CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS / BACKGROUND CHECKS FACT SHEET
Click-Here-(3).jpg for a downloadable PDF of the following Frequently Asked Questions

October 21, 2014
 

DEFINITIONS

  1. What is a criminal history record check?
  1. What are Level 1 and Level 2 Background Checks? 

 

CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS
Used to Obtain an Individual’s Criminal History Information

  1. Are local criminal history record checks available? 
     
  2. Are state only criminal history record checks available? 
     
  3. Can I get warrant information or sexual offender/predator information without performing a criminal  history record check? 
     
  4. What are the requirements for a state criminal history record check and national criminal history record check? 
     
  5. What entities are statutorily authorized to receive a state and national criminal history background check? 
     
  6. Besides the agencies statutorily required to conduct criminal history record checks, are there others who are allowed to request criminal history checks on individuals? 
     
  7. If a state and national criminal history record check is conducted, is it necessary to conduct a separate check of the sex offender registry for registered sex offenders? 
     
  8. Are school district volunteers required to have criminal history record checks? 
     
  9. Are agencies required to conduct a recheck on individuals who previously received a criminal history record check? 
     
  10. Is there a presumption against negligent hiring when an employer conducts a background investigation of a prospective employee?

 

CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECK FEES
Costs Associated with Performing a Criminal History Record Check

  1. What is the cost of a criminal history record check? 
     
  2. How is the cost established and what are they used for? 
     
  3. What are the costs associated with criminal history record checks for school district personnel and contractors?

 

CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION
Listing of Arrest, Court and Other Related Criminal Information Provided as Part of a Criminal History Record Check

  1. Is sealed or expunged information released as part of a criminal history record check? Is juvenile criminal history information released as well? 
     
  2. What are Hot File notifications? 
     
  3. What issues should be considered when determining if a criminal history record check is out of date? 
     
  4. Are there Florida criminal history records included in the state repository, but not at the FBI?

 

CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION SHARING
Dissemination of Criminal History Information

  1. What information from a state and national criminal history background check can be disclosed to a private employer? 
     
  2. When can a non-governmental agency receive the results of a state and national background check? 
     
  3. Can agencies share the results of a state and national check with other agencies that require similar checks? 
     
  4. Can a copy of the FDLE and FBI criminal record be provided to applicants if they are denied employment, licensing, or the opportunity to volunteer?

 

CIVIL WORKFLOW CONTROL SYSTEM (CWCS)
An Application Used to Receive and Process Fingerprint Based Submissions for Criminal History Record Checks

  1. What is the Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS)? 
     
  2. What steps must be completed to use the CWCS system for the electronic submission of criminal history record checks? 
     
  3. How long does it take to complete a state and national criminal history record check when fingerprints are submitted electronically?

 

APPLICANT FINGERPRINT RETENTION AND NOTIFICATION PROGRAM (AFRNP)
Retention of Certain Electronically Submitted Applicant Fingerprints for the Purpose of Providing Arrest Hit Notifications

  1. What is the Applicant Fingerprint Retention and Notification Program (AFRNP)? And, what is meant by arrest hit notifications? 
     
  2. Will the AFRNP provide arrest hit notifications for arrests outside the state of Florida? 
     
  3. How does the quality of fingerprints submitted into the AFRNP affect arrest hit notifications? 
     
  4. What is the cost associated with the retention of fingerprints? 
     
  5. Do other states retain applicant fingerprints? 
     
  6. Does the FBI retain applicant fingerprints at the national level? 
     
  7. What agencies are currently authorized to have applicant fingerprints retained? 
     
  8. Is FDLE authorized to retain volunteers’ fingerprints? 
     
  9. How can different school districts access the criminal history records of contractors screened in another school district?

 

VOLUNTEER AND EMPLOYEE CRIMINAL HISTORY SYSTEM (VECHS)
A Program Allowing Qualified Entities Working with Vulnerable Populations to Receive State and National Criminal History Information as Authorized Under the National Child Protection Act

  1. What is the Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) program? 
     
  2. What is the difference between the National Child Protection Act (NCPA) and the Volunteers for Children Act (VCA)? 
     
  3. What is a “qualified entity”? Who can obtain criminal history background checks under the NCPA and Section 943.0542, Florida Statutes? 
     
