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Illinois

​The Illinois Community Association Manager Licensing Act (Act) initially went into effect July 1, 2010, and required professional community association managers to obtain a license to work in the state.

During the 2013 legislative session, the Act was significantly amended to provide for the additional licensing of a supervising community association manager and the licensing of a community association management firm. As of July 2017, the rules that supplement the 2013 changes remain under development, meaning the Department does not have the ability regulate or enforce the updates. Current information and pending changes (Under Regulatory Development) are highlighted below. It is expected that many of the 2013 changes will be struck through legislation; however, no such piece of legislation has been enacted at this time. CAI will update this page and notify our members as soon as more information on compliance becomes available.

Simple Pathway to Licensure

There are multiple pathways to licensure for those interested in practicing the profession of community association management in Illinois. Below is a simple pathway for those new to profession. See the sections below for alternative methods to licensure.

  1. Register and complete the CAI M-100: Essentials of Community Association Management, Illinois-Specific Edition ($459 CAI members; $559 non-members).
  2. Apply for then take and pass the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) Examination. ($300)
  3. Fill out and turn in the State Application ($300, 2-year license)

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, be of good moral character, and have not violated a provision of the Act.

Detailed Information and Alternative Pathways to Licensure

Community Association Manager​

A community association manager is an individual who administers for remuneration the financial, administrative, maintenance, or other duties for the community association, including the following services:

  • Collecting, controlling or disbursing funds of the community association or having the authority to do so.
  • Preparing budgets or other financial documents for the community association.
  • Assisting in the conduct of community association meetings.
  • Maintaining association records.
  • Administrating association contracts, as stated in the declaration, bylaws, proprietary lease, declaration of covenants, or other governing document of the community association.

Community association manager does not mean support staff, including, but not limited to bookkeepers, administrative assistants, secretaries, property inspectors or customer service representatives.

Initial Education Requirements

Individuals applying with the Examination Method must complete 20 hours of approved prelicensure courses. The following is a condensed list of approved prelicensure courses:

  • CAI Illinois-Specific, M-100: The Essentials of Community Association Management​ (click here to register​)
  • CAI Association Management Specialist (AMS)
  • CAI Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)
  • Community Association Managers' International Certification Board (CAMICB). Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)

The education requirement does not apply to persons holding an Illinois real estate salesperson, broker, or managing broker license in good standing.

Click here for the full list of approved prelicensure courses.

Application Methods

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older, and submit the fee of $300 with the application. The Department provides for the three, following application methods:

  • Examination - Applicants must attach to the application a copy of all completed certifications and a record of successful completion of the required examination.
  • Endorsement - An applicant may use this method if he or she is licensed under the laws of another state and that state's requirements are substantially equivalent to Illinois requirements at the time the license was issued. A certification from the state in which the applicant was originally licensed and currently licensed must be attached to the application. In addition the applicant must complete the Supporting Document Form CT-APP on the application.
  • Restoration - Any community association manager whose license has expired or has been placed on inactive status for five years or less may have the license restored upon payment of $50 plus all lapsed renewal fees. Any person seeking restoration of a license that has been expired or placed on inactive status for more than five years shall file an application, pay the restoration fee of $900, and submit proof of one of the following:
    • Sworn evidence of active practice in another jurisdiction;
    • Affidavit attesting to military service during the period the license was lapsed or on inactive status;
    • Proof of passage of the examination during the period the license was lapsed or on inactive status; or
    • Proof of re-certification within the past five years by CAI, CAM-ICB or other specified organizations.

Click here for the Department's Community Association Manager Application for Licensure.

Supervising Community Association Manager (UNDER REGULATORY DEVELOPMENT)

A supervising community association manager is an individual licensed as a community association manager who manages and supervises licensees in an office. A firm must designate a licensed supervising manager to supervise and manage the firm, and the manager may not be the manager of more than one firm. As of August 2016, the rules that regulate this tier of licensure are under development, meaning the Department does not have the ability regulate or enforce the statute. CAI will update this page and notify our members as soon as more information on compliance becomes available.

Qualifications for a Supervising Community Association Manager

In addition to applying and paying the required fees (to be determined in regulatory development), a supervising community association manager must meet all of the following qualifications: 

  • Be 21 years of age;
  • Be licensed at least 1 out of the last 2 years as a manager;
  • Have completed 30 hours of community association management courses - 20 must be prelicensure and 10 additional completed the year after filing the application;
  • Have passed an examination authorized by the Department;
  • Not committed an act that would violate the Act;
  • Be of good moral character;
  • Not be declared incompetent; and,
  • Complies with additional qualifications determined by rules.

Applicants have three years after the date of application to complete the application process.

Community Association Management Firm (UNDER REGULATORY DEVELOPMENT)

A community association management firm is a company, corporation, limited liability company, or other entity that engages in the community association management business. It is unlawful for any firm to provide services to any community association if it does not have a license issued by the Department.

In addition to applying and paying the required fees (to be determined in regulatory development), the firm must provide evidence to the Department that it has designated a licensed community association manager to manage the firm.

As of August 2016, the rules that regulate this tier of licensure are under development, meaning the Department does not have the ability regulate or enforce the statute. CAI will update this page and notify our members as soon as more information on compliance becomes available.​

Fidelity Insurance (UNDER REGULATORY DEVELOPMENT)

The supervising manager or the firm may not have access to and disburse an associations funds unless each of the following requirements are met:

  • There is fidelity insurance in place to insure against loss for theft of association funds;
  • The fidelity insurance is not less than all moneys under control of the supervising manager or firm for the association;
  • The fidelity insurance covers the manager, supervising manager, and all employees of the firm for the same term as the service agreement between the  firm and the association, as well as term for the association's officers, directors, and employees.

Segregation of Accounts

A firm that provides services to more than one association must maintain separate segregated accounts for each association, unless the associations consent to combine the accounts. In no event shall the funds be commingled with the supervising manager or firm's funds.

Renewal Requirements

Community Association Managers

Licenses expire August 31 of odd number years, therefore a license is valid for two years. The fee for renewal is $300 per license for two years. Continuing education requirements have yet to be determined.

Supervising Managers and Firms

Renewal requirements have yet to be determined for supervising managers and firms.

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