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Fingerprint Submission Requirement

Prior to the submission of an application to the Colorado Department of Education each applicant shall submit to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation 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 only needs to be met one time for CDE*.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is responsible for receiving and processing fingerprint submissions for background checks. Once processed, 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 (e.g., results for fingerprints submitted for a school district cannot be released to the Colorado Department of Education).

Once your fingerprints have been met, you will see a "Fingerprints - Met" status on your eLicensing account. This status only means that you have met the fingerprint requirements, it does not mean that CDE has cleared your background check.

Note: As part of the background check process, the submitted fingerprints will also be forwarded by the CBI to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). If an applicant wishes to challenge the information contained in either the CBI or the FBI identification record, he or she has the right to do so. Additionally, applicants may request a copy of their national criminal history record from the FBI. For more details on obtaining your criminal history, click here. For details on challenging your criminal history record, click here.

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.


  1. Fingerprints must be taken by a qualified law enforcement agency (police or sherrif's office) throughout the United States. 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, if they are submitting via a Livescan machine, CBI will accept them 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.
  2. Obtain a standard 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 the following websites (CDE does not provide fingerprint cards):                                    
  3. Complete the top portion of the fingerprint card in black or blue ink. All fields below (except aliases*) are required to be completed, missing or incorrect information entered on the fingerprint card will cause a delay in the background check. Some pre-printed fingerprint cards may have  our old address on Colfax Avenue listed on the card, these cards are still accepted and do not need to be updated with our new address. Blank cards, should use our new address as shown below. *Aliases field required anytime you've had a legal name change.
  4. Once the fingerprint card has been completed, mail the completed card along with the required fingerprint processing fee of $39.50 (NO personal checks - Accepted forms of payment are: Money Order/Certified Check payable to CBI, or credit card authorization-click here for authorization form) to: 


DO NOT mail fingerprint card submissions to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). Fingerprint cards must be sent directly to the CBI for processing along with the fingerprint fee to the above address. If you do, your fingerprints will not be processed and will not be returned to you. For security purposes, correspondence sent to CDE will be destroyed. You will then need to complete the process again, submitting your fingerprint card along with the required fee to CBI.

Once your fingerprint card has been received by the CBI, their processing time is approximately 4-6 weeks. To check your fingerprint status, login to your eLicense account and click on the "Credential Details/Application Status" link on the left hand side. Then click on the Alerts tab. If this field is blank, we have not processed your fingerprint results. It can take 2-3 weeks to process your fingerprints in our system once we have recieved the results from CBI.


Questions? - Click here.


 *Unless you are instructed to complete another set of fingerprints pursuant to state law as required by CDE.

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Professional Services & Educator Licensure
6000 E Evans Ave
Building #2, Suite 100
Denver, CO 80222
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Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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