  4. How does an organization enroll in the VECHS program? 
     
  5. Can qualified entities share criminal history information with other qualified entities?

 

 

DEFINITIONS

  1. What is a criminal history record check?
The term “background check” is often used interchangeably with “criminal history check” or “criminal history record check” which causes some confusion. Some companies use the phrase “background check” to include driver’s record, credit history, or interviews with neighbors and employers. From the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) perspective, a background check is a criminal history record check to determine if a person has been arrested and/or convicted of a crime. For the purposes of this paper, it is a search of the following databases:
  • the Florida Computerized Criminal History (CCH) Central Repository for Florida arrests (State Check),
     
  • the Florida Computerized Criminal History Central Repository for Florida arrests AND the national criminal history database at the FBI for federal arrests and arrests from other states (State and National Check) and
     
  • the Florida Crime Information Center for warrants and domestic violence injunctions (Hot Files Check).
National criminal history record checks, as well as state checks, are based on the submission of fingerprints.
  1. What are Level 1 and Level 2 Background Checks?
Level 1 and Level 2 Background Checks are terms used in Florida Statutes to convey the method of the criminal history record check and the extent of the data searched. However, the terms may also refer to certain disqualifying offenses if certain statutes are referenced. Level 1 and Level 2 are terms that pertain only to Florida and are not used by the FBI or other states. They are defined in Chapter 435, Florida Statutes (F.S.), but are used elsewhere in statute without definition and appear not to be associated with all of the provisions in Chapter 435, F.S.
  • Level 1 generally refers to a state only name based check AND an employment history check.
     
  • Level 2 generally refers to a state and national fingerprint based check and consideration of disqualifying offenses, and applies to those employees designated by law as holding positions of responsibility or trust. Section 435.04, F.S., mandates Level 2 security background investigations be conducted on employees, defined as individuals required by law to be fingerprinted pursuant to Chapter 435, F.S.
It should be noted that both the state and national criminal history databases can be searched for arrests, warrants, and other information pertaining to an individual. However, neither database has the capability of searching for specific offenses within an individual record.

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CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS
Used to Obtain an Individual’s Criminal History Information

  1. Are local criminal history record checks available?
Yes. Local criminal history record checks can be obtained directly from each county and reflects criminal history information solely from their jurisdiction.
  1. Are state only criminal history record checks available?
Yes. FDLE provides public access to Florida criminal history information consistent with Section 943.053, F.S. The fee for a state criminal history record check has been statutorily set at $24.00 per record check. These checks are performed by a name request or submitting a fingerprint card.

State criminal history record checks can be obtained by mail at:
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Attn: Criminal History Services
Post Office Box 1489
Tallahassee, FL 32302-1489

Requests should include a return address, the subject’s name and any known aliases, date of birth or approximate age, race, sex and social security number (optional). A check or money order for $24.00, made payable to FDLE, per record check must accompany the request. This process takes approximately five business days excluding postal delivery time.

State criminal history record checks can also be obtained online through our Computerized Criminal History on the Internet (CCHInet) service at https://web.fdle.state.fl.us/search. The $24.00 fee will be made payable by a valid credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express). Users will process the criminal history record check online with the results presented during the session. Requests for certified (notarized) criminal history results cannot be processed through CCHInet. Such requests must be made via mail.

Contact Criminal History Services at (850) 410-8109 or BackgroundChecks@fdle.state.fl.us for questions regarding state only criminal history record checks.
  1. Can I get warrant information or sexual offender/predator information without performing a criminal history record check?
Yes. Independent of a criminal history record check, the public can access this information free of charge. FDLE’s Public Access System at http://pas.fdle.state.fl.us provides information on wanted persons and missing persons.

Sexual offender and predator information can be obtained at http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us. This site allows the public to perform several types of searches including by offender, neighborhood and email address.
  1. What are the requirements for a state criminal history record check and national criminal history record check?
State Check: May be obtained by submitting a name request or by submitting a fingerprint card.

National Check: The following must be in place, as required by the FBI, to receive a national criminal history record check:
  • A statute must exist as a result of a legislative enactment;
  • It must require the fingerprinting of applicants who are subject to a national criminal history record check;
  • It must expressly (“submit to the FBI”) or by implication (“submit for a national check”) authorize the use of FBI records for the screening of applicants;
  • It must identify the specific category(ies) of licensees/employees falling within its authority;
  • It must not be against public policy;
  • It may not authorize receipt of the criminal history record information by a private entity;
  • The recipient of the criminal history record check results must be a governmental entity;
  • The entity must sign a User Agreement indicating it will comply with the terms and conditions set forth in rule by the FBI; and
  • The fingerprint submission must be first processed through the state repository for a search of its records.
  1. What entities are statutorily authorized to receive a state and national criminal history background check?

REGULATORY AGENCY

GROUPS SUBJECT TO CHECK

 

STATUTORY REFERENCE (F.S.)

Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA); Division of Health Quality Assurance (HQA)
Abortion clinics
390.14, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Adult day cares
408.802, 408.809, 429.907, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Adult family-care homes
408.802, 408.809, 429.67, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Assisted living facilities
408.802, 408.809, 429.174, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Birth centers
383.305, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Clinical laboratories
408.802, 408.809, 435.04, 483.101
AHCA; Division of HQA
Companion and homemaker service agencies
400.512, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Crisis stabilization units, residential treatment facilities, and residential treatment centers for children and adolescents
394.875, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Drug free workplace labs
112.0455, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