Association Governing Document Review Process

Local and state associations of REALTORS® are required to demonstrate compliance with NAR’s mandatory policies by periodically sending its governing documents to NAR for review. Governing documents include association bylaws, and if the association owns/operates an MLS, its MLS rules and regulations and MLS bylaws (if the MLS is separately incorporated). Other documents may also need to be supplied to NAR for review as explained below.

NAR’s Member Policy Department oversees the governing document review process and this page covers the particulars of that process.


Compliance with NAR policies ensures:

What Must Comply:

  • Association bylaws;
  • If the association owns/operates an MLS, its MLS rules and regulations, and MLS bylaws (if the MLS is separately incorporated);
  • Other enforceable association/MLS policies related to membership, professional standards, or the multiple listing service. Any document containing enforceable provisions related to these three topics needs to be sent to NAR for review. To provide one example, often an association’s “policies and procedures manual” contains such provisions.

By What Deadlines:

  • Associations and MLSs are required to certify annually to NAR that its governing documents comply with NAR policy and that its governing documents have been reviewed and approved by NAR within the past two years. See item #40 in the Core Standards Compliance Tool;
  • Associations and MLSs have sixty (60) days from the effective date of new or amended NAR policies to adopt them locally. The effective date for new or amended policies is January 1 of the year following their approval by NAR’s Board of Directors, unless the NAR Board of Directors establishes a different effective date;
  • Outside of the aforementioned two-year review time frame, associations and MLSs may send its documents/revisions to us for review either upon adoption or prior to adoption, especially if there is a question or concern as to whether the change will be consistent with NAR policy. It is most helpful if revisions are identified.

What the​ Review Process Entails:

  • Once we’ve received an association’s document(s), it will be assigned to one of Member Policy’s staff for review;
  • Reviews are conducted in the order received. The turnaround period may be up to several weeks;
  • Review results are submitted in a letter via e-mail to association; the state association is copied to track Core Standards certification;
  • Call 800-874-6500, ext. 8399 with any questions or if you want to know the status of your review.

How to Submit Documents:

We prefer that documents be emailed.

Email documents (attach as a .DOC or .PDF file) to: or

Mail to:
Member Policy Department
430 N. Michigan Avenue, Tenth Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Tips for Maintaining Compliance:

  • Take time to read your association’s governing documents.
  • Strive to maintain compliance of governing documents with NAR policies at all times.
  • Submit documents for review at least every two years.
  • Identify any changes in your documents from the last review/approval.
  • Ensure that the governing documents are being followed at all times.
  • Use and follow NAR models as closely as possible to ensure compliance.


Questions may be directed to the Member Policy Staff at 312-329-8475

Download this page as a Word Document (DOC: 20 KB)


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