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Florida Bar Character and Fitness Information Resources

Actual Florida Bar Character and Fitness Questions

The primary purpose of the character and fitness screening before admission to The Florida Bar is to protect the public and safeguard the judicial system.

Contact Information for the Florida Board of Bar Examiners

Mailing Address:

U.S. Postal Service:

1891 Eider Court
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1750

FedEx, Priority USPS, or other delivery service:

1891 Eider Court
Tallahassee, FL 32308-4537

Note the different zip code

Telephone Number: (850) 487-1292 

Calls are answered Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST.

Mandatory Fingerprinting

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners now requires all applicants to be fingerprinted electronically by IdentoGO by IDEMIA. There are 69 locations across the State of Florida.


Information on this guide was borrowed with permission from Florida International University's Law Library.


The Florida Board of Bar Examiners requires all persons seeking admission to the Florida Bar to prove their Character and Fitness. This process involves completing a lengthy online application with supporting documentation, answering all questions accurately and honestly.

The application questions are addressed individually in this guide. Some resources will answer more than one question. It is up to you to do the research necessary to provide the Florida Board of Bar Examiners your accurate answers to the application questions.

Remember, the most important thing is to be candid in your application and keep a detailed record of where you searched, when you searched and who you spoke to in case you cannot find the information and the Bar Examiners ask you about it later.

Applying to Another State

If you are not planning to apply to the Bar in Florida, but to another state, you should be aware that some states require first-year law students to register with their State Bar or Board of Examiners.  Regardless of the requirements, applying while a 1L may provide a discount in the application fee. It also averts delays that inevitably crop up during the state Bar's investigative process.

If this applies to you, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) provides these two related resources:

Updating Your Character and Fitness Application

Supporting Forms
The forms listed below are available in PDF format for printing as needed.

  • Amendment (PDF - 72k)
    Amendment forms are used to update the Bar Application. Applicants and registrants have a continuing obligation to keep each item on the Bar Application current until sworn in as a member of the Bar; or, in the case of CLI Registrants, through the conclusion of any term of Certified Legal Internship that may result. An amendment to the application is timely if made within 30 days.
  • Change of Address (PDF - 87k)
    This form is to be used only by applicants who do not have a portal account, to keep current contact information on file with the board. Applicants with portal accounts (those who filed on or after June 26, 2017) should provide the change of address through the portal by amending Item 1.c. of the Bar Application via an online amendment.
  • Financial Declaration (PDF - 442k)
    This form is to be completed if specifically requested by the board during the investigation. The form is a fillable PDF that calculates totals interactively. You should complete the form on your computer using Adobe Acrobat Reader (or a purchased product); please do not print the form and fill it out by hand. Once you have completed the form, you should either print the form to sign it and scan it, or save the form to your computer and insert an electronic signature, then upload the completed form through the applicant portal.
  • Suggested Order for Unsealing Records (PDF - 115k)
    If you have sealed arrest records, you will need to undertake the necessary action to have the records unsealed.

Answering Character and Fitness Questions

As part of the bar exam application, the state bar will investigate your background to basically see if you have been a good person. Just because you were admitted into law school doesn't mean the state bar has to admit you into legal practice. It is up to you to prove to the state bar that you possess the requisite character and fitness to be a member of the bar. The Character and Fitness process goes approximately like this: The Florida Board of Bar Examiners: The Use of and Rehabilitation at Formal Hearings (Florida Bar Journal 2000)

  • Alcohol and substance abuse problems:
    • Some states impose automatic wait periods if you have been convicted of or even charged with DWI or DUI. Florida does not but expect to be questioned by the bar if you haven't completed any treatment or rehabilitation program.  
  • Mental Health Issues:
    • The Florida Bar like others actively encourages applicants to get help for any mental health needs. The Florida Bar allows conditional approval where the application is able to practice law provided regular reports are submitted to the bar along with proof of treatment or medication.
  • Academic Misconduct:
    • Cheating can be an independent reason to reject an application for character and fitness. Other incidents that reflect on the candidate's ability to respect the rights of others the law will be looked at carefully by any character and fitness board.
  • Candor:
    • Disclosure is the order of the day. Failing to disclose and being completely honest about past issues will almost certainly preclude a person from being admitted to any jurisdiction.  Honesty is the best policy!