Fingerprinting Changes – FAQ’s


June 23, 2015


Deans/Directors of Institutions Offering Teacher Preparation Programs
Certification Officers
District Superintendents
Charter School Administrators
Livescan Partner Sites
TEACH School District Users


Deborah A. Marriott


Fingerprinting Changes – FAQ’s

The New York State Education Department (“NYSED”) is eliminating the use of the current NYSED managed fingerprinting process which includes all NYSED Livescan fingerprinting systems and the current “ink and roll” card submission process.  This memo is to provide information about some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ’s) about the transition to the Statewide Vendor Managed System with MorphoTrust and other related process changes.   

Fingerprinting Changes
Frequently Asked Questions

Q:       What is the Statewide Vendor Managed System (“SVMS”) for fingerprinting?

A:         The SVMS is a system for capturing fingerprints for civil purposes (i.e. employment, licensing, pistol permits, etc.) for New York State agencies.

Q:       Is there more than one vendor?

A:        No, there is one vendor.  The name of the vendor is MorphoTrust.  MorphoTrust has a website that provides more information on the fingerprinting process:

Q:       How do I schedule a fingerprinting appointment?

A:        Contact MorphoTrust by going to their website at and clicking on New York State on the map, or calling (877) 472-6915.

Q:       MorphoTrust requires me to provide an “ORI Number.”  What is an ORI Number and what is it used for?

A:        An ORI Number is a unique number that is assigned to the New York State agencies by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (“DCJS”).  It is a way for both the vendor and DCJS to know which agency to send the fingerprint results to once the fingerprinting process is complete. 

Q:       What is the ORI Number for the New York State Education Department (“NYSED”)?

A:        On the MorphoTrust system, NYSED uses a code (which is easier to remember) rather than a number.  The NYSED code is:

ORI Number:


Q:       When is the final date I can start a new fingerprint transaction using the existing process?

A:        The final date to start a new fingerprint transaction will depend on the method for fingerprints.  The last day to submit new ink and rolled fingerprint cards is June 26, 2015.  The last day to submit new Livescan fingerprint images utilizing the current Comnetix system is July 10, 2015.

Q:       When will I be able to contact MorphoTrust to start a new fingerprint application?

A:        MorphoTrust will be accepting new fingerprint applications/appointments on August 3, 2015. 

Q:       Will there be any way for someone to get fingerprinted between July 10, 2015 and August 3, 2015?

A:        No.  No new fingerprint applications will be taken during the transition period.

Q:       Three weeks seems like a long time to be shut down.  Why is there a 3 week gap between the end of NYSED service and the start of the service with MorphoTrust?

A:        The 3 week “gap” time frame is needed to try to resolve incomplete records, such as fingerprints that are rejected because the images were poor quality that are unreadable by DCJS or the FBI.  NYSED must communicate with the individual so they can attempt to submit another “good” set of fingerprints.

Q:       Can someone start a fingerprint transaction through the existing process and then complete it with MorphoTrust?

A:        No.  They are two different transactions and cannot be linked.  That is why it is so important to complete the process as soon as possible or wait until August 3, 2015 to start the process with MorphoTrust. Anyone who has not completed the process by August 3, 2015 will need to start over with MorphoTrust and will incur a new fee.

Q:       Will schools or contract service providers be able to pay for fingerprinting on behalf of their employees if they elect to do so?

A:        Yes.  Schools or contract service providers have several payment options: 

  • school or business credit card;
  • school or business check; or
  • escrow account established with MorphoTrust (see,  select “NY” and then select “Forms and Links”).

Q:       Can I contact MorphoTrust during the “shut-down” period to make an appointment for when MorphoTrust goes live? 

A:        No.  The first day that you can schedule an appointment with MorphoTrust is August 3, 2015.  In many instances MorphoTrust has same day appointment availability; therefore, it may be possible for you to complete the entire process in one day. 

Q:       Will we still use TEACH to file an application?

A:        No.  The entire fingerprint application and fee will be managed by MorphoTrust.  Applicants for fingerprinting can complete an online application and schedule a fingerprinting appointment, or can talk to a MorphoTrust representative on the telephone to complete the application and appointment process. 

Q.        What method of payment can I use for my fingerprint application fee? 

A.        The fingerprinting fee can be paid at the time of scheduling through a credit card or employer escrow account, or on-site at the time of the fingerprinting appointment with a check or cash only.  At this time, the fingerprint scanning locations are not equipped to handle credit card payments.  If you want to pay by credit card, the fee must be paid online, or over the telephone in advance of your fingerprint scanning appointment.  The only way to pay for fingerprints at the time of scanning is by cash or  checks (i.e., personal, business check, government check, certified check, bank check or money order made payable to “MorphoTrust USA”)

Q:       Do schools still use TEACH to request clearances, view status messages and enter hire/termination dates?

