Certification - Becoming a broker
What is the normal processing time for an application submitted to the Certification Department?
If your application is complete, it will be processed within a maximum of 24 hours, except in April, during the annual licence maintenance period, where it is processed as quickly as possible.
If your application is incomplete, you will receive a notice indicating the missing documentation or information and the deadline by which it must be received. Where this is the case, your application will be processed only once all documentation and information is received. If you fail to complete your application within the deadline indicated, your application will not be processed and a refund will be issued to you.
How do I know if my application has been processed?
In the majority of cases you will receive a document confirming that your application has been processed. You may also check directly in the OACIQ’s Register of licence holders or in My record on synbad.com, depending on the type of application.
It is important to know that if you have specified an effective date in your application, the change is considered to be in effect once it appears in the OACIQ’s Register of licence holders. Depending on the date and time your application was received, as well as the type of request, it may not be processed at the exact date and time requested (for example if your application was received outside of business hours or if it is incomplete).
Can an application be processed for an earlier date, i.e. retroactively?
No, an application may not be processed retroactively. Applications are processed within the normal period (see question 1).
Can an application be processed at a later date?
Yes, an application may be processed at a later date. In this case, it is important to indicate the desired date and time in your application and to send it reasonably ahead of that date. For example, on July 28 you could send a notice of agency change applicable as of 9:00 a.m. on August 1.
I completed my basic training in a real estate or mortgage brokerage program recognized by the OACIQ. What is my deadline to register for a certification exam?
There is no deadline to register for a certification exam.
Note that the Certification Department is responsible for the registration for the OACIQ certification exams. For any questions regarding exams, please check out the Procedures and conditions for taking the OACIQ examinations page or contact the Basic Training and Examinations Department.
I would like to register for an OACIQ certification exam. How to proceed and what are the applicable fees?
To register for a certification exam, you must send to the Certification Department the Examination Application form, available on the Certification Forms page, the required documents and the applicable fees. Your complete application must be sent to us no later than the last day of the registration period specified in the calendar of examinations, under Details.
The registration fees vary according to the type and duration of the exam. See the List of administrative fees for the fees that apply to each examination you wish to register for.
If you cancel your registration or do not attend the exam, a portion of the registration fees will be refunded to you since an amount for examining your application will be deducted (for details of fees, see the List of administrative fees). To get a refund, you must send us a written and signed request.
Note that you can change the date of your exam by sending an application along with the payment required for postponement to the Continuing Education Department (for the amount, see the List of administrative fees). For more information, check out the Procedures and conditions for taking the OACIQ examinations page.
The Certification Department is responsible for the registration for certification exams. For any questions regarding exams, please check out the Procedures and conditions for taking the OACIQ examinations page or contact the Continuing Education Department.
I would like to register for a certification exam but I have not yet received my transcript. What shall I do?
You may still file a registration application to book your place for the exam (see question 6). When processing your application, an incomplete file notice will be sent to you and you must ensure to complete your file no later than the last day of the registration period specified in the calendar of examinations, under Details. When your file is complete, you will receive a notice to appear to write the exam.
However, if the document is not received on time, you will not be summoned to write the exam. You will have to ask the Continuing Education Department to postpone your registration and pay the applicable fees (see the List of administrative fees).
Note that the Certification Department is responsible for the registration for certification exams. For any questions regarding exams, please check out the Procedures and conditions for taking the OACIQ examinations page or contact the Continuing Education Department.
I passed my certification exam. Do I have a deadline to apply for a licence?
Yes, you have 12 months from the date you receive your examination’s result letter to apply for a licence. If you exceed this period, you will have to rewrite the OACIQ certification examination.
How to apply for a licence?
To apply for a licence, you need to complete and provide the following documents:
- Application for issuance • Real estate or mortgage broker licence;
- If you answered Yes to any of the questions in section VI Declarations of the Application for issuance form:
- Consent form for the verification of criminal record, if you have not previously provided it in the past 6 months;
- A proof showing your knowledge of the French language if you wrote the certification exam in English;
- A photograph taken within less than 6 months;
- Payment of fees.
