Step 4: Submitting Fingerprints For Certification


Changes have been made to the "Fingerprint Processing Instructions"
Please read carefully!


Each person who seeks certification in Florida must be fingerprinted and screened in accordance with Florida Statutes and must not have been convicted of a disqualifying offense. A person may not receive a certificate until the person's background screening is completed and the results submitted to Educator Certification.

Fingerprints are submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for statewide and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for federal criminal records checks. The fingerprint processing fees for the required background screening (state and federal) may be borne by the district school board, charter school, employee, or contractor.

Employees of Public Schools

Employees of Florida traditional and charter public schools have fingerprints taken through the school district's personnel office for employment. Background screening results are returned to the employing school district and most often automatically forwarded to Educator Certification.

  • If the results of your fingerprints are clear, your certificate is issued within 30 days of our Bureau's receipt of your district's request.
  • If the results of your fingerprint processing reflect any criminal offense record or if you reported a record on your application for a Florida Educator's Certificate, your application will be referred to Professional Practices Services for review. That office will contact you regarding information needed to review your records for determination of eligibility for a certificate. Issuance of your certificate will be pending the results of this review.
  • If your fingerprint results were rejected due to being illegible, you will be notified by your employer in writing with additional instructions.

Employees of Nonpublic Schools

Individuals who hold a Statement of Status of Eligibility (SOE) verifying eligibility for a Florida Temporary Certificate may be issued a Florida certificate if the employing nonpublic school has a state-approved program for demonstration of professional education competence (PEC).

  • If you are employed in an approved nonpublic school, follow the required fingerprint processing instructions and consult with your employer. Upon completion of the specific certification fingerprint requirements, your school administrator will forward a request to issue your certificate either directly to our Bureau or to the accrediting association to which your school belongs.
  • If the results of your fingerprints are clear, your certificate is issued within 30 days of Educator Certification's receipt of the cleared records from both the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • If the results of your fingerprint processing reflect any criminal offense record or if you reported a record on your application for a Florida Educator's Certificate, your application will be referred to Professional Practices Services for review. That office will contact you regarding information needed to review your records for determination of eligibility for a certificate. Issuance of your certificate will be pending the results of this review.
  • If your fingerprint results were rejected due to being illegible, you will be notified in writing with additional instructions.

Individuals Not Seeking Florida Employment

The Florida Temporary Certificate is not issued until the individual is employed in a Florida school and his/her fingerprints have been cleared. Please see the above sections entitled Employees of Public Schools and Employees of Nonpublic Schools for additional information.

The individual who is a citizen of the United States and holds a Statement of Status of Eligibility verifying eligibility for a Florida Professional Certificate is issued the certificate after his/her fingerprints have been cleared. The U.S. citizen, eligible for the Professional Certificate, who is not seeking employment in Florida or has an immediate need for issuance of the Professional Certificate should follow the fingerprint processing instructions.

Please note: If an individual chooses to have his/her fingerprints processed prior to Florida employment for issuance of the Professional Certificate, it may be necessary to have the fingerprints reprocessed, and the individual may have to pay a second fingerprint processing fee as a condition of employment in a Florida public or charter school.

  • Carefully follow the fingerprint processing instructions
  • If the results of your fingerprints are clear, your Professional Certificate is issued within 30 days of Educator Certification's receipt of the cleared records from both the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • If the results of your fingerprint processing reflect any criminal offense record or if you reported a record on your application for a Florida Educator’s Certificate, your application will be referred to Professional Practices Services for review. That office will contact you regarding information needed to review your records for determination of eligibility for a certificate. Issuance of your Professional Certificate will be pending the results of this review.
  • If your fingerprint results were rejected due to being illegible, you will be notified in writing with additional instructions.

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