Can a felon get a real estate license?

Many locals today in the US want to enter the sales field. The real estate industry is particularly in demand. In every state, and Texas is no exception, applicants apply for a salesperson’s license and try to pass an exam. Many stages can be completed on the website online. However, one of the big questions that keeps coming up is: can you get a real estate license with a felony? Such a conviction can be intimidating for employers. It is not surprising.

The sales industry is flexible in these situations. Therefore, locals with similar backgrounds can learn and become real estate brokers after passing an exam. Each state has its conditions for that. At the same time, it is a real opportunity to become a specialist in a new field.

Which states allow felons to obtain a real estate license?

You may often wonder: can I get a real estate license with a felony? If we are talking about the US, then of course here it all depends on the region in which you want to become an agent with a serious felony background. But, in general, everything is fine here if you have had issues with the law before.

Recommended Course
Recommended Courses
Off- or online study packages that include a practice test and course completion certificates.

View Approved Courses

In the real estate industry, they are willing to accept a person into the “family” if they have been able to pass all the necessary background checks and demonstrate top professional skills in their field. Let’s look at the table with the information below, which shows the states and their conditions for obtaining a felon’s license.

States Allows felons to have the license Additional information
Alabama Correct Application for Determination of License Eligibility form
Alaska Seven years after the sentence was completed Document with the State of Alaska
Arkansas Correct Waiver required in most cases
California Correct Approval process required
Colorado Correct Can challenge discrepancies or inaccuracies in record
Connecticut Correct Fill out the form
Delaware Yes, 5 years after conviction Fill out the form
Florida Correct Fill out the form
Georgia 2 years after the sentence was completed Background check public consent form required for all applicants
Hawaii Correct Complete a Request for Preliminary Decision form
Idaho Five years after conviction, as long as the sentence is complete Suitability Review documentation to show character and circumstances
Illinois Correct Fill out the form
Indiana Correct May need to appear in person before Review Board
Iowa Five years after the sentence was completed Self-disclose and background check history
Kansas Correct Letters of recommendation, completion of sentence or program, resume, and character statement
Kentucky Correct Written in the form of content
Louisiana Correct Letter of detail included with the application
Maine Correct Fill out the form
Maryland Correct Approval is required from the Department of Labor
Massachusetts Correct Review and approval from the state Real Estate Board
Michigan Correct Submit statement as a Supporting Document
Minnesota Correct Submit statement, Charging Document, and Sentencing Order with application
Mississippi Five years after conviction Appeal to Mississippi Real Estate Commission
Missouri Correct Review by Missouri Division of Professional Registration: Real Estate Commission
Montana Correct Fill out the form
Nebraska Correct Required to appear in person before the Nebraska Real Estate Commission
Nevada Correct Fill out the form
New Hampshire Correct Complete Real Estate Commission Arrest & Conviction Form
New Jersey Five years after conviction (for some crimes) Documented on application and disclosed in answers to screening questions
New Mexico Three years after conviction (for some crimes) Fill out the form
New York 3-5 years after conviction (depending on the seriousness of crime) Apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct (2+ felonies) or Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (subject to 1 felony)
North Carolina Correct Apply for a Certificate of Relief
North Dakota Correct Fill out the form
Ohio Correct Fill out the form
Oklahoma 5-20 years after conviction (depending on the seriousness of crime) Fill out the form
Oregon Correct Review by Oregon Real Estate Agency
Pennsylvania Correct Written in the form
Rhode Island Correct A full explanation attached to the form
South Carolina Correct May be required to appear before South Carolina Real Estate Commission for an Application Hearing
South Dakota Correct Felonies of “moral turpitude” will be denied by South Dakota Real Estate Commission
Tennessee Correct Must complete a form for Decision Regarding Prior Criminal Convictions. Some convictions require an in-person appearance before Commission
Texas Correct Complete a Fitness Determination Form
Utah Five years after the sentence was completed (for some crimes) Written in the form
Vermont Correct Written in the form
Virginia Correct Disclose during the submission process
Washington Correct Review by Washington Department of Labor
West Virginia Correct Must complete Background Check the form
Wisconsin Correct Complete Convictions and Pending Charges Form
Wyoming Correct Recorded in the form

Here, each region has its differences automatically in real estate, as we can see with the example in Florida. In general, it is quite possible in any case to obtain a license based on an education, for those who have a dubious past.

The most difficult states to get a real estate license in with a criminal record

Many citizens in the U.S. are puzzled by the question: сan a felon get real estate license? As you can understand from the previous subparagraphs, this is possible after passing an exam. At the same time, it’s difficult but not impossible. The local authorities responsible for issuing the license check such candidates with previous offenses very carefully. This is the hardest part of getting the right paperwork and education to begin selling real estate. The thing to keep in mind here is that there are states that have their peculiarities. Let’s go through them a little more carefully.


Can a felon have a real estate license? This place is known from reviews for its rigorous screening process for real estate broker license. Local authorities follow all rules and regulations and will scrutinize a person’s profile, related background and current level performance career. Anyone can start a career here while meeting all the necessary criteria. It was impossible a few years ago with that kind of track record. Now there is a report that even these people should be given a chance, depending on the level of severity of the crime.


Can I get a realtor’s license with a felony? This city is also scrupulous about license applicants. A real estate property here is not cheap. To be honest, the authorities that issue the document allow candidates with a criminal record, but they select them more carefully. It all depends, of course, on the nature of the crime. Everyone is concerned about the safety of both coworkers and future clients. Therefore, the responsible authorities are not willing to allow people with a horrible history. Do not forget to familiarize yourself with the guide before you start the paperwork procedure. You will find it useful.