Upon receipt of your licence application, an email with "Mintz Background Check Invitation" in the subject line will be sent to you so you can complete the Mintz digital form. If your criminal record check was carried out less than six months ago, we will refer to the previously obtained results and no email will be sent.
For more information regarding criminal record check, please read the article entitled Criminal record check for issuing a licence to practise.
If your licence has been revoked, you have 12 months following the revocation date to apply for a licence; otherwise, you will have to successfully complete a recognized basic training and pass an OACIQ certification exam to obtain a licence again.
Please note that if you respond positively to any of the questions in the Declarations section of the Application for issuance form or if the results of your criminal record check are positive, your file could be submitted to the Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee (LIMC). In this case, the licence issuance could be delayed (see question 13).
What are the fees to be paid when applying for a licence?
The fees to be paid when applying for a licence vary depending on the licence type and the month when the application is filed. To find out the exact amount payable for a licence issuance, see the Chargeable fees for the issuance of a licence chart corresponding to the licence type requested, available on the Certification Forms page.
The chargeable fees for a licence issuance are comprised of the following fees:
- The application examination fees;
- Fees for checking criminal records, if any;
- Right to practice;
- Contribution to the Real Estate Indemnity Fund (FICI);
- Premium of the Fonds d’assurance responsabilité professionnelle du courtage immobilier du Québec (FARCIQ);
- Applicable taxes.
The licence validity period is from May 1 to April 30. Except for application examination and verification of criminal records fees, the fees are calculated based on the remaining months until April, including the month in which the licence is issued. It will be more expensive to apply for a licence in June than in March.
Note that to maintain your licence in force, you also need to pay the annual required fees on April 30 of each year at the latest.
Am I entitled to a refund if I cancel my licence issuance application?
Yes, but certain fees are not refundable. If you cancel your licence application before issuance, you may be refunded the following fees:
- Right to practice;
- Contribution to the Real Estate Indemnity Fund (FICI);
- Premium of the Fonds d’assurance responsabilité professionnelle du courtage immobilier du Québec (FARCIQ);
- Applicable taxes.
The application examination and verification of criminal records fees are not refundable.
If the licence is issued, only the following fees will be refunded to you, even if you request the immediate revocation of your licence:
- Premium of FARCIQ;
- Applicable taxes.
Why does the OACIQ check criminal records when examining a licence issuance application?
To protect the public. This criminal record check is required to see whether a further examination of your file by the Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee (LIMC) is justified.
The LIMC’s role is to determine whether public protection warrants the imposition of one of the measures set out in the Act. If applicable, in accordance with section 37 of the Real Estate Brokerage Act, the LIMC may refuse to issue a licence or impose conditions or restrictions thereon if the individual applying for the licence has been convicted of, or has pleaded guilty to, a criminal act or a penal offence.
For the Certification Department to check your criminal record, you need to:
- Complete the Declarations section of the Application for licence issuance form (see question 13). You only need to enter information about events that the OACIQ has never been informed of. You don’t have to make any declarations again if they have already been made during an information update or a previous licence application.
- Complete the Mintz digital form to carry out a criminal record check, as soon as you receive the email with "Mintz Background Check Invitation" in the subject line.
Please note that your criminal record check should have been conducted within less than six months for your licence issuance application to be examined.
To avoid additional delays in the processing of your licence application, please follow the recommendations stated in the article entitled Criminal record check for issuing a licence to practise. Even if you provide a certificate of good conduct issued by police, your application will be considered as incomplete.
What information shall I report in the Declarations section of the Application for licence issuance form?
If you have never informed the OACIQ, you must report any criminal act or any penal or ethical offence you have been convicted of, or have pleaded guilty to, and any bankruptcy, regardless of the time elapsed since that event.
The assignments of property or receiving orders made under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act must be mentioned. However, you do not need to inform us of a consumer proposal.
Criminal acts are violations under the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, or other federal statutes containing criminal offences. Examples:
- I was found guilty of simple possession of narcotics;
- I received a fine for impaired driving.
