Imagine standing at a crossroads where your past and future collide. Can you get a real estate license with a felony in NY? This is the reality for individuals with felony convictions. Aspiring to obtain a real estate license in New York State? (NYS). The journey towards a career in real estate is fraught with extra hurdles for these individuals. Casting a shadow of doubt over their aspirations. However, the path is not a dead end. This blog post is dedicated to lighting the way for individuals with felony convictions. Offering a beacon of hope and actionable steps to navigate the real estate license application process successfully in NYS.

Section 1: Understanding the Licensing Requirements in NYS

Becoming a licensed real estate agent in NYS typically involves completing a specific number of hours of education. Passing an exam, and submitting a license application. However, individuals with felony convictions face additional scrutiny. Their journey includes understanding the impact of their conviction. And exploring avenues like obtaining a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or a Certificate of Good Conduct. These certificates play a crucial role in the application process, often determining eligibility for licensure. For detailed information, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s website provides invaluable resources.

Section 2: Steps to Obtain a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities

The Certificate of Relief from Disabilities aims to remove legal and other barriers associated with a felony conviction. Eligibility extends to those with no more than one felony (note: multiple felonies from the same court day count as one). The application process involves submitting detailed documentation highlighting your rehabilitation and readiness to reintegrate into society. To increase approval chances:

  • Compile comprehensive personal statements and character references.
  • Include evidence of rehabilitation and community involvement.
  • Be prepared for potential application fees.

Section 3: Steps to Obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct

Unlike the Certificate of Relief, the Certificate of Good Conduct can be pursued by individuals with more than one felony conviction. Eligibility times vary based on the severity of the offense. Requiring periods of good conduct in the community post-release. Application steps are similar. Demanding thorough preparation and evidence of rehabilitation. Strengthening your application involves:

  • Documenting consistent employment or educational pursuits.
  • Gathering references that speak to your character and changes since the conviction.
  • Acknowledging the waiting period based on your conviction level and demonstrating patience throughout the process.

Section 4: Additional Considerations and Resources

Navigating the licensure process with a felony conviction can feel isolating. But numerous organizations are dedicated to assisting individuals in this unique position. Seeking support from legal aid clinics, local community centers, and rehabilitation advocacy groups can provide guidance and additional resources. Success stories of individuals who’ve walked this path and emerged with their licenses are a testament to the possibility of overcoming past obstacles for a brighter professional future.


The journey for individuals with felony convictions towards obtaining a real estate license in New York State is undoubtedly challenging but not impossible. With determination, the right preparation, and support, the barriers erected by past mistakes can be overcome. This guide lays out actionable steps toward not just envisioning a new future in real estate but actively stepping into it. Can you get a real estate license with a felony in NY? Let this be the first step towards a promising new chapter in your professional life.

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