Mississippi Real Estate Commission

§73-35-10. Background investigation required of applicants for real estate broker’s, real estate salesperson’s, or nonresident’s license

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§73-35-10. Background investigation required of applicants for real
estate broker’s, real estate salesperson’s, or nonresident’s license


(1)(a) To qualify for a Mississippi real estate broker’s license or a
Mississippi resident license as a real estate salesperson, or a
nonresident’s license in Mississippi, an applicant must have
successfully been cleared for licensure through an investigation that
shall consist of a determination that the applicant does not possess a
background which calls into question public trust, as set forth below
in subsection (2), and verification that the prospective licensee is not
guilty of or in violation of any statutory ground for denial of
licensure as set forth in Section 73-35-21.


(b) To assist the commission in conducting its licensure investigation,
from and after July 1, 2016, all applicants for a Mississippi real
estate broker’s license, or a Mississippi resident license as a real
estate salesperson, or a nonresident’s license in Mississippi, and all
applicants for renewal of any real estate license shall undergo a
fingerprint-based criminal history records check of the Mississippi central criminal database and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
criminal history database. Each applicant shall submit a full set of
the applicant’s fingerprints in a form and manner prescribed by the
commission, which shall be forwarded to the Mississippi
Department of Public Safety (department) and the Federal Bureau
of Investigation Identification Division for this purpose.


(c) Any and all state or national criminal history records information
obtained by the commission that is not already a matter of public
record shall be deemed nonpublic and confidential information
restricted to the exclusive use of the commission, its members,
officers, investigators, agents and attorneys in evaluating the applicant’s eligibility or disqualification for licensure, and shall be
exempt from the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983. Except
when introduced into evidence in a hearing before the commission
to determine licensure, no such information or records related
thereto shall, except with the written consent of the applicant or by
order of a court of competent jurisdiction, be released or otherwise
disclosed by the commission to any other person or agency.


(d) The commission shall provide to the department the fingerprints of
the applicant, any additional information that may be required by the
department, and a form signed by the applicant consenting to the
check of the criminal records and to the use of the fingerprints and
other identifying information required by the state or national
repositories.


(e) The commission shall charge and collect from the applicant, in
addition to all other applicable fees and costs, such amount as may
be incurred by the commission in requesting and obtaining state and
national criminal history records information on the applicant.


(2)(a) The commission must ensure that applicants for real estate licenses
do not possess a background that could call into question public
trust. An applicant found by the commission to possess a
background which calls into question the applicant’s ability to
maintain public trust shall not be issued a real estate license.


(b) The commission shall not issue a real estate license if:


(i) The applicant has had a real estate license revoked in any
governmental jurisdiction within the five-year period
immediately preceding the date of the application;


(ii) The applicant has been convicted of, or pled guilty or nolo
contender to, a felony in a domestic or foreign court:

  1. During the five-year period immediately preceding the date
    of the application for licensing; or
    
  2. At any time preceding the date of the application, if such
    felony involved an act of fraud, dishonesty or a breach of
    trust, or money laundering.
    (c) The commission shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to
    implement, administer and enforce the provisions of this section.
    (d) The requirement of a criminal background check provided in this
    section shall not apply to persons who have held a broker’s or
    salesperson’s license in this state for at least twenty-five (25) years
    and who are older than seventy (70) years of age.
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