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Ohio House of Representatives Passes Occupational Licensing Reform Legislation

Ohio House of Representatives Passes Occupational Licensing Reform Legislation

Feb 8, 2024

By: Andrew Huffman, Asst. VP of Government Affairs

The Ohio House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 238, which makes sweeping changes to numerous occupational licenses.

Every six years each occupational license issued in Ohio is reviewed by the state legislature to ensure the requirements to receive that license are not overly burdensome when compared to surrounding states. The licenses issued by the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing were scheduled for review during this legislative session and Ohio REALTORS® have been working diligently with lawmakers stressing the importance of Ohio’s licensing and education requirements for real estate practitioners.

After hearing from state licensing agencies and impacted stakeholders, the Ohio House of Representatives introduced House Bill 238, which included reforms to dozens of professional licenses. Through this review process, it was identified that the cost of pre-licensing education for Ohio’s real estate professionals was significantly higher than in our surrounding states. Additionally, it was discovered that Ohio law creates barriers to becoming a real estate broker that do not exist in other states. Throughout the committee process Ohio REALTORS® worked to address these issues and also had to defend against efforts that would have significantly reduced the hours of pre-licensing education for real estate salespeople and brokers.

Through our work, House Bill 238 will protect training requirements for real estate professionals by maintaining the hours of pre-licensing education. Additionally, House Bill 238 will allow more real estate schools to operate in Ohio, increasing competition among education providers, which we believe will lower the cost of pre-licensing education and improve the quality of training. Oversight of these schools will be provided by the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools, which would be able to collaborate with the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing when certifying new schools and reviewing curricula. HB 238 also removes an unnecessary requirement that real estate brokers first obtain two years of post-secondary education before obtaining a broker’s license. This requirement, which is unique to Ohio, serves as a barrier for many in the industry who would like to advance from a licensed real estate salesperson into the role of a licensed broker. The measure also extends the duration of a residential real estate appraiser certificate and real estate appraiser assistant registration from one to two years and reduces initial fees.

House Bill 238 was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives on February 7, 2024 and will now move to the Ohio Senate where it will undergo further review.

Additional information about House Bill 238 can be found through the following link: House Bill 238 Documents | 135th General Assembly | Ohio Legislature

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