Penal offences are violations under provincial or federal statutes or under certain regulations. Examples:
- I was fined for doing construction work without holding a competency certificate issued by the Quebec Construction Commission;
- I received a fine for failing to file a tax return;
Offences under the Highway Safety Code or a municipal by-law need not be declared.
Ethical offences are violations to the code of ethics or to a regulation governing the conduct of the members of a professional order or other type of organization responsible for the oversight of a profession or trade. Examples:
- I was found guilty of violating the Code of ethics of notaries by the Chambre des notaires’ discipline committee;
- I was found guilty of a disciplinary offence by the discipline committee of the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec.
If you respond positively to any of the questions in the Declarations section of the Application for licence issuance form, your file will be examined to determine if it needs to be examined by the OACIQ Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee (LIMC). The role of this Committee is to determine whether public protection warrants the imposition of one of the measures set out in the Act when the individual applying for a licence has had his licence revoked, suspended or made subject to restrictions or conditions by the OACIQ Discipline Committee or by another body overseeing real estate brokerage, is the subject of a property assignment, a receiving order, or a protective supervision of a person of full age or a disciplinary, penal or criminal conviction. If applicable, in accordance with section 37 of the Real Estate Brokerage Act, the OACIQ may refuse to issue a licence or impose conditions or restrictions thereon.
It is not always clear whether an act, offense or bankruptcy is worth mentioning. If in doubt, it’s better to report such information since your licence may be revoked if it’s noted that you have not reported it.
Before completing my real estate or mortgage brokerage training, I filed an application for obtaining an opinion from the Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee (LIMC). Will my licence issuance application be processed quickly?
No. Since the LIMC’s opinion is not a decision within the meaning of the Real Estate Brokerage Act, your file will have to be examined again by the committee, which will then render a decision based on the facts presented and circumstances prevailing at the time you apply for a licence.
In addition, the amount already paid for this application for an opinion will not be deducted from the amount to be paid for a licence issuance application.
For more information about the applications for obtaining an opinion from the LIMC, please check out the Information on the Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee and Instructions for obtaining an opinion from the Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee documents available on the Certification Forms page.
I passed my OACIQ certification exam in English. What documents can I provide to prove my knowledge of French?
The OACIQ does not require a specific document to prove knowledge of French. For example, you can provide a copy of:
- A certificate issued by the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) (see question 17);
- A proof of successful completion of the French exam from the OQLF;
- A certificate or a secondary school diploma issued an educational institution in Québec starting from the school year 1985-1986;
- A transcript from the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec proving that you passed the 4th or 5th year secondary level examinations in French as a mother language;
- School report card, transcripts or a diploma showing that you have attended a French language secondary or post-secondary establishment full time for three years;
For more information in this regard, check out the Procedures and conditions for taking the OACIQ examinations page.
What is the content of the French exam of the OQLF?
As indicated in the article Future brokers: The OQLF has changed the French exam, the French exam of the OQLF includes four activities:
- The first is a preparatory activity of reading and taking notes about a case study on the professional reality of the candidate;
- The second is a group oral expression activity where the case is discussed. An active participation in group discussions is mandatory to move on to other exam activities;
- The third activity is an individual written work on the case submitted;
- The final activity is an individual interview with the assessor about new case-related elements.
As this is a new exam, in force since the beginning of 2018, certain transitional provisions have been implemented. More details in the article mentioned above.
What are the differences between a restricted and a full-service licence?
The real estate brokers with a restricted licence cannot engage in a transaction that is outside their field of practice. For example, a real estate broker with a licence restricted to residential brokerage cannot take part in a co-listing brokerage contract for a commercial immovable.
Brokers with a full-service licence may engage in all brokerage activities set out in the Real Estate Brokerage Act, i.e., the residential real estate brokerage, the commercial real estate brokerage and mortgage brokerage.
The Real Estate Brokerage Act stipulates that a right to practice may be obtained by successfully taking the appropriate OACIQ certification examination. Once you pass such an exam, you may add a field of practice to your licence by applying for a licence modification (see question 20).
