Fingerprint Clearance Requirements

New York State law requires fingerprinting as a means to perform criminal history background checks for applicants for certification and all prospective employees of school districts, charter schools, and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) within New York State. All students in teacher preparation programs as well as programs in school counseling need to be fingerprinted so that they are cleared to work with children in various settings including New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) public schools, charter networks, and other organizations. Fingerprint clearance is a professional expense related to certification. As such, candidates are responsible for related costs.

  • Students enrolled in programs leading to certification in teacher preparation and school counseling programs who do not yet have fingerprint clearance from both the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) must complete all steps of the fingerprinting process.
  • If you are in a program in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), you only need fingerprint clearance from NYSED.
  • Students in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Development and Learning (ECDL) programs that lead to certification and who may be placed in non-NYCDOE settings that serve children from birth to age 3 years and select Pre-K programs must be fingerprinted by both NYSED or NYCDOE and the Department of Investigations (DOI) as records cannot be shared between the DOI and other entities. Note that this only applies if the students are placed in sites subsidized by the Department of Health not the NYCDOE.

What Are My Next Steps?

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Verifying Your Fingerprint Clearance Status

Once you have completed the steps above and initiated the transfer of your records to the appropriate agency, you will need to wait for the state and/or city agencies to process your forms. Remember, all students in teacher preparation programs and school counseling must have fingerprints on file at both NYSED and the NYCDOE.

Fingerprinting Information Session


If you have questions regarding fingerprinting, contact the Office of Clinical Experiences at

Fingerprinting Related Events