What States Allow Felons to Get a Real Estate License?

What States Allow Felons to Get a Real Estate License?
What States Allow Felons to Get a Real Estate License?

One of the most important steps to becoming a real estate sales agent is to get your real estate license. This path requires pre-licensing education, an exam, an application, and a background check. If you have prior convictions on your record, don’t worry. You may still be able to pursue a career as a real estate agent by providing additional documentation.

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Can a Felon become a Real Estate Agent?

Yes, a felon can become a professional real estate agent. However, the rules and regulations governing this process vary from state to state. Each state in the U.S. has its own terms and conditions when it comes to granting permission to felons seeking real estate licenses. Generally, many states grant real estate licenses for those with a felony conviction if certain conditions are met:

  1. Non-Violent and Non-Sexual Crimes: Typically, states are more likely to grant a real estate license to individuals with non-violent and non-sexual felony convictions.
  2. Not a Threat to Public Safety: The state may require the felony to be deemed as not posing a threat to public safety.
  3. Time Elapsed: A significant factor is the time elapsed since the conviction. In many cases, a certain number of years (often five or more) must pass between the conviction and the license application.
  4. Completion of Sentence: Generally, you must have completed your sentence, including probation or parole.

However, it’s essential to note that crimes related to real estate, business, or financial management, such as fraud or forgery, often disqualify applicants from obtaining a real estate license.

What States Allow Felons to Get a Real Estate License?

Each state makes its own regulations and process for getting a real estate license, including the requirements for those with a felony conviction. The good news is that none of the states automatically disqualify an applicant solely because of a felony conviction. Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of whether felons can get a real estate license:

State Allows Felony on Real Estate License
Alabama Yes
Alaska Yes, 7 years after the sentence
Arkansas Yes
California Yes
Colorado Yes
Connecticut Yes
Delaware Yes, 5 years after conviction
Florida Yes
Georgia Yes, 2 years after the sentence
Hawaii Yes
Idaho Yes, 5 years after conviction
Illinois Yes
Indiana Yes
Iowa Yes, 5 years after the sentence
Kansas Yes
Kentucky Yes
Louisiana Yes
Maine Yes
Maryland Yes
Massachusetts Yes, 10 years after conviction
Michigan Yes
Minnesota Yes
Mississippi Yes, 5 years after conviction
Missouri Yes
Montana Yes
Nebraska Yes
Nevada Yes
New Hampshire Yes
New Jersey Yes, 5 years after conviction
New Mexico Yes, 3 years after conviction
New York Yes, 3-5 years after conviction
North Carolina Yes
North Dakota Yes
Ohio Yes
Oklahoma Yes, 5-20 years after conviction
Oregon Yes
Pennsylvania Yes
Rhode Island Yes
South Carolina Yes
South Dakota Yes
Tennessee Yes
Texas Yes
Utah Yes, 5 years after the sentence
Vermont Yes
Virginia Yes
Washington Yes
West Virginia Yes
Wisconsin Yes
Wyoming Yes

Please keep in mind that this information is subject to change, and it’s crucial to verify current requirements with your state’s real estate licensing authority.


Becoming a real estate agent as a felon is possible, but it often involves meeting specific criteria, such as the nature of the crime, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the completion of sentences and programs. If you’re considering a career in real estate and have a felony on your record, research your state’s regulations and consult with the appropriate authorities to understand your eligibility.

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