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Fingerprint Requirements

A Note for Educators Who Hold a Current Colorado Credential

In many cases, an educator who consistently maintains an active, CDE-issued educational credential (authorization or license) will only need 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 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.


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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). Student teachers - see the below FAQ section.

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 processes fingerprint submissions for background checks, they provide the results only to the agency/organization that is named on the card pursuant to a particular state statute that authorizes the fingerprint based criminal history check. In our case C.R.S. 22-60.5-103 (the Educator Licensing Act) is the statute requiring all licensed educators to submit fingerprints specifically for CDE. The results are non-transferable between governing state statutes and, therefore, cannot be released by the CBI to an organization that is not specifically listed on the fingerprint card. (For this reason, fingerprints submitted for a school district cannot be released to the Colorado Department of Education to satisfy our requirements).

Once CDE has processed your fingerprint results after receiving them from the CBI and the FBI the status in your eLicensing account will be updated. This process can take up to 6 weeks depending on how you submitted your fingerprint card. To check your status, login to your eLicensing account and then click on the "Alerts" tab. A blank status will indicate that we have not updated your account, please keep checking your account as once we enter them your status automatically is updated. 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.


New Changes to the Fingerprint Process

State statute regarding fingerprints changed and to meet the changes of that statute, CBI has implemented the Colorado Applicant Background Services (CABS) program to increase the number of locations where people can obtain fingerprints and to decrease processing time for background checks.

IDEMIA is pleased to announce their selection as an approved vendor for the Colorado Applicant Background Services (CABS) contract for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). IDEMIA will begin fingerprint services for Colorado on September 24, 2018. IdentoGO Centers provide convenient, professional environments for live scan (electronic) fingerprinting services, which are delivered by trained Enrollment Agents. IdentoGO is the preeminent live scan fingerprinting provider for the state of Colorado and is a certified FBI Channeling Agent. Office locations and hours vary by the day, click one of the options below to schedule an appointment or if out-of-state, mail your fingerprint card to.


Setting up your eLicensing Account

This step is only for individuals that are or want to be licensed in Colorado. Create your one lifetime eLicensing account with CDE. We must have an eLicensing account to process the results of your fingerprints once we receive them. Without your account, your results cannot be processed requiring you to submit another set of fingerprints after you create 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 have already hold an account, please do not create another.


How to submit fingerprints if I am...

Select an option below to get started

Fingerprints for CDE licensure

Getting fingerprinted for licensure* in a public school/charter school

Fingerprinting for CDE pursuant to the Educator Licensing Act whether you or in-state or out-of-state (out-of-state click on the mail your card option). Results come directly to CDE.

Schedule a New Appointment, Change an Existing Appointment or Check your Status.

*Licensure is any license or authorization issued by CDE.

Fingerprints for Private School

Getting fingerprinted for a private school

This is for those private schools that do not require licensure. If your private school requires licensure, click on the public school option to submit your prints. Results come directly to CDE. These results cannot be used for licensing.

Schedule a New Appointment, Change an Existing Appointment or Check your Status.

Fingerprints for Non-Licensed

Getting fingerprinted as a non-licensed employee of 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. These results go directly to your school district and do not come to CDE and cannot be used for licensing.

Schedule a New Appointment, Change an Existing Appointment or Check your Status.

Fingerprints for Charter School

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----. These results go directly to your charter school and do not come to CDE and cannot be used for licensing*.

Schedule a New Appointment, Change an Existing Appointment or Check your Status.

*If your charter school requires licensure, you may need to submit a set of prints here and for the Educator Licensing Act.


Frequently Asked Questions

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

A: No, click here for instructions and then select the best option from the choices shown above. Once you have selected the option from above, click on the link titled "Submit A Fingerprint Card by Mail." Coming soon, you may be able to visit an IdentoGo center in your state to get printed for Colorado. Call 855.845.7434 to inquire.

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 can create an eLicensing account at any time and you should only create one (1) lifetime account using a personal email address. We highly recommend that you do NOT create your account with a .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. If you do not receive a credential from CDE within a year of completing the fingerprint process, you must submit a new set of fingerprints.

Q: As an educator preparation program (traditional or alternative) or a school district placing student teachers or alternative candidates, can I 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 CDE 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, log into your account and click on the "Alerts" tab (view instructions here). If it is blank, we have not received and/or processed your result. 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 wait on both the CBI and the FBI 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 card 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 a older hard-copy print 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, then select the best option from the choices shown above and then click the link titled "Submit A Fingerprint Card by Mail."

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

A: Generally no, you need to click one of the options above to schedule an appointment at an approved fingerprint center. If you get printed outside of an approved fingerprint center, you still need to click one of the options above and select the link titled "Submit A Fingerprint Card by Mail" and then follow the instructions on mailing 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 fingerprint center.

Q: How long are my fingerprint background checks valid?

A: For applicants who do not have a submitted application in process or an active credential, fingerprint background checks will be valid for 1 year after the results are received by CDE. If your fingerprint background check report was received more than 1 year ago (and if you do not hold a valid CDE-issued educator credential), you must submit a new fingerprint card to CBI by selecting an option above.

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 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 process 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. If you send your fingerprints to CDE, for security reasons they will be destroyed.
  2. View an overview of circumstances that may result in Denial, Suspension, Revocation, or Annulment of Licenses.

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