In September 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2138. This bill aimed to help Californians with criminal records obtain their professional licenses. As of July 1, 2020, this bill is active.

This bill applies to the 37 licensing boards that exist with the Department of Consumer Affairs. Prior to this bill, licensing boards could revoke, deny, or suspend a professional license of individuals with criminal convictions.

Here are the specifics of the AB 2138 reform:

  • DCA boards are restricted from using prior criminal history as grounds for denying a professional license.
  • Most criminal convictions older than seven years may not be the basis for licensure denial.
  • A criminal conviction must be “substantially related” to the qualifications or duties required by the license or profession in order to deny, revoke, or suspend a license.
  • Licensing boards may no longer deny licensure due to a conviction if it was expunged, dismissed, pardoned, or if the applicant made a showing of rehabilitation for a felony conviction.
  • Licensing boards may no longer require that applicants self-disclose prior convictions unless the license type does not require fingerprint background checks.
  • Licensing boards must track and publicly report licensure denial and appeal data.

Related Article: What Are Some Reasons My Professional License Could be Denied in the State of California?

The United States alone incarcerates a quarter of its population, making it that much more difficult for citizens to obtain their professional licenses even after they’ve served their time. With AB 2138 enacted, 8 million California residents now have the tools to overcome boundaries that are keeping them out of their licensed professions. 

Contact Unlock Legal

If you fear your professional license is in jeopardy, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a quick, discreet, and confidential consultation. Know that with us, you are in great hands. Unlock Legal provides focused representation in criminal defense and license defense for California licensed professionals. 

Contact Unlock Legal today or give us a call at your convenience at 949-268-2857 to speak with a professional about your case and your unique needs. You’ll find we are compassionate, easy to talk to, and willing to help in any capacity we can. Losing your license doesn’t have to be the end of your career.

Unlock Legal provides focused representation in criminal defense and defense for California licensed professionals.

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