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Expungement, Wrongful Conviction, CQEs and CAEs in Ohio: Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE)


Ohio law creates a mechanism by which an individual who is subject to a "collateral sanction" may obtain a certificate of qualification for employment that will provide relief from certain bars on employment or occupational licensing.

What is a collateral sanction?

A penalty, disability, or disadvantage that is related to employment or occupational licensing as a result of the individual's conviction of or plea of guilty to an offense and that applies by operation of law in this state whether or not the penalty, disability, or disadvantage is included in the sentence or judgment.

CQEs provide an opportunity for applicants who seek employment requiring a government-issued license, but do not qualify to seal their record.CQEs alleviate the mandatory restriction imposed by law. Thus, each applicant can be considered on an individual basis by the licensing board. Further, the CQE protects employers from negligent- hiring lawsuits. A CQE will not guarantee a job but can provide greater opportunity for the applicant. 

Ohio Revised Code

Examples of Ohio collateral sanctions:

Links and Forms

Local Rules

Ohio Administrative Code

US Code