Can I have a Real Estate License if I have had misdemeanor or felony conviction?

A number of real estate students have expressed concern that they cannot have a real estate license if they have had a misdemeanor or felony conviction. Ultimately, it is up to the Department of State (DOS) to decide whether an applicant can have a license or not. The DOS has an investigative unit who reviews the court documents.

It seems likely that the factors the DOS would consider are:

  • the license the applicant desires, e.g. salesperson, broker, appraiser, home inspector
  • the nature of the misdemeanor or felony
  • the court disposition papers

Applicants for a salesperson license for example, who have have been convicted of a misdemeanor must include a certified accusatory statement along with a disposition from the courtwith their license application. Applicants who have been convicted of a felony must include a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities and other documentation with their application.

You can write to the DOS at the following address:

NYS Department of State, Division of Licensing Services

P.O. Box 22001

Albany, NY 12201-2001(518)

or call: 474-4429 (customer service hours 9:00am - 4:45pm)

Visit the main office at:

Alfred E. Smith Office Building

80 S. Swan Street, 10th floor

Albany, NY 12210

If you need to speak with a certain individual, an appointment will probably be required.

Real estate licensure applicants who are denied a license have the right to file an appeal with the DOS.

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