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License Applicants Must File Report Of Criminal Records

License applicants are now required to submit a criminal record report with their license application in order for the Real Estate Commission to have more complete and accurate information about their’ criminal history.

The Commission is responsible for determining that each license applicant possesses the honesty, truthfulness, integrity and general moral character necessary to protect the public interest and promote public confidence in the real estate brokerage business.  Probably the single most important factor considered by the Commission with regard to an applicant’s character is his/her criminal record.  The Commission has always required applicants to voluntarily disclose all previous criminal convictions and any pending charges, and their criminal records have been checked when deemed appropriate. The new requirement will provide the Commission with the criminal records of all applicants.

Any applicant who has resided in North Carolina during the previous seven years must submit a statewide criminal record report that shows all criminal offenses or pending charges that have been recorded in North Carolina’s computerized statewide criminal record database.  An applicant who has resided in another state during the past seven years must submit a separate report for each out-of-state county in which he/she has lived during that period and that report must be based on a search of the appropriate county criminal records.  (Many other states do not yet have a statewide computerized criminal record reporting system.)  As in the past, applicants are still required to disclose all criminal convictions, regardless of when or where they occurred or whether they are included in the report submitted to the Commission.

Applicants are provided with a list of reporting services known to prepare reports satisfactory to the Commission.  The fees charged by these reporting services for a report range from $9 to $22 for a North Carolina statewide report and $5 to $50 for an out-of-state county report.

Although this requirement increases the  costs to applicants and is creating more work for the Commission, the Commission believes this is an important step that will help it better assure that the interests of real estate consumers are properly protected.

This article came from the February 2003-Vol33-3 edition of the bulletin.