(1) A person desiring to be licensed as a community association manager shall apply to the department to take the licensure examination. Each applicant must file a complete set of fingerprints that have been taken by an authorized law enforcement officer, which set of fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement for state processing and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal processing. The cost of processing shall be borne by the applicant.
(2) The department shall examine each applicant who is at least 18 years of age, who has successfully completed all prelicensure education requirements, and who the department certifies is of good moral character.
(a) Good moral character means a personal history of honesty, fairness, and respect for the rights of others and for the laws of this state and nation.
(b) The department may refuse to certify an applicant only if:
1. There is a substantial connection between the lack of good moral character of the applicant and the professional responsibilities of a community association manager;
2. The finding by the department of lack of good moral character is supported by clear and convincing evidence; or
3. The applicant is found to have provided management services requiring licensure without the requisite license.
(c) When an applicant is found to be unqualified for a license because of a lack of good moral character, the department shall furnish the applicant a statement containing its findings, a complete record of the evidence upon which the determination was based, and a notice of the rights of the applicant to a rehearing and appeal.
(d) The council shall establish by rule the required amount of prelicensure education, which shall consist of not more than 24 hours of in-person instruction by a department-approved provider and which shall cover all areas of the examination specified in subsection (3). Such instruction shall be completed within 12 months prior to the date of the examination. Prelicensure education providers shall be considered continuing education providers for purposes of establishing provider approval fees. A licensee shall not be required to comply with the continuing education requirements of s. 468.4337 prior to the first license renewal. The department shall, by rule, set standards for exceptions to the requirement of in-person instruction in cases of hardship or disability.
(3) The council shall approve an examination for licensure. The examination must demonstrate that the applicant has a fundamental knowledge of state and federal laws relating to the operation of all types of community associations and state laws relating to corporations and nonprofit corporations, proper preparation of community association budgets, proper procedures for noticing and conducting community association meetings, insurance matters relating to community associations, and management skills.
(4) The department shall issue a license to practice in this state as a community association manager to any qualified applicant who successfully completes the examination in accordance with this section and pays the appropriate fee.