When you apply for a real estate license in the State of Texas, you may have doubts about the background check, fingerprinting, causes of rejection, application fees, authorization date to sit for the exam, the time between scheduling and taking the exam, exam materials, and whether extra time is allotted for the disabled persons. We provide complete details in the following article.
Fingerprinting and Background Check
After submitting the application, the applicant should give fingerprints and consent to a check for any criminal history. If the applicant has been convicted of a serious misdemeanor, he or she may be not eligible for a real estate license.
The real estate act allows a determination of moral character before the person submits any other paperwork to the commission.
The Request for Moral Character Determination form to the commission requires a $50 filing fee. If the applicants have no criminal history or serious misdemeanor, then there is no need to file the form.
Civil judgments, bankruptcy proceedings or criminal convictions may prevent an applicant from obtaining a real estate license.
In addition to criminal convictions, the person must disclose pleas of guilty or no contest to a felony. The disclosure must include whether the time for an appeal has lapsed or conviction or the judgment has been affirmed on appeal, regardless of whether probation or community has been granted following conviction or suspension.
The commission also checks with the FBI and the TxDPS to see if the applicant’s disclosure is genuine. Non-disclosure of a felony or serious misdemeanor may cause a denial of a real estate license.
The commission may issue a provisional moral character determination based on its adopted reasonable guidelines.
The applicant must satisfy the fingerprinting process. The person should approach the DPS and give a complete, legible set of fingerprints. All the prints must be in the FBI’s required format and taken to a location approved by the commission.
The applicant should obtain a FAST Fingerprint Pass from the Texas Real Estate Commission’s website to submit fingerprints. After downloading the FAST Fingerprinting Pass, contact the MorphoTrust USA Enrollment Services for an appointment to give the prints at its nearest location.
There are approximately 140 locations in seven regions of the state. You can contact the local board of realtors for assistance. At the time of taking fingerprints, a fee may be collected by the organization.
Causes of rejection
The application will be rejected if:
- The fee is paid incorrect or no fee receipt is sent with the form.
- The applicant is not a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted member.
- The applicant is not 18 years of age or older.
- The applicant is not a resident of Texas.
- The applicant should check the norms mentioned in the application form, or the application may be rejected. According to the instructions on the form, the applicant must ensure that:
- The information is printed in ink or is typewritten.
- All requested information is provided.
- All questions have been answered.
- All the required signatures and signing dates are included.
- The personal check or money order, or online fee payment is attached.
When processing stops
An application is considered void and subject to no further processing if, the applicant has not:
1) Passed the real estate exam within one year from the date the application was filed.
2) Submitted the required fee within 20 days after the commission has made a written request.
3) Provided fingerprints, requested information, or documentation within one year after the application was filed.
The current fees for an inactive sales agent license depend on whether you are submitting it offline or online.
The fee varies depending on how the form is filed and whether the applicant has been fingerprinted earlier for the commission.
The base online cost is $205. If the applicant has been previously fingerprinted, an additional fee of $29.75 is charged.
The base offline cost is $225 because of the added $20 paper-filing fee. Again, if the applicant has been previously fingerprinted, an additional fee of $29.75 is charged.
Authorization to sit for an exam
After the commission has reviewed your application, they may either accept or reject the application. If the education requirements have been met, the commission issues an authorization to sit for the examination.
The commission also provides a link to the Pearson VUE website where the applicant can obtain information about scheduling the exam online or by phone.
The applicant has one year from the time that the application is filed with the commission to pass the exam. Any real estate exam taken before or after this period will not count toward licensing.
The time between scheduling and taking exams
Pearson VUE requires a minimum of 24 hours between scheduling and taking the exam. However, each test center has differing days on which the exam can be scheduled.
For example, most centers reserve one to two days per week for eight hours each day. Some test centers allow three to four times a week. One location in Houston administers the exam five to six days per week. This should be considered by the applicant when scheduling the exam.
The commission provides exam materials for the applicants. To access the information, each candidate should have to provide the following details:
- Legal name
- Residential address, email address, and daytime phone numbers
- TREC-ID# as shown on the eligibility letter received from the commission
- Name of the examination
- Preferred examination date and test center
Accommodating disabled applicants
The exam conducting the organization, Pearson VUE offers appropriate test adjustments to individuals with disabilities. They provide facilities like conducting the exam in a separate room, allowing extra test time, and also a reader or recorder for those who suffer from mobile or visional impairments. The request for special test adjustments should be made when scheduling the exam.
The applicant must provide their current residential address, contact number and email address on the application. The applicant must also notify the commission if there is any change in this information while the application is pending.
The applicant must also provide a driver’s license number, current or earlier employment history for the past five years, and a list of criminal offenses like felonies and misdemeanors (except traffic tickets).
The commission also asks for the applicant’s Social Security number, which is kept confidential. All the other information on the application form may be used for public records.
By signing the submitted application form, the applicant authorizes the commission to investigate any information if necessary. They may contact the DPS to verify the applicant’s criminal record. They may also check with the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TGSLC) to see whether a student loan is in default.
According to Texas State law, renewing a license more than once is prohibited if a license holder defaults on a student loan guaranteed by the student loan corporation. So the commission may also check with the Attorney General’s Office concerning unpaid child support. It should be noted that a real estate license could be issued, but not renewed, when the applicant has overdue child-support payments.
Therefore, these are the important points to be considered when approaching a real estate school, verification of education requirements, and application process to the commission.