Approved by the Board of Directors, National Association of REALTORS® 

Statements of Membership Policy Related to Implementation of Board of Choice

That, effective upon approval by the Board of Directors, the following statements of membership policy and amendments to the Model Board Bylaws to implement the board of choice proposal be adopted.

The primary board of affiliation elected by a REALTOR® must be in the state where the REALTOR® is licensed and maintains his/her principal place of business. Licensees affiliated with a REALTOR® firm may choose as their "primary" board any board in the state where the firm maintains a "designated" REALTOR®.

Membership shall be available in a secondary board on terms and conditions no more stringent than the requirements established in the board's Bylaws for REALTOR® and (REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® where applicable) membership. The privileges of membership shall be the same including the right to vote and hold office. Membership will be granted to individuals who hold REALTOR® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® membership in their primary board without any requirement that the designated REALTOR® they are licensed or affiliated with hold membership in the secondary board. However, MLS services will only be available if the designated REALTOR® participates in the MLS. Board dues shall not include a national allocation since NAR dues have been paid through the member's primary board. A state allocation may only be included if the member's primary board is located in a different state.

REALTORS® shall be entitled to purchase services from boards other than their primary board without the necessity of holding membership in those boards. Service fees will be determined by the individual boards. However, the board may require that a REALTOR® (principal) be licensed in the state as a condition of MLS participation. (Adopted 2/1994, Amended 11/1996)

Concerning Board of Choice Across State Lines

That the membership choices currently provided under Board of Choice be expanded across state lines as follows:

Members may join a primary board across contiguous state lines. State association membership would be in the state where primary board membership is held. To become effective July 1, 1996, with optional local board adoption sooner. (Adopted 11/1995)

Portability of Membership Records (Files)

In order to facilitate timely processing of applications for membership and to assist associations in determining an applicant's qualification for REALTOR® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® membership, associations shall, based on a request from another association, share information about current or former members. Minimum "core" member information shall include:

  1. Previous applications for membership
  2. All final findings of Code of Ethics violations and violations of other membership duties in this or any other REALTOR® association within the past three (3) years (when available)
  3. Pending complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics or alleging violations of other membership duties
  4. Incomplete or (pending) disciplinary measures
  5. Pending arbitration requests (or hearings)
  6. Unpaid arbitration awards or unpaid financial obligations to this or any other REALTOR® association or its MLS
  7. Any misuse of the term REALTOR® or REALTORS® in the name of the applicant’s firm

An association may, at its discretion, consider information received from other associations when determining whether an applicant satisfies the association's membership requirements as established in the association's bylaws (not to exceed NAR's Membership Qualification Criteria). (Adopted 2/1996, Amended 11/2009)

Clarification of the Term "Principal"

The term "principal" as used in the NAR Constitution and Bylaws and in other relevant policies, includes licensed or certified individuals who are sole proprietors, partners in a partnership, officers or majority shareholders of a corporation, or office managers (including branch office managers) acting on behalf of principals of a real estate firm. (Adopted 11/1996)

Secondary Membership in a Board/Association

When a member has joined a primary association and paid local, state, and national dues, secondary membership may be held in a local association in another state (provided the applicant meets all of the qualifications for membership) without holding membership in that state association, or alternatively, secondary membership may be held directly in the state association without holding membership in a local association in that state. (Adopted 11/1996)

Learn more about Secondary Membership

Membership Requirements Related to Multiple Office Locations

When considering an applicant for REALTOR® membership who is a principal in a real estate firm, associations have an obligation to determine that all of the principals of the real estate firm who are actively engaged in the real estate business in the state are either applying for or already hold REALTOR® membership (or Institute Affiliate membership, if applicable) in a board or association. (Adopted 11/1996)

If an association (local, state, national) is notified by another association that a REALTOR® member has an office location elsewhere in the state that is not functioning as a "REALTOR®-office" (i.e., licensees affiliated with the office are not members or are not accounted for under the DR dues formula) the association where the REALTOR® holds primary membership shall be responsible, in cooperation with the state and national associations, for ensuring compliance with applicable membership policies (i.e., that said licensees hold membership in the REALTOR®'s primary association -- or some other association in the state where the firm maintains a designated REALTOR® presence -- or that dues have been paid to an association based on non-member licensees affiliated with the office. (Adopted 11/1996)

Association Satellite Offices in Other Association Jurisdictions

NAR policy does not prohibit associations from establishing satellite offices (service centers) in other association jurisdictions. (Adopted 05/2008)

Membership Recruitment Dues Incentives

NAR policy does not prohibit associations from offering membership recruitment dues incentives. (Adopted 05/2008)