Tools for Teachers

Tools for Teachers

Criminal background check updates required for educators who have permanent and non-tax certificates


Educators who hold permanent certificates and permanent non-tax certificates are required by state law to update their FBI criminal background checks every five years through the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). In addition, an updated BCI background check also is required if the certificate holder has lived outside Ohio within the past five years. Because this law was put into place five years ago, educators holding these certificates need to update the background checks when they expire this year, if they have not already done so. Educators may view the dates of their previous background checks through the Educator Profile on the department’s website at

As permitted in law, on July 1, 2014, the Ohio Department of Education will begin inactivating permanent certificates of individuals whose background checks have expired and were not updated. As a result, these educators will not be permitted to work in Ohio schools until they successfully update their background checks. It is the responsibility of permanent certificate holders and their employing school or district to ensure that criminal background checks are kept current and that educators are not working with expired background checks.

The department requests that certificate holders complete their background checks through WebCheck, which allows fingerprints to be sent immediately to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for the fastest possible processing. A list of WebCheck locations is posted on the Ohio Attorney General’s website. When completing this process, be sure the WebCheck operator sends results to the Ohio Department of Education. Questions may be directed to or at (614) 466-3693 or (877) 644-6338 (toll-free).

Permanent certificates, which are no longer issued, were available for qualifying teachers, administrators and pupil personnel years ago before the current educator licensure system was put into place. Educators with licenses from the current system also must update their background checks every five years.