Pre-Licensing Criminal History Evaluation:
Texas law allows you to request a pre-licensing criminal history evaluation if you are enrolled or planning to enroll in an educational program to prepare you for a new license. By requesting a pre-licensing evaluation, you can find out before applying whether you would likely be denied a license due to your criminal history, and make a more informed decision about whether to apply for a license.
The following statutes and rules govern pre-licensing criminal history evaluations:
- Occupations Code, Chapter 53, Subchapter D
- 43 Tex. Admin. Code Chapter 211
Note: Do not request a Pre-Licensing Criminal History Evaluation if you have already applied for a license or are a current license holder. Current licensing applicants and license holders will have criminal history evaluated as part of the application process.
To request a criminal history evaluation letter, you must:
- Create a user account and submit a request through eLICENSING
- Provide the information requested regarding criminal history, and any additional evidence of fitness for licensure you would like us to consider. For example, evidence of conduct and work activity, rehabilitation, compliance with any community supervision or parole requirements, and letters of recommendation
- Pay the $100.00 fee
The department’s Criminal Offense Guidelines list the crimes considered to directly relate to our licensed occupations, as well as other factors that affect licensing decisions. The same guidelines are used in reviewing pre-licensing evaluation requests and license applications.
You will receive a criminal history evaluation letter within 90 days of submitting your request. The letter will state if you are potentially eligible or potentially not eligible for licensing based on the information available at that time.
This letter is not a guarantee of eligibility. Any pre-licensing eligibility determination is only intended to provide guidance and information, to assist you in making an informed decision about whether to apply for a new motor vehicle dealer license. The eligibility determination may be different at the time of a license application, due to a change in the requestor’s circumstances, discovery of additional information not previously known, or a change in the law or policies relating to applicants’ criminal backgrounds.
The pre-licensing eligibility determination is not a final decision and cannot be appealed. If you believe you should be granted a license, you may apply for a license at any time, and will be subject again to a full criminal background investigation. If department staff recommends denial of the license application, you may ask for a hearing at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). The final decision following a SOAH hearing will be made by the department’s board.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- How do I request an evaluation letter?
You must submit your request online using the eLICENSING system. The first step is to set up an LICENSING account. Next, log into your account and select the Criminal Fitness option on the main menu. Complete all steps of the online request, then pay the fee by credit card or electronic check.
- Is there a fee? How much is it?
Yes, the fee is $100.00.
- Do I have to be enrolled in pre-licensing education before I ask for the evaluation letter?
No, you do not need to be enrolled in a course to request the evaluation letter. If you are considering enrolling in an educational program to prepare you for a new motor vehicle dealer license you may request your background information be evaluated. The pre-licensing education course is required if you are applying for an independent motor vehicle license. See the Dealer Education tab for more information on this requirement.
- What information will you need from me?
You will need information for every crime which resulted in a conviction, deferred adjudication, or court martial. This should include details that led to offense, location of offense, date of judgment, and sentence given. You will also need to upload all associated incident reports and court documents.
In addition, you should submit additional information that would help us evaluate your current fitness for licensure. This information could include evidence of conduct and work activity, rehabilitation, compliance with any community supervision or parole requirements, and letters of recommendation for example.
- What if I can’t remember all the information about my crimes?
Provide as much information as you can recall. If you can remember the county, you can call the county clerk for misdemeanor offenses or district clerk for felony offenses to obtain the information from the county. Texas county information can be found at: https://www.county.org/county-information-map. A copy of your entire criminal history can also be requested through the Texas Department of Public Safety. Other states provide similar services.
- What if I am unable to include all of my criminal offenses with the online request form?
You can provide information on additional offenses using Criminal History (Form LF606) and upload this form and supporting documents.
- What crimes and information do I have to report to the Department of Motor Vehicles?
You must report all crimes for which you were convicted, received a deferred adjudication, or received a court martial. This includes crimes committed in Texas and other states, as well as federal crimes and crimes committed in any foreign country.
- Do I have to report convictions that are more than ten years old?
Yes. You must report all convictions and deferred adjudications, no matter how long ago they occurred. The more serious the crime, the greater the likelihood the crime will be considered in the background evaluation, no matter when it happened. Also, it’s necessary for us to see your entire criminal history to determine if there are patterns of criminal behavior that would make you potentially ineligible to be licensed.
- What crimes will prevent me from getting my license?
The Criminal Offense Guidelines contain information about specific crimes that are considered directly related to the occupations being licensed and could result in a decision to deny a license.
- When will I get a response?
You will receive an evaluation letter via e-mail within 90 days after receiving your request.
- You said yes, I am eligible for a license. Does that mean I will get a license?
Not necessarily. The letter is intended to provide guidance and information, to assist you in making an informed decision about whether to apply for a new license. The license eligibility determination may be different at the time of an actual license application due to a change in your circumstances, discovery of additional information not previously known, or a change in the law or related policies.
- You said no, I am not eligible for a license. Does that mean I won’t get a license?
Not necessarily. The letter is intended only to provide guidance and information to assist you in making an informed decision about whether to pursue an independent motor vehicle license. The license eligibility determination may be different at the time of an actual license application due to a change in your circumstances, discovery of additional information not previously known, or a change in the law or the related policies.
- You said no, I am not eligible. Can I apply for an independent motor vehicle license anyway
Yes, you may apply for a license at any time.
- Do I have to report a DWI? Isn’t that a traffic violation?
Although you do not have to report minor traffic violations, a DWI (driving while intoxicated) is not a minor traffic violation. DWI offenses resulting in convictions or deferred adjudications are serious offenses and must be reported.
- Is it possible to upload more documents once I have submitted request in eLICENSING?
Yes, additional information may be uploaded to your eLICENSING request after submission.
- If my criminal history has changed, or I have new fitness evidence, can I submit another request for a criminal history evaluation letter?
Yes, you may submit another request for review.