What is a Certificate of Rehabilitation and how could it help me?

A Certificate of Rehabilitation (COR) is a court order saying that someone who was previously convicted of a crime is now officially rehabilitated.[3151] A COR can restore some of the rights you lost as a result of your conviction. A COR may help you in the following ways:

    When you apply for a job or housing, a COR serves as official proof of your rehabilitation;[3152]
    If you apply for a professional or occupational license, a COR improves your chances of getting approved;[3153]
    If you were required to register as a “sex offender” under California Penal Code section 290, a COR may eliminate your registration requirement;[3154]
    A COR serves as an automatic application and recommendation for a full pardon from the Governor.[3155]

However, there are many things that a COR does NOT do—for example, it does NOT erase or seal your conviction; it does NOT restore all of the rights you may have lost due to your conviction; and you will still have to disclose the conviction when you apply for jobs, housing, and professional licenses. (For more information on what a COR does NOT do, see PG. 982.)

  1. 3151

    Cal. Penal Code § 4852.06.

  2. 3152

    Cal. Lab. Code § 432.7. 24 C.F.R. §§ 982.552(c)(2), 5.852; HUD, C.F.R. Occupancy Requirements Of Subsidized Multifamily Housing Programs ¶ 4-7(C)(4) (Rev. November 2013).

  3. 3153

    Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 480(b).

  4. 3154

    Cal. Penal Code § 290.5.

  5. 3155

    Cal. Penal Code § 4852.16.