Community Association Manager Licensing

Cheryl Murphy, Executive Director of CAI Illinois, discusses the common questions we receive about the CAM license in Illinois. From the M-100 to the CMCA Exam and finally the CAM License, Cheryl guides us step-by-step through this sometimes-confusing process.

In Illinois, among a few other states, Community Association Managers must be licensed through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

This licensing requirement applies to any individual who receives remuneration for the services they provide a condominium or homeowners’ association if those services include:

  • 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; and
  • administrating association contracts, as stated in the declaration, bylaws, proprietary lease, declaration of covenants, or other governing document of the community association.

The process of acquiring a Community Association Manager (CAM) License will include three steps:

  1. Pre-license Education
  2. License Examination
  3. Application for CAM License

Pre-license Education
Course: M-100: The Essentials of Community Association Management
Provided by: Community Associations Institute (CAI)

The M-100 is a 20-hour course available both in-person or online. This comprehensive community association management course provides a practical overview for new managers on their essential job functions.

Successful completion of the M-100 fulfills two requirements:

Many managers choose to become a member of CAI before taking the M-100. Doing so provides a course discount as well as access to continuing education opportunities and a vast professional network.

License Examination
Exam: CMCA Exam
Provided by: Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB)

The Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) is an international certification program exclusively for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives. The CMCA recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the fundamental knowledge required to manage community associations.

Upon notification from CAI that you have passed the M-100 course, you are eligible to apply to take the CMCA Exam.
NOTE: CAI Illinois offers quarterly CMCA Review courses, helpful for a study session and test-taking tips. To see when our next CMCA will be available, check the CAI Illinois events calendar.

Upon notification from CAMICB that your exam application has been approved, you may schedule to take the in-person exam.

Important Note for Illinois real estate salesperson, broker, or managing broker license holders:
CAMICB has a pre-requisite course requirement for taking the CMCA Exam.

Although your current real estate license exempts you from the pre-license course requirement for your CAM License through IDFPR, you are still required to complete the pre-requisite course for taking the CMCA exam through CAMICB.

Application for CAM License
Form: Community Association Manager Application for Licensure
Provided by: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR)

Upon notification from CAMICB that you have passed the CMCA exam and are recognized with the CMCA professional designation, you are then eligible to apply for your CAM license through IDFPR.

When your application has been approved by IDFPR, you will be issued your CAM License.


At each step of the licensing process, you’ll be working with a different organization. Each one of these organizations has a separate professional benefit for renewing your affiliation.

CAI Membership – Renews annually
Organization: CAI National
Provides: Opportunities for Continuing Education, Networking, & Professional Growth
Requires: Annual membership dues

CMCA Designation – Renews every 2 years
Organization: CAMICB
Provides: Internationally recognized & accredited certification of professionalism, integrity and knowledge
Requires: 16 Continuing Education credits and renewal fees (billed annually)

CAM License – Renews every 2 years (in odd years)
Organization: IDFPR
Provides: Community Association Manager License
Requires: Renewal fee

About the Common Interest Podcast

New episodes will be available for download every 1st and 3rd Tuesday, listen to them in your favorite Podcast app or listen to them here in the CAI Illinois Blog. The Common Interest Podcast is now available for free download from several podcast directories, including:

If you have a story you’d like to share on the Common Interest Podcast, contact Brandon at the CAI Illinois office – [email protected] or (847)301-7505 for more information on how you can get involved.

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CAI - Illinois Chapter

The Illinois Chapter of Community Associations Institute serves the educational, business, and networking needs of community associations in the Chicagoland Area. Members include condominium, cooperative, and homeowner...

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