Effective 10.01.14 - The FBI has changed the codes used to identify CDE as the recipient for fingerprint results. The new OCA to be used on fingerprints taken for CDE is CO920133Z. Due to this change, if you are in possession of any pre-printed fingerprint cards with a different OCA number and our old address; those should be destroyed as they are obsolete. Click to view a sample of an obsolete card. CDE no longer provides any fingerprint cards. Fingerprint cards can be purchased at Colorado Correctional Industries (CCI) or Amazon.com.
A Note for Currently Licensed Educators
Colorado educators who are currently licensed have completed the required submission of fingerprints. In some cases, an educator who held a license prior to 2004 will not have fingerprints on file. Under current law these educators will be required to complete the fingerprint requirement when submitting an application.
Prior to using the eLicensure system to submit an application to the Colorado Department of Education, each applicant must submit to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) a complete set of fingerprints, taken by a qualified law enforcement agency, for the purpose of obtaining a fingerprint-based criminal history check. This requirement needs to be met only one time for CDE (unless, under some special circumstance, you are instructed by CDE to complete another set of fingerprints pursuant to state law).
Once the CBI processes fingerprint submissions for background checks, they will provide the results only to the agency/organization named in the "Employer and Address" field on the fingerprint card. The results are non-transferable and, therefore, cannot be released by 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 your fingerprint requirements have been met, you will see a "Fingerprints - Met" status on your eLicensing account. This status means only that you have met the fingerprint requirements, it does not mean that CDE has cleared your background check. CDE makes no other notifications regarding your fingerprint status.
Note: As part of the background check process, CBI will also 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I was printed by my university, does that satisfy this requirement?
A: Only if your university specifically submitted your fingerprints for CDE. Some universities require your fingerprints to be taken for them, and not specifically for CDE.
Q: My fingerprints are on file in another state, will those satisfy this requirement?
A: No, you must be fingerprinted specifically for CDE.
Q: What if I know I was fingerprinted for CDE, but my online status says that "I must submit"?
A: This can occur if your record with us is on our old system and you have a new eLicensing account. As long as you know that you were fingerprinted specifically for CDE, we will sync that information up when we process your application in eLicensing. This also could be due to a fingerprint audit where fingerprint results may be insufficient for the records we have, if this is the case you will be notified by CDE.
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 via U.S. Mail by returning your fingerprint card and fee. 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.
Fingerprints must be taken by a qualified law enforcement agency (police or sheriff's office). CDE will accept fingerprints taken by a fingerprinting service in another state if the fingerprint service provider has been approved by that State's Department of Justice/Bureau of Investigation. You may wish to call ahead to confirm that a particular law enforcement agency offers applicant fingerprinting and if they charge a fee for that service. Note that if they are submitting via a Livescan machine, CBI will accept them only if that law enforcement agency has an applicant fee account with CBI. If they do not, ask the agency to print the card from the Livescan machine for you to mail to CBI.
- 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. You can only have one eLicensing account, so if you have already hold an account, please do not create another.
- Obtain an Applicant Fingerprint Card #FD-258. Most law enforcement agencies will provide this card as a part of their service. If they do not, you may purchase a fingerprint card from Colorado Correctional Industries (CCI) or Amazon.com. (Neither CDE nor CBI provide fingerprint cards.)
- Complete the top portion of the fingerprint card in black or blue ink. All fields below (aliases, when applicable) are required to be completed. Missing or incorrect information entered on the fingerprint card will cause a delay in the background check. Take the fingerprint card to your local law enforcement agency to be fingerprinted on this card. Note, some law enforcement agencies will want to complete the top portion of the fingerprint card themselves, always check with them first.
- Mail the completed fingerprint card along with the required fingerprint processing fee of $39.50 payable to the CBI to:
Colorado Bureau of Investigation
690 Kipling St., Suite 3000
Lakewood, CO 80215
This fee covers the search of the CBI and FBI records. CBI does not accept personal checks. Accepted forms of payment are: Money Order/Certified Check payable to CBI, or credit card authorization. View the CBI credit card authorization form. This fee is in addition to any fee(s) that a law enforcement agency may charge to do the fingerprinting and any application fees.
Once your fingerprint card has been received by the CBI, the processing time is approximately 4–6 weeks and another 1-2 weeks once we receive those results.
- Do NOT send fingerprint submissions to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). If you send your fingerprints to CDE, for security reasons they will be destroyed. You will then need to complete the process again, submitting your cards along with the required fee to CBI.
- View a printable version of the information contained on this page . You can take the print-out with you when you are fingerprinted to assist the law enforcement agency in completing your fingerprint card correctly.