Fingerprint Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do New York State agencies capture fingerprints for civil purposes (i.e. employment, licensing, pistol permits, etc.)
A: New York State agencies use one vendor for capturing fingerprints for civil purposes (i.e. employment, licensing, pistol permits, etc.). The name of the vendor is MorphoTrust/IDEMIA and additional information can be obtained at:
- Where are the MorphoTrust/IDEMIA (IdentoGo) locations in New York State?
A: A list of currently available locations can be found at MorphoTrust Services. Type New York or enter a zip code and then click “GO” to view the listing.
How do I schedule a fingerprinting appointment?
A: There are two ways to schedule an appointment. To make a selection go to Fingerprinting Start to Finish
- MorphoTrust/IDEMIA requires me to provide a “Service Code” to schedule an appointment. What is a Service Code and what is it used for?
A: Use the service code from the table below that most closely reflects the reason why you are currently scheduling a fingerprinting appointment.
Reading Teacher, Reading, Permanent Certificate; Students With Disabilities (Grades 1-6), SWD – Birth to Grade 6, Professional Certificate, etc.
Custodian, Clerk, Cafeteria Worker, Grounds Keeper, etc.
- What kind of identification must I provide to MorphoTrust/IDEMIA at the time of fingerprinting?
A: You must bring one of the valid/unexpired identification documents from the list below to your enrollment appointment.
- Driver’s license issued by a U.S. state or by a Territory of the United States provided that such license contains a photograph and information including the name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address;
- ID card issued by a federal, state, or local government agency or by a Territory of the United States provided that such ID card contains a photograph and information including the name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address
- Commercial Driver’s License issued by a State or outlying possession of the U.S.
- Foreign Driver’s License; (Mexico and Canada only)
- Department of Defense Common Access Card; or
- Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph (Form I-766);
- Foreign passport;
- Military Dependent’s Identification Card;
- Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551);
- U.S Coastguard Merchant Mariner Card;
- U.S. Military Identification Card;
- U.S. Passport;
- U.S. Tribal or Bureau of Indian Affairs Identification Card (Enhanced Tribal Card Only)
- U.S. Visa issued by the U.S. Department of Consular Affairs for travel to or within, or residence within, the United States (Examples: Temporary Worker Visa (B1/B2/H1B/H2B/L1/TN1), Permanent Employment Visa (EB 1-5), Visitor Visa (B2), Cultural Exchange Visa (J1), or Temporary Non-Immigrant Religious Worker Visa (R1);
- Uniformed Services Identification Card (Form DD-1172-2);
- Waiver Form for Applicants age 17 and Under
- What if my minor child does not have an acceptable state-issued photo identification card or other Primary Identity Document specified by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services and needs to be fingerprinted?
A: There is a Waiver Form for Applicants age 17 and Under that must be printed, filled out and brought to the fingerprinting site location. Do not sign the form prior to arriving at your appointment, the form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian at the "time of fingerprinting", at the fingerprinting site location.
- What name should I use when I get fingerprinted (nickname, abbreviated name, married name, etc.)?
A: Your identification documents must match the name that you use when you log into www.identogo.com to create your fingerprint application.
- What if I got married and/or moved after I created my TEACH account? Will my fingerprint results get matched to my TEACH account if my name or address has changed?
A: For fingerprinting and certification reasons it is important that you update your TEACH account with any changes and it is best done prior to being fingerprinted. However, every attempt will be made to match your fingerprint results to your TEACH account using several different pieces of identifying information, such as, your social security number and your date of birth. If the information provided to MorphoTrust/IDEMIA to verify your identity reflects a different name and/or address, and we can match you to an existing TEACH profile using this information, we will update TEACH with the latest information.
- What method of payment can I use for my fingerprint application fee?
A: The only method of payment that can be accepted when scheduling an appointment online is a coupon or voucher code, from an employer/facility NCAC account. At the time of the fingerprinting session the applicant can use a credit card, NCAC account coupon or voucher code or check. Make checks payable to “IDEMIA”.
- What is the total fee for fingerprinting?
A: The total fingerprinting fee, subject to change, is $102.00.
- Is there a charge for applicants who fail to show up for their appointment?
A: No. Charges are only assessed upon completion of the enrollment process.
- My fingerprints were rejected, do I have to pay another fee when I get re-fingerprinted?
A: No. If fingerprints are rejected due to poor quality prints and a reprint appointment is necessary, there is no additional charge, provided that the reprints are submitted in a timely manner. It is important that you advise MorphoTrust/IDEMIA that you are getting re-fingerprinted because your fingerprints were rejected (rather than an initial set of fingerprints which requires payment of a fee).
