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FBI check & fingerprinting for RE agents in Texas


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This might be the wave of the future. Inspectors and other tradespeople may be next.

Fingerprint Requirements

Anyone applying for or renewing a broker or salesperson license on or after January 1, 2008 must get fingerprinted in connection with the application. Fingerprints are required so that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) can conduct a criminal history check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). A criminal history check will be conducted on every applicant for a license and every time a real estate salesperson or broker license is renewed. Once fingerprints are on file with DPS, a licensee will not need to be fingerprinted for subsequent renewals.

Fingerprints that an applicant or licensee may have submitted for any other reason, such as previous employment or for a state issued license, will not be acceptable for TREC licensure.

You will need to schedule your fingerprint appointment on the web or by telephone.

The fingerprints must be in the FBI’s required format and must be taken at an authorized DPS site. Currently, there are 70 locations statewide where electronic fingerprints can be taken.

If you are renewing your license, you should get your fingerprints taken at least ten (10) days before your license expiration date to avoid any renewal delay and assure continued licensure.

If you fail to get your fingerprints taken before your license expires, you will have to submit a late renewal application form and pay a higher fee to get a new license.

If you are applying for a license, you must get your fingerprints taken within 6 months of the date of you first applied or your application will terminate.

TREC cannot issue or renew a license until it has confirmation that your fingerprints have been submitted to DPS in the required form.

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Quoted: "Stories of thieving agents and HI's are out there. "

Yes they are out there and in the construction industry along with every other sector.

If all the real estate agents get fingerprinted so should everyone else with residence in this country or claiming citizenship.

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I hope they don't include roofers and drywallers, cuz, if they do, will never get another house built.

But seriously, if they are going to apply a law toward one profession, why not all professions? Dentist, auto mechanics, plumbers, accountants…. Why not finger print everyone, fingerprint and run back ground checks before you can get a driver’s license, open a bank account, work at Red Lobster. They should issue official government permits that prove you are verified/validated/and sanctified to by the government. Then require those permits be shown before you can buy milk at the corner market or ride the public transport system. Then the gov can create a master database of the good and the bad and then we can switch to eyes scans or DNA samples and before you can you ride in an elevator or park in a public garage they make sure you’re not on the government’s bad list.

Yea Texas! Leading the way down a slippery slope.

Sorry, I won’t be around to reply to your remarks, I’ve got a lot of work complete on my secret bunker.

p.s: the blue subway goes under ground.

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I think you are missing -- or ignoring -- a critical issue. Real estate agents and HI's are frequently alone in a home...one with valuables in it. Can you say that about your accountant, dentist, or mechanic?

Personally, I don't like it when an agent leaves to go do something more "fun" while I am in an occupied home. Call me paranoid (how's that for irony) but I'm always afraid a homeowner will lose something during the subsequent move, and start to thinking...well, that home inspector guy was in here...he must have taken it. Let's file a police report! Admittedly, that's never happened to me, but I could see it happening.

Let's face it, the sellers don't like us anyway, right?

Yeah, I don't like more gov't intrusion on our lives. You won't find me voting for Hill..y. I want to work for a living, not have the gov't take care of me. But if this comes to pass locally, I won't freak out about it. I won't run joyfully through the streets but I won't protest either. I only want to see that everyone has to play by the same rules. I've got nothing to hide.

And please...this is a long way from requiring DNA samples to buy milk.

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You're pushing the envelope and it's liable to take this thread where it shouldn't go. Please read the forum rules again and pay particular attention to the part that prohibits religious and political commentary here on TIJ.

I never read Al's posts but your quoted statement made me think he had something interesting to say. I read the whole diatribe 3 or 4 times. I found absolutely nothing offensive or contentious.

I must add this: After reading it over and over I have no idea what the hell he's talking about. I think it is proof positive that those people who say spelling and grammar don't matter are just plain wrong. I don't even get the gist of what he's trying to say.

I do get the fingerprinting thing. I'm not keen on the idea, but I get it. We're in people's homes. It's different than selling slurpees. I'll have a grape please, Al.

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Hi Chad,

It's not about offensive or contentious speach; if it were that, I'd simply remove the offending text. It's about trying to avoid using commentary that is likely to initiate thread drift that my experience has shown time again will, sooner or later, turn very contentious and can get offensive. I did edit Al's second post to this thread by the way, because I think it did cross the line.

I can't be on the board all of the time, neither can Mike B., Rose, or all of the moderators; when threads cross the line into religious or political commentary, they can morph rapidly, turn nasty, and do a lot of damage before we can get things settled down. It's happened before, such as in a recent thread where someone made a comment about someone else's "unchristian" attitude and someone else retorted. Before we were even aware of it, the thread had morphed into something pretty unpleasant.

Sometimes it's hard to know where to draw the line; heck, even myself and other "staff" here have crossed it more than once, so we aren't squeaky clean - we just need to, every once in a while, remind folks, and ourselves, to be careful to put forth our arguments in a manner that won't cause others to trip over that line.