Based on the current regulation respecting licence issuance, you may hold a licence in:
- Residential real estate brokerage;
- Commercial real estate brokerage;
- Residential and commercial real estate brokerage;
- Mortgage brokerage;
- Residential and commercial real estate brokerage and mortgage brokerage (full-service licence).
It is important to remember that the order in which you acquire your qualifications may have an impact on the type of licence you hold and costs. For instance if you start with a mortgage brokerage licence and you then add the right to practice residential or commercial real estate brokerage, your practice will be authorized under two different licences, i.e. a residential or commercial brokerage licence and a mortgage brokerage licence. In this case you will have to maintain and pay for the cost of two licences until you add the third qualification, at which point you may become the holder of a full-service real estate broker licence.
It is therefore suggested to:
- Obtain a residential or commercial real estate broker licence first, then complete a training and add the other fields of practice, ending with mortgage brokerage;
- Obtain a mortgage broker licence, pass the residential and commercial brokerage examinations, and then apply for a licence modification to obtain a full-service real estate brokerage licence.
What is a beginner broker?
A broker is considered a beginner until he has accumulated three years of experience with an agency over a five-year period. A beginner broker must have his practice overseen and supervised by the agency, which includes a review of his brokerage contract records before an immovable is put on the market and an examination of his transactions and oversight of their progress (section 42 of the Regulation respecting brokerage requirements, professional conduct of brokers and advertising). In this regard see the article entitled The agency’s duty to supervise the brokers acting on its behalf, and supervision of brokers new to the profession on synbad.com.
The notion of beginner broker applies only to licence holders who have been issued a licence after successfully taking a skills-based examination (since May 1, 2010).
I wish to act on my own account. What shall I do?
To change your method of practice to act on your own account, you must complete the Application for licence modification – Real estate or mortgage broker form, taking care to indicate the address of your establishment, even if it is your residence, and to include the applicable fees (see the List of administrative fees).
You may act on your own account if you meet the following conditions:
For brokers who obtained their licence after successfully taking a skills-based certification examination after May 1, 2010:
- You have accumulated three years of practice for an agency over a five-year period.
For brokers who obtained their licence before May 1, 2010 (former affiliated agents):
- You have accumulated three years of practice for an agency over a five-year period;
- You have successfully taken the certification examination “Former affiliated agents wishing to act on their own account” OR you have completed the continuing education program to act on your own account (8 training activities) in 18 months (for more information, see the Mandatory basic training: Becoming agency executive officers or acting on your own account) page.
Once you have the experience, it cannot be lost, but acquired rights may be lost 12 months following a licence revocation.
Within 10 days following the modification of your licence, you must open a trust account, failing which your licence will be suspended (in this regard see IMPORTANT NOTICE — Opening and maintaining a trust account).
Please note that when acting on your own account, you may not use a pseudonym, hire brokers or act through a business corporation.
I wish to act as agency executive officer. What shall I do?
You must hold a valid broker’s licence and have the qualifications required to act as such.
To obtain the qualifications required to act as agency executive officer, you must:
- have the qualifications required to act on your own account (see question 20);
- have successfully completed an agency executive officer basic training program recognized by the OACIQ;
- have successfully taken the OACIQ “Agency executive officer” examination.
If you are a chartered real estate broker under the old Act, you simply need to complete the mandatory online continuing education activity entitled “Agency Executive officer, more than a director.”
Once you meet the requirements, the qualification “chartered AEO” will be added to your licence and you will be authorized to act as agency executive officer. This stipulation means that you have the necessary management skills to act as agency executive officer, in addition to meeting the requirements of the Real Estate Brokerage Act to maintain this qualification.
What are the differences between a chartered real estate broker AEO, a chartered real estate broker, and an agency executive officer?
The OACIQ has decided to authorize the use of the title “chartered AEO” for a broker who was already qualified to act as agency executive officer and has maintained this qualification, including by completing the mandatory continuing education activity entitled “Agency executive officer, more than a director.”
