Certification - Becoming a broker
What is the normal processing time for an application submitted to the Certification Department?
A complete complete application will be processed as soon as possible. In some cases, it will take 7 to 10 business days. Note that an application submitted in April, i.e. during the annual licence renewal period, will need a longer processing time.
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. In some cases, administrative fees may apply.
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 exactly at the desired date(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 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 August 1.
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);
- Subscription to InstanetFormsTM electronic forms;
- 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.
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. Therefore, a residential real estate broker’s licence holder cannot take part in a co-listing brokerage contract for a commercial immovable.
Licence holders 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, and the commercial real estate brokerage. The Real Estate Brokerage Act stipulates that a right to practice may be obtained by successfully completing a basic training program recognized by the OACIQ and passing a skills-based examination. Once you pass such a certification exam, you may add a field of practice to your licence by applying for a licence modification.
Based on the current regulation respecting licence issuance, you may hold a licence in:
- Residential real estate brokerage;
- Commercial real estate brokerage or
- Residential and commercial real estate brokerage (full-service licence).
I wish to act on my own account. What shall I do?
Since the amendment made in 2018 to the Real Estate Brokerage Act, a broker may act on his own account as soon as he obtains his OACIQ licence (the concept of beginner broker has been removed). To change your method of practice to act on your own account, you must complete the Application for licence modification – Real estate 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 Applicable fees and costs page).
You may act on your own account if you meet the following conditions:
For holders who obtained their broker’s 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. Be holder of a valid broker’s licence.
For holders who obtained their broker’s licence before May 1, 2010 (former affiliated real estate agents):
- Be holder of a valid broker’s licence;
- having successfully taken the certification examination “Former affiliated agents wishing to act on their own account” OR having completed the continuing education program to act on your own account (8 training activities) in 18 months OR having successfully completed an agency executive officer basic training program recognized by the OACIQ and passing the skills-based examination for agency executive officers (for more information, see the Mandatory basic training: Becoming agency executive officers or acting on your own account) page.
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 the form IMPORTANT NOTICE — Opening and maintaining a trust account).
Note that brokers are exempt from this obligation if they receive no deposits, advance on remuneration or costs from their clients, or any other sum for others. When they are no longer in this situation, they must immediately notify the OACIQ in writing and comply with the obligations related to trust accounts.1Please note that when acting on your own account, you may not use a pseudonym, hire brokers or act through a business corporation.
1S. 24 of the Regulation respecting brokerage requirements, professional conduct of brokers and advertising.
I wish to act as agency executive officer. What shall I do?
First, you must hold a valid broker's licence and be qualified to act as agency executive officer. Please read the following article: Mandatory basic training: Becoming agency executive officer or acting on your own account for the steps to follow to qualify as agency executive officer.
Once the conditions are met, you must complete and send the Appointment of agency executive officer form by email to the Certification Department. The form must be signed by the current executive officer or director of the legal person or partnership and by the new agency executive officer.
What are the differences between a chartered real estate broker’s licence holder AEO, a chartered real estate broker’s licence holder and an agency executive officer?
The OACIQ has decided to authorize the use of the title “chartered AEO” for a broker’s licence holder who was already qualified to act as agency executive officer and has maintained this qualification, including by completing the mandatory continuing education activity entitled “Compliance and performance: A combination that pays off”.
A real estate broker’s licence holder 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’s licence holder 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’s licence holder may not act as agency executive officer.
Finally, an agency executive officer is a chartered real estate broker’s licence holder 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 article Administrative and chargeable 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 an email confirmation.
For more information about the operation within a business corporation, read the article entitled Remuneration to be paid to the broker’s business corporation by the broker’s agency: Conditions and verifications.
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 or type of services offered.
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 article Administrative and chargeable fees).
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 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 article Administrative and chargeable 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.
I have a criminal record. Can this prevent me from becoming a real estate broker?
Not necessarily. However, you must disclose it. It is the Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee that shall first decide whether or not the criminal offence or act in question is related to brokerage transactions. If the committee believes that there is a link, it shall decide if the licence requested can be issued and, if so, whether it is appropriate to subject it to conditions or restrictions.
Am I obliged to disclose my criminal record to the OACIQ?
Yes. If you have an ethical, penal, or criminal record (except for an offence related to the Highway Safety Code and municipal by-laws), you must disclose it to the Organization when applying for a licence. You must mention any conviction or guilty plea (even those for which you are awaiting a sentence), those for which you received a discharge (whether conditional or unconditional) or a record suspension (formerly called “pardon”).
An individual who makes misrepresentations concerning his criminal record when applying for a licence to the Organization may have his licence revoked.
I went bankrupt several years ago and I was discharged. do I have to disclose this to the OACIQ?
Yes. If you previously went bankrupt, and whether you were discharged or not, you must disclose it to the Organization and provide the documents required to this effect.
The Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee may decide, due to this situation and in order to protect the public, if the licence requested can be issued and, if so, whether it is appropriate to impose conditions or restrictions thereon.
If I obtained a “record suspension” (formerly called “pardon”), do I still have to declare the offence?
Yes. If you have been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to an indictable offence or act for which you obtained a record suspension, you still need to report the conviction to the Organization. However, the conviction will not affect the processing of your application, which will not be submitted to the Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee for that offence or act.
In the case of a conditional or unconditional absolution, the situation could be different, and your case could be submitted to the committee.