MLS Governing Documents Certification Process, Information and Resources
Beginning in 2021, NAR is using a new, streamlined process to verify compliance of MLS governing documents. Similar to the process used to certify local board bylaws, the goal is to provide multiple listing services with the best resources, allowing them to adopt and implement policies and procedures that result in the most effective governance for their organizations. Moving forward, MLSs do not need to submit their governing documents for review. Instead, MLSs will need to certify that MLS’ rules and regulations and bylaws contain all of the mandatory provisions established by NAR.
The MLS executive will be able to access the form with their NAR username and password. Please note that the language that must be included in your rules and regulations and bylaws is the exact same language that was required in the Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy.
MLSs will need to certify their MLS rules and regulations in 2022. The updated certification form is now available. View a summary of changes for 2022.
Please note, MLSs do not need to certify their MLS bylaws for 2022.
Read frequently asked questions regarding this new process:
When does this process begin?
This process will begin in early January.
Who can access and execute the certification form?
MLS executives designated in the M1 database will be able to access the certification form.
What is the deadline to certify governing documents?
MLSs are expected to certify their governing documents by March 1. Consistent with NAR policy, MLSs must adopt changes to mandatory policy within sixty (60) days of the effective date of January 1 (unless otherwise specified by the Board of Directors).
Do all MLSs need to certify their governing documents?
MLSs owned and/or operated by a local association of REALTORS® must certify their governing documents comply with NAR policy. Regional MLSs are asked to certify their MLSs governing documents on behalf of the associations that are shareholders of their organization.
MLSs that are not wholly owned by one or more association of REALTORS® (independent) do not need to certify their governing documents.
How often must MLSs certify their governing documents?
MLSs will be asked to certify their rules and regulations and/or bylaws only when there are mandatory changes to the respective documents. MLSs do not need to certify their governing documents any time they make changes that do not correspond to the mandatory provisions. However, MLSs that have pending litigation will be asked to submit their governing documents for review.
Will MLSs need to recertify their rules and regulations when updated language following the proposed DOJ settlement is released?
As a result of the proposed settlement agreement, NAR and the DOJ are currently in discussions about additional changes to NAR’s model MLS rules and regulations and adoption of mandatory provisions. This information will be communicated to MLSs when available, including the timeframe for local adoption.
The NAR Model MLS rules and regulations include many other provisions that are not on the certification form. Do we need to delete the other provisions?
No. Model MLS rules and regulations contains optional language that are recommended and optional but are not mandatory to ensure compliance with NAR policy. State law may also specify what provisions must be contained in the MLSs bylaws and/or rules and regulations. It is recommended MLSs consult with their governing bodies and counsel when deciding which provisions outside of the mandatory policies they choose to include. NAR also encourages MLSs to consider adopting the recommended provisions in the model MLS rules and regulations to ensure efficient operation of their service.
What provisions are required to be in our MLS rules and regulations and bylaws?
All mandatory provisions established by NAR in the Handbook of Multiple Listing Policy are required to be in an MLSs rules and regulations and bylaws. NAR encourages the verbatim adoption or slight modification in the wording that does not change the intent.
Must all the provisions on the certification form be in our rules and regulations and bylaws?
How do we ensure our MLS governing documents comply with state law?
MLSs are encouraged to consult with legal counsel to ensure their governing documents comply with state law.