A Certificate of Good Conduct (CGC) is a legal document that certifies your rehabilitation after a criminal conviction. It helps remove some of the negative consequences of having a criminal record. With a CGC, you can apply for certain jobs, licenses, public office, housing, and other rights that may have been affected by your conviction. However, having a CGC doesn't guarantee approval, and you still need to disclose your criminal conviction on job applications.
You are eligible to apply for a CGC if you have two or more separate felony convictions, or if you are seeking a job in public office. Felony convictions from federal or out-of-state charges also count. If you have fewer than two felony convictions, you may consider applying for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities instead. If you're uncertain about your criminal history, you can check your records to learn more.
When applying for a CGC, you need to demonstrate a period of good conduct in the community. The waiting period varies based on the seriousness of your convictions:
- For A or B felonies, you must wait 5 years.
- For C, D, or E felonies, you must wait 3 years.
- For misdemeanors, you must wait 1 year. The waiting period starts from the date of your release from prison (parole or completion of sentence) or the date of your last conviction if you didn't serve time in state prison, whichever is most recent.
A single CGC covers all your felony and misdemeanor convictions. To apply for a CGC, you need to submit your application to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
Last Reviewed: May 26, 2023