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Digital Fingerprinting Update

Digital Fingerprinting Process

SBEC and TEA use Department of Public Safety’s FAST Program for collection of fingerprints -  
MorphoTrust USA (formerly L-1 Enrollment Services) is a private vendor contracted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to provide digital fingerprinting services to those individuals that require fingerprinting for state licensing purposes in Texas, such as applicants for educator credentials, or anyone subject to fingerprinting for the purpose of compliance with Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 22, Subchapter C. The Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) program was implemented statewide in Spring 2006. The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) began using the FAST on June 7, 2006.

Beginning October 1, 2003, new applicants for educator credentials were required to submit fingerprints to SBEC so that a national criminal background check could be conducted through DPS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Until June 2006, the vast majority of these fingerprints had been submitted in the form of the conventional inked and rolled method, that were routed to DPS and the FBI through SBEC.  Many problems were associated with this process involving the quality of the prints obtained by this method (a rejection rate for quality of 25%), as well as and cards being lost in the mail. These delays caused numerous problems for all parties involved.

Since the introduction of the digital fingerprinting process through FAST, the fingerprint process has improved, namely resulting in a much shorter amount of time required to complete the fingerprint process. 

A few facts about the digital fingerprint process:
• TEA requires that applicants for a Texas certification must be fingerprinted through the DPS vendor, MorphoTrust USA, unless the applicant currently resides outside Texas, and is unable to utilize a Texas location of MorphoTrust. Individuals subject to fingerprinting for
compliance with TEC Chapter 22, Subchapter C must utilize the digital fingerprinting method through MorphoTrust.

• A fee of $39.50 is required for processing of fingerprints though DPS, FBI and TEA. TEA requires all applicants for certification and all certified educators required to be fingerprinted under TEC Chapter 22, Subchapter C to pay this fingerprinting fee online. Non-certified employees pay this fee at the time of their fingerprinting appointment with MorphoTrust.

• An additional fee of $9.95 is paid to MorphoTrust at the time of appointment. This fee is assessed for scanning of prints.

• A FAST Fingerprint Pass is issued to the applicant/educator by TEA once online payment has been made; a fingerprinting appointment cannot be scheduled without this document in hand. This document, along with a valid photo ID must be presented at the time of appointment.

• Fingerprinting results are received by TEA typically 3-5 days after the appointment.

• Digital fingerprinting through MorphoTrust is offered at over 80 locations currently. For a list of current sites, click

Page last modified on 3/5/2013 01:41:20 PM.