Frequently Asked Questions About the Bylaws Certification Process

Frequently asked questions and answers regarding NAR's Bylaws Certification Process.

1: The NAR Model bylaws include many other provisions that are not on the certification form. Do we need to delete the other provisions? 

No. The other provisions do not need to be deleted. State law may specify what provisions must be contained in the local association's bylaws. Whether provisions outside the five categories  that are currently in the bylaws should or must be included in the bylaws moving forward is a matter of local discretion and state law. Local association legal counsel can advise on issues related to state law. 

2: Are there other resources available from NAR?

To complement the certification process, NAR has developed Good Sense Governance a monthly series created by NAR's Member Experience team, and provides association governance "best practices", as well as topical resources, aimed to help associations implement sound governance practices, and tackle important governance issues. 

3: Has the language in the mandatory sections changed since 2017?

The language in Continuing REALTOR® Code of Ethics Training was revised following amendments to Professional Standards Policy Statement #48 at the November 2019 NAR Board of Directors meeting. The revised language is below:

Effective January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2021 and for successive three two year periods thereafter, each REALTOR® member of the association (with the exception of REALTOR® members granted REALTOR® Emeritus status by the National Association) shall be required to complete ethics training of not less than two (2) hours and thirty (30) minutes of instructional time. This requirement will be satisfied upon presentation of documentation that the member has completed a course of instruction conducted by this or another REALTOR® association, the State Association of REALTORS®, or the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, or any other recognized educational institution or provider which meets the learning objectives and minimum criteria established by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® from time to time. REALTOR® members who have completed training as a requirement of membership in another association and REALTOR® members who have completed the New Member Code of Ethics Orientation during any three year two (2)-year cycle shall not be required to complete additional ethics training until a new three year two (2)-year cycle commences.

Failure to satisfy the required periodic ethics training shall be considered a violation of a membership duty. Failure to meet the requirement in any three year two (2)-year cycle will result in suspension of membership for the first two months (January and February) of the year following the end of any three year two (2)-year cycle or until the requirement is met, whichever occurs sooner. On March 1 of that year, the membership of a member who is still suspended as of that date will be automatically terminated.

4: The form uses the term "association" throughout, our bylaws use the term "board", do we need to change our bylaws? 

No. The terms are interchangeable. 

5: Did the review process change for MLS governing documents? 

No. The process for reviewing MLS governing documents has not changed. MLS governing documents must be sent to NAR staff for review once every two (2) years at

6: What procedures should be followed if there is a threat of litigation against the association? 

In the event the association has been sued or someone has threatened to sue, a current copy of the association's bylaws must be submitted to confirm adoption of the mandatory provisions. 

7: How do we ensure our bylaws are consistent with state law? 

The association's bylaws should be reviewed by association legal counsel to ensure consistency with state law. 

8: Must all the provisions on the certification form be in our bylaws? 

Yes. NAR policy requires all the provisions on the certification form be included in the association's bylaws. 

9: Do we have to offer affiliate, student and/or honorary membership? Why aren't these categories of membership on the certification form? 

No. The association does not have to offer affiliate, student and/or honorary membership. These categories of membership are optional and therefore are not included with the mandatory bylaws provisions.

10: If our association amends its bylaws with changes not required by NAR, do we need to send to NAR those changes for approval.


11: If, in the future, NAR mandates changes to any of the provisions required per the certification form, should our association send a copy of its amended bylaws to NAR as evidence of adoption of the change?

No. However, all associations, in that event, will be notified of mandated changes and will, in turn, need to re-certify via a link provided on this page.