A:        Yes.  Schools will still request clearance for employment and view information concerning an applicant’s status (i.e. full clearance, conditional clearance, denied, fingerprint images rejected, new prints needed, etc.), and enter hire/termination dates through the TEACH system. 

Q:       What are the available options for schools, BOCES, colleges and other entities that wish to have a greater involvement in the fingerprinting process?

A:        There are three available options that MorphoTrust will consider.

  • Partnership: The MorphoTrust IdentoGO Partner Program allows for entities with a vested interest in the enrollment and background check process to become a part of the statewide civil fingerprinting network.  Ideal partners are security-minded, customer-focused, and entrepreneurial. They care about the safety of their communities, their country, and its citizens. Ideal partners maintain Service Centers that are safe and easy to locate, ADA compliant, and where a minimum of 200 square feet of office space can be devoted to the IdentoGO business, with the ability to expand and maintain staffing levels as applicant volume and service offerings increase. Their Service Centers offer flexible hours of operation, ample off-street parking, and accept all applicant types.  Partner prospects will also be required to submit all potential Enrollment Agents for vetting.  This process includes, but is not limited to, a citizenship audit, fingerprint based background check, credit check and drug screening. For more information on IdentoGo partnerships visit and select “Partners.”
  • Host Site:  A host site is one in which MorphoTrust IdentoGO staff will utilize an entity’s location to conduct statewide fingerprinting services.  This is often considered by some agencies as it allows for a convenient location to have their own staff processed.  However, the host site remains open to all applicants utilizing the statewide vendor managed network.  
  • Special Session:  A special or mobile session is approved and scheduled in advance and is available for groups of 30 or more.  On-site special services provide added convenience and coverage for specific opportunities such as orientation sessions, new teacher hiring times or other group gathering situations.

Q:       If selected as a partner, can we offer fingerprinting services only during the school year (i.e. suspend fingerprint processing during holidays and summer vacation)?

A:        The NYS Vendor-Managed Civil Fingerprint Capture contract requires that every applicant be provided with a fingerprint appointment within 7 calendar days of request.  As such, all partner prospects will be required to print applicants 52 weeks per year. 

Q:       Is the Livescan equipment we own compatible with MorphoTrust software?

A:        Generally, no.  The Livescan equipment used at most Livescan sites is older and is not compatible with the current MorphoTrust system.

Q:       Does MorphoTrust charge a fee for their services?

A:        Yes.  MorphoTrust’s fee is currently set at $9.95 for the software, equipment and staffing costs associated with the services provided which includes scheduling appointments, rolling the prints, collecting photos and transmitting the fingerprint and photo electronically to DCJS.  The vendor fee is a sliding scale fee which may be adjusted twice per year based on statewide volume.  This fee is in addition to any required DCJS and FBI search fees.  The total of all required fees is paid per applicant in one payment to MorphoTrust. 

Q:       What are the DCJS or FBI fingerprint search fees for electronic submission?
A:        The DCJS fingerprint search fee is currently $75.00. The FBI fee is currently $14.75.

Q.        What is the total fee for fingerprinting?  The total fee for fingerprinting is $99.70. 

A:        The fee breakdown is as follows:





MorphoTrust Fee




Q:       Where are the MorphoTrust locations in the state?

A:        A list of currently available locations can be found at  Select “NY” and then click on “Locations” to view the listing.

Q:       Are photos required to be submitted?

A:        Yes.  MorphoTrust takes a photograph at the time the fingerprints are scanned. 

Q:       What kind of ID information do I need to provide for fingerprinting?

A:        You must have two forms of identification.  At least one form of identification must contain a photo. 

Acceptable Photo Identification Documents

    • U.S. Passport (unexpired or expired)
    • Permanent Resident Card
    • Alien Registration Receipt Card
    • Unexpired Foreign Passport
    • Driver’s License or Photo ID Card (issued by U.S. State or Territory)
    • U.S. Student ID Card with photo (High School or College)
    • Unexpired Employment Authorization with photo (Form I-766, I-688, I-688A or B)
    • Photo ID Card issued by Federal, State or Local Government

Additional Identification Documents

    • Voter Registration Card
    • U.S. Military Card or Draft Record
    • Military Dependent’s ID Card
    • Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
    • Native American Tribal Document
    • Canadian Driver’s License
    • U.S. Social Security Card
    • Original or Certified Copy of a Birth Certificate issued by authorized U.S. agency with official seal
    • Certification of Birth Abroad (Issued by U.S. Department of State)
    • U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)
    • School Record or Report Card (only accepted for applicants under the age of 18)
    • Clinic, doctor or hospital record (only accepted for applicants under the age of 18)

Q:       How will the process change from the current process?

A:        The current process uses TEACH for the fingerprint application and fee.  In the new process, MorphoTrust is responsible for managing the application, fee and digital fingerprint scanning.

Q:       Am I required to have my fingerprints electronically scanned?

A:        Yes.  Electronically scanned fingerprints captured at a MorphoTurst location in New York State are required for all applicants for certification and employment.

Q:       What if I need to be fingerprinted for my New York State teacher or administrator certification and I do not reside in New York State?

A:        There are two options:

  • You can make an appointment at a MorphoTrust Enrollment Center in New York State; or
  • You can contact NYSED at for instructions on how you may satisfy the fingerprinting requirement for purposes of certification only.

Q:       What are the names of the Enrollment Centers? 

A:        MorphoTrust does not publish the business name where Enrollment Centers are located.  This prevents applicants from walking in without an appointment.  This information will be supplied upon completion of the registration process.  General location information may be found by visiting and clicking on New York State on the map.

Q:       Is there a charge for applicants who fail to show up for their appointment?

A:        No.  Charges are only assessed upon completion of the enrollment process. 

Q:       Do I have to pay another fee if I have to get re-fingerprinted due to a rejection?

A:        No.  If fingerprints are rejected due to poor quality prints and a reprint appointment is necessary, there is no additional charge, provided that the reprints are submitted in a timely manner.  It is important that you advise MorphoTrust that you are getting re-fingerprinted because your fingerprints were rejected (rather than an initial set of fingerprints which requires payment of a fee).

Q:       How will I know if my fingerprints are rejected?

A:        MorphoTrust will contact applicants whose fingerprints are rejected using the telephone contact information provided during the fingerprint application process.  If they are unsuccessful after three attempts, then MorphoTrust will attempt to notify the applicant of the rejection by sending a letter to the applicant at the address provided.  When an applicant receives notice that their fingerprints have been rejected, it is imperative that they follow up with MorphoTrust to be reprinted in a timely manner.  Failure to do so may result in an inability to complete the existing application and the requirement that the applicant start the process over and pay a new fee.   

Q:       How does NYSED find out that I have been fingerprinted?

A:        Information provided to MorphoTrust during the fingerprint application process is electronically transmitted to the TEACH system maintained by NYSED. 

Q:       How can I find out information about my fingerprints?

A:        Applicants that have an account in TEACH (i.e., teacher certification applicants or holders) and school employment applicants who have created an account in TEACH can view information about the status of their fingerprint application in TEACH.

Q:       I am only seeking employment in a school.  I am not applying for certification.  Do I have to create an account in TEACH?

A:        After the transition to the new fingerprinting system with MorphoTrust, it is no longer necessary to create an account in TEACH to get clearance for employment in a school setting. 

Q:       Will school employers still be able to view information about the status of a fingerprint application in TEACH?

A:        Yes.  School employers will be able to view messages in TEACH that provide status information relative to the progress of a fingerprint application.  The status messages are anticipated to be updated on a daily basis.

Q:       Will conditional clearances and emergency conditional appointments still be available when necessary?

A:        Yes.  Nothing in the new fingerprint process impacts the clearance process.

Q:       What are conditional clearances and emergency conditional appointments?

A:        Conditional clearances issued by NYSED are time limited.  They are good for 45 days with the option for one additional 45 day extension. The conditional clearance is issued by NYSED when the state process is complete but the federal process is not complete.  It is almost always due to poor fingerprint quality which resulted in a rejection of the fingerprints by the FBI.  Once NYSED issues a conditional clearance, a school may make a conditional appointment.  The employee must sign a statement indicating to the best of his or her knowledge, any criminal history he or she has in any jurisdiction outside of New York State.  An emergency conditional appointment is not issued by NYSED.  It is an emergency appointment approved by the local school employer when an unforeseen vacancy occurs.  The employee must sign a statement indicating to the best of his or her knowledge, any criminal history he or she has in any jurisdiction.   The emergency conditional appointment is good for 20 days.  The school must have a policy in effect to provide for the safety of school children who have contact with an employee under such circumstances. 

Last Updated: June 24, 2015
June 24, 2015