Fingerprinting FAQ's

  1. How do I get fingerprint cards?

  2. Where do I get fingerprinted?

  3. How much does it cost?

  4. How long does it take to get a clearance?

  5. Who gets notified of the clearance?

  6. What is a conditional clearance?

  7. What is an emergency conditional appointment?

  8. What types of individuals are exempt?

  9. What if my background check reveals a crime?

  10. What are my due process rights if I am requesting clearance for employment and my background check reveals a crime?

  11. What if I am an applicant for certification or a currently certified teacher and my criminal background check reveals a crime?

  12. What if I have been fingerprinted for employment before?

  13. How can a school district, BOCES, charter school or other institution become an approved fingerprinting entity?

  14. Where do I get additional information on the fingerprinting process?

  15.  

 

  1. How do I get fingerprint cards?

    Fingerprint packets should be available at any local school district, charter school, BOCES, institutions of higher education with teacher preparation programs or by sending a request to OSPRA. Instructions on the fingerprint process (OSPRA 100) may be downloaded from this web site.

    Click on the  icon to apply for fingerprint clearance. 

    Contact OSPRA - Fingerprinting Unit
    Fingerprinting Process from Start to Finish

    top

  2. Where do I get fingerprinted?

    You may get fingerprinted at BOCES, school districts, institutions of higher education, state and local criminal justice agencies and other entities designated by SED. You can ask your prospective employer where you can go to be fingerprinted. top

  3. How much does it cost?

    There is a $$91.50 fingerprint processing fee. Additionally, the fingerprint entity that actually rolls the fingerprints may charge a separate fee, which may vary by location. The $$91.50 fee must be paid by certified check, money order, or school check payable to the New York State Education Department. The $$91.50 fee is transferred by SED to DCJS for the state criminal background check and the FBI for the national criminal background check.  top

  4. How long does it take to get a clearance?

    Generally, it takes the Education Department approximately 12-16 weeks from the time OSPRA receives your fingerprint packet until a clearance is mailed to you and the covered school and/or the Office of Teaching Initiatives. Online applications and payments will be processed within 2 - 4 weeks of reciept of your fingerprint cards. If your fingerprints are rejected or you have a criminal history, resolution of your fingerprint clearance will take longer.  top

  5. Who gets notified of the clearance?

    If you are seeking clearance for employment in a school district, charter school or BOCES, a copy of the clearance is mailed to you and the school district, charter school or BOCES. If you are seeking clearance for certification the Office of Teaching Initiatives will be notifed directly when your fingerprints have been cleared.  top
     

  6. What is a conditional clearance?

    A conditional clearance for employment is a determination by SED that based upon its review of a prospective school employee's criminal history record obtained from DCJS, such individual may be employed by a board of cooperative educational services, charter school, or school district in New York State on a conditional appointment, provided that all other requirements for employment are met. The actual conditional appointment is at the discretion of the covered school. Certain conditions must be in place for a school district to make a conditional appointment, such as the individual must sign a statement indicating whether he or she has a pending criminal charge or a criminal conviction in any state outside of New York state and the covered school must have a mandatory safety policy in place.

      top

  7. What is an emergency conditional appointment?


    Covered schools that have adopted a mandatory safety policy and that are unable to wait for a clearance from the Department due to an unforeseen vacancy (occurring less than 10 days before the start of any school session; when no other qualified individual is available; and when it is necessary to maintain services which the district is legally required to provide to protect the health, education or safety of students or staff) may make an emergency conditional appointment for a prospective employee. Emergency conditional appointments may be made only in certain limited circumstances and have a 20-day duration. The applicant must send his or her fingerprints to the Department for processing and must sign a statement indicating whether he or she has a pending criminal charge or a criminal conviction in any jurisdiction.
     

  8. What types of individuals are exempt from the fingerprinting requirement?

    Volunteers and employees who have no direct contact with students, are examples of individuals who are exempt. There are also special rules that apply to performing artists, guest lecturers who will be in a covered school five days or less. Please refer to the Part 87 of the Commissioner's Regulations for the definition of prospective school employee.  top

  9. What if my background check reveals a crime?

    If a background check reveals a crime, an analysis must be conducted by SED in accordance with the standards set forth in the Executive Law § 296(16) and the Corrections Law §§ 752 and 753 to determine whether a clearance should be issued. If it is determined that there may be an impediment to issuing a full clearance, you have certain due process rights depending on whether you are an applicant for certification, or an applicant for employment either for a certified position or for a position for which no certification is necessary.  top

  10. What are my due process rights if I am requesting clearance for employment and my background check reveals a crime?

    You have due process rights as outlined in Part 87.5 of the Commissioner's Regulations. For a general description of those rights, please see the section on fingerprinting due process.  top

  11. What if I am an applicant for certification or a currently certified teacher and my criminal background check reveals a crime?

    You have due process rights as outlined in Part 83 of the Commissioner's Regulations. For a general description of those rights, please see the section on teacher discipline due process.  top

  12. What if I have been fingerprinted for employment before?

    It depends on why you were fingerprinted. If you were fingerprinted after July 1, 2001 and you submitted your fingerprints to the State Education Department pursuant to the SAVE Legislation, then you do not need to be fingerprinted again for subsequent employment in a covered school, irrespective of whether you ever worked there, or for subsequent applications for certification. If you were fingerprinted for another type of employment, such as a daycare worker, a security guard, a police officer, etc., you need to be fingerprinted again. The information that is contained in the reports that were generated as a result of those fingerprinted is maintained by another entity and is confidential. The Education Department does not have access to that information for making the determinations relating to employment and certification that it is under an obligation to make.  top

  13. How can a school district, BOCES, charter school or other institution become an approved fingerprinting entity?

    A three-hour training program offered by DCJS is available to those who will be doing the fingerprinting. There is no charge for this program and DCJS will schedule the training at your location. To make arrangements for the training you should contact.

    Division of Criminal Justice Services
    Civil class="bold" identification Bureau
    Executive Park Tower
    4 Tower Place
    Stuyvesant Plaza
    Albany, NY 12203-3764
    (518) 402-2752
    (This number is exclusively for fingerprint training information.)  top

  14. Where do I get additional information on the fingerprinting process?

    You may contact the OSPRA office directly via regular mail, email, fax or by telephoning OSPRA during the telephone hours. Please note that any communication with OSPRA subsequent to the submission of your fingerprints MUST include your social security number.  top

Last Updated: February 28, 2013