DUI and Real Estate Agents


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DUI and Real Estate Agents

What happens to a California real estate agent with a DUI conviction? This page discusses a DUI and Real Estate Agents licensed in California by the CA Bureau of Real Estate.

DUI and Real Estate License

Getting a Real Estate Sales License with a DUI

Before issuing  a real estate license, The California Board of Real Estate (CalBRE) conducts a detailed background investigation check on all license applicants, which includes mandatory fingerprinting.

A applicant for any real estate license must submit one set of classifiable fingerprints, acceptable to the State Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ then notifies CalBRE of past arrests and criminal convictions. After a license is issued to an applicant, the licensee’s fingerprints remain in the DOJ’s database.

The CalBRE can deny you the issuance of a license if you have been convicted of a “substantially related” crime. The same applies to the issuance of a license to a corporation, if an officer, director, or person owning or controlling 10 percent or more of the corporation’s stock has been convicted of a substantially related crime.


Anything having to do with real estate fraud, financial fraud (whether mortgage, securities, or banking), forgery, embezzlement, or any crime of moral turpitude is looked at as especially a problem.

Luckily, a Driving Under the Influence DUI matter is usually not considered one of those. But it may be evidence of a potential addiction problem, which the Board of Real Estate takes special note of, based upon past problems with license holders suffering from addiction.


You have certain Constitutional rights relating to due process.  As the result of that, the Real Estate Commissioner cannot deny the issuance of a license to an applicant who has only been arrested and/or charged but not covicted. An indictment, arraignment, or similar charging procedure (even if those charges are still pending at the time of application) — with a crime.

Pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 10177(b), only criminal convictions that are final, meaning the time for appeal has lapsed or the conviction has been affirmed on appeal, can be used as a basis for license denial or license disciplinary action.


A fourth DUI is a felony.  A DUI with great bodily injury also can be a felony.  That could cause a person to be sentenced between 16 months in state prison and 3 years in state prison.

Business and Professions Code 10186.1 allows the Bureau to automatically suspend a license during any time that the licensee is incarcerated after conviction of a felony, regardless of whether that conviction has been appealed. The Bureau will notify the licensee of the suspension and of his or her right to elect to have the issue of penalty heard by hearing.

As a result, if a felony DUI causes someone to be incarcerated (serving time in jail or prison), the license would be suspended based upon that fact.


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