Recently, Virginia REALTORS® discovered that there are significant delays in the processing of new real estate licenses in Virginia. Anecdotally, we’ve heard that applicants have waited from 25 to 40 days after submitting paperwork to get the approval finalized.
Our Government Relations team reached out to DPOR to raise the concern. DPOR provided us with some background on the issue and steps it is taking to speed up the process.
DPOR noted that due to significant layoffs in certain segments of the economy, such as retail and restaurants, it experienced an influx of new license applications and people turned to the real estate business for work. Additionally, DPOR, like most state agencies, was under a hiring freeze because of state budget concerns. The state lifted the hiring freeze in December and DPOR has ramped up hiring and overtime capacity to help alleviate the delays.
We also understand that there are delays with the Virginia State Police running background checks due to understaffing issues. We’ve expressed our concerns about these delays to the Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. State officials recognize that Virginia needs to ensure people who may have lost a job and have chosen to enter the real estate industry, or any other industry, and need to be able to do so in an efficient manner.
Remember, real estate applicants have two options for having their fingerprints taken electronically:
- Walk-in at a Virginia PSI testing center between 9:00 a.m. and 1::00 p.m. on a first-come/first-serve basis.
- Scheduled appointment at any FieldPrint location. More information on this option can be found at www.dpor.virginia.gov/Boards/Fieldprint/.
The vendors collect and send the fingerprints and personal descriptive information to the Virginia Central Criminal Records Exchange for the state and national criminal background checks. The record check results are returned directly to DPOR.
Also, beware of extra steps you’ll need to take if you use the Virginia State Police form SP-167. Although applicants could request their own criminal history record information this way, they would still need to be fingerprinted somehow. In addition, the SP-167 runs a background check on Virginia convictions only, and would be insufficient to meet the requirement for the national criminal history check as well.
If you have any questions or concerns about new license processing, please contact our Government Relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.