Applicants for real estate licenses in California are obliged to reveal any criminal history, but prior convictions are not automatically a bar to licensing. Instead, the DRE applies the test of ‘substantial relation’: was the crime sufficiently related to the practice of real estate that it’s fair to deny a license? When it does deny a license, the DRE usually also gives a Statement of Issues, explaining why it has refused licensing; however, it isn’t obliged to do this and sometimes it doesn’t.
When the DRE does not give a Statement of Issues, or where the prospective licensee feels the decision is unfair, there’s a 60-day window to apply for a hearing to contest the denial.
This can also apply in cases where licensed professionals have had their licenses revoked, following a criminal conviction. Since all licensees have their fingerprints on file at the DOJ, it’s easy — in theory — to cross-reference and pass on information about crimes to the DRE.
That 60-day window is crucial; if you don’t file an application for a hearing to contest license denial within 60 days, you lose the right to do so. Mary E. Work helps clients navigate this process effectively, working to establish your right to your license.