To protect public safety by ensuring the competency and integrity of licensed real estate appraisers and registered Appraisal Management Companies.
In 1989, Title XI of the federal Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act was adopted by congress mandating states to license and certify real estate appraisers who appraise property for federally related transactions. The federal law was enacted as a result of the savings and loan disaster.
In response to the federal mandate, the Real Estate Appraisers Licensing and Certification Law was enacted by the California Legislature in 1990 (AB 527, Chapter 491 of 1990). OREA was established within the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, and charged with developing and implementing a real estate appraiser licensing and certification program compliant with the federal mandate.
OREA, which is entirely funded by licensing fees, is a single program comprised of two core components, licensing and enforcement.
The Licensing Unit sets the minimum requirements for education and experience, according to criteria set by the federal government and California law, to ensure that only qualified persons are licensed to conduct appraisals in federally related real estate transactions. Applicants must meet minimum education and experience requirements and successfully complete a nationally approved examination.
Pursuant to SB 237 (chapter 173, statutes of 2009), the Licensing Unit also performs background checks on AMCs in order to register them as required.
The Enforcement Unit investigates the background of applicants, licensees, and registrants to ensure they are fit for licensure. The Enforcement Unit also investigates complaints of violations of national appraisal standards filed against licensed appraisers and AMCs.
OREA is responsible for the accreditation of educational courses and providers for real estate appraisers. OREA has reviewed and approved over 1,800 pre-licensing and continuing education courses. In addition to the real estate appraisal related courses offered by California's community colleges and universities, over 90 proprietary schools provide appraiser education.