Under the Florida Constitution, a convicted felon cannot vote, serve on a jury, or hold public office until civil rights have been restored. When a person is convictedof a felony in Florida, he/she loses the right to vote, sit on a jury, hold public office, and possess a firearm.


If you have a record, you will likely be required to complete a Criminal Disclosure Statement in your license application. The Criminal Disclosure Statement will require you to list information such as the arresting agency, the date of the conviction, the sentence, and an explanation of what happened.

Felony charges are evaluated carefully, case by case and state by state. Getting approved for a license largely depends on the type of conviction and how long ago the conviction took place.

Firearm License

In regard to use of firearms by felons: It is illegal in Florida for convicted felons to possess firearms, including muzzle loading guns, unless the convicted felon has had his/her civil rights restored and firearm authority restored by the state’s Clemency Board or the gun qualifies as an antique firearm under Florida law.

Motor Vehicle Dealer License

Background checks are required by many states to get your motor vehicle dealer license. The DMV is looking for not only crimes on your record, but examples of immoral behavior that would suggest you would not run an ethical dealership.

If you have been convicted of a previous felony, you will need to provide documentation that your civil rights have been restored. However, if the conviction is regarding a motor vehicle dealer crime, you will more than likely not be granted a license.

Typically, a driver’s license is revoked following conviction for a felony DUI.  Another situation resulting in revocation of a driver’s license is a conviction for a non-DUI drug-related offense.

If a felon’s driver’s license is revoked for one of these offenses, felons must attend a reinstatement hearing in person.  Felons with a vehicular homicide offense are unlikely to get their license back.

Felons will have to complete all court requirements.  They will have to provide proof of car insurance and pay a court fee.  Having legal counsel is recommended.

If a felon’s license has been revoked for an alcohol- or drug-related offense, they must complete an approved substance abuse program and provide proof of completion.

After that, they will have to complete an application in the state where they live.  Then, they will have to pass a written knowledge test, a driving test, and a vision exam.

Driving on a Revoked License

Some felons may be tempted not to go through the process and drive after their release even though they have a revoked driver’s license.  That is not a wise choice.

Driving without a license is a serious offense with large fines and jail time.  Typically, this is a misdemeanor. For felons, especially while on probation, this would be a violation of their federal probation and likely result in their return to prison.

U.S. Passport

A person with a felony conviction is not automatically disqualified from getting a U.S. passport. … The Department can, but doesn’t have to, disqualify a passport applicant if he has been convicted of a misdemeanor (lesser) state or federal drug charges.

Remember that a passport is not a ticket to travel. Rather, it is a type of international identification that allows you back into the United States if you travel. But the right to enter another country is governed by that country, who will have its own rules about who can enter.

The rules in this country preclude only felons who committed international drug trafficking from getting a passport. That is, a person cannot get a passport if she crossed an international border while drug trafficking and was arrested and convicted for it.

The Department can, but doesn’t have to, disqualify a passport applicant if he has been convicted of a misdemeanor (lesser) state or federal drug charges. However, a first-offense conviction for possession of a controlled substance cannot serve as a basis for denial.


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