Can I Get a Texas Real Estate License with a Criminal Record?

You might be able to get a real estate license even if you have a criminal record. If you present enough evidence that proves your honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity, you can convince TREC that you would be a respectable agent.
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Can I Get a Texas Real Estate License with a Criminal Record?

Switching to a career in real estate is a much-needed fresh start for a lot of people. There may be a lot of steps to getting your real estate license, but it’s relatively straightforward. However, the process can get a little messy if you have some dark spots on your record.

All real estate license applicants must prove to TREC (the Texas Real Estate Commission) that they meet honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity standards. Rule 5451.1(a) outlines a list of criminal offenses that tend to demonstrate a person’s inability to meet those standards. These include fraud, sexual offenses, forgery, DWI, and more. A full list can be found on the TREC website.

Can I get a Texas real estate license with a criminal record?

Not all hope is lost if you have a criminal record. All applicants are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and offenses don’t automatically disqualify you. TREC Rules 545.1(b) and 545.1(c) also considers factors like…

  • Nature and seriousness of the crime
  • How the crime relates to your ability to perform a real estate agent’s duties
  • Age you committed the crime and amount of time that has elapsed
  • Your conduct and work before and after the crime
  • Your compliance with the court-ordered terms and conditions
  • Evidence of your rehabilitation
  • Evidence of your present fitness through letters of recommendation

So yes, you might be able to get a real estate license even if you have a criminal record. If you present enough evidence that proves your honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity, you can convince TREC that you would be a respectable agent.

How do I apply for a Texas real estate license with a criminal record?

If you have something on your record that could affect your eligibility, you need to submit the Moral Character Determination Form (Form MCD-1), Background History Form (Form BH-2), a $50 check or money order, and all supporting documents to TREC before applying for a real estate license. These materials will be reviewed first to see if you meet TREC’s licensing requirements. Don’t do anything else yet.

TREC will take a minimum of 30 days to process this paperwork and reach a determination. Make sure you are absolutely honest about your history and include all required documentation to expedite the process.

What if I fail the Moral Character Determination?

If your Moral Character Determination is denied, you can resubmit your forms with more backup documentation, character letters, or references, but there is no guarantee that your resubmission will lead to an approval.

What if I pass the Moral Character Determination?

If your Moral Character Determination is approved, you can move forward with the licensing process like any other applicant, starting with 180 hours of qualifying education with a TREC-approved real estate school. You’re well on your way to becoming a real estate agent!