Created a petition process for applicants with criminal records.
Bans agencies from relying on arrest records, old convictions or “good moral character” to disqualify applicants.
Requires boards to consider evidence of rehabilitation and to use a directly related standard for all crimes.
Areas of Improvement
Extend protections to all licenses.
Updated February 2023
As part of an occupational licensing reform in 2019, Ohio created a petition process that allows applicants to see if their criminal record would be disqualifying before they start fulfilling a license’s requirements, which can be very costly and time-consuming. Building on that reform, in 2021, the Buckeye State enacted a massive overhaul of its licensing laws for ex-offenders, and saw its final grade soar to an A-.
The 2021 reform also included robust reporting requirements. Since enactment, Ohio licensing boards have issued licenses to 2,014 applicants with criminal records and denied licenses to 50 applicants. The agencies that issued the most licenses were:
Chemical Dependency Professional Board (418)
Board of Education (410)
Division of Securities (339)
Board of Nursing (327)
Board of Pharmacy (183)
Ohio agencies also received and acted on 215 preliminary petitions. In 77 petitions, or a little over one-third of all petitions acted on, the criminal record was found to be disqualifying.