Certificate of Rehabilitation (COR) in New Jersey
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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021
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In New Jersey, an individual who has been previously denied a professional license because of a conviction may apply for a “Certificate of Rehabilitation” (COR). COR is meant to verify that the holder has achieved a degree of rehabilitation, indicating their licensing would not be incompatible with the welfare of society. A COR prohibits a licensing authority from disqualifying or discriminating against the applicant. In effect it creates a “presumption of rehabilitation” that must be given consideration by the licensing board. CORs may be temporary, subject to review and renewal, and may be revoked.
If granted a COR, you may not be denied a license solely on account of having been convicted, or by reason of a lack of good moral character. However, you can still be denied a license if the licensing board finds: (a) there is a direct relationship between the previous conviction and the license being sought or (b) if the board establishes that issuing a license would involve an unreasonable risk to property, individual safety or welfare or risk to the general public.
At least two years must pass before reapplication under a COR.
A COR does not, however, restore civil rights or firearms privileges. As a practical matter, the COR statute has been exceptionally rare in obtaining a professional license, and no COR-based license has been granted in years.
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