Can You Get a Montana Real Estate License with Violations such as Felony, DUI or Misdemeanor?
Unlike many states, Montana does not initiate a review of your criminal history with a formal background check.
Release of information related to your criminal history, if you have one, is entirely dependent on you.
Keep reading to learn exactly how to share the right information and how to handle yourself should your application for real estate licensure gets denied.
We provide you with all the information you need to know to make it as likely as possible you’ll be approved to go for your Montana real estate license.
Should I Pass a Background Check for a Montana Real Estate License?
Passing a background check is not a part of the real estate licensing process in Montana.
To screen criminal histories of candidates, though, the Board of Realty Regulation requires you to answer certain questions related to the topic on your application.
You’ll find the questions within the personal history section of the application.
If you answer “yes” to any of the criminal conviction questions, you’ll need to submit supporting documents that relate to the state of your conviction.
Can You Get a Real Estate License with a Felony in Montana?
A felony conviction won’t automatically prevent you from getting your real estate license in Montana.
The Board of Realty Regulation reviews each case independently, but you must provide supporting documentation that elaborates on the particulars of your case.
You may also get asked in for an interview to discuss the details of your conviction and rehabilitation.
Specific areas the Board looks for is whether the conviction is linked to public health, welfare, and safety as it applies to being in real estate.
If there’s a connection, you may have a harder time getting approved for a license.
Can You Get a Real Estate License with a Misdemeanor in Montana?
Just like with a felony, you can still get a real estate license in Montana if you have a misdemeanor conviction. Each case is reviewed independently.
The Board evaluates the conviction’s connection to the real estate profession, along with the time elapsed since the crime, and your progress toward rehabilitation when reviewing.
You should provide supporting documentation related to your conviction when you submit your application, and be prepared to get asked in for an interview specifically related to your record.
Can You Get a Real Estate License with a DUI in Montana?
A DUI won’t prevent you from getting a real estate license in Montana 100 percent of the time. Each case is different, and the details are reviewed independently of anyone else.
If you only have a single offense on your record, chances are you can get a real estate license if you have a DUI.
However, if you have multiple DUIs that occurred recently, getting clearance to proceed with getting your real estate license might be more difficult.
Tips for Applying for a Montana Real Estate License with Criminal Record or Misdemeanor
Depending on the time that has elapsed since your conviction, you may not always have to report on your criminal history.
According to the Standardized Rules, you don’t have to report a conviction if it was received when you were under the age of 18.
You also don’t have to report it if you received a DUI more than five years before your application date.
For everything else, being transparent and forthcoming when you submit your application is the best way to approach this process.
Since there is no background check, what you submit to the Board to review will help shape their evaluation. Don’t leave anything out.
Focus your evidence on the steps you’ve taken toward rehabilitation and what education you’ve received relating to the conviction.
Can I Appeal the Commission’s Negative Decision?
Should you receive a negative decision from the Board, you are able to request an appeal.
Instructions on how to do this should accompany your rejection letter, and it’s important you follow them carefully.
You must file your appeal in the exact way it’s instructed to do so, or risk losing your right to appeal at all.
Hearings are heard by the Office of Administrative Hearings. Here, you’ll present evidence, even if you already sent it to the Board, for review.
Can a Real Estate License Be Suspended or Revoked Because of a Violation Committed After Receiving It?
In Montana, a license disqualification occurs in relation to the identification of a disciplinary action.
This is when a licensed professional has a sanction against them because of competence or a violation of a law or regulation.
The Board outlines a complete list of what constitutes unprofessional conduct, which can lead to a sanction against a licensee as it relates to competence.
When this occurs, notice of a disciplinary action is posted on the licensee lookup, making the information public.
Prior to any permanent revocation of a real estate license, Montana real estate agents may receive a citation and get asked to pay a fee. They have five days to do this once the citation gets issued.
For all other fees associated with the licensing process, read — How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Montana?
Where to Study for a Real Estate License Exam?
Applying for a real estate license in the state, even with a criminal record, is the first step to a longer process.
To get an idea of the time it takes to complete the licensing process, refer to our article on how long it takes to get a Montana real estate license.
Getting a real estate license in Montana requires completing pre-licensing education, taking an exam, and so much more. Most importantly, this process requires studying.
In Montana, license applicants are required to take 70 hours of real estate classes in an institution approved by the Board of Realty Regulation.
For accredited institutions, check out our database of top-rated real estate schools in Montana.
Depending on your learning style, you can choose to study in a traditional classroom environment or via remote learning.
There are pros and cons to each method, so better review which one suits you best by comparing insights from experts on real estate classes online vs. classroom courses.
Setting aside enough time to study is essential, but so is making sure you have the right materials to review.
Start by collecting your in-class notes and reviewing any sources recommended by your instructor.
Create topic outlines and flash cards to help streamline your studying process. Then, find a quiet place where you can concentrate with minimal interruption.
You can also test yourself by purchasing a practice test from PSI, the company who proctors the actual exam.
If you struggle with staying focused while studying alone, consider forming a study group with your peers from your pre-licensing class.
If you’re worried you’re not reviewing the right topics, you can find a complete outline of the exam, with the estimated number of questions in each topic, in the PSI Candidate Bulletin.
Additionally, we have tips on studying for the real estate exam from one of our experts, Kristina Morales.
Utilizing all of these materials, and working with your peers, can really make studying more efficient and easier to complete.
And, the more you study, the better your chances are of passing the Montana real estate license exam the very first time you take it.
Once you’ve completed all the requirements for a background check and passed your real estate exam, you are now ready to submit your license application.
At this stage of the licensing process, you will be required to be affiliated with a sponsoring broker. You must choose carefully using our guide on choosing the right broker to work for.
You can then refer to our directory of top real estate brokerages in Montana to find broker candidates to screen.
When you have your license, make sure you are prepared to take on the challenges that come with the job. Hence, it pays to have a plan that outlines the next steps after getting your license.
Part of this is being acquainted with experienced agents who can help guide your career. They are sure to give you insightful information on being a real estate agent.
You should also join a real estate team to take your real estate business to the next level. Our A-to-Z guide on how to join a real estate team is a good resource.
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