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If you are a California real estate professional applying for a license with either the California Bureau of Real Estate (CABRE) or the California Department of Real Estate (CADRE) and you have a past criminal conviction, will your application for license be denied?

When you apply for a professional license with your licensing board or authority, you must submit your fingerprints via LiveScan to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ will have records of your criminal conviction on file which will immediately surface when the DRE or BRE conduct their background checks while processing your application for a real estate license.

This will automatically result in the denial of your real estate license application if you have either not revealed past charges or convictions in your license application (or) not sufficiently explained these with evidence of rehabilitation to your licensing board or authority.

If you believe that you have “expunged” your criminal record under the requirements of Penal Code 1203.4, you should be aware that the public records of your criminal charges and convictions continue to remain visible on the internet under the conditions of this statute.

The denial of your application will trigger a “Statement of Issues” with the CABRE/CADRE and you will immediately receive a letter from your licensing board indicating that you have 15 days to respond or you will automatically waive the right to an Administrative Hearing.

A representative case in point:

“Pablo” applied for his California Department of Real Estate salesperson’s license in February 2020. In his application, he failed to reveal several past convictions which he received in 2009 and 2011, believing that this was no longer an issue for him.

Here is a sample statement to a California Real Estate License holder whose convictions have not been properly revealed:



The Statement of Issues reveals that the DRE has uncovered as part of their application review process in processing his application, several past criminal convictions:

Criminial convictions


The DRE then provides these as grounds for denying Pablo’s application for a Real Estate license and presents their demand for “discovery”. They require a “Notice of Defense” to be filed with them within 15 days from receipt of their letter to Pablo. Failure to file this request for a hearing is grounds for immediate denial of your application for a real estate license.


If you have applied for a California Real Estate License and have received a letter such as the above and a Statement of Issues, you should immediately retain an experienced attorney who is trained in both Administrative (Licensing) Law as well as Criminal Law.

The Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister is extremely experienced dealing with license denials just like the case above where a licensee failed to disclose prior criminal convictions. We can help you understand and prepare for your Administrative Hearing. Do not be discouraged. We will help you get your California real estate license!

For additional information or to schedule a consultation for your licensing issue, please contact our law offices today at (877) 280-9944.