Only a person who is trustworthy and competent to conduct professional real estate activity can get a real estate license (ORS 696.022). Every unlicensed applicant is required to complete a criminal records background check and submit fingerprints.
The law does not list specific criminal offenses, or other circumstances, which would prevent a person from receiving a license. If you are concerned about the possible outcome of a background check, you may submit your license application and get fingerprinted before you take pre-license education.
While filling out a license application in eLicense, you will answer questions that start the background check process.
You must be honest in answering the questions. Always err on the side of giving more information.
Fingerprinting timeline: Fingerprint processing by the Oregon State Police is currently taking 3-4 weeks. If you are concerned about this timeline, you can be fingerprinted before you take your license exam. Call PSI at (833) 892-5441 for locations and times.
Your fingerprints will be taken at a PSI testing center if you pass the license exam. The fingerprints are processed through the Oregon State Police (OSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). You will pay a fee directly to PSI to have your fingerprints taken and processed. Please contact PSI for the current fee.
Fingerprints must be submitted digitally through PSI.
If you fail to disclose information as requested on the license application, it may result in the denial of a license.
Having a criminal or otherwise adverse history does not automatically prevent a person from getting a license. In these cases, the application must be reviewed by the Agency, which will delay the process. The Agency will contact an applicant if further information is necessary to complete the review.
- Read all questions carefully before answering. You are responsible for providing complete and accurate information.
- Submit required documents as requested by the Real Estate Agency. Many applications are delayed in processing because the applicant failed to provide the required attachments, did not thoroughly answer all questions or failed to make full disclosure. Any documents submitted become part of your background check and will not be returned to you. Photocopies of documents are acceptable, but must be legible.
- Disclose all felony and misdemeanor convictions. All arrests that have not been adjudicated must be disclosed. Offenses include major traffic violations such as DUI, reckless driving, fleeing from or attempting to elude a police officer, and driving while suspended. “Convictions” include a guilty or “no contest” plea, verdict of guilty by a judge or jury, or a forfeiture of bail. All convictions and arrests must be disclosed whether or not they were later dismissed, whether or not a diversion program completed, and whether or not they occurred when the applicant was a minor. Do not assume that a criminal record does not exist. Criminal information is kept on record for 30 years or more by the Oregon State Police (OSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
- Disclose if you are the subject of administrative proceedings, including investigations, sanctions, hearings, or other disciplinary actions by any administrative agency. The Agency processes applicants’ names through a nationwide data bank containing regulatory disciplinary actions.
- Disclose specific civil and financial issues, including any adverse judgments against you related to a real property matter, all unsatisfied judgments, or bankruptcies.
Each application requiring further review is evaluated individually. The purpose of the background check is to determine the current fitness of the applicant to receive a license.
It is important that any additional information requested by the Agency relating to employment and references be submitted in a timely manner. Positive information concerning the applicant’s employment or business activity since the issues in question may prove crucial in making the determination whether or not a license should be granted.
Some individuals may be denied licensure. The law does not list specific criminal offenses or other circumstances, which would prevent a person from receiving a license. However, failure to disclose criminal, civil and administrative proceedings is grounds for denial of a license.
Agency staff cannot tell you if your specific circumstances would prohibit you from obtaining a license without you completing the background check application process first. If you have further questions about the background check process, call the Licensing Division at (503) 378-4170.