To help assist you with questions you may have using the system, please read the following Frequently Asked Questions before contacting our support center.
Who will be required to undergo a national criminal history background check?
Since Oct. 1, 2003, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) has required applicants for an initial credential, including a standard certificate, probationary certificate, educational aides, one-year certificate, temporary teaching certificate or permit to undergo a national criminal background check by submitting fingerprints for review.
How will the national check be run?
A national criminal history background check can only be run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI can only conduct a national criminal history background check by comparing the applicant’s fingerprints to a data base containing the fingerprints and corresponding criminal history information for more than 47 million subjects.
Where does an applicant go to get fingerprinted?
Option 1 is required for all initial applicants for a standard certificate, probationary certificate, educational aide certificate, or temporary teacher certificate. It is also required for the issuance of an emergency permit. Option 1 is the electronic submission process using the Texas Department of Public Safety’s approved vendor. This method provides for the electronic capture and submission of your fingerprints and is the fastest and highest quality option available (rejection rate for quality is 2%). The turnaround time for SBEC to receive a copy of your completed criminal history background from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigations averages 3-5 business days. The requirements for this option include acknowledged receipt from SBEC of payment of the criminal background check fee and a working, individual email account. The criminal background check fee is $39.50(non-refundable).Only Texas L-1 Enrollment Services locations may be utilized with this option. For a list of current fingerprint sites go to Texas L-1 Enrollment Services fingerprinting sites (outside source).
Option 2 may be utilized by Out-of-State and Out-of-Country applicants only who do not have access to printing via the electronic submission of fingerprints by L-1 Enrollment Services locations in Texas. Option 2 is the ink fingerprint process using cards provided by SBEC. This is the standard collection of fingerprints by inking and rolling. This is a more time consuming process with often inferior results (rejection rate for quality is approximately 25%). The turnaround time for SBEC to receive a copy of your completed criminal history background from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigations using this method varies widely ranging from a matter of days to weeks. The requirements for this option include acknowledged receipt from SBEC of paid criminal background check fee. The criminal background check fee is $39.50(non-refundable). Note: An employing school district may request that you be fingerprinted again using the electronic method if they so choose. An additional fee will be required in this instance to the electronic fingerprint provider.
What is the cost to have the fingerprints taken?
If your prints are submitted electronically through L-1 Enrollment Services, the cost for taking the fingerprints is $9.95 and must be paid to L-1 Enrollment Services at the time of your fingerprint appointment.
If your prints are submitted via ink rolled cards the cost varies from agency to agency. As a result, it is difficult for SBEC to state definitely how much this service may cost.
Are there additional costs for the national criminal background check?
Yes. In addition to the fee paid to L-1 Enrollment Services or the local law enforcement agency to roll fingerprints, there is a non-refundable $39.50 fee that must be paid directly to SBEC. This fee is in addition to the fee charged for issuance of the credential, and will cover the costs of processing the fingerprints by DPS and the FBI. This fee must be paid online with an electronic check, credit card or debit card by logging in to your SBEC Online Account.
Will applicants who were fingerprinted as a requirement for certification in another state be exempt from the national background check required by SBEC?
No. All initial applicants for a credential, including those applicants applying for an initial educator credential in Texas based on holding an educator credential in another state or in a foreign country must undergo a national criminal background check through the DPS and the FBI.
What happens if the results of the fingerprint process reflect any criminal offense record?
If the results of your fingerprint processing reflect any criminal records or if you report a record on your application for a Texas educator certificate or permit, your file may be referred to the Office of Investigations for review. That office may contact you regarding information needed to review your records for determination of eligibility for a Texas educator credential. Issuance of the credential will be determined by the results of this review.