Can Individuals with Criminal Records Obtain a Real Estate License?

What States Allow Individuals with Criminal Records to Obtain a Real Estate License?

No states automatically disqualify individuals with past felonies or misdemeanors from obtaining a real estate license. However, applicants must apply for a waiver or approval from the state’s real estate commission. Most states require applicants to undergo a fingerprint-based background check or submit a criminal history report as part of the application process. Although a few states still rely solely on voluntary disclosure, this is becoming increasingly uncommon. It’s crucial to be honest and provide evidence of rehabilitation to have a chance at a successful real estate career.

How Can Individuals with Criminal Records Obtain a Real Estate License?

Certain states have specific waiting periods before considering an application from an individual with a criminal record. The waiting period is typically between two and five years, but it may vary by state. For example, in Alaska, there is a seven-year waiting period, while in Massachusetts, it’s ten years for certain crimes, and in Oklahoma, it can be as long as twenty years. Additionally, many states allow individuals to submit their documentation ahead of time before starting the traditional application process. This saves time, money, and potential disappointment if the application is denied. Each case is judged individually by a review board, and there are no definitive rules determining the outcome. However, crimes that are non-violent, committed years ago, not a threat to public safety, and where all court mandates were complied with, have a higher chance of receiving a waiver.

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Can Individuals with Criminal Records Obtain a Real Estate License in Texas?

Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify individuals from obtaining a real estate license in Texas. The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) evaluates each applicant on a case-by-case basis to determine their eligibility for licensure. To clarify any doubts regarding eligibility, prospective applicants are recommended to submit their documents for a Moral Character Determination before starting their coursework or application process. This process costs $50, which is significantly less than the expenses required for studying and applying for a real estate license. It’s always best to know upfront. TREC takes at least 30 days to review the paperwork and makes decisions based on factors such as the nature and seriousness of past criminal activity, how the crime relates to the responsibilities of a real estate agent, the age at which the crime was committed, conduct and work before and after the crime, compliance with court-ordered terms and conditions, evidence of rehabilitation, and letters of recommendation showcasing present fitness.

Can Individuals with a DUI Obtain a Texas Real Estate License?

Unfortunately, a felony involving driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) raises concerns during the application process. However, if individuals can demonstrate that they have moved past their drunk driving days and can be trusted, there is a possibility of obtaining a real estate license.

What Other Crimes Are Most Likely to Disqualify Individuals from Obtaining a Texas Real Estate License?

Crimes that directly demonstrate unfitness for performing the duties and responsibilities of a real estate license are most likely to disqualify applicants. Such crimes include the manufacture, delivery, or intent to deliver controlled substances, offenses involving moral turpitude (such as fraud, misrepresentation, forgery, perjury, etc.), offenses against property, persons, or public administration, selling or disposing of someone else’s property without legal authorization, sexual offenses, attempting, conspiring to commit, aiding, or abetting any of the mentioned crimes, and multiple violations of the same or different criminal statutes.

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What Information Appears on a Background Check?

The content of a background check depends on the type of check conducted and varies by state. Generally, a background check may include basic information such as aliases and residential history for the past 7-10 years, felony, misdemeanor, and sex crime convictions within a specified period, court records, arrests, incarceration records, warrants, pending charges, civil or federal tax liens, civil or federal judgments, and state or federal bankruptcies. Juvenile records and court-sealed documents are usually not included in a criminal background check. It’s important to note that some states only include convictions in their background checks, while pending charges may still appear.

How Far Back Do Real Estate Background Checks Go?

The length of a real estate background check depends on the jurisdiction. In most cases, there are no set limitations, and the background check is comprehensive or indefinite. However, some states have imposed limits. For example, several states have a 7-year limit for criminal background checks, but exceptions exist when applying for a job with a specific salary. In California, employers can go back 10 years for salaries over $125k, while in Colorado and Texas, there is no time limit for salaries over $75k. The District of Columbia allows background checks to cover the past 10 years.

Should Individuals Disclose Matters That Do Not Appear on Their Background Check?

It is crucial to avoid lying or omitting any criminal violations, as this can have severe consequences on one’s career. Discovering omissions is increasingly likely, whether by the real estate commission or through reports from others. It is better to err on the side of disclosure and provide full transparency.

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What Happens After Receiving Approval to Apply?

Once approved to apply for a real estate license, individuals must complete the same steps as all other applicants. This typically involves completing mandated pre-licensing coursework, submitting an application, and passing the licensing exam. The required number of pre-licensing course hours varies by state. For example, Texas necessitates 180 hours of coursework, while California requires 135 hours. To facilitate the process, Garrity Traina offers commission-approved pre-licensing packages tailored to various states. These online, self-paced courses provide flexibility and convenience, allowing individuals to study at their own pace. Additionally, on-demand online proctoring is available for states like Texas that require proctored exams. Start your real estate journey today and register for our courses to begin studying right away! Garrity Traina