Can a BIC face discipline for losing track of a provisional broker’s license anniversary date?

QUESTION: My firm has a listing that is about to close, and the provisional broker who has been working on the transaction just informed me that their license has been “inactive” for the last two months while they have been working with the seller. Apparently, this provisional broker did not complete a 30-hour post-licensing class before their license anniversary date. I am the broker-in-charge, and I never received a notification from the North Carolina Real Estate Commission regarding this provisional broker’s failure. Could I be disciplined for what this provisional broker has done?

ANSWER: We believe the answer is “yes.” Rule 58A .0110(g)(1) of the license law requires that a BIC “assure that each broker employed at the office” has a current and active license. This includes making sure provisional brokers are current and active. In the Broker-in-Charge Guide, the Commission states that the BIC must verify that the provisional broker has: (1) taken at least one 30-hour post-licensing course during the year prior to their license anniversary date; (2) paid the license fee by June 30th; and (3) completed at least 8 hours of continuing education credit by July 1st.

The duty to “assure” that each of these requirements is met by the provisional broker is on the BIC. Though it will ultimately be up to the Commission whether to issue discipline should they become aware of this situation, we believe that letting a provisional broker’s license lapse for two months may violate the BIC’s duty under Rule 58A .0110. BICs are strongly encouraged to keep close track of every provisional broker’s license anniversary date and confirm their compliance. It should be noted that the Commission usually sends notices regarding noncompliance, but we do not believe this diminishes the BIC’s duty to “assure” compliance by the brokers they supervise. It should also be noted that provisional brokers have a concurrent duty to monitor their own compliance with the license law.

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