FBI Clearance Information

Questions & Answers for FBI Background Checks
(Fingerprint Services) in the State of Pennsylvania
 
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has changed to a new electronic fingerprinting vendor, IDEMIA,
for Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history background checks.


Why conduct FBI background checks?
Act 114 of 2006, Section 111 of the Public School Code was amended effective April 1, 2007. All student teachers (participating in classroom teaching, internships, clinical or field experience) and prospective employees (including but not limited to administrators, teachers, substitutes, janitors, cafeteria workers, office employees) of public and private schools, Intermediate Units and area vocational-technical schools, including independent contractors and their employees and bus drivers, who have direct contact with children, must provide to their employer a copy of their Pennsylvania State Criminal History Background Check and their Federal Criminal History Record that cannot be more than one (1) year old. This only applies to employees hired on or after April 1, 2007. Employees hired prior to April 1, 2007, are only required to provide the Federal Criminal History record if they have lived outside of the state for at least two years immediately preceding their application for employment.

When does the new law begin?
April 1, 2007. Whom does this new law affect? See above. 

What are the applicant procedures?

Fee: $22.60; All applicants will now receive an unofficial copy of their report. Fee is payable to IDEMIA.

The fingerprint-based background check is a multiple-step process, as follows:

  1. Registration - The applicant must register prior to going to the fingerprint site. Walk in service is allowed but all applicants are required to complete pre-enrollment in the new Universal Enrollment system. Pre-enrollment can be completed online or over the phone. The registration website is available online 24 hours/day, seven days per week at https://uenroll.identogo.com. Telephonic registration is available at 1-844-321-2101 Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm EST. During the pre-enrollment process, all demographic data for the applicant is collected (name, address, etc.) along with notices about identification requirements and other important information.  The "Service Code" is:  1KG6XN.

    When registering on-line, an applicant must use the appropriate agency specific Service Code to ensure they are processed for the correct agency and/or applicant type.  Using the correct service code ensures the background check is submitted for the correct purpose.   Fingerprint requests processed through any other agency or purpose cannot be accepted and are not transferrable.  If an applicant enters the wrong code by mistake, the incorrect applicant type will appear at the top of the screen.  The applicant should select the “Back to Home” button and begin the process again, by reentering the correct Service Code. If the applicant proceeds with the process under the incorrect code, the pre-enrollment and/or results cannot be transferred to another state agency and the applicant will have to start the process over and pay for the background check again. 
     

  2. Payment - The applicant will pay a fee of $22.60 for the fingerprint service and to secure an unofficial copy of the Criminal History Record. Major Credit Cards as well as Money orders or cashier’s checks payable to MorphoTrust will be accepted on site for those applicants who are required to pay individually. No cash transactions or personal checks are allowed. 

    IDEMIA has also established a payment option for fingerprinting services for entities interested in paying the applicant’s fee. This new option provides a payment ‘coupon’ that the entity will provide to each applicant for use. Each coupon is unique and may only be used one time. Account applications must be completed prior to the applicant visiting the fingerprint site. The authorized representative must complete the account application.  To establish a billing account, visit the website https://www.identogo.com/locations/pennsylvania and download an application. 
     

  3. Fingerprint Locations  – After registration, the applicant proceeds to the fingerprint site of their choice for fingerprinting. The location of the fingerprint sites and days and hours of operation for each site are posted on IDEMIA's website at https://uenroll.identogo.com. The location of fingerprint sites may change over time; applicants are encouraged to confirm the site location nearest to their location. PDE encourages entities where access to the fingerprint location is more than 25 miles away to contact IDEMIA and suggest areas where another closer site could be established.
     
  4. Fingerprinting - At the fingerprint site the Enrollment Agents (EA) manages the fingerprint collection process. The fingerprint transaction begins when the EA reviews the applicant’s qualified State or Federal photo ID before processing the applicant’s transaction. Applicants will not be processed if they cannot produce an acceptable photo ID. After the identity of the applicant has been established, all ten fingers are scanned to complete the process. The entire fingerprint capture process should take no more than three to five minutes.
     
  5. Report Access – For the public or private school or higher education institution to access the official report via the electronic system, applicants must present their UEID to the hiring entity (as shown on the receipt provided after fingerprint capture). This process allows an applicant to provide multiple potential employers with their UEID, as the report is linked to the UEID number and not assigned to a specific school. If an applicant has lost their receipt or needs to confirm UEID, the applicant may visit the UEP website (https://uenroll.identogo.com/ ) and simply check status of their file by providing alternate personal information. Applicants will enter their personal information after clicking in the lower portion of that screen to obtain their receipt with the UEID.

    Applicants will receive an unofficial copy of their report.  However, the school is required to review the official CHRI online and print a file copy of the CHRI if the applicant is hired by the school or their contractor, or if the applicant is approved for student teaching.

 
FINGERPRINT PROCESSING AND STORAGE 
The applicant’s scanned fingerprints and registration information will be electronically transmitted by IDEMIA via IDEMIA’s approved channeling process directly to the FBI. The fingerprints are run against the FBI database, and the report is sent directly from the FBI back to IDEMIA. Currently, IDEMIA maintains the reports for five years from the date of the report on a secure server (accessible by authorized representatives). After five years, the reports are destroyed. Neither PDE or the FBI or IDEMIA stores an applicant’s fingerprints. If an applicant is required to obtain a new report, the applicant must be fingerprinted again in order to obtain the report.
 
FINGERPRINT CORRECTIONS AND RESUBMISSIONS
In some cases, a classifiable fingerprint record cannot be obtained.  Immediately upon indication, IDEMIA will take corrective action to notify the applicant of the need to re-print the applicant at no cost to the applicant. This corrective action will be completed at the earliest possible time that is convenient for the applicant. IDEMIA will contact the applicant directly via email should a re-print be necessary. NOTE: Reprinting can be applied to each applicant one time only.
 
If the applicant’s fingerprints are unable to be transmitted electronically by IDEMIA to the FBI a second time, the applicant will be notified that a “name check” process will be instituted. The name check is a manual review of records completed by the FBI, with the results being sent to PDE.  Upon receipt of name check results from the FBI, PDE mails a letter directly to the applicant.  The letter contains the applicant’s name check results and may be presented to schools in lieu of the electronic report. This process takes 4 – 6 weeks; please allow ample time for fingerprinting.