Background Check FAQs

Ohio law requires that all individuals must have a baseline Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and FBI criminal background check at the time they apply for their first Ohio educator license, certificate or permit, and those BCI and FBI background checks must be no older than one year (365 days) at the time they are used for initial licensure.

If an individual then resides continuously in Ohio, he or she does not need to update the BCI background check, but must obtain an updated FBI check once every five years.

If an individual lives outside Ohio at any time during the five years after obtaining a BCI check, then both background checks will need to be updated.

This applies to all individuals holding a state of Ohio educator license, certificate or permit, including a non-tax certificate (no expiration date), a permanent certificate (no expiration date) and an eight-year professional certificate.

It is the responsibility of educators holding ODE licenses, certificates or permits, as well as their employers, to ensure that the law is followed with regard to obtaining required updated background checks within the five year timeframe prescribed by law, even if the expiration of a background check does not always coincide with the expiration of the license.

Process

Validity Period

Cost

Contacts


Process

    Where can I go to complete the BCI and FBI background check requirement?

    It is recommended that you first check with your local school district, then neighboring school districts or your region’s Educational Service Center. If none of these are able to electronically complete both background checks for you, then check with your local law enforcement agencies or use the Ohio Attorney General’s website to  find a convenient location.

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    How do I have the background checks done?

    ODE requests that both background checks (BCI and FBI) be completed electronically through WebCheck so the fingerprints will be sent immediately to BCI.

    PLEASE NOTE: Effective June 1, 2008, everyone in Ohio must use WebCheck unless:

    1. The individual lives 75 miles away from the nearest WebCheck facility; or
    2. The individual has a history of ‘bad quality prints’ that cannot be captured on a WebCheck screen.

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    Where do I send the results of the background check?

    Licensed educators and applicants for ODE licenses, certificates and permits, need to have the results sent to the Ohio Department of Education. Please tell the agency you use to send the results to ODE.

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    How long does it take for ODE to receive my background checks results?

    First, it is critical that the agency you use for the background checks mark the form to send the results to the Ohio Department of Education. Typically, clear WebCheck results are reported within a few days. Results can take longer as BCI processing time varies and/or if a record is found during the course of the criminal background check. If a record is found, it could lengthen the process to several weeks.

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    What happens if there is a delay in ODE’s receipt of the background check results from BCI?

    ODE will hold applications for a maximum of 180 days to allow sufficient time for receipt of background check results.

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    What happens if background check results are received by ODE before I apply for an Ohio license, certificate or permit?

    The background check results will be held at ODE and matched up with the licensure application.

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    Can I send ODE a paper copy of my background check?

    No, ODE cannot accept paper copies of background checks. ODE is required to use the background checks sent and reported electronically by BCI.

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Validity Period

    How often do I need to complete background checks for Ohio educator licensure?

    Ohio law requires that all individuals must have a baseline BCI and FBI criminal background check at the time they apply for their first Ohio educator license, certificate or permit, and those BCI and FBI background checks must be no older than one year (365 days) at the time they are used for initial licensure.

    If an individual then resides continuously in Ohio, he or she does not need to update the BCI background check, but must obtain an updated FBI check once every five years.

    If an individual lives outside Ohio at any time during the five years after obtaining a BCI check, then both background checks will need to be updated.

    This applies to all individuals holding a state of Ohio educator license, certificate or permit, including a non-tax certificate (no expiration date), a permanent certificate (no expiration date) and an 8-year professional certificate.

    It is the responsibility of educators holding ODE licenses, certificates or permits, as well as their employers, to ensure that the law is followed with regard to obtaining required updated background checks within the five year timeframe prescribed by law, even if the expiration of a background check does not always coincide with the expiration of the license.

    It is anticipated that, over time, the expiration of licenses and background checks would align, but in cases where they are not aligned, it is still the educator’s responsibility to meet the five year background check requirement in law, regardless of when the educator’s license is actually due to expire. Educators should not allow required criminal background checks to become expired (beyond five years) just because their license is not yet due for renewal.

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    I had my background checks done recently for another job; can I have those results sent to you?

    If the BCI results are less than one year old, you may have them sent by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to ODE for use in considering your licensure application. Contact BCI at 877-224-0043.

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    Can I use my background check from another state?

    No, due to differences in state statutes regarding the scope of educator criminal background checks, a clear criminal background check from another state would not necessarily be an indicator that a person would pass the Ohio criminal background checks.

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Cost

    How much should I expect to pay for the background checks?

    Cost of the fingerprinting varies, depending on the location or agency providing the service. You may want to first check with your local school district, then neighboring school districts or your region’s Educational Service Center, to see if they can process electronic fingerprints for submission to BCI, and what the cost is.

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    Who is responsible for paying for the background checks?

    Unless a local district has made provisions to pay for the background checks, which is not usually the case, the educator or school employee is responsible for this cost.

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Contacts

    Who can I contact regarding the status of my background checks?

    You can contact BCI at 877-224-0043 or P.O. Box 365, London, OH 43140. You also may check the ODE Educator Profile. You then will be able to see if ODE has a valid background check (BCI and FBI) on file for you. If you cannot find the information you need on Educator Profile, you may call the Office of Educator Licensure at 1-877-644-6338 (toll free) or (614) 466-3593 for assistance.

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    Am I notified if my application is on hold for a background check?
    Yes, if your application is on hold pending receipt of the BCI and/or FBI background checks, you will receive a notification from ODE.

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    What if my fingerprints cannot be taken electronically or by ink?

    You should contact BCI at 877-224-0043 to learn the specifics regarding this and what needs to be done in order to have criminal background checks reported.

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Last Modified: 4/30/2013 4:47:16 PM