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Can You Get an Indiana Real Estate License with Violations such as Felony, DUI or Misdemeanor?

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Having a criminal record is no reason to assume you can’t get a real estate license in Indiana. What does change, slightly, is the process for applying for your license, but we’re here to help you stay in the know.

In this article, we will walk you through the background check process in the state and how violations such as DUI, felony, and misdemeanor impact your license eligibility.

We also let you in on some tips to secure that license should you be found to have a past violation.

We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started!

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Should I Pass a Background Check for an Indiana Real Estate License?

A real estate license background check is one of the required steps to getting your Indiana real estate license, but not until after you’ve submitted your application.

Once you do that, you’ll receive notification that you’re eligible to submit fingerprints for a background check.

You must do this through IdentoGo. The fee for the fingerprints is around $12, but you’ll also pay federal and state fees. The total cost is $38.20.

IdentoGo will send your fingerprints to the Indiana State Police and FBI for processing, so you don’t have to do any extra work.

Results from these agencies go directly to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.

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Can You Get a Real Estate License with a Felony in Indiana?

While it is possible to get a real estate license in Indiana with a felony, Indiana real estate license law requires that you disclose all the information related to the conviction.

You’ll need to answer ‘yes’ to the criminal history/discipline questions on the real estate license application to start.

You’ll also need to submit a statement related to your felony charge that includes all relevant details and court documents.

This statement is an opportunity to fully explain all the details of your conviction, so make sure to include everything that relates to the case.

This statement is reviewed along with your application where, based on your individual case, your request for licensure will either be approved or rejected.

Crimes more likely to lead to license refusal include those having any direct bearing on your ability to practice competently or any that show you’ve previously endangered the public.

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Can You Get a Real Estate License with a Misdemeanor in Indiana?

Your ability to get an Indiana real estate license with a misdemeanor in your past is the same as if you had a felony conviction.

You must truthfully respond to the questions on the license application and submit a statement that includes all details and court documents.

Crimes that may have endangered the public or may prevent you from doing your job correctly are more likely to lead to a refusal.

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Can You Get a Real Estate License with a DUI in Indiana?

A DUI may prevent you from getting a real estate license in Indiana. It all depends on the details of your particular case.

If, for example, your conviction also includes issues related to reckless endangerment, your case may be seen as one that increases your risk of endangering the public.

If you have multiple DUI convictions, your case may be viewed as one that could interfere with your ability to do your job.

In either of these cases, your application is more likely to be refused.

However, this doesn’t mean you won’t get approved. You can get a real estate license if you have a DUI, it just depends on the outcome of your review, so send in all relevant information.

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Tips for Applying for an Indiana Real Estate License with Criminal Record or Misdemeanor

The biggest tip is to take advantage of your ability to submit a statement along with your license application to discuss your conviction in detail.

This is your opportunity to speak about your case in your own words. Yes, you also have to submit court documents, but focus on how you’ve handled yourself since the conviction.

Talk about ways you’ve worked to better yourself, how you handled any probation, rehabilitation or restitution, and how your record has stayed clear since.

Being forthcoming and honest with the details, and making sure you show the good you’ve done since, may go a long way into getting your application approved.

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Can I Appeal the Commission’s Negative Decision?

Should you receive a real estate license refusal, you do have the ability to file an appeal.

Instructions for how to do this will come with your refusal letter.

You have 20 days to file a written notice, which will then lead to a secondary review by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency where you can supply more evidence.

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Can a Real Estate License Be Suspended or Revoked Because of a Violation Committed After Receiving It?

A license disqualification is one of the consequences possible should disciplinary action need to be taken once you’ve already gotten your real estate license in Indiana.

The areas that could lead to this type of action are all listed in Indiana Code Section 25.1.11.5. They include:

  • Fraud
  • Certain convictions
  • Violating specific state or federal statutes related to real estate
  • Becoming unfit to practice
  • Immoral conduct
  • Misuse of license

Consequences for these actions don’t just include disqualification of your license. Indiana real estate agents facing a penalty may also receive:

  • License suspension
  • Censure
  • Letter of reprimand
  • Probationary period that include limits to practicing, additional education, or need to report back to the board regularly
  • Financial penalties for no more than $1,000
  • Restitution payments

The board is also able to suspend your license for up to 90 days before an official hearing or during the appeals process.

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Where to Study for a Real Estate License Exam?

Since you won’t have your criminal history reviewed until you submit your application, most of your focus throughout the licensing process should be on passing the real estate exam.

This begins with completing your 90-hour pre-licensing courses. You are given the option to fulfill the education requirement through in-person classes or via remote learning offered by most real estate schools in Indiana.

Choose the pre-licensing education format carefully as this dictates how fast and efficient you will learn. Our guide on real estate classes online vs. classroom courses can help.

All the information you’ll learn in your pre-licensing class is what you’ll need to study for the real estate exam. Make sure to take comprehensive notes to study from.

Organize these into topic outlines and flashcards to streamline your studying and then review the exam outline in the Candidate Information Bulletin to ensure you’re not missing anything.

With the right materials to study, the next step is picking your study spot. This should be somewhere you can get to regularly, with limited distractions and interruptions.

Try to schedule a little time every day to review in your study spot to keep things fresh and prevent the need to cram the few nights before your test date.

If it becomes challenging to study on your own routinely, consider forming a study group with classmates. Meeting with them can help you keep focus and hold you accountable.

As you start to feel you’re ready, consider scheduling your exam. Pick a testing day that gives you enough time to prepare, both with a little rest and a lot more review.

You should walk into the testing location confident you know your stuff, upping your chance of passing the Indiana real estate exam on your first attempt.

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Additional Information

Upon passing the background check, you will have to complete your license application, which includes choosing the right real estate brokerage to work for.

You need to complete this part of the application to receive your license with an active status. You can pick one from our vetted directory of top real estate brokerages in Indiana.

The licensing process is a rigorous one. So, if you worry that this might take up most of your time, knowing how long it takes to get an Indiana real estate license can help you understand how long to get a real estate license in the state.

For the costs for obtaining a real estate license, refer to our article on how much a real estate license in Indiana is.

While waiting for license approval, use this time to plan on your next steps after passing the real estate exam.

This is the perfect opportunity to scout for a real estate team to join in. We have a guide on how to join a real estate team to make the process easier for you.

Wondering what it’s like to work as a realtor? Refer to our article featuring industry experts discussing the pros and cons of being a real estate agent.

To help you build and grow your real estate career quickly, we at Real Estate Bees created a directory for real estate professionals.

It’s designed to help you get more exposure for your business, including receiving leads. Create a free profile by signing up here.

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If you want to contribute your expert advice on a topic of your expertise, feel free to apply to our Expert Contributor Program.

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About the Author

Kristina Morales is both a licensed mortgage loan originator and real estate agent in the State of Ohio. Inspired by her years of working with buyers and sellers and seeing a need for more consumer education, Kristina created loanfully.com, an online educational resource for borrowers and industry professionals. In addition to real estate sales and mortgage lending, Kristina had an extensive corporate career in banking, treasury, and corporate finance. She ended her corporate career as an Assistant Treasurer at a publicly traded oil & gas company in Houston, TX. Kristina obtained her MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and her B.A in Business Management from Ursuline College.

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