Can a felon get a real estate license in your state?

Most states allow felons to become licensed real estate agents, but they must plead their case
  • In the majority of states, felons can get a real estate license if they petition their state's real estate commission.
  • In some states, such as Georgia, the petition process is so hard that felons are essentially barred from becoming licensed real estate agents.
  • Some agents feel that felons should get a second chance, while others think it's too easy for felons, sex offenders, etc. to get a license.

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Felons are barred from or have greater difficulty participating in a number of things, including voting, serving on a jury, owning firearms, traveling abroad and gaining employment in certain fields. Felons cannot hold federal office, work for a federal agency or enlist in the armed forces under any circumstances. But there are other areas where exceptions can be made, and the felon's fate is left to the discretion of the profession's ruling agency to suspend or revoke a license. Real estate is one of those professions. Leeway in Ohio, Tennessee and Iowa? The agents in "Raise the Bar in Real Estate" discussed this issue after member Michael McClure learned that it's possible for felons to get a real estate license in Florida, Virginia, Texas and Pennsylvania. Agents from across the country chimed in and shared their understanding of the laws in California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Washington and Virginia. It seems that in ...