A real estate broker whose licence is marked “chartered AEO” has all the management skills required to act as agency executive officer, in addition to meeting the requirements of the Real Estate Brokerage Act to maintain this qualification. However, this statement does not mean that this broker is actually working as an agency executive officer.
A real estate broker whose licence simply indicates “chartered” has acquired the management skills required to act as agency executive officer in the past, but has not maintained the qualifications to act as such. This broker may not act as agency executive officer.
Finally, an agency executive officer is a chartered real estate broker AEO who currently works as an executive officer in an agency. To find out who is an agency’s executive officer, see the agency’s information sheet in the Register of licence holders.
I wish to receive my remuneration through my own business corporation? What shall I do?
You must send us an Application for authorization to practise within a business corporation, along with all documents required and the applicable fees (see the List of administrative fees).
To be authorized to operate within a business corporation, you must meet the following conditions:
- Your business corporation must be registered with the Registraire des entreprises du Québec or incorporated under the Québec Companies Act;
- You must hold directly, and not through another natural or legal person, at least 90% of voting rights attached to the shares;
- You must be the president of your corporation;
- You must act on behalf of the agency exclusively through your corporation;
- The name of your corporation must include your usual name as it appears on your licence and must not include the name of a third party.
If authorization is granted, you will receive a confirmation letter and a new licence stating that you are carrying out your activities within a business corporation.
For more information about the operation within a business corporation, read the article entitled
PRIOR conditions and verifications required for brokers to operate within a business corporation and remuneration to be paid to the corporation by the broker’s agency on synbad.com
What are the requirements regarding the naming of my business corporation?
The name of your company must include your usual name as it appears on your licence, and not only your initials. In addition, this name must not include the name of a third party, contain the word “agency” or be misleading. For example, it must not be identical to that of an existing company, be easily confused with the name of an existing company, or be misleading as to the company’s activities.
If you change the name of your business corporation, you must submit an Application for authorization to practise within a business corporation with the new information, along with the fees applicable to a licence modification (see the List of administrative fees).
For whom the Interprovincial Challenge Examination is intended and what are the eligibility criteria?
This exam is intended for real estate and mortgage brokers from other Canadian provinces. It was implemented as part of the mutual recognition agreements of professional skills concluded between Québec and other Canadian provinces.
These agreements aim at promoting the mobility of workers between Canadian provinces. Registration applications for this exam are assessed to ensure that they respect its purpose and spirit.
To be eligible for this exam, you must show–by providing the required documents–that you are qualified and authorized to engage in real estate or mortgage brokerage activities in another province and that you have practised real estate or mortgage brokerage in that province. A proof of residency may also be requested to assess your eligibility.
For more information about the interprovincial challenge exam, please check the Brokers from other provinces - Everything you need to know to practice in Québec page.
I would like to carry out a transaction in Québec, how to get the OACIQ’s authorization?
You may apply for a special authorization to carry out punctual or occasional brokerage activities in Québec, as set out in section 40 and following of the Regulation respecting the issue of broker’s and agency licences. To do this, you must send us the following information and documents:
- Your name and your company’s or group’s name and your contact information;
- The name and contact information of the person, the company or the group you are acting for;
- A description of the brokerage activities in Québec you intend to engage in;
- The identification of your application’s specific purposes (e.g.: specific transaction);
- A declaration in which you undertake to act within the limits of the special authorization that would be granted to you;
- A certificate from a competent authority proving that you are authorized to engage in real estate brokerage transactions outside Québec;
- A photograph taken within less than 6 months;
- Payment of fees applicable to your application (see the List of administrative fees);
- Any other information relevant to your application.
Moreover, for a special authorization to be granted, you must meet the following conditions:
- Be authorized to engage in real estate brokerage transactions outside Québec throughout the validity period of the special authorization;
- In your transactions in Québec, be assisted by a licence holder practising in the same activity field and in the region where the activities permitted by the special authorization will take place. This licence holder must not have a disciplinary record, conditions or restrictions imposed on his licence;
- If you act for a person, company or group, the latter must also hold a special authorization.
The special authorization is valid for a 12-month period and cannot be renewed.