations. Our legal alerts are provided on selected topics and should not be relied upon as a complete report of all new changes of local, state, and federal laws affecting property owners and managers. Laws may have changed since this article was published. Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office. For contact information, please visit our website: For past Legal Alerts, Questions & Answers and Legal Articles, please consult the resource section of our website.


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