Ohio law requires that all individuals must have a baseline BCI and FBI criminal background check at the time they apply for their first Ohio educator license, certificate or permit, and those BCI and FBI background checks must be no older than one year (365 days) at the time they are used for initial licensure.
If the individual then resides continuously in Ohio, he or she does not need to update the BCI background check, but must obtain an updated FBI check once every five years.
If an individual lives outside Ohio at any time during the five years after obtaining a BCI check, then both background checks will need to be updated.
This applies to all individuals holding a state of Ohio educator license, certificate or permit , including a non-tax teaching certificate (no expiration date), a permanent certificate (no expiration date) and an 8-year professional certificate.
Please note that it is the responsibility of educators holding ODE licenses, certificates or permits to ensure that the law is followed with regard to obtaining required updated background checks within the five year timeframe prescribed by law, even if the expiration of a background check does not always coincide with the expiration of the license.
It is anticipated that, over time, the expiration of licenses and background checks would align, but in cases where they are not aligned, it is still the educator’s responsibility to meet the five year background check requirement in law, regardless of when the educator’s license is actually due to expire. Educators should not allow required criminal background checks to become expired (beyond five years) just because their license is not yet due for renewal.
(In addition to the information on this page, ODE has posted a page of frequently asked questions on the Web site.)
If an application is received without the appropriate background check results on file, ODE will place the application on hold pending receipt of the results.
ODE requests that both background checks (BCI and FBI) be completed through WebCheck, which allows for the fingerprints to be sent immediately to BCI. This provides for a quicker process for having the results reported to ODE.
It is recommended that educators first check with their local school district, then neighboring school districts or the region’s Educational Service Center, for availability of WebCheck. Possible sites are also listed on the Attorney General’s Web site.
The Ohio Department of Education is not able to accept paper background check reports. All background check reports must be submitted to this office via electronic submission directly from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. When you have your fingerprints taken at a WebCheck facility, please ask the person taking the prints to check the box
under ‘Reason Fingerprinted’ to send to the Ohio Department of Education per the example below:
X Send to the Ohio Department of Education
Please do not use the Department of Education address in the ‘mail to’ section because the department is not able to utilize paper reports. For more information on how to complete this electronic process, please visit www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Services/Business/WebCheck
If you have questions about educator licensure-related criminal background checks, please contact the ODE Office of Educator Licensure at 614-466-3593 (toll free 1-877-644-6338) or by email at Educator.Licensure@education.ohio.gov.
Contact Information for licensed or certificated educators:
Office of Educator Licensure
1(877) 644-6338 (toll free)