Additional Information About NY State Fingerprinting

The Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will process your fingerprints upon the receipt of your fingerprint cards and fee by the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA). DCJS and the FBI provides the  with a copy of your criminal history background, if any, so that OSPRA can make a determination on your clearance for employment or application for certification. After receipt of the criminal history, the Department then analyzes any information received in accordance with the requirements of the Executive Law and the Corrections Law. The scenarios that may arise are:

No Criminal History:

If you filed your fingerprints for the purpose of obtaining a clearance for employment and you have no criminal history, you are eligible for clearance for employment. A clearance for employment will be issued when a school district, charter school or BOCES (covered school) requests a clearance for your employment. OSPRA will only issue a clearance for employment when a request by a covered school is made. When a clearance to a covered school is issued, you will receive a copy of the clearance. The issued clearance is only good for the school named on the clearance.

If you are seeking a fingerprint clearance to satisfy the certification requirement and you have no criminal history, OSPRA will notify the Education Department's Office of Teaching Initiatives that you have completed the fingerprint requirement for certification.

Criminal History:

If you have a criminal history, the matter is reviewed by OSPRA, pursuant to the provisions in Executive Law Section 296(16) and Correction Law Sections 752 and 753, to determine whether there is any basis for a possible denial of clearance and/or certification. At any time during the process, you may submit in writing to OSPRA any information that may be relevant to the consideration of your application for clearance, including information in regard to good conduct and rehabilitation.

Subsequent Arrests:

If you are arrested subsequent to filing your fingerprints with OSPRA, notice of the arrest will be made to OSPRA by DCJS. You will receive a copy of the notice.  OSPRA is obligated to notify your employing school district, charter school or BOCES of the name of the arresting agency, the date of your arrest and the court of jurisdiction.

Destruction of Fingerprints:

The FBI will destroy your fingerprints once its criminal background check is completed. DCJS will retain your fingerprints following its criminal background check as part of its "Search and Retain" services, until the Education Department requests that the fingerprints be destroyed.

If you were fingerprinted for employment purposes and you subsequently leave that employment and are not reemployed within 12 months at a public school, charter school or BOCES, OSPRA shall request that DCJS destroy your fingerprints. You also have the right to request that your fingerprints be destroyed prior to the end of the twelve-month period.

If you seek employment in a school after your fingerprints are destroyed, you will need to be fingerprinted again. If you were fingerprinted for certification purposes, your fingerprints may not be destroyed for the period of time that your certification is valid.