Can I get real estate license with felony? Real estate concessions are possible here. Criminal records weigh in many areas. You should always remember to take courses as well. However, you do not have to hide or make a forgery of any information to get a license. Your candidacy will be scrutinized and options will be offered. Live like others, pay each time a tax, do not be afraid of any charge, ect.

North Carolina

Can you get a real estate license with felony? Securing a real estate license in North Carolina with a criminal record can be exceptionally challenging due to the state’s stringent regulations and thorough examination during the background check process. The North Carolina Real Estate Commission vigilantly supervises real estate licensing, carefully scrutinizing the criminal backgrounds of applicants as a fundamental aspect of the business licensure process. Try to explain everything, disclose all the necessary information about you. This will impact your end result.


Can you get a realtor license with a felony? Getting a real estate license in Alabama, the same as in Florida, while having a criminal record with details can pose challenges owing to the state’s stringent regulations and comprehensive background check procedures for your career.

The Alabama Real Estate Commission (AREC) supervises real estate licensing and assesses the criminal backgrounds of individuals during the licensing process. If they find inaccuracies in the information filled out or know that there was no information listed, you can forget about your license. So provide such an unpleasant reference.


Can you get real estate license with felony? In California? It is also possible, as in Massachusetts, for example. Every candidate, even those with criminal records, can try their hand at competing for a real estate sales license. At the same time, there is no need to hide anything. It is always possible to refer to current legislation. You will definitely be thoroughly vetted with education. It doesn’t matter whether you were guilty or not, it is important that you prove yourself to the best of your ability while getting your license.

Disqualifications for real estate license

This is a concern for many job career seekers in the United States. Can you have a real estate license with a felony? You can apply for the job, even in Texas. It would help if you were not afraid to fill out applications in any state in the country. But today, it is common to see real estate license denials due to an applicant’s poor background. This result could be due to:

  • candidate’s criminal record;
  • lack of financial qualifications;
  • failure to comply with all necessary rules and regulations when submitting the application;
  • failed specific tests, etc.

Be prepared for rejection. This is just as common as a positive response. However, you should not give up and leave the industry since you can earn good money here.

Alternative routes for offenders working in the property sector

You have started reading this article as you are looking for an answer to a tricky question: can you obtain a real estate license with a felony? As you have already realized, you have a good chance of becoming the owner of this document in Carolina and other states for your future career. But there may be some difficulties. Getting a sales permit or real estate sales license equals a quest.

You already have a negative item in your portfolio and rest assured, it will be looked at first, especially in states like Colorado. If you are still unsuccessful in passing your background check and getting your license prep, you may want to consider other roles that are also interesting in the property sales industry.

Homeowners Association Manager

Can a felon be a real estate agent? There can be a positive response here as well as a negative one. Everything is decided by the local authorities that issue the license. But don’t be disheartened; there is another exciting role in real estate. Things could change. You can likely become a homeowners association manager.

Here, you are the senior person among the many homes represented on one lot. The duties of such a person are varied. You must be financially and legally savvy following the rules. You will be approached by CE tenants of all the premises who consider them a home, as well as ones who rent something there. It’s an interesting role, entertaining, and, more often than not, well-paid.

Administrative Assistant

If you have been denied a real estate broker’s license, you can always become useful as an assistant to an existing professional. This solution is in demand in various states, including Florida. Can a felon be a realtor? It’s quite realistic. But be ready that the cases are different today.

At the same time, the assistant takes an active part in selecting buyers’ options, preparing documents for sale and more other ​​actions without any liability for disclosure. This is a chance to give them joy and a new home. So you can provide equally important services and also have tangible rights in the sales market with misdemeanors in the past.

Property Manager

This work is also important to the real estate market. You do not have to answer the question: сan felons be real estate agents? At the same time, citizens who have similar backgrounds may encounter similar difficulties, as offenders are treated almost similarly all over the world.

You do not need to get a license to become a property manager. Moreover, in places like Texas, the job is exclusively for hire. You are invited to work as a director but with broader personal responsibilities. At least, complete the application and submit it.

Criminal record checks for real estate license applicants

Real estate license hopefuls undergo criminal record screenings. These assessments aim to evaluate their eligibility for licensure, safeguard consumers, and uphold the integrity of the real estate sector. The screenings entail scrutinizing the applicant’s criminal background to identify any convictions that might bar them from licensure.

Every state, the same as Florida, maintains its unique guidelines for these checks, with requirements differing accordingly. Nevertheless, applicants are typically obligated to divulge any prior convictions and furnish pertinent documentation during the licensing procedure. Remember, if you didn’t pass this test the first time, you can pass it two times and three times, but will you be able to change your agent profile picture? That’s always the question even till these days.

How will a misdemeanor or other conviction on my criminal record affect my property licenses?

Be prepared that such entries in your personnel file can be a hassle. The real estate sector is also in demand. Many locals are fighting for a license. A misdemeanor does not prevent a person from getting that opportunity, including in Texas. Just remember, you can never conceal your past under any circumstances.

The authorities responsible for reviewing your applications and making decisions scrutinize each candidate thoroughly. Be upfront about it. You should have undertaken remedial work, pre-licensing courses, and inspections. You must be confident that you are the ideal candidate for the position.

Pre-Licensing Courses
About the author
Michael Baker is a journalist with over 5 years of experience in the real estate industry. His knowledge of licensing processes, procedures and requirements makes her an expert in the field.