A Guide To California DRE Processing Times In 2022

Those in real estate are likely very familiar with the California Department of Real Estate (known as either DRE or CalBRE). Established in 1917, the DRE exists to “safeguard and promote public interests” by regulating California real estate practices and offering timely services to licensees, subdividers, and consumers.  When you’re dealing with the DRE, it’s helpful to know the average DRE processing times for a real estate license application or subdivision public report.

What is the Department Of Real Estate (DRE)?

The DRE’s purpose is to oversee, administer, and enforce the education and licensing requirements for real estate agents throughout the state of California.  The DRE is also responsible for monitoring real estate transactions and issuing public reports for subdivision properties to California real estate developers.

DRE Processing Timeframe For A Real Estate License Application

After you’ve decided to get your California real estate license, you must make sure you meet the DRE’s requirements for obtaining a real estate agent license or broker license. 

Skeleton waiting since DRE processing times can fee

Often, the DRE processing timeframe can feel endless…

However, if you dedicate yourself to studying and passing the real estate licensing exam, you can get your license in a relatively short time.

Real estate courses at a college – 3-7 weeks

This is the first step you’ll take on your journey toward being a licensed real estate agent. You’ll need to take real estate courses at a DRE-approved college institution to fulfill the requirement for either 3 semesters or 4 quarters. 

It’s important to note that the DRE does not permit students to finish a course in less than 2.5 weeks. If you have fully dedicated your time to studying and completing the required real estate courses, you may finish in as little as 7 weeks.

Exam application processing – 6+ weeks

After you’ve fulfilled the real estate course requirements, you should work on submitting your real estate exam application. Although speed is important, however, you also want to make sure that you’ve gathered all of the documentation needed for a real estate license application. 

For example, you’ll need to provide certificates and college transcripts for your real estate courses and complete fingerprint scans at an authorized live scan service facility. Once you’ve compiled all of the documentation and evidence needed for your real estate license application, it’s time to submit your application.

Here are some tips to make sure your exam application is as fast as possible:

  • Register for an account on the DRE’s eLicensing platform.
  • Make sure the information in your application is accurate.
  • Submit your real estate exam application once (multiple times will delay the processing of your application).

Once you’ve submitted your application, you can verify its status by noting whether the license application fee appears on your bank statement or credit card statement.

Online real estate school AceableAgent recommends submitting applications for the Combination Exam and License Application. Although you will have to pay the fees for both items at the same time, you won’t have to submit a license application after completing the exam. 

Real estate exam – 1+ Week

Once your application has been approved, your exam will usually be scheduled for 1 or so weeks following the application approval date.  Once you arrive at the exam, you’ll have 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete it. When you’re done, your examination score will be tallied and provided to you. You must have an examination score of at least 70% to pass the exam and become a licensed California real estate agent. If you don’t pass the real estate examination, you can take it again within two years of your application submission date.

DRE Public Report Processing Timeframes

Subdividing a piece of land (parcels) allows land developers to increase the profitability of their land, both developed or undeveloped. California’s DRE issues public reports to land developers and property owners as they sell lots or parcels of land. 

Types Of DRE Public Reports In California

The DRE provides different types of public reports that are helpful at specific stages of a project. The final public report (“white”) is the only type of public report required by California law, but preliminary and interim (“pink”) public reports and a conditional (“yellow”) report can also be beneficial.

A table showing different DRE public report types, which vary in purpose and DRE processing times.

What are the DRE timeframes for subdivision types?

Our years of experience working with the DRE have helped us develop general estimates of DRE processing times for public reports:

Standard subdivision reports (~60 days)

Filings are reviewed by a Special Investigator approximately 30 days following their submission. If there are errors, the DRE will review the deficiencies over an additional 20 days. Once these errors are corrected and final documentation is provided, the DRE has 10 days to issue the final public report.

Common interest subdivision reports (~115 days)

For common interest developments (CID) and subdivisions, filings are reviewed by a DRE Special Investigator 70 days after the filing is submitted.  If there are any issues found, the DRE will spend an additional 30 days reviewing the errors and advising developers regarding the necessary corrections. After the developer has resolved the errors and submitted any necessary documentation, the DRE will issue the final public report within 15 days.

When do DRE public reports expire?

Each DRE public report has its own expiration date. The final DRE public report, also known as the “white” public report, expires 5 years from the issuance date.

What is a conditional public report?

A conditional public report (also called a “yellow report” because it’s printed on yellow paper) lets a subdivider establish a sales contract for their subdivision property with a buyer. The expiration date for conditional DRE public reports is 6 months from the date of issuance.

Is there a DRE public report lookup tool?

There are two main websites you can use to search for DRE public reports in California. The first is the DRE’s Subdivision Public Reports Lookup System (SPRLS), however, not all public reports are available in its database. 

You can also use drepublicreports.com to look up DRE public reports. This database is maintained by our team here at California Builder Services.

How long is a preliminary public report good for?

The preliminary public report (also known as the interim public report) is valid for one year, however, it can expire sooner if an amended public report is issued before that time.

What is a DRE white report?

The DRE white report is the final public report that authorizes a developer to sell or lease units within a subdivided property.

What is a pink public report?

A pink public report is the preliminary report provided to a subdivider that lets them advertise subdivision units in exchange for refundable deposits.

How does a public report protect the public?

Public reports disclose important information about a subdivision to consumers, protecting them from misrepresentation and fraud during the sale or lease of a subdivision unit or lot.

Do you need DRE public reports? Get 45% faster turnaround times.

As a real estate consulting firm, California Builder Services helps land developers and owners of common interest subdivisions (CID) accurately file and process their public reports more efficiently. Our public report processing services include consultation and expert recommendations throughout the filing process so there are less delays. 

Planning a project? Use our free Phase Predictor!

Screenshot of the Phase Predictor developed by California Builder Services to let land developers plan for costs and DRE processing times.

Years ago, our team created a free phase predictor tool to help developers plan out projects. This tool helps developers answer questions like:

  • How much money will this project cost me?
  • How many phases should there be?
  • How much will each marketing phase cost me?

You can access our Phase Predictor here.

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