What You Need to Know About Ohio Real Estate License Background Check Requirements

Blog, Real Estate

Background Check Requirement RE Applications    

Being honest and truthful is one of the requirements for getting licensed as a real estate agent in Ohio. In addition, you must not have been convicted of a “disqualifying offense” to work in the industry. This means you must pass an Ohio real estate license background check to earn your real estate salesperson or broker’s license (or when upgrading your license).

Here’s what you need to know about real estate agent background check requirements in Ohio.

Key Takeaways

  • To get a real estate license in Ohio, applicants must be honest and have no disqualifying offenses on their record. A background check is required for both salespersons and brokers.
  • The process involves completing a Salesperson Examination Application, scheduling an appointment at a Webcheck® location for fingerprinting, and submitting state and FBI fingerprints to the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing.
  • Applicants need to bring a government-issued photo ID and payment to the fingerprinting appointment, and they can request a copy of their FBI identification record.
  • Applicants with criminal convictions must disclose them on their application, and the Division will review their case before proceeding. Provisional licenses may be issued while waiting for background check results. Applicants can seek an advance decision if worried about passing the background check.

Overview of Criminal Background Check for Real Estate License

The background process begins when you complete the Salesperson Examination Application. The application includes questions about your ethical conduct. If you answer yes to any of the questions, you must submit a detailed explanation of those answers, which the licensing department’s legal team will review.

After submitting your application, you need to submit your fingerprints for a state and national background check.

Related: Residency & Citizenship Requirements for a Real Estate License in Ohio

Steps for Completing Your Background Check

It makes sense that real estate agents and brokers must pass a background check. After all, in the course of your job, you will have access to people’s homes and financial information.

Here are the steps for completing your background check for your real estate license.

Step 1: Find a Webcheck® location near you.

This link has a list of Webcheck offices, including their office hours and fingerprinting costs. Peruse the list to find a location that can submit both state and FBI fingerprints to the real estate licensing department.

Step 2: Schedule an appointment to get fingerprinted by Webcheck® within ten days after filing your license application.

Unless the Webcheck location allows walk-ins, schedule an appointment to get fingerprinted. Only get fingerprinted if you have already submitted your real estate license application.

Step 3: Go to the Webcheck location.

Bring your government-issued photo ID and payment to your appointment.

Instruct the Webcheck® provider to use the following reason codes and send the state and FBI criminal records check results to the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing.

Reason Codes:

  • BCI&I Reason Code: 4735.143
  • FBI Reason Code: 4735.143

Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing
6606 Tussing Rd
PO Box 4008 Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

It’s worth noting that you can submit a written request and pay a processing fee to obtain a copy of your FBI identification record. The instructions for obtaining a copy of your background check are found here.

FAQs About Real Estate Background Checks in Ohio

Each situation is unique, but here are some common questions about background checks in Ohio.

Do I have to wait for the results of my background check before continuing with the real estate application process?

If an applicant does not disclose any convictions on their application, they can continue to proceed through the application process while the background check results are pending.

For example, if the applicant passes the licensure examination while the results remain pending, the Division will issue the applicant a provisional license until the results are received.

What happens if I disclose a criminal conviction on my real estate license application?

If an applicant discloses a criminal conviction on their application, the Division will hold the application until the criminal records check has been received. Once received, the Superintendent will decide whether to permit the applicant to proceed through the application process or deny the application.

If the application is denied, the applicant can appeal the Superintendent’s decision to the Ohio Real Estate Commission.

Should I take my real estate pre-license courses if I’m worried about passing a background check?

A criminal conviction can disqualify an applicant from obtaining a real estate license. If you are concerned about passing a background check, you can get an advance decision on whether a conviction is disqualifying.

For more information, contact the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing at (614) 466-4100 or Webreal@com.ohio.gov.

Will my legal history prevent me from being a real estate agent in Ohio?

The licensing department looks at each situation on a case-by-case basis. If you feel that extenuating circumstances may affect the decision, it’s worth noting that there is a procedure for submitting a challenge and review.

Do you have additional questions about the background check process? Contact the Ohio real estate licensing experts at Hondros College. We’re here to help!

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