Thanks for understanding.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by AHI in AR

I want to work for a living, not have the gov't take care of me. But if this comes to pass locally, I won't freak out about it. I won't run joyfully through the streets but I won't protest either. I only want to see that everyone has to play by the same rules. I've got nothing to hide.

And please...this is a long way from requiring DNA samples to buy milk.

As usual there is no disrespect intended in any of my replies to any post.

However putting things into perspective. The Government can not take care of themselves much less us. They live off us the taxpayers. We fund all Government activity. They can not take care of us unless we pay for it. There ain't no free lunch. Hillary wants free medical care for the populace. Who will pay for this "free" care? The taxpayer who else.

Anyway the government may be forced to control and document the population because of the downward slide of immorality and honesty that has manifested over past decades led by crooked politians and thieving corporate executives. Monkey see monkey do. "If our leaders can be dishonest and steal why can't we".

This post started with political control and intrusion right or wrong this is just a continuation right or wrong.

Paul B.

Just saying it like it is.

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Okay, I’m sorry for my part in leading the way down the slippery path of political commentary. So as penitence I will lead us all in a chorus of "I got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart!"

Now everyone after me… I got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart!, down in my heat……….."

p.s the red subway goes to the left at 27 O'clock

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The vast majority of the original post was taken directly from the Texas Real Estate Commissions website.

The government entity does now require REs to get finger printing and FBI background checks on an annual basis.

You can chew on that fact in anyway you choose to balance it within your own system of values. You either get the possible ramifications and any perceptible benefits of the new policy or you do not. As with anything else, it is food for thought. Discussing any ramifications and benefits is perhaps best left to message boards associated with the effects of governmental policies.

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Al,

I think you are right so I am going to erase my post. I just remembered that Orwell predicted, I think back in the fifties that we all would be documented, numbered and our speech and movements would be monitored by you know who.

I would say wake up America but I think it is to late. So I won't say it. I gotta run and erase my post above before you know who sees it.

Wit all due respect,

Paul B.

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Originally posted by Al Austin

This might be the wave of the future. Inspectors and other tradespeople may be next.

Fingerprint Requirements

Anyone applying for or renewing a broker or salesperson license on or after January 1, 2008 must get fingerprinted in connection with the application.

Originally posted by AHIS

But seriously, if they are going to apply a law toward one profession, why not all professions? Dentist, auto mechanics, plumbers, accountants….

I am pretty sure that I was fingerprinted when I took the first part (general book knowledge) of my PE exam, a couple of years after I got my college degree, and again, five years later when I was allowed to sit for the second part (applied knowledge), after several PEs who were in responsible charge of my work for those five years reviewed and signed off on the truthfulness and accuracy of my description of that experience, and put their own PE licenses on the line by doing so. I also recall filling out paperwork asking me if I was a deadbeat dad, current on my student loan payments, and if I had ever been charged with, or convicted of, a crime other than a misdemeanor.

I don't recall what they said regarding the purpose of the fingerprints. My guess is so they could verify that the same person took both parts of the test, and to run a background check.

The reason I say "pretty sure" is that this was all 15-20 years ago and it didn't seem like a big deal to me then. It's possible that I'm confusing this with being fingerprinted as part of the hiring process with my first government job, which occurred around the same time. To the best of my recollection I was fingerprinted for the exams and for the job.

Originally posted by Al Austin

Some companies are already requiring formal background checks including criminal, FBI and credit ratings before job applicants can be considered. Good or bad, I wonder who is watching those who are doing the checks. Then who is watching those watchers.

Without some sort of background check, the employers take a bigger risk. With "too many" checks and other intrusions there may be no one who can be employed. No one is perfect. Some companies do ongoing background checks without the employee’s knowledge.

The italics/bold is mine. You are comparing apples (government) and oranges (employer).

Your initial post, and the topic of this thread, is about the government requiring fingerprinting of a clearly defined segment of the population while performing its function of protecting the public. (let's not go down the road of how well the government fulfills that function, or which party does it better...) The government can decide, through laws, rules, and regulations, when certain risks should be reduced through the process of fingerprinting applicants for licenses to perform regulated activities. The check on this is that, in our country, the government rules with the consent of the governed. If the government oversteps its bounds, the people have the ability to force it to back off.

An employer has the right to be discriminating about who it chooses to hire, as long as that discrimination is not prohibited by law. Businesses need to be economically viable, otherwise they cease to exist. Businesses can't do what businesses do without someone to do the work. If a business sets the bar so high that it slams the door on the workforce that it needs in order to conduct its business, the marketplace pulls the bar back down (or the business ceases to exist).

Back to the original post, regarding fingerprinting license applicants for RE brokers or agents .... it's about time! Anyone who can pay for the training and pass the tests can get the license. Would you like it if the agent that was showing your home had a rap sheet for burglary, fraud, or a violent crime? Go ahead and fingerprint HIs, security system installers, and tradespeople and service technicians that work inside my home too.

