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Fingerprint Information


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  • Notes (including information about circumstances that may lead to denial of an application)


Overview

Prior to submitting an application to the Colorado Department of Education, each applicant must submit a complete set of fingerprints for the purpose of obtaining a fingerprint-based national criminal history check by following the steps below. This requirement needs to be met only one time for CDE as long as you hold a valid credential (unless, under some special circumstance, you are instructed by CDE to complete another set of fingerprints pursuant to state law).

Fingerprints must be submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) via one of the approved fingerprint vendors as outlined below.

If you have received a fingerprint clearance through other agencies, employers, other states or government agencies you are not exempt from this process and must submit fingerprints for CDE licensure purposes.


Fingerprinting Process

As part of the fingerprint background check process, the CBI will forward the submitted fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). You have the right to challenge the information contained in either the CBI or the FBI identification record. View details on challenging your criminal history record. Additionally, you may request a copy of your national criminal history record from the FBI. View details on obtaining your criminal history.

Once the CBI/FBI processes a fingerprint submission for a background check, they will provide those results only to the entity identified as part of that submission (see the "How to Submit Fingerprints if I am ..." section below). If you submit fingerprints for licensure purposes, the background check reports will be sent only to CDE. CDE will then update the status in your eLicensing account. This process can take up to 6 weeks depending on how you submitted your fingerprints. To check your CDE fingerprint/background status, login to your eLicensing account and then select the "Alerts" tab. A blank status indicates that we have not received the results; please keep checking your account, as your status is automatically updated one we receive and enter the results. CDE does not make any other type of notification other than the status shown on the "Alerts" tab within your account. You can view instructions on checking your fingerprint and application status here.

Please note: a background history is not reviewed by CDE's Enforcement Unit unless an application and the appropriate fees are received from the applicant.


Setting up your eLicensing Account

Create your one lifetime eLicensing account with CDE. We must have an eLicensing account before you submit fingerprints to CBI in order for us to process the results of your background checks once we receive them. Without your eLicensing account, your results cannot be processed, requiring you to submit another set of fingerprints after you've created this account. Always use a personal email address that you check often. We highly recommend that you do not use a college or school district email address. You may have only one eLicensing account, so if you already have an eLicensing account, please do not attempt to create another.


Validity of Fingerprints

Fingerprint background results received by CDE remain valid for a period of one (1) year. In many cases, an educator who consistently maintains an active, CDE-issued educational credential (authorization or license) will need only to submit fingerprints with their first application to CDE.

If you have submitted fingerprints for CDE credentialing in the past, but allowed all credentials to lapse* and have held no active credential for a period exceeding one (1) year, you must submit a new set of fingerprints.

CDE reserves the right to evaluate all applications for adherence to the fingerprint requirements and will notify applicants by email should any follow-up be needed.

*This includes any professional license holder that has voluntarily placed that license on inactive status for more than 1 year.


How to submit fingerprints if I am...

  • Getting fingerprinted for any application for CDE

    • Fingerprinting for CDE is for any license or authorization (including substitute authorizations) issued by CDE pursuant to the Educator Licensing Act, 22-60.5-103 C.R.S. This includes in-state or out-of-state applicants (out-of-state applicants, please see the FAQs below for more information). These criminal history background reports come directly to CDE.
      • To get started, visit CBI's website by clicking here, scroll down the list to "Education - Colorado Department of Education" and then, under the section titled "Educator Licensing Act," choose the approved fingerprinting vendor you wish to use. Some vendors offer fingerprinting services nationwide.
  • Getting fingerprinted for a private school

    • This is for those private schools that do not require licensure but where the governing board of the nonpublic school requires a fingerprint background check pursuant to 22-1-121 C.R.S. (If your private school requires licensure, follow the steps above.) Fingerprint results come directly to CDE. These results of fingerprints submitted under this statute cannot be used for licensing purposes.
      • To get started, visit CBI's website by clicking here, scroll down the list to "Private School - Regulated" and choose the approved fingerprinting vendor you wish to use. Some vendors offer fingerprinting services nationwide.
  • Getting fingerprinted as a non-licensed employee of a public school district (bus driver, custodian, office staff, etc.)

    • If you are employed in a public school district in a position that does not require a CDE license, fingerprints shall be submitted pursuant to 22-32-109.8 C.R.S. for your employing school district. Before beginning, you must obtain your school district's CBI account number which begins with CONCJ----. This CONCJ number can be obtained from your school district's human resources department. Fingerprint results will go directly to your school district -- not to CDE -- and cannot be used for licensing purposes.
      • To get started, visit CBI's website by clicking here, scroll down the list to "Education - School District Employment" and choose the approved fingerprinting vendor you wish to use under the category that your district instructed. Some districts will require this in addition to any requirements needed for CDE, meaning you may need to be printed for both your district and for CDE.
  • Getting fingerprinted for a charter school

    • If you are employed in a charter school, fingerprints shall be submitted pursuant to 22-30.5-110.7 C.R.S. for your employing charter school. Before beginning, you must obtain your charter school's CBI account number which begins with CONCJ----. Fingerprint results will go directly to your charter school -- not to CDE -- and cannot be used for licensing purposes. Some charter schools will require this in addition to any requirements needed for CDE, meaning you will get printed for your charter school and for CDE.
      • To get started, visit CBI's website by clicking here, scroll down the list to "Charter School Applicants" and choose the approved fingerprinting vendor you wish to use.
  • Getting fingerprinted as a student teacher

