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. Beginning in 2018, NAR is implementing a new, streamlined bylaws compliance process. From now on, there is no need for associations to submit bylaws for review by NAR. You just need to certify that your association bylaws include mandatory provisions that NAR requires to be adopted verbatim. The form to certify bylaw compliance and the mandatory provisions that must be included in your bylaws can be accessed here.

Learn more about the bylaws certification process.

Other documents to be reviewed and approved by the Member Experience area include:

Bylaws Certification

Information and resources about the Bylaws Certification Process is now available.

Learn More

  • MLS Rules and Regulations
  • MLS Bylaws (if the MLS is a separate corporation)

NAR’s Member Experience team 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 must certify their bylaws contain the mandatory provisions that NAR requires. The 2018 certification is sufficient since there were no changes to the mandatory provisions for 2019;
  • Associations and MLSs are required to certify that their MLS governing documents comply with NAR policy and that their MLS governing documents have been reviewed and approved by NAR within the past two years. See item 45-47 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;
  • Associations and MLSs may send 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 is consistent with NAR policy. It is most helpful if revisions are identified.

What the​ Review Process Entails:

  • Once we’ve received an association’s MLS governing document(s), it will be assigned to Member Experience 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 to receive documents via email.

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

Mail to:
National Association of REALTORS®
Member Experience
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.
  • Annually certify the association bylaws.
  • Submit MLS governing 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.


Questions may be directed to the Member Experience staff at 800-874-6500, ext. 8399.


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