Is Your Agent or Broker Licensed? – New Fingerprinting Law for Missouri

As a professional organization, it is important for us to be in compliance in how we do business.  One of our compliance requirements is to be licensed to do real estate transactions in Kansas and Missouri.  Realtors renewing their licenses in Missouri received a surprise in 2011: Pass an FBI fingerprint background check, or forfeit your right to practice real estate in Missouri.  The law took effect January 1st, 2011, but won’t be fully enforced until 2012.  (Source: BizJournal)  Janet Carder, executive director of the Missouri Real Estate Commission, said “the commission previously conducted simple background checks on new and renewing licensees, but crimes in other states went undetected.  Realtor licensees have access to people’s homes. They have access to people’s financial records.  This (fingerprinting law) is to make sure the bad guys aren’t out there practicing real estate.”  We appreciate the efforts of the Real Estate Commission to raise the level of professionalism in our industry.

Kandy, as the broker for Home Rental Services, recently had her fingerprints taken to meet these requirements.  The process was entirely digital… they scanned her fingers on a device resembling a typical flatbed scanner and the results were displayed on a monitor.  It was nice that there was no messy ink involved!  She was also required to provide any other legal names that she had used (maiden name, etc.)   We hope that you are working with Home Rental Services when leasing a home as an owner or renter, but if not, be sure to ask your representative for proof of license with the state where the home resides.

More Q&A on figerprinting requirements from the Real Estate Commission web site (PDF from 2/6/2012):