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Criminal History Background

All applicants and/or licensees will need to create a login for DataPro (aka "My Iowa PLB") and then submit their request for a fingerprint packet electronically through the application named "RE - Background Request."  A $51.00 fee will be required prior to submitting the application.  If you have any issues or questions at that time or are looking to seek assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Commission staff.  The average turnaround time for processing once the Commission has received a completed background application, fingerprint card and fee, is 5-6 weeks.

Instructions on how to request a fingerprint packet

An applicant for an initial real estate broker's or salesperson's license shall be subject to a national criminal history check through the federal bureau of investigation. The commission shall request the criminal history check and shall provide the applicant's fingerprints to the department of public safety for submission through the state criminal history repository to the federal bureau of investigation. The applicant shall authorize release of the results of the criminal history check to the real estate commission. The applicant shall pay the actual cost of the fingerprinting and criminal history check, if any. Unless the criminal history check was completed within the two hundred ten calendar days prior to the date the license application is received by the real estate commission, the commission shall reject and return the application to the applicant. The commission shall process the application but hold delivery of the license until the background check is completed. The results of a criminal history check conducted pursuant to this subsection shall not be considered a public record under chapter 22.

List of Criminal Offenses Directly Relating to the Real Estate Profession

FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY:  Do NOT submit your fingerprint card, or any portion of your background, directly to the FBI or the Division of Criminal Investigation. You MUST complete the entire background check process through the Iowa Real Estate Commission. See instructions above. 

Direct link to FBI-CJIS Division

All initial Iowa salesperson and broker applicants. This includes those licensing by exam, reciprocity and Rule 5.3, as well as salespersons converting to brokers. Also, anyone who is reinstating a license that has been expired for more than 3 years.

The Real Estate Commission conducts a check for felony, serious misdemeanor and aggravated misdemeanor convictions through the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Iowa Courts On-line.  A FBI fingerprint card is submitted to the Commission’s office by the applicant who forwards it to the DCI who then scans it to the FBI. The results of both the state and national criminal background checks are sent to the Real Estate Commission. These reports, along with any records found on Iowa Courts On-line, are reviewed for final approval once the Commission receives a completed application for licensure. The background check is valid for 210 calendar days.

At any time. Applicants should keep in mind that pre-license education (if applicable), passing examination scores (if applicable), certification of licensure (if applicable) and the criminal history background check all have expiration dates that need to be watched carefully. Deadlines are absolute by law and cannot be waived or extended.

All applicants and/or licensees will need to go to and create a login for DataPro (aka "My Iowa PLB") and then submit their request for a fingerprint packet electronically through the application named "RE - Background Request."  A $51.00 fee will be required prior to submitting the application.  If you have any issues or questions at that time or are looking to seek assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Commission staff.

The cost is $51.00.

Yes, and in some instances may take longer. Many are completed within 5 weeks.  Once the fingerprint cards have been delivered to the DCI and the FBI we cannot check on the status of an individual’s background check. Applicants are notified via e-mail when their background check is completed.

Only if the license has been expired for 3 years or more.


No. The information is confidential and protected.


Completed applications will be accepted electronically and held in "Pending Backgorund Check" status pending the completion of the background check. Once the background is reviewed and approved the employing broker will be sent the application, electronically via e-mail, for review and signature. Once the employing broker has signed your application you will be sent an e-mail requesting payment of the license fee.

Any serious misdemeanor conviction, aggravated misdemeanor conviction or felony conviction (a conviction of operating while intoxicated [OWI] MUST be disclosed.)  A "conviction" includes a guilty plea, a deferred judgment prior to discharge, and a finding of guilt by a judge or jury.  ALL convictions must be disclosed regardless of the date when entered or whether the criminal record has been expunged.  IF IN DOUBT - DISCLOSE!

Possibly.  Please review Iowa Code § 543B.15(3). An applicant that has been convicted of a felony and/or has been convicted of a serious or aggravated misdemeanor offense (or equivalent) specified in Iowa Code § 543B.15(3)(a)(1) shall not be considered for licensure until five years have elapsed following completion of any applicable period of incarceration, or payment of a fine or fulfillment of any other type of sentence.  After expiration of the applicable time period, the Commission may deny a license application based on the grounds of the conviction. See Iowa Code § 543B.15(6).  If you wish to seek further clarification, please contact Commission staff.

It depends. If a minor is accused of criminal conduct and found guilty by a juvenile court, the finding is referred to as an “adjudication” rather than a “conviction”. Technically, a juvenile adjudication is outside the Commission’s inquiry. In some cases, jurisdiction is transferred by the juvenile court and minors are charged and convicted as adults. In those cases, a “conviction” occurs, which must be disclosed. Whether an individual needs to divulge criminal activity when he/she was a minor depends upon whether the matter was considered by the juvenile or adult system. If juvenile court adjudication – no, if conviction in district court – yes.  IF IN DOUBT - DISCLOSE!



Yes. All applications are reviewed and compared with the criminal history record(s). If the applicant checked “no” to any of the questions but was found to have a conviction or if checked "yes" but did not fully disclose all convictions, the application may be considered fraudulent.  IF IN DOUBT THAT A CONVICTION NEEDS TO BE DISCLOSED - DISCLOSE!

The applicant failed to tell the truth;  the applicant’s criminal history was serious enough to warrant a denial;  the applicant failed to provide the Commission with additional information requested by the Commission; the applicant procured a fraudulent document;  the applicant’s license from another state was suspended or revoked.

Yes. The applicant may make written request for hearing if within 30 days of notification that the Commission has denied the application.

If you feel the criminal history information provided is nonfactual, you will need to contact the Iowa Department of Public Safety and follow the procedures outlined in the Iowa Code § 692.5 (2015).  The procedure for obtaining a change, correction or updating of an FBI identification record is set forth in Title 28, C.F.R., § 16.34.