Brandon

"Don't do the crime if you can't do the time..." --Baretta

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When I was a cub scout, we had a carefully orchestrated activity in which we all took each others fingerprints and sent them to the FBI in order to help J. Edgar Hoover "fight crime."

Later that same summer, the guy who drove the ice cream truck in our neighborhood offered free ice cream to any kid who would let him take fingerprints to "send to the FBI in order to help J. Edgar Hoover fight crime." I let him take my fingerprints two or three times before he caught on.

When I mentioned this to my parents, they thought it was a darned good idea. (um, not my rip-off scam, the fingerprinting). They explained that kids would be less likely to turn to a life of crime if they knew that J. Edgar already had their fingerprints on file.

Does anyone else remember experiencing this bright shining moment in our nation's history?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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When I was in the military, we had "Operation Identification" for kids. We put together packets for every family; we took front and profile pictures of the children, fingerprinted them, filled out all pertinent information about them, including blood type and allergies, including a little hair sample provided by the parents, and then we gave the packets to the parents. These were to be used in the event a child were lost or kidnapped.

Jim, I doubt that your childhood fingerprints were ever filed at the FBI, except maybe for File 13 - the round circular one. Though your prints might be taken, the only thing that they or other police agencies actually keeps on file in the searchable print database are prints of those persons who are apprehended for a crime, and copies of unidentified prints taken from crime scenes.

The military took both my prints and my DNA. Even though I've retired, it will remain in military files for a long-long time, but neither my fingerprints or my DNA can be screened during suspect searches because I've never been arrested, booked, or fingerprinted.

If I committed a crime today, left fingerprints and DNA, and nobody had any reason to suspect I was involved, they could search their data bases high and low and never connect the crime to me. However, if I were suspected of a crime, and a cop knew that I was a retired soldier, a police agency could attempt to get copies of my prints and DNA from the military archives. Depending on who is on duty at the time, they might get lucky and get copies of my prints and DNA results - even if it's prohibited by law.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by hausdok

When I was in the military, we had "Operation Identification" for kids. We put together packets for every family; we took front and profile pictures of the children, fingerprinted them, filled out all pertinent information about them, including blood type and allergies, including a little hair sample provided by the parents, and then we gave the packets to the parents. These were to be used in the event a child were lost or kidnapped.

Sounds benign enough.

Jim, I doubt that your childhood fingerprints were ever filed at the FBI, except maybe for File 13 - the round circular one.

Well, sure. Not in the "official" files. We're talking J. Edgar here, the man collected information like Michael Jackson collects little boys. (Come to think of it, Hoover might have collected little boys too.)

Though your prints might be taken, the only thing that they or other police agencies actually keeps on file in the searchable print database are prints of those persons who are apprehended for a crime, and copies of unidentified prints taken from crime scenes.

The military took both my prints and my DNA. Even though I've retired, it will remain in military files for a long-long time, but neither my fingerprints or my DNA can be screened during suspect searches because I've never been arrested, booked, or fingerprinted.

If I committed a crime today, left fingerprints and DNA, and nobody had any reason to suspect I was involved, they could search their data bases high and low and never connect the crime to me. However, if I were suspected of a crime, and a cop knew that I was a retired soldier, a police agency could attempt to get copies of my prints and DNA from the military archives. Depending on who is on duty at the time, they might get lucky and get copies of my prints and DNA results - even if it's prohibited by law.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

I believe you. But I also believe that, somewhere in Washington, there's a file with fingerprints from a bunch of kids who were in Branford, CT in the 1960s.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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The idea of going though a home in which the seller has left out cash, valuable/personal documents, jewelry etc is not comforting to me. On a few inspections I have seen clients and agents pick up and look at such stuff. Not any different than the buyer's kids running wide in the house.

Now photographing personal items is a no-no for me but when valuables are left out (a lack of the seller's common sense) perhaps a photo record is not such a bad idea. It would show that the seller did not demonstrate due diligence in protecting his property. A picture of the buyer's kids playing with seller's possessions also having along with a photo of agent/buyer looking through paperwork left out.

Sounds like something I'll run past my attorney.

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

When I was a cub scout, we had a carefully orchestrated activity in which we all took each others fingerprints and sent them to the FBI in order to help J. Edgar Hoover "fight crime."

Later that same summer, the guy who drove the ice cream truck in our neighborhood offered free ice cream to any kid who would let him take fingerprints to "send to the FBI in order to help J. Edgar Hoover fight crime." I let him take my fingerprints two or three times before he caught on.

When I mentioned this to my parents, they thought it was a darned good idea. (um, not my rip-off scam, the fingerprinting). They explained that kids would be less likely to turn to a life of crime if they knew that J. Edgar already had their fingerprints on file.

Does anyone else remember experiencing this bright shining moment in our nation's history?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

I must admit that I do recall the fingerprinting of children. If I recall we did it when we had a polio vaccination, ya know those little sugar cubes with the purple stuff on them.

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