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FAQ / Licensing Requirements and Criminal Records (for D.C.)

You may be required to get a license to join a profession or advance in a career. However, you will not be allowed to get certain licenses if you have been convicted of particular crimes. The general rule for most occupational licenses is that you must not have been convicted of an offense which bears directly on your fitness to be licensed. See D.C. Code § 3-1205.03 (2000). This means your offense has to be unrelated to the license you want – for example, to get a bus driver’s license, you cannot have been convicted of (or currently indicted for) murder, mayhem, any drug violation, or any sexual offense. See D.C. Mun. Regs., tit. 18, § 201. A hacker or taxi driver’s license has the same restrictions. See D.C. Mun. Regs., tit. 31, § 1001 (2000). To get a license to be a security guard, your last conviction for a misdemeanor must be at least one year old and your last felony conviction must be at least two years old. See
D.C. Mun. Regs., tit. 5, § 1001.
Some professions will consider a letter from a probation or parole officer as evidence of "good character." Others allow you to have a hearing before your request for a license is denied. If you are denied a license, you may have a right to challenge the decision; however, because each organization has its own rules, you should ask the licensing body how to appeal a denial.

Keywords: criminal records, criminal record,


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