    • At this time, CDE is not accepting any fingerprints for this new statute as the process is still under development. This will be available in spring 2019. Any fingerprints submitted before CDE has implemented the process may result in you submitting new prints after the process rolls out. For now, see the FAQ below in regards to the VECHS program.
      • To get started under the VECHS program, visit CBI's website by clicking here ,scroll down the list to "VECHS - Volunteer and Employee Criminal History Service" and choose the approved fingerprinting vendor you wish to use under the category that either your educator preparation program or district instructed. Note: Before you can submit fingerprints for this program, your educator preparation provider or the school district placing you must first have set up their account with CBI. Check with them before submitting fingerprints for this program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I live outside of Colorado, do I have to come to Colorado to be fingerprinted?

A: No, if you have selected IdentoGo as the vendor you wish to use, click here for instructions and then select the best option from the choices shown above. Once you have selected the option from above and have selected IdentoGO, select the link titled "Submit A Fingerprint Card by Mail." Many IdentoGo locations outside Colorado may be able to assist you for Colorado. Visit their website by selecting one of the choices above and complete the form to verify, or you may call them at 855.845.7434 to inquire.

Q: How do I get a "service code?"

A: Service codes are unique numbers assigned by the CBI for each statute requiring a fingerprint criminal history check, and each CBI approved fingerprinting vendor has its own service code for each of those statutes. CDE does not maintain a list of the service codes. Visit CBI's website by clicking here, scroll down the list to select why you are being printed, choose one of the approved vendors, and the service code will be automatically assigned. If not, visit the vendor's website for a list of its assigned service codes.

Q: What do I do if I am a student teacher?

A: If you are currently in a teacher preparation program but you don't yet qualify for licensure, then you cannot be fingerprinted for CDE licensure purposes. View more information regarding fingerprinting if you are or want to become a student teacher. You must create an eLicensing account as described above before submitting fingerprints to CBI using a personal email address. Do NOT create your account with an .edu or other school email address as those addresses will change. Please remember that you cannot apply for an initial license until you are fully qualified and have completed your educator preparation program in full. New changes regarding student teachers will be in effect in the Spring of 2019.

Q: As an educator preparation program (traditional or alternative) or a school district placing student teachers or alternative candidates, can we receive fingerprint results on a student teacher?

A: Yes, view information regarding the V.E.C.H.S. program.

Q: Will I be notified by when the results of my fingerprints have been processed by CDE?

A: While we will update your eLicensing account with this information, we will not contact you unless your fingerprints were rejected by the FBI (see the next question). To view your status in eLicensing, login to your eLicensing account and select the "Alerts" tab (view instructions here). If it is blank, we have not received and/or processed your results. Please check back often, as that lookup is in real time. Please do not call our offices asking about a fingerprint status as we update your account as soon as we receive results. Keep in mind that we must received both the CBI and the FBI reports before we post a status.

View "Alert" information

Q: What happens if my fingerprints are rejected by the CBI or the FBI?

A: If your fingerprint submission is rejected by the CBI, they will notify you. If your fingerprint card is rejected by the FBI, CDE will notify you via the email address you have associated to your eLicensing account. In either case, you will need to follow any instruction(s) that accompanies your notification. A rejection is generally related to the quality of the prints and has nothing to do with a criminal history that you do or do not have. If you were printed at an IdentoGO location and the prints were rejected, they will reprint you free of charge.

Q: Can I still mail in an older hard-copy fingerprint card?

A: Yes, but not directly to CDE or CBI. You must mail your card to a CBI approved vendor card conversion center. Click here for instructions to mail your card to IdentoGO. Select the best option from the choices detailed above and then select the "Submit A Fingerprint Card by Mail" link. For more information on how to obtain a hard-copy fingerprint card, view additional FAQs.

Q: Can I get fingerprinted at my local police or Sheriff's Office?

A: Generally no, you will need to select one of the options above to schedule an appointment at an approved fingerprinting center. If you get printed outside an approved fingerprinting center, you still will need to select one of the options above and the "Submit A Fingerprint Card by Mail" link (IdentoGo only) and then follow the instructions on how to mail your card to a card conversion center. This option will cost you more, as you may have to pay the local law enforcement agency for the fingerprinting and then pay the card conversion fee. This card conversion fee is the same cost as scheduling an appointment with an approved fingerprinting vendor, but with dramatically extended processing times. For the fastest turn-around time, we highly recommend having your prints taken at a fingerprinting center. For more information on mailing fingerprint cards, contact the CBI at 303.239.4208.

View additional FAQs


Processing Time

If your prints were submitted at one of the CBI-approved vendors by clicking one of the options above, processing time can take anywhere from a few hours up to 2 weeks (in rare cases). If you mailed a hard-copy print card to one of the CBI-approved card conversion centers, the processing time can take up to 6 weeks.


Notes

  1. Do NOT mail fingerprint submissions to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) or the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). You must choose from one of the options above to submit a fingerprint card. Fingerprint cards received by CDE are destroyed for security reasons.
  2. View an overview of circumstances that may result in Denial, Suspension, Revocation, or Annulment of Licenses.

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