Only REALTORS® and Affiliates are considered “members” of the Orange County Association of REALTORS®. As such, they pay local Association dues to OCAR and have access to member benefits, which includes entry into the password-protected areas of www.OCAR.org. Salespersons and Brokers who subscribe only to the MLS are considered MLS participants or subscribers and may not use the REALTOR® trademark (unless they hold REALTOR® membership with another Association).
Additionally, in order for a Salesperson to join/subscribe, his or her Broker of Record must be a member/participant with OCAR in order to have membership and MLS access. As such, the Broker of Record sets the “membership level” for the office. For example, all Salespersons joining under an OCAR REALTOR® Broker would join as a REALTOR® and pay local, state and national dues plus MLS fees. While OCAR cannot require REALTOR® membership, if the Salesperson in a REALTOR® office does not elect to join, his or her Broker will pay a dues assessment per each licensee. Likewise, a Salesperson could not join as a REALTOR® with OCAR if his or her Broker only subscribed to the MLS.
If an agent does not want MLS access (and be exempt from paying MLS fees), he or she must obtain a letter from the Broker of Record, to be submitted to OCAR, stating the Broker’s understanding that the agent will not have access to the MLS. Sharing of MLS passwords is a violation of the MLS rules.
OCAR never requires an appointment to join. We accept applications up until 30 minutes before closing. To accommodate your busy schedule, our offices are open on select Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm for your convenience. Please plan to allow at least 30 minutes for application processing—this gives you ample time to get answers to any questions you may have about your membership, MLS access, or benefits.
Before You Arrive to Join:
Salespersons and Broker-Associates: your application must be signed by the Broker of Record or Authorized Office Manager prior to arriving at our office. He or she must be an OCAR member in order to sign your application.
Bring your Driver's License and a copy of your DRE or OREA license (if applicable)
Unsigned or incomplete applications cannot be processed.
While we encourage you to join in person, you may submit an online or faxed application. In this case, the application should be accompanied by a copy of your driver’s license, CalBRE or OREA license, and credit card authorization for the amount owed (the credit card authorization can be found on our Applications and Forms page, in addition to the application). There is a checklist on each "member-type" page to assist you with completing your application. Please note that if you need to lease a Supra key to access lockboxes, you do need to come in person to one of our offices. Unfortunately we cannot mail it or provide it to another individual besides you, the leaseholder.
Membership dues and MLS fees are prorated monthly, may include one-time processing fees, and are renewable each year in January. You may pay your membership dues and MLS fees by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX, check or cash. If you were a member with another REALTOR® Association or are reinstating membership, please contact our office for applicable dues and fees.
Supra Key fees are payable by personal check or credit card only (no cash, cashier’s checks or money orders can be accepted). They are leased from Supra, and the lease is renewed each September. Even if you are no longer using the key, you are responsible for the key lease as long as you have a registered eKEY on your smartphone.
A Supra key will be issued only in person to the individual leasing it—they cannot be picked up by anyone other than the lessee or sent in the mail. The reason for this requirement is a very serious one: keys grant access to a home and all of its contents—persons, pets and precious objects. Preserving the security and integrity of the key and lockbox system is paramount.
If you are transferring from another REALTOR® Association to OCAR, please contact either our Fountain Valley office at (714) 375-9313 or our Laguna Hills office at (949) 586-6800 for guidance. Agents and Brokers transferring from other CRMLS participating REALTOR® Associations should be able to transfer their keys and lockboxes into OCAR (with some exceptions). Also, it is best to take care of any outstanding obligations at your previous Association (including cancelling your membership) and to request that a Letter of Good Standing/Dues Waiver be sent directly to OCAR.
If you have a license, you may not join as an assistant unless your license status reads LICENSED NBA (No Broker Affiliation—additional information about this license status is available at the CalBRE’s website). Please review the
CalBRE's Guidelines for Unlicensed Assistants
. Assistants may not use or have access to a Supra key.
As an OCAR REALTOR® member, you also become a member of the California and National Associations of REALTORS®. As a requirement of REALTOR® membership, you must complete Code of Ethics Training through Orientation within 120 days of joining the Association or reinstating membership. Failure to complete Code of Ethics training may result in suspension of membership privileges.
These individuals have the ability to search and add listings and participate in the MLS. However, MLS-Only participants are not entitled to the same member benefits as REALTORS®, including free access to zipForm® Plus, C.A.R.’s Legal Hotline, discounted real estate supplies and training classes, or attending OCAR member only education programs and special events. MLS-Only Brokers and Salespersons who wish to have access to the many REALTOR® benefits and services may "upgrade" to a full-REALTOR® member. Please contact Member Services for more information and eligibility.
These individuals have search-only access to the MLS, and they may lease a Supra key from the Association. An Appraiser Trainee may not join the Association independently—they may subscribe under a fully licensed Appraiser’s office, who is an MLS participant.
The C.A.R. Bylaws mandate Designated REALTORS® (Brokers of Record) establish a separate entity for their Limited Function Referral Office (LFRO) agents. The separate entity may be a DBA or a Corporation.
In order for the Broker not to be invoiced the non-member assessment fee of $445 for each licensee listed as a Referral Agent and for the licensee to qualify as a LFRO, the Designated REALTOR® (Broker) is required to certify in a written statement (via a LFRO Certification Form), that the LFRO agents are: 1) working for a separate entity (dba/corporation must be active with the CalBRE); and 2) are engaged exclusively in soliciting and or referring clients. The licensee(s) in the entity must not be engaged in listing, selling, leasing, renting, managing, counseling, or appraising real property.
The Designated REALTOR (Broker) needs to establish a DBA with the CalBRE if a LFRO Certification Form was previously submitted using an entity that is already being recognized as a Real Estate firm and/or a temporary fix; for example: “Your Name, Broker”, “Your Name, LFRO”, or “Your Name, Referral”.
How to Set up a DBA:
- Visit the Orange County Clerk-Recorder's Office online.
- Select "Fictitious Business Names" under the Popular Links menu. This page includes the online application, along with instructions for setting up the DBA.
- Publish the information regarding your DBA in at least one local newspaper. The DBA notice must be published for four consecutive weeks.
- The Broker will need to add the new DBA with the CalBRE. Go to www.bre.ca.gov and use eLicensing for expedited processing of additions and changes. Brokers will need to create a username and password with the CalBRE (if they haven't already). Once logged into eLicensing, Brokers can add the new DBA by selecting: Broker Main Office Address Addition/Changes.
- Complete the
with the referral firm name and those agents that qualify for referral status.
- Submit this completed form to OCAR.