Fingerprinting Process from Start to Finish (online submission)

  1. Request Fingerprint Cards
  2. Get Fingerprinted
  3. Call the location where you will be Fingerprinted
  4. Apply online for Fingerprint Clearance and Make Payment
  5. Mail Fingerprint cards and Credit Card Confirmation or Coupon with Fee
  6. Fingerprint Processing
  7. Rejection of Fingerprints
  8. No Criminal History
  9. Criminal History
  10. Subsequent Arrests
  11. Destruction of Fingerprints

  1. Request Fingerprint Cards:

    Individual fingerprint cards are available at your local school district, charter school, BOCES, colleges with teacher preparation programs or by sending a request to the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA) at the address below.

    Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA)
    New York State Education Department
    89 Washington Avenue, Room 981 EBA
    Albany, NY 12234
    Email: OSPRA@mail.nysed.gov

  2. Get Fingerprinted:

    Fill out the top of both blue fingerprint cards as completely as possible, in accordance with the sample fingerprint card. Do not make any stray marks on the card. Carefully compare your card to the sample. Sign your fingerprint card.  If your fingerprint card is missing required information, or your fingerprint card has stray marks or highlighting on it, your application will be rejected before it is processed, which will result in a significant delay in processing.  Click Sample Fingerprint Card to view a sample card.

  3. Call the Location Where You Will be Fingerprinted:

    You may be fingerprinted at a number of locations, such as a local police station, school district, BOCES, and some colleges. Please call the location prior to when you need to be fingerprinted. Find out whether they will "scan" or "roll" fingerprints for civil purposes; whether they charge a fee to "scan" or "roll" your fingerprints; whether they have specific dates and times dedicated to "rolling" fingerprints; and whether you need to make an appointment to have your fingerprints "scanned or rolled". OSPRA does not have and does not provide a list of LIVESCAN stations because many LIVESCAN locations are not open to the general public and will provide service only to prospective employees. You can contact a school or BOCES near you.

  4. Apply Online for Fingerprint Clearance and Make Payment:

    Enter your personal information on the online fingerprint application.  Pay the $91.50 fee with a credit card or by mailing a certified check, bank check, money order, or employer check, payable to the New York State Education Department.  Personal checks will not be accepted.   You will need a printer available to complete the payment process.

    Click Indicates you can Apply Online to apply for fingerprint clearance.

  5. Mail Fingerprint Cards and Credit Card Confirmation or Coupon with Fee:

    • Two fingerprint cards
    • Credit Card payment confirmation OR payment coupon with $91.50 fee.

    Mail To:
    Fingerprint Processing
    NYS Education Department
    PO Box 7352, Albany, NY 12224.

  6. Fingerprint Processing:

    Upon receipt of your fingerprint cards and fee, OSPRA will process your fingerprints with the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). DCJS and the FBI provides OSPRA with a copy of your criminal history background, if any, so that OSPRA can make a determination on your clearance for employment or application for certification. After receipt of the criminal history, the Department then analyzes any information received in accordance with the requirements of the Executive Law and the Corrections Law.

  7. Rejection of Fingerprints:

    Your fingerprints may be rejected before the clearance process is complete.  DCJS and/or the FBI may reject your fingerprints because there was a problem with the quality of the fingerprints, such as, your fingerprints were smudged, or too light or too dark. If your fingerprints are rejected, OSPRA will mail you detailed instructions on the steps you need to take to resubmit your fingerprints.

  8. No Criminal History:

    If you filed your fingerprints for the purpose of obtaining a clearance for employment and you have no criminal history you are eligible for clearance for employment. A clearance for employment will be issued when a school district, charter school or BOCES (covered school) requests a clearance for your employment. OSPRA will only issue a clearance for employment when a request by a covered school is made. When a clearance to a covered school is issued you will receive a copy of the clearance. The issued clearance is only good for the school named on the clearance.

    If you are seeking a finerprint clearance to satisfy the certification requirement and you have no criminal history, OSPRA will notify the Education Department's Office of Teaching Initiatives that you have completed the fingerprint requirement.

  9. Criminal History:

    If you have a criminal history, the matter is reviewed by OSPRA, pursuant to the provisions in Executive Law Section 296(16) and Correction Law Sections 752 and 753, to determine whether there is any basis for a possible denial of clearance and/or certification. Click Fingerprinting Due Process link for a  full explanation of the review process. At any time during the process, you may submit in writing any information that may be relevant to the consideration of your application for clearance, including, information in regard to good conduct and rehabilitation.

  10. Subsequent Arrests:

    If you are arrested subsequent to filing your fingerprints with OSPRA, notice of the arrest will be made to OSPRA by DCJS. You will receive a copy of the notice.  OSPRA is obligated to notify your employing school district, charter school or BOCES of the name of the arresting agency, the date of your arrest and the court of jurisdiction.

  11. Destruction of Fingerprints:

    The FBI will destroy your fingerprints once its criminal background check is completed. DCJS will retain your fingerprints following its criminal background check as part of its "Search and Retain" services, until the Education Department requests that the fingerprints be destroyed.

    If you were fingerprinted for employment purposes and you subsequently leave that employment and are not reemployed within 12 months at a public school, charter school or BOCES, OSPRA shall request that DCJS destroy your fingerprints. You also have the right to request that your fingerprints be destroyed prior to the end of the twelve-month period.

    If you seek employment in a school after your fingerprints are destroyed, you will need to be fingerprinted again. If you were fingerprinted for certification purposes, your fingerprints may not be destroyed for the period of time that your certification is valid.

Last Updated: January 15, 2013
January 15, 2013