Can I Get an Arizona Real Estate License with a Criminal Record?

Learn the rules on convictions and Arizona real estate licenses to find out if you can become a real estate agent despite a prior felony or misdemeanor.

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The housing market is booming, which makes it an exciting time to consider a career in real estate. But if you have a criminal record, you may be wondering if it will hold you back from becoming a real estate agent. Here’s everything you need to know about applying for a real estate license in Arizona with prior convictions.

Can You Earn an Arizona Real Estate License with a Conviction?

Unfortunately, being convicted of a felony or even a misdemeanor may keep you from becoming a real estate agent in Arizona. Real estate agents are held to high ethical and professional standards. Being so, your criminal record could cause your license application to be denied. The Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE) is in charge of issuing licenses and doesn’t approve individuals who have been found guilty of crimes such as:

  • Theft
  • Forgery
  • Extortion
  • Violence against another person
  • Conspiracy to defraud
  • Crimes of moral turpitude

The ADRE also can’t issue licenses to people who are incarcerated, on parole or probation, or under community supervision. If you have a civil judgment against you or had another professional license suspended, restricted, or revoked, that could affect your license application.

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Good Cause Exception

However, if you can prove that you’ve rehabilitated and changed your behavior since the conviction, you may be able to get a good cause exception. You’ll need to provide evidence of self-improvement such as references or completion of a counseling program. The good cause exception process can take anywhere from 20 days to several months if you need a formal hearing.

What to Expect When Applying With a Conviction

What should you expect if you're applying for a real estate license in Arizona but have a conviction?

Fingerprint Clearance Card

Before you can apply for a real estate license, you’ll need to get a fingerprint clearance card from the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Many professionals who interact with the public including teachers, child care employees, and real estate agents are required to have one.

When you apply for clearance, your fingerprints will be used to check your criminal record. If you’re awaiting trial for or have been convicted of a crime such as criminal damage or fraudulent use of a credit card, you may be denied.

Disclosure Form

After securing a fingerprint clearance card, you can try to apply for a real estate license. But you’ll have to fill out a disclosure form that outlines any disciplinary actions or criminal convictions against you. You may also need to provide additional documentation for the ADRE to review.

However, it’s worth noting that arrests and minor traffic violations don’t need to be reported. You don’t need to disclose any suspensions or restrictions placed on your driver’s license or commercial driver’s license, either.

Although owning up to your past mistakes may prevent you from getting a real estate license, it’s important to answer all of the questions on the disclosure form honestly. The ADRE can also deny you for failing to provide accurate and complete information, so it’s best to be truthful about any past convictions, disciplinary actions, and civil judgments.

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Start Your Real Estate Journey in Arizona

Ready to start your journey into real estate in Arizona? Once you're eligible, the next step is to meet the educational requirements, which include 90 hours of pre-licensing education. We've got you covered on that front!

At Aceable, our state-approved courses are 100% online, allowing you to work toward your real estate license on your schedule. We provide interactive games, practice tests, and a comprehensive study guide to help you pass your exam. We’ll even refund your money if you don’t pass the real estate exam in three attempts!

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