A Felon’s Eligibility To Get A Real Estate License in Texas

By Ciprian Morariu Published: November 24, 2023

Overview of Real Estate Licensing in Texas

Texas is one of the best states to begin your real estate career journey and create a profitable career path for yourself.

However, the journey to a career in real estate is not easy for one with a criminal record. 

The question that arises now is can a felon become a real estate agent? This is one question that you should ask yourself if you have a history of felony against you. 

The answer is yesif you are living in Texas and want to become a salesperson. 

This post will explain the laws and regulations in Texas for aspiring real estate agents and brokers

With the right knowledge and insights, you will be better equipped to make an informed career decision.

Real Estate License in Texas

The Journey to Getting a Real Estate Agent License in Texas

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) sets several requirements for aspiring real estate agents. TREC is a regulatory body that oversees the issue of licenses to real estate professionals and everything related to it.   

Let’s understand now the requirements of TREC to award a real estate license.  

The basic eligibility norms to get a real estate license are as follows: 

  • A minimum age of 18 years of age
  • A citizen of the USA or one permitted to work in the country. 
  • Having trustworthiness, honesty, and integrity that meets the standards of TREC. 

Once you meet these basic requirements, start the next round of fingerprinting and background checks. 

TREC Background Check Requirements

A background check is important for those with a history or incident of a felony. TREC background check requirements are simple to follow for any aspiring real estate professional. 

Hopeful real estate agents in Texas must undergo a background verification as mandated by law. Common background check requirements are as follows: 

  • Identity: to verify your claimed identity with your real one. 
  • Criminal history: Past criminal, unlawful, or illegal actions or incidents such as theft, robbery, homicide, fraud, or felony. 
  • Driving records: to ensure applicants have a state-approved driving license. 
  • Fingerprints: Verification of fingerprints of applicants ensure they are genuine and are not hiding their identity. 

Can a Felon Become a Real Estate Agent?

For aspiring agents and brokers, the real estate industry is an opportunity to begin their lives anew. Other professionals like plumbers, tech workers, or teachers move to the real estate sector to relaunch their careers. 

However, every applicant, irrespective of their background or history, must meet standards and ethical guidelines mandated by the state of Texas. 

Now coming to people with a past criminal record, the important question iscan a felon get a real estate license in Texas?

The answer is yes because as per the laws in Texas, a criminal history does not stop anyone from becoming a real estate agent. However, there are a few prerequisites a felon must fulfillto get a real estate license. 

The first step is to fill out a fitness determination form to know about the license eligibility of a candidate with a criminal past. 

While submitting the fitness determination form, attach all court documents and disclose all information about the felony truthfully. It should include details about the crime, parole or probation, and any other vital information about their past.  

The TREC will inform the eligibility status after you submit the FD form with all details about your past. A one-time fee of $52 will be charged along with your application. 

Understanding TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission)

Role and Responsibilities of TREC

The Texas Real Estate Commission issues, denies, and evaluates the status of a real estate license. 

Established in 1949, TREC is the main real estate regulatory agency of the state. The primary objective is to safeguardthe rights and interests of consumers in real estate transactions and valuations.

These include real estate appraisal, real estate brokerage, real estate laws, real estate licensure, inspections, right-of-way services, and time-share plans. 

TREC is also responsible for establishing rules and guidelines for education, training, and license renewal. TREC also manages any disputes, conflicts, and complaints from consumers related to the real estate sector. 

TREC Licensing and Regulatory Policies

Every year, thousands of people apply for a Texas state real license with TREC overseeing the whole process. 

Additionally, TREC also enforces and oversees the implementation of state and federal laws and regulations by real estate agents, brokers, realtors, appraisers, and firms. 

TREC is also responsible for updating the real estate license policies and rules over time.

Texas Real Estate License

Can a Felon Become a Real Estate Agent?

Overview of Felony Convictions and Real Estate Licensing

The state of Texas neither promotes nor denies felons to apply for a real estate license. However, the TREC encourages applicants to submit details about their legal and criminal past. 

If you have a felony and wondering can a felon become a real estate agent, the answer depends on your case and the severity of the felony. 

This means that specific types of crimes stop you from securing a real estate license in Texas. However, this should not discourage felons from checking their eligibility for applying for one. 

The factors considered by TREC to award a real estate license to a felon are as follows: 

  • The age of the applicant when they committed a felony
  • The severity of the felony
  • The amount of time elapsed since the last felony conviction
  • The behavioral conduct of the applicant post committing the felony
  • The evidence provided by a felon regarding any rehabilitation efforts  
  • The evidence of your compliance with the parole or probation guidelines

If you are an applicant with a felony against you, you must inform the Texas Real Estate Commission. You must also undergo a detailed background check and verification of your fingerprints. 

Further, fill out a fitness determination (FD) form online and submit all your documents related to legal proceedings and the felony charges against you. These documents must also divulge details about any court hearings, criminal proceedings, parole, and probation. 

The Texas Real Estate Commission requires every applicant to meet the minimum guidelines for truthfulness, honesty, and integrity. In case you fail to meet them, TREC has the right to revoke and deny your application for a real estate license. 

Impact of Felony Convictions on Real Estate Licensing

TREC considers some felonies to be more serious than others when it comes to obtaining a state-approved real estate license. Different states have specific regulations and rules to decide the eligibility of applicants with felonies. 

Generally, TREC rejects the FD application if the felony relates to the responsibilities of a real estate agent. 

For example, crimes like theft, fraud, forgery, embezzlement of funds, money laundering, and insider trading are considered serious by TREC. 

Here is a list of felonies that directly impact the issuance of a license. 

  • Offenses against a public prosecutor or administrative officer
  • Offenses of moral turpitude
  • Offenses related to paying bribes or commissions
  • Offenses against damage or theft to any real or personal property
  • Offenses like sexual assault and harassment

Hence, undergo the FD test before investing in pre-licensing education and coursework. The test helps applicants get a clear answer on whether they will be eligible for a license or not. 

To complete this test, simply visit the TREC website and download the FD form. Create an account and pay a one-time fee. Next, fill in the details, and provide all information about your legal and criminal past. 

The Bright Side for Felons Seeking a Real Estate License in Texas

For many felons, a second chance to build a career is like a dream come true. Now is the time to let go of the past and embrace a bright futureas a real estate agent.