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Frequently Asked Questions - Background Check/GCIC

  1. Can an individual who has had a criminal conviction obtain a real estate license?
  2. What is a GCIC?
  3. Where can I obtain a GCIC?
  4. How much does a GCIC cost?
  5. How long is a GCIC report considered current for use by an applicant?
  6. Do I have to disclose a conviction that is not on my GCIC?
  7. Do I need fingerprint cards to obtain a GCIC report?
  8. My GCIC report indicates "multistate offender." What does this mean?
  9. Does the GCIC have to be notarized or certified?
  10. If I have a conviction listed on the GCIC, do I also have to obtain a certified copy of the court documents?
  11. Where do I obtain certified court documents?
  12. What must the court documents contain?
  13. How long will a background investigation take?
  14. I know my application was presented to the Commission/Board for vote at today's meeting, can I find out the results?
  15. If I have previously been approved by the Commission/Board to obtain a license, do I have to submit all the items again?
  16. I answered the conviction question "yes" in error; I do not have a conviction/sanction.
  17. Do I have to answer "yes" to the conviction question if I have been pardoned for a criminal offense?
  18. Do I have to answer "yes" to the conviction question if someone (lawyer, teacher, broker, government official, etc.)
    has told me that the offense is not, or is no longer, "on record"?
  19. Do I have to answer "yes" to the conviction question if the offense has been expunged from my record?
  20. What do I say in my written statement?
  21. Who do I use for character references?
  22. What should my character references say in their letters?

Q. Can an individual who has had a criminal conviction obtain a real estate license?

A. An individual with a criminal conviction may obtain a license under certain circumstances, but the Commission may also deny his or her application. See License Law 43-40-15. If you have had any type of conviction, we recommend submitting a Background Clearance Application before you complete any of the education and examination requirements for a license. For more information on this issue, visit the Background Clearance section of this site.

Q. What is a GCIC?

A. GCIC - Georgia Crime Information Center report of "Georgia only" criminal history.

Q. Where can I obtain a GCIC?

A. From any local sheriff's office or police department. (Depending on the law enforcement agency's policy, there may be a waiting period to obtain the report-usually no more than 24 hours.)

Q. How much does a GCIC cost?

A. The report may cost up to $25.00.

Q. How long is a GCIC report considered current for use by an applicant?

A. Up to 60 days from the date the law enforcement agency issues it.

Q. Do I have to disclose a conviction that is not on my GCIC?

A. Yes. If you are aware of any conviction in any state or country, nolo contendere plea, or first offender sentence that is NOT on the GCIC report, you MUST disclose it (them).

Failure to disclose all convictions, nolo contendere pleas, First Offender sentences, and disciplinary sanctions can result in denial of a license.

Q. Do I need fingerprint cards to obtain a GCIC report?

A. No. Fingerprint cards are NOT needed to obtain a GCIC report.

Q. My GCIC report indicates "multisource offender." What does this mean?

A. It may indicate that you have been arrested or convicted in another state. If so, you must (1) contact the court in the state where you were convicted and obtain certified copies of all convictions and submit them with your application, and (2) contact the Commission/Board to obtain fingerprint cards which are required to get a report from the National Crime Information Center.

Q. Does the GCIC have to be notarized or certified?

A. No.

Q. If I have a conviction listed on the GCIC, do I also have to obtain a certified copy of the court documents?

A. Yes.

Q. Where do I obtain certified court documents?

A. The Clerk of Court in the court in which each conviction, nolo contendere plea, and First Offender sentence occurred. If the court disposition is unavailable, you must provide a letter from the court stating that the documents are not available.

Q. What must the court documents contain?

A. Both of these items:

  1. the citation, accusation, information, or indictment that led to the conviction; and
  2. the sentence and/or final disposition of the conviction, nolo contendere plea, or First Offender sentence.

Q. How long will a background investigation take?

A. If your application is complete, the Commission/Board can sometimes process it within one month of receipt. Some investigations can take as long as three months. If your application is not complete, it will not be processed.

Q. I know my application was presented to the Commission/Board for vote at today's meeting, can I find out the results?

A. No. The Commission/Board will notify you, in writing, of its decision. The Commission/Board can NOT provide information on these matters by telephone.

Q. If I have previously been approved by the Commission/Board to obtain a license, do I have to submit all the items again?

A. No. Not as long as no new convictions/sanctions have occurred since that approval. Simply submit your application and a signed statement stating that everything is already on file with the Commission/Board and that no new convictions/sanctions have occurred.

Q. I answered the conviction question "yes" in error; I do not have a conviction/sanction.

A. Simply submit your application (Certification of Accuracy/License Application or Background Clearance Application) and a signed statement stating that you answered in error and that you have no convictions/sanctions. After review of the matter, you will be mailed a clearance letter that you can take back to AMP to get your license.

Q. Do I have to answer "yes" to the conviction question if I have been pardoned for a criminal offense?

A. Yes.

Q. Do I have to answer "yes" to the conviction question if someone (lawyer, teacher, broker, government official, etc.) has told me that the offense is not, or is no longer, "on record"?

A. Yes.

Q. What do I say in my written statement?

A. Explain:

  1. the circumstances surrounding every conviction/disciplinary action (your age at the time, your motivation for committing the unlawful act, other parties involved, persons harmed, and so forth),
  2. whether you have made any required restitution,
  3. whether you have completed all conditions of your sentence,
  4. whether you are on probation,
  5. any steps you have taken to prevent a reoccurrence of your unlawful act;
  6. your work experience since the conviction(s)/disciplinary action(s), and
  7. why you should be issued a license in spite of the conviction(s)/disciplinary action(s).

Q. Who do I use for character references?

A. Three persons not related to you by birth or by marriage. If a broker has agreed to hold your license, one of the three letters must be from that broker.

Q. What should my character references say in their letters?

A.

  1. whether they are aware of your prior conviction(s) or disciplinary action(s);
  2. how long they have known you;
  3. how they have known you (as a teacher, friend, work colleague, etc.);
  4. that they understand that you may be handling other people's money, may have access to confidential information, and may have access to other people's property;
  5. their estimation of your current reputation in the community; and
  6. telephone numbers at which they can be reached.