Fingerprints & Background Checks
Fingerprint records and background checks are required by Washington state law for:
- Applicants who do not possess a valid Washington teaching certificate at the time of application. (RCW 28A.410.010)
- New employees of a school district, an educational service district, state school for the deaf, state school for the blind, and their contractors who have regularly unsupervised access to children be fingerprinted for a background record check. (RCW 28A.400.303)
In addition, the law authorizes approved private schools to require their employees with regularly unsupervised access to children be fingerprinted for a background record check. (RCW 28A.195.080)
Individuals working in school district early learning programs who need background checks for the school district and the Department of Early Learning (DEL) may use the results from the DEL background check to satisfy the school district background requirement. Application form and process.
FBI Background Checks
The background record check consists of a check through the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). If you believe the results of your background check from the FBI are not complete or are wrong you have an opportunity to complete or challenge the accuracy of the information as described below.
Send a written challenge request to the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division by writing to the following address:
FBI CJIS Division
Attention: Correspondence Group
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
Your written request to the FBI should clearly identify the information that you feel is inaccurate or incomplete and should include copies of any available proof or documents that support your claim. The correspondence group will contact appropriate agencies to try to verify or correct challenged entries for you. When the FBI receives official communication from the agency with jurisdiction over the matter, the FBI will make appropriate changes and notify you of the outcome. (This process is described in 28 C.F.R. § 16.34)
The results of the WSP and FBI background check are forwarded to OSPI and are entered into an online Educational Data System (EDS). All school districts, educational service districts, private schools, BIA-funded Native American schools, colleges, and universities in Washington state have access to the EDS and are able to view the results of the WSP and FBI background record check.
Criminal history conviction information reported from the WSP and/or FBI of all school district, private schools and educational service district (ESD) employees is returned to the appropriate agency after the criminal history report is processed by our office.
Take a tour through the Fingerprint Records site by clicking through the links to information and resources on the right-hand side of each page.
Forms & Resources
Find forms and resources related to fingerprints and background checks. For example: instruction sheets, background check results form, etc.
Alternatives for Applicants
Washington state law requires/authorizes fingerprint background checks for teacher certification, school employees and contractors, and approved private schools.
Private School Applicants
Washington State law, RCW 28A.195.080, authorizes approved private schools to require their employees with regularly unsupervised access to children be fingerprinted for a background record check through the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about fingerprints and background check processes? Review the FAQs.
Find your local fingerprint office location.