§32A-2-8. Qualifications for license or renewal of license.

(a) The commissioner may issue a license to an applicant only upon first determining that the financial condition, business experience, and character and general fitness of an applicant are such that the issuance of the license is in the public interest: Provided, That the commissioner shall apply §32A-2-8(f) and §32A-2-8(g) of this code in determining whether an applicant’s prior criminal convictions bear a rational nexus to the license being sought.

(b) An applicant for a license shall agree in writing to comply with the currency reporting and record-keeping requirements of 31 U.S.C. §5313, as well as those set forth in 31 C.F.R. Chapter X and any other relevant federal law.

(c) A person is not eligible for a license or shall surrender an existing license if, during the previous five years:

(1) The person or a principal of the person, of a business:

(A) Has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving fraud or deceit under the laws of this state, any other state, or the United States;

(B) Has been convicted of a crime under the laws of another country that involves fraud or deceit or would be a felony if committed in the United States; or

(C) Has been convicted under a state or federal law relating to currency exchange or transmission or any state or federal monetary instrument reporting requirement; or

(2) The person, a principal of the person, or the spouse of the person or a principal of the person has been convicted of an offense under a state or federal law relating to drug trafficking, money laundering, or a reporting requirement of the Bank Secrecy Act, 12 U.S.C. §1951 et seq., as amended.

(d) The commissioner will review the application to determine whether the applicant:

(1) Has recklessly failed to file or evaded the obligation to file a currency transaction report as required by 31 U.S.C. §5313 during the previous three years;

(2) Has recklessly accepted currency for exchange, transport, or transmission during the previous three years in which a portion of the currency was derived from an illegal transaction or activity;

(3) Will conduct its authorized business within the bounds of state and federal law, including, but not limited to, §31D-15-1501 of this code;

(4) Warrants the trust of the community;

(5) Has and will maintain at all times a minimum tangible net worth of the greater of $100,000 or three percent of total assets for the first $100 million, two percent of additional assets for $100 million to $1 billion, and 0.5 percent of additional assets for over $1 billion, computed according to United States generally accepted accounting principles as shown by the most recent audited financial statement filed with and satisfactory to the commissioner, except that an applicant for a license or renewal of a license may not be required by this article to maintain a tangible net worth of more than $1 million, computed according to generally accepted accounting principles; and

(6) Does not owe delinquent taxes, fines, or fees to any local or state taxing authority or governmental agency, department, or other political subdivision of this state.

(e) A person is not eligible for a license, and a person who holds a license shall surrender the license to the commissioner, if the person or a principal of the person has at any time been convicted of:

(1) A felony involving the laundering of money that is the product of or proceeds from criminal activity under Chapter 61 of this code, or a similar provision of the laws of another state or the United States; or

(2) A felony violation of 31 U.S.C. §5313 or 5324, or a rule adopted under those sections.

(f) The commissioner may not disqualify an applicant from initial licensure because of a prior criminal conviction that remains unreversed unless that conviction is for a crime that bears a rational nexus to the activity requiring licensure. In determining whether a criminal conviction bears a rational nexus to a profession or occupation, the commissioner shall consider at a minimum:

(1) The nature and seriousness of the crime for which the individual was convicted;

(2) The passage of time since the commission of the crime;

(3) The relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity, and fitness required to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of the profession or occupation; and

(4) Any evidence of rehabilitation or treatment undertaken by the individual.

(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, if an applicant is disqualified from licensure because of a prior criminal conviction, the commissioner shall permit the applicant to apply for initial licensure if:

(1) A period of five years has elapsed from the date of conviction or the date of release from incarceration, whichever is later;

(2) The individual has not been convicted of any other crime during the period of time following the disqualifying offense; and

(3) The conviction was not for an offense of a violent or sexual nature: Provided, That a conviction for an offense of a violent or sexual nature may subject an individual to a longer period of disqualification from licensure, to be determined by the commissioner.

(h) An individual with a criminal record who has not previously applied for licensure may petition the commissioner at any time for a determination of whether the individual’s criminal record will disqualify the individual from obtaining a license. This petition shall include sufficient details about the individual’s criminal record to enable the commissioner to identify the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred, the date of the conviction, and the specific nature of the conviction. The commissioner shall provide the determination within 60 days of receiving the petition from the applicant. The commissioner may charge a fee to recoup its costs for each petition.

(i) Before approving an application for a license of an applicant who has less than one year’s experience in the proposed business governed by this article as a regulated entity in another state, or whose license has been suspended or revoked by another state, the commissioner may, in his or her discretion, conduct an on-site investigation of an applicant at the sole expense of the applicant and may require the applicant to pay a nonrefundable payment of the anticipated expenses for conducting the investigation. Failure to make the payment or cooperate with the investigation is grounds for denying the application.