- Is a photograph a requirement of the applicant fingerprinting process?
A: Yes. MorphoTrust/IDEMIA takes a photograph at the time the fingerprints are scanned.
- Am I required to have my fingerprints electronically scanned?
A: Yes. Electronically scanned fingerprints captured at a MorphoTrust/IDEMIA IdentoGO location in New York State are required for all applicants for certification and employment.
- What if I need to be fingerprinted for my New York State educator certificate application (e.g., teacher, administrator, school counselor) but I do not reside in New York State and live elsewhere within the United States?
A: You should make every effort to make an appointment at an IdentoGo location in New York State. Most locations that process fingerprints for NYSED are within New York State, although there are many IdentoGo locations not in New York but within the United States that process fingerprints for NYSED. Please visit our Fingerprint Process page for further information about scheduling an appointment with IdentoGo at a location closest to you. Please note that fingerprinting locations within the United States, but outside of New York State, may charge an additional fee.
If you cannot be fingerprinted at an appropriate IdentoGo location, you can contact OSPRA at OSPRA@nysed.gov for instructions on how you may satisfy the fingerprinting requirement for purposes of certification only. Please email OSPRA after all other requirements for your certificate application have been submitted, evaluated, and marked “met” in TEACH. Fingerprinting will be the final step in your application process.
- How will I know if my fingerprints are rejected?
A: MorphoTrust/IDEMIA will contact applicants whose fingerprints are rejected using the telephone contact information provided during the fingerprint application process. If they are unsuccessful after three attempts, then MorphoTrust/IDEMIA will attempt to notify the applicant of the rejection by sending a letter to the applicant at the address provided. When an applicant receives notice that their fingerprints have been rejected, it is imperative that they follow up with MorphoTrust/IDEMIA to be reprinted in a timely manner. Failure to do so may result in an inability to complete the existing application and the requirement that the applicant start the process over and pay a new fee.
- How does the New York State Education Department (NYSED) find out that I have been fingerprinted?
A: Information provided to MorphoTrust/IDEMIA during the fingerprint application process is electronically transmitted to the TEACH system maintained by NYSED.
- How can I find out information about my fingerprints?
A: Applicants that have an account in TEACH (i.e., teacher certification applicants or holders) and school employment applicants who have created an account in TEACH can view information about the status of their fingerprint application in TEACH.
- Will I get notified of my fingerprint status?
A: No written notifications are made. If you are seeking clearance for employment in a school district, charter school or BOCES, the covered school can view the status in TEACH. If you are seeking clearance for certification, the Office of Teaching Initiatives can view the status in TEACH.
I am an international applicant for certification and do not have a United States Social Security Number (SSN). A valid SSN is required to create a TEACH account. What should I do?
A: For international applicants for certification who do not have an SSN and are trying to create a TEACH account, please see the Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI) webpage on the Evaluation of Foreign Credentials at: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/evalforeigncred.html. Steps for individuals who apply for a certificate and pay the fee on or after March, 1, 2019 are listed here: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/evalforeigncred-after.html. Per OTI’s instructions, if you do not have an SSN, you can send an email to email@example.com with “TEACH Access Number” in the subject line to request a nine-digit identifier to use in the creation of your account. The email must include a PDF-formatted copy of either a valid passport or a valid visa. NOTE: after you have emailed firstname.lastname@example.org and created your TEACH account, and before you make a fingerprinting appointment, please contact OSPRA by email at OSPRA@nysed.gov for further instructions on how to proceed.
I am an international applicant for certification and do not have a United States Social Security Number (SSN). A valid SSN is required at the time of fingerprinting. What should I do?
A: For international applicants for certification, please reach out to OSPRA by email at OSPRA@nysed.gov before scheduling an appointment for fingerprinting for further instructions on how to proceed.
I am a Canadian citizen and do not have a United States Social Security Number (SSN). Can I use my Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN) at the time I get fingerprinted for certification?
A: No. The use of Canadian SINs are NOT allowed when getting fingerprinted for certification. Please reach out to OSPRA by email at OSPRA@nysed.gov before scheduling an appointment for fingerprinting for further instructions on how to proceed.
I am an international applicant for certification. Can I get fingerprinted at an IdentoGo site outside of the United States?
A: No. New York State does not allow for the transmission of fingerprints to New York State from foreign countries.
- What types of individuals are exempt from the fingerprinting requirement?
A: Volunteers and employees who have no direct contact with students, are examples of individuals who may be exempt. An exemption may also apply to performing artists and guest lecturers who will be in a covered school five days or less. Please refer to Part 87 of the Commissioner's Regulations for the definition of prospective school employees. [Please note that you will be exiting the NYSED website. Make the following menu selections to navigate to appropriate regulation: VIEW THE UNOFFICIAL NYCRR ONLINE HERE/Title 8 Education Department/Chapter II Regulations of the Commissioner/Subchapter C. Teachers/Part 87 Criminal History Record Check for Prospective School Employees and Applicants for Certification.]
- Do schools still use TEACH to request clearances, view status messages and enter hire/termination dates?
A: Yes. Schools will still request clearance for employment and view information concerning an applicant’s status (i.e. full clearance, conditional clearance, denial, fingerprint images rejected, new prints needed, etc.), and enter hire/termination dates through the TEACH system.
A: Yes. School employers will be able to view messages in TEACH that provide status information relative to the progress of a fingerprint application.
- Can schools or contract service providers pay for fingerprinting on behalf of their employees?
A: Yes. If a school or contract service provider elects to pay for fingerprinting services, they have several payment options:
- credit card (only onsite at the time of fingerprinting, card holder must be present);
- money order or business check (make checks payable to “IDEMIA”); or
- coupon or voucher code (online and onsite) backed by a NCAC account established with MorphoTrust/IDEMIA.
MorphoTrust Partnership Application
- How long does it take to get a clearance?
A: Generally, with no criminal history there will be an automatic clearance within 24 hours from the time OSPRA receives your fingerprint response until the covered school and/or the Office of Teaching Initiatives can view the status in TEACH. If you have a criminal history or your fingerprints are rejected then resolution of your fingerprint clearance will take longer.
- Who gets notified of the fingerprint clearance?
A: No written notifications are made. For employment purposes, the covered school can view the status in TEACH. If you are seeking clearance for certification, the Office of Teaching Initiatives can view the status in TEACH.
- Will conditional clearances for employment and emergency conditional appointments still be available when necessary?
A: Yes. Nothing in the new fingerprint process impacts the clearance process.
8. What is a conditional clearance for employment?
A: A conditional clearance for employment is issued by NYSED when the state process (DCJS criminal history record review) is complete but the federal process is not. It is almost always due to poor fingerprint quality which resulted in a rejection of the fingerprints by the FBI. Once NYSED issues a conditional clearance, the actual conditional appointment is at the discretion of the covered school. The prospective employee must sign a statement indicating any criminal history arrest or conviction in any jurisdiction outside of New York State. Conditional clearances for employment issued by NYSED are time limited. They are good for 45 days with the option for one additional 45 day extension.
- What is an emergency conditional appointment?
A: Covered schools that have adopted a mandatory safety policy and that are unable to wait for a clearance from NYSED due to an unforeseen vacancy (occurring less than 10 days before the start of any school session; when no other qualified individual is available; and when it is necessary to maintain services which the district is legally required to provide to protect the health, education or safety of students or staff) may make an emergency conditional appointment for a prospective employee. Emergency conditional appointments may be made only in certain limited circumstances and have a 20-day duration. The prospective employee must send his or her fingerprints to the NYSED for processing and must provide the prospective employer a signed statement indicating whether, to the best of his or her knowledge, he or she has a pending criminal charge or a criminal conviction in any jurisdiction outside of New York State.
- What are the available options for schools, BOCES, colleges and other entities that wish to have a greater involvement in the fingerprinting process?
A: There are two available options that MorphoTrust will consider.
- Partnership: The MorphoTrust/IDEMIA IdentoGO Partner Program allows for entities with a vested interest in the enrollment and background check process to become a part of the statewide civil fingerprinting network. Ideal partners are security-minded, customer-focused, and entrepreneurial. They care about the safety of their communities, their country, and its citizens. Ideal partners maintain Service Centers that are safe and easy to locate, ADA compliant, and where a minimum of 200 square feet of office space can be devoted to the IdentoGO business, with the ability to expand and maintain staffing levels as applicant volume and service offerings increase. Their Service Centers offer flexible hours of operation, ample off-street parking, and accept all applicant types. Partner prospects will also be required to submit all potential Enrollment Agents for vetting. This process includes, but is not limited to, a citizenship audit, fingerprint based background check, credit check and drug screening. For more information on IdentoGo partnerships visit www.identogo.com and select “Partners.”
- Host Site: A host site is one in which MorphoTrust/IDEMIA IdentoGO staff will utilize an entity’s location to conduct statewide fingerprinting services. This is often considered by some agencies as it allows for a convenient location to have their own staff processed. However, the host site remains open to all applicants utilizing the statewide vendor managed network.
- If selected as a partner, can we offer fingerprinting services only during the school year (i.e. suspend fingerprint processing during holidays and summer vacation)?
A: The NYS Vendor-Managed Civil Fingerprint Capture contract requires that every applicant be provided with a fingerprint appointment within 7 calendar days of request. As such, all partner prospects will be required to print applicants 52 weeks per year.
- What if a fingerprint background check reveals a criminal conviction?
A: If a background check reveals a criminal conviction, an analysis must be conducted by NYSED in accordance with the standards set forth in the Executive Law § 296(16) and the Corrections Law §§ 752 and 753 to determine whether a clearance should be issued. If it is determined that there may be an impediment to issuing a full clearance, you have certain due process rights depending on whether you are an applicant for certification, or an applicant for employment (either for a certified position or non-certified position.)
- What are my due process rights if I am requesting clearance for employment and my fingerprint background check reveals a criminal conviction?
A: You have due process rights as outlined in Part 87.5 of the Commissioner's Regulations. For a description of those rights, please see the section on due process procedures. [Please note that you will be exiting the NYSED website. Make the following menu selections to navigate to the appropriate regulation: New York State Codes, Rules and Regulations/Title 8/Chapter II Regulations of the Commissioner/Subchapter C. Teachers/Part 87 Criminal History Record Check for Prospective School Employees and Applicants for Certification 87.5 Due Process Procedures.]
- What if I am an applicant for certification or currently hold a certification to teach and my fingerprint background check reveals a criminal conviction?
A: You have due process rights as outlined in Part 83 of the Commissioner's Regulations. For a description of those rights, please see the section on Part 83 Determination of Good Moral Character. [Please note that you will be exiting the NYSED website. Make the following menu selections to navigate to the appropriate regulation: New York State Codes, Rules and Regulations/Title 8/Chapter II Regulations of the Commissioner/Subchapter C. Teachers/Part 83 Determination of Good Moral Character.]
- What if I have previously been fingerprinted by NYSED for employment in a school district, charter school or BOCES?
A: If you were fingerprinted after July 1, 2001 and you submitted your fingerprints to NYSED pursuant to the SAVE Legislation, then you do not need to be fingerprinted again for subsequent employment in a covered school (irrespective of whether you ever worked there) or for subsequent applications for certification.
- What if I was fingerprinted for another type of employment, such as a daycare worker, a security guard, a police officer?
A: If you were fingerprinted for another type of employment, such as a daycare worker, a security guard, a police officer, etc., you need to be fingerprinted again.
- Where do I get additional information on the fingerprinting process?
A: You may contact the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA) office directly via regular mail, email, fax or by telephoning OSPRA during the telephone hours. Please note that any communication with OSPRA subsequent to the submission of your fingerprints MUST include your social security number.
- If an individual seeks school employment (includes public school, private school, Charter School and BOCES) in either a certified position or a non-certified position and has received fingerprint clearance from NYSED, does that guarantee that the individual is free of any criminal conviction(s)?
A: No, a prospective employer should be aware that an individual can be cleared for employment even with a criminal conviction(s) history. If the NYSED criminal history record check (DCJS/FBI) reveals that an applicant for employment has a criminal conviction then an analysis must be conducted by NYSED in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Law §296(16) and the Correction Law §752 and §753 to determine whether a clearance should be issued.
- If an individual seeks school employment (includes public school, private school, Charter School and BOCES) in either a certified position or a non-certified position but has had action taken against his/her teaching certificate in New York State or in another state (e.g. annulment, revocation, suspension, denial, or surrender), can the prospective employer obtain information relevant to such action?
A: Yes. A prospective employer can supplement the NYSED criminal history fingerprint clearance process by considering all publicly available information when screening individuals for employment. Many adverse actions against an educator’s certification do not result in a criminal conviction, therefore, a standard fingerprint background check may not reveal administrative action taken against an educator's certification. For example, it is feasible that an educator who had adverse moral character action taken against his/her New York State certification or another state certification, could apply for a non-certified position in a public school, private school, Charter School or BOCES. Such publicly available information may be obtained from the following sources:
- ’NASDTEC Educator Identification Clearinghouse’ is a national searchable database that provides information regarding individuals who have had his/her educator’s certification annulled, revoked, suspended, denied, or surrendered (*read-access-only membership now available to school districts and Local Education Agencys (LEA) for a subscription fee).
- NASDTEC Homepage
- Become an Associate Member of NASDTEC *
- NASDTEC Frequently Asked Questions
- Clearinghouse Access Searches for Schools & Districts
- Teacher Certification Lookup is a search tool that provides information, to any interested party, regarding individuals who have had Part 83 ‘moral character’ action taken against his/her New York State educator’s certification or application for certification. [8 NYCRR Part 83 and/or 8 NYCRR Part 80]
- Any public search engine: Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc