From the Handbook issued by the Department of Real Estate -- there are two relevant sections.
Sections 10176 and 10177 of the Code constitute the foundation for most license
suspensions or revocations. Section 10176 is concerned with the actions of a real estate
licensee performing or attempting to perform any of the licensed acts within the scope of
the Real Estate Law. As a general rule, the licensee must have been acting as an agent in
a real estate transaction before the section will apply. The provisions of some parts of
Section 10177, on the other hand, will apply to situations where the licensee was not
necessarily acting as an agent. The following is a brief discussion of the various grounds
for disciplinary action against a licensee and the reasons for which a real estate license
may be denied.
. . .
Convictions. Section 10177(b). Criminal conviction for either a felony or a
misdemeanor which involves moral turpitude and is substantially related to the
qualifications, functions, or duties of a real estate licensee. A court has defined moral
turpitude as “everything done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals.”
I would suggest you read the book, you can find it on the website of the DRE: http://www.dre.ca.gov/pdf_docs/ref01.pdf
I would have liked to give you a more positive answer, but the law says no.
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My colleague is correct as to the relevant statutes. However, the DRE will look at when the felony occurred and the nature of the felony. Drunk driving may be viewed differently than forgery or murder.
Don't give up. Speak to a supervisor at the DRE and ask. I bet there are convicted felons who have licenses.
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