What Professional License Can a Convicted Felon Get in Florida: List of 32

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Criminal Records | January 4, 2023

Convicted felon with license stamp over him wonders what professional license can a convicted felon get in Florida while looking at a state of florida and professional license for a convicted felon.

Individuals trying to figure out what professional license can a convicted felon get in Florida, might be overwhelmed with information that is available through government sources.

The list of 32 licenses that a felon can get in Florida actually includes every professional license available in the state. But…there are conditions.

This is because a felony conviction does not automatically disqualify an individual from any professional or occupational license in Florida. Instead, criminal history information is examined on a case-by-case basis by the professional board for that specific occupation.

For example, a real estate background check may show a felony conviction from 10 years ago for a non-violent crime. In that case, the board examines the person’s character and other factors before deciding to issue the license.

In addition to the disqualifying factors for various industries (like health care), wondering what professional license can a convicted felon get in Florida is simply a matter of understanding the law.

This complete guide explains the 32 options and what can hinder a convicted felon.

What Professional License Can a Convicted Felon Get in Florida?

When it comes to what professional license can a convicted felon get in Florida, the answer is fairly simple. Simply having a criminal conviction on your record, regardless of if it is a felony or misdemeanor conviction, will not automatically disqualify individuals from obtaining licensure in Florida.

This is because the background check aspect of the licensing must go through an administrative board, where the information will be reviewed independently for each applicant. This applies to all occupational licenses in the state, whether it is for a cosmetics license or a real estate license.

Florida has more professional license requirements than any other state in the country. This can make the idea of getting a job after serving time for a felony extremely intimidating since, in the past, individuals would have trouble passing background checks due to their criminal history for many licenses.

However, laws like the FCRA, have helped many individuals who were discriminated against by requiring that employers performing pre-employment background checks provide written notice as to what shows up on a background check for employment on the applicant’s criminal history that led to the individual being disqualified.1 The same is now true for professional license applications in Florida.

In 2022, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill that required all boards in charge of professional licensing, such as the Division of Licensing and Florida Real Estate Commission to follow similar rules to the FCRA.2, 3, 4 The bill prohibits the board from considering an applicant’s criminal history until the board has decided that the applicant is qualified for whatever license they applied for.

Screenshot of Florida House of Representatives website page for bills with yellow arrow on occupational licensing.

Florida law requires licensing boards to specifically notify applicants who are considered ineligible for a professional license based on prior felony convictions.

The bill also requires that boards only deny applicants based on their criminal history if the individual’s record has a direct effect on the license and the job duties associated with the license. For example, individuals can be denied a real estate license if they were convicted of crimes involving real estate.

Finally, the bill requires that the board which denied the application provide the applicant with this information and a written explanation as to why their criminal history led to their application being denied.

With that being said, individuals will still need to prepare for whatever their specific licensing requirements are. With so many jobs being required to perform professional license verification on applicants, it’s not something individuals can get away with by simply trying to find a company that doesn’t include a professional license search as part of their background checks.

Screenshot of Florida Department of Environmental Protection website page for divisions with yellow arrow on Bureau of Real Estate Services.

The FL Bureau of Real Estate Services is taxed with the division of state land, but is not the deciding licensure board for obtaining a professional real estate license.

Individuals considering the following industries should know that a professional license is required in the state of Florida to perform the said job:

  1. Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco
  2. Architecture & Interior Design
  3. Asbestos Contractors & Consultants
  4. Athlete Agents
  5. Athletic Commission
  6. Auctioneers
  7. Barbers
  8. Building Code Administrators & Inspectors
  9. Building Codes & Standards
  10. Certified Public Accounting
  11. Child Labor
  12. Community Association Managers & Firms
  13. Condominiums, Timeshares & Mobile Homes
  14. Construction Industry
  15. Cosmetology
  16. Drugs, Devices & Cosmetics
  17. Electrical Contractors
  18. Elevators
  19. Employee Leasing Companies
  20. Engineers
  21. Farm Labor
  22. Geologists
  23. Harbor Pilots
  24. Home Inspectors
  25. Hotels & Restaurants
  26. Landscape Architecture
  27. Mold-Related Services
  28. Real Estate Appraisal Board
  29. Real Estate Commission
  30. Talent Agencies
  31. Veterinary Medicine
  32. Yacht & Ships

Screenshot of Florida Health website page for regulated professions with yellow arrow on licensing and regulation.

When seeking healthcare licenses in Florida, the industry has federal regulations that do prevent many former felons from achieving professional, facility, and permit licenses.

The Florida Health Department also publishes a list of medical-related professions that require some kind of licensing.5

Can a Convicted Felon Get a Business License in FL?

One of the biggest questions that people have about starting their own business in Florida is, can a convicted felon get a business license in FL, and most people asking this will be pleased to learn that it is possible.

As mentioned there is no list of disqualifying crimes for any kind of professional license in Florida, and this applies to individuals who are seeking a business license to start their own business. Business licenses are awarded at the county level so individuals should research their local laws to understand the requirements for opening a business in the state.6

Can a Felon Be a Real Estate Agent in Florida?

When it comes to can a felon be a real estate agent in Florida, individuals should know that all criminal history information that is gathered as part of the Florida real estate license application is reviewed by the Florida real estate board and is decided on a case-by-case basis. Generally, the older and less serious the crime is the smaller of a factor it will be in the final decision.

Can a Felon Be a General Contractor?

With so many individuals wanting to get into the construction business after serving time for a criminal conviction, many will be wondering, can a felon be a general contractor? The answer is the same as most other professional licenses in the state.

Screenshot of Collier County Government website page for contractor licensing with yellow arrow on local licenses.

Some trades and skilled professions, such as General contractor and electrician require a valid license, and will consider applicants who have a convicted felony in the past.

A felony will not disqualify individuals automatically but it can play a role in the final decision as to whether or not the license will be granted.

Obtaining a Real Estate License Florida

Tons of individuals will want to get their real estate license in Florida after hearing how lucrative the business can be. The real estate license process is slightly different from other professional licenses but is still fairly straightforward.

One of the biggest causes for concern with many individuals is the real estate license background check. Individuals will likely have questions about, can I get real estate license with DUI, with a felony, or with a misdemeanor.

Regardless of the criminal conviction, the answer is yes. All real estate license applications are reviewed by the Florida Real Estate Commission and considered on a case-by-case basis.

Although a criminal conviction will factor into the decision, it is just one of many things that the board will be looking at.

How Far Back Does a Real Estate Background Check Go in Florida?

Those wondering, how far back does a real estate background check go in Florida should know that the state of Florida does not have any additional background check laws besides those outlined by the FCRA.

So whether it is a pre-employment check or a real estate check, the answer to how far back does a background check go in Florida, is forever.

What States Allow Felons To Have Real Estate License?

After hearing about the various requirements to obtain a real estate license such as passing the real estate license exam, many people will be wondering what states allow felons to have real estate licenses. The answer to this is very simple: all of them.

Not a single state’s real estate board considers a felony conviction to be an automatic disqualifier. However there are several states that have disqualifiers associated with specific crimes or if the individual was convicted of a crime in the last 5 years.

Real Estate License Disqualification in Florida

There are only a handful of specific circumstances that will lead to a real estate license disqualification in Florida.

As mentioned, there are no criminal disqualifiers for a real estate license, so individuals who were concerned about charged but not convicted background check information appearing and leading to a disqualification can rest easy.

Screenshot of Department of Business and Professional Regulation website for Real Estate Commission with yellow arrow on requirements to apply for a license.

Certain crimes will disqualify a person from obtaining a real estate license, so it’s a good idea to review the legal statutes connected to this profession.

Most of the disqualifiers will be related to not meeting the basic requirements such as being at least 18 years old and passing the required exams.

One of the most common disqualifiers is actually related to criminal records, but it might not be what people expect. Many individuals might have heard rumors that the real estate background check only goes back 7 years or only checks for felonies.

However this is not the case and can lead to many individuals being disqualified simply because they did not list existing convictions when asked. Lying about a criminal record is generally considered a disqualifier unless there were unique circumstances.

Those wondering about real estate license expunged criminal records, should know that records that have been sealed or expunged, do not need to report those convictions when asked.

Real Estate Background Check Florida

The real estate background check Florida is fairly standard and contains fewer checks than many individuals are used to. The check will include a criminal background check Florida, which will search for information via criminal courts in any Florida county the individual has lived in.

The only other aspect of the background check Florida real estate applicants will undergo is a national criminal history check to determine if there are any criminal convictions outside of the state of Florida.

Can You Get a Real Estate License With a Misdemeanor in Florida?

Those worried about whether or not can you get a real estate license with a misdemeanor in Florida should know that most individuals with misdemeanors will be able to get a real estate license.

Although it may delay the process and the individual may have to discuss the charges with the FREC.

Florida Real Estate License Requirements

The Florida real estate license requirements are as follows:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • At least a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Completed Pre-license education
  • Pass license exam
  • Pay required fee
  • Complete background check

What Disqualifies You From Getting an Insurance License in Florida?

Many individuals will seek a job in the insurance industry due to the high demand for jobs and the stability the industry offers. However, many people will be worried about getting a license and what disqualified you from getting an insurance license in Florida.

Luckily, the disqualifiers are fairly straightforward and generally involve serious felonies and any crime related to finance such as fraud, embezzlement, or money laundering.

Keep in mind that when it comes to what professional license can a convicted felon get in Florida, the answer largely depends on what the conviction was for. All licenses have some felony disqualifiers, but none of them consider any felonies as a disqualifier.

Can a Felon Get a Driver’s License in Florida?

Individuals who are wondering, can a felon get a driver’s license in Florida will be pleased to know that a felony record does not disqualify an individual from applying for a driver’s license.

The only time a conviction would prevent someone from getting a driver’s license is if the license was revoked as part of the sentencing, which is often the case with DUI convictions.

Screenshot of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website page for forms with yellow arrow on Release From Incarceration form.

Convicted felons may obtain a Florida driver’s license after their release unless part of the punishment was a revocation of the privilege.

Many people who were concerned about can convicted felons get a driver’s license might also be wondering can a felon get a passport or can a felon get a visa. Although it may sound surprising, only convictions of serious international crimes such as drug trafficking can prevent an individual from applying for a passport in the U.S.7

When it comes to getting a visa, the impact of the individual’s criminal record will depend entirely on the country. Some counties will allow certain crimes, and others will not.

How Can a Non-Violent Felon Get His Gun Rights Back?

Many individuals will be interested in purchasing a firearm after serving their time and will want to know how can a non-violent felon get his gun rights back, however this is a fairly complicated issue.

Screenshot of Florida Commission on Offender Review website page for clemency with yellow arrow on clemency overview.

Obtaining clemency will not always make it possible for a convicted felon to have their gun ownership rights restored.

Individuals convicted of felonies will likely need to go through the process of seeking clemency to regain their gun rights in the state of Florida.8

How Much Does It Cost To Restore Gun Rights in Florida?

When it comes to how much does it cost to restore gun rights in Florida, it can be hard to give an exact amount because the process will be slightly different for everyone.

Generally, individuals will need to seek clemency which will require the help of a lawyer and drive the total cost up significantly.

How Long To Restore Gun Rights in Florida?

For those wondering how long to restore gun rights in Florida, individuals should know the process itself is fairly quick with the help of a lawyer. However, individuals will need to wait 8 years from the time the charges were filed before they are eligible to seek clemency from the state.

What Professional License Can a Convicted Felon Get in Florida?

Although there are a few things to consider when it comes to what professional license can a convicted felon get in Florida, the answer itself is quite clear.

There is no professional license in Florida that considers a felony to be an automatic disqualifier. Individuals can expect their applicants to be examined on a case-by-case basis.

Applying for a professional license can be exciting and stressful with so many different things to consider. Luckily, individuals with criminal records can relax since the answer to what professional license can a convicted felon get in Florida, is any of them.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Professional License Can a Convicted Felon Get in Florida?

What Professional License Can a Convicted Felon Get in Florida?

Convicted felons can obtain professional licenses because the decision for disqualification will be based on the type of professional license and the individual’s reason for a criminal conviction.

Can a Convicted Felon Get a Passport To Go on a Cruise?

Individuals who have been convicted of a felony will still be able to get a passport in the United States unless the conviction was for a serious international crime.

What Can I Do To Learn How To Find Out if Someone Is a Felon?

The easiest way to know how to find out if someone is a felon is to use the search bar at the top of this page to run a public records search on them.

Can a Felon Get a Passport to Mexico?

Individuals who have been convicted of a felony will still be able to obtain a passport in most cases.

What Can I Do To Learn How To Know if You Are Dating a Felon?

Individuals who are worried about their partner’s criminal history should run a background check on them using the search bar at the top of this page.

What Is an Application To Restore Gun Rights in Florida?

Individuals convicted of felonies in Florida will have their gun rights stripped and an application is required to reobtain those rights.

What Is an Automatic Approval Restoration of Civil Rights for Florida Conviction Level 1?

The automatic approval restoration of civil rights was passed in Florida to create an easier path to having civil rights restored after an individual has been convicted of a crime.9

What Can I Do To Learn How To Get a Governor’s Pardon in Florida?

Seeking a governors pardon in Florida is extremely difficult and individuals should contact an attorney for the best approach.

Can a Felon Be Licensed and Bonded?

Individuals who have been convicted of felonies are more likely to be denied insurance bonds, even if the individual is professionally licensed to run the business.

Can You Be a Real Estate Agent With a Misdemeanor?

It is possible to obtain a real estate license with a misdemeanor on your record. Generally, criminal history information is decided on a case-by-case basis, as long as the crime is not serious or violent in nature, there should not be any major problems in obtaining a real estate license.


1United States Government. (2022). Fair Credit Reporting Act. Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from <https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/statutes/fair-credit-reporting-act>

22022 Florida House of Representatives. (2022, March 14). Occupational Licensing. My Florida House Of Representative. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from <https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=76046>

3Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (2022, November 19). Division of Licensing. Florida Capitol. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from <https://www.fdacs.gov/Divisions-Offices/Licensing>

42022 Florida Department of Environmental Protection. (2022). Bureau of Real Estate Services. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from <https://floridadep.gov/lands/bureau-real-estate-services>

5Florida Department of Health. (2022, October 10). Licensing and Regulation. Florida Health. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from <https://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/>

6The State of Florida’s Official Business Information Portal. (2022). Resources. Open my Florida. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from <http://openmyfloridabusiness.gov/resources/>

7U.S Department of Justice. (2007). International Policy on Illicit Drug Trafficking. Office of Justice Program. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from <https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/international-policy-illicit-drug-trafficking-formal-and-informal>

8Florida Commission on Offender Review. (2022). Clemency Overview. FCOR State. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from <https://www.fcor.state.fl.us/clemencyOverview.shtml>

9U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. (2022). Rules of Executive Clemency. USCCR. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from <https://www.usccr.gov/files/pubs/docs/FL_SAC_Ex-Felon-Report.pdf>

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