Why is a background check needed to get a Georgia real estate license?

Under the Georgia real estate laws, the Georgia Real Estate Commission must verify that a real estate license shall "only be granted to persons who bear a good reputation for honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, and competence to transact real estate brokerage activity and/or the business of a licensee in such manner as to safeguard the interests of the public and only after satisfactory proof of such qualifications has been presented to the Commission/Board".

The Georgia Real Estate Commission uses a background check to verify that an applicant does not have any prior convictions.
That being said, you may still obtain a license if you have a prior conviction. The Commission will review the circumstances surrounding your specific case and make a decision to accept or deny your application.
If you do have a prior conviction, the Commission recommends that you submit a Background Clearance Application PRIOR to starting the pre-license course or taking the State exam. This way the Commission can let you know if they will accept your future license application or not.

If you are a resident of Georgia, you must submit a Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) report along with your license application. The GCIC report cannot be more than 60 days old. You can obtain a copy of your GCIC report from the local sheriff's office or police department. You do not have to submit fingerprints to get a GCIC report.
The GCIC report costs up to $25.

If you are not a resident of Georgia, you must submit a criminal background report from your home State. As an alternative, you may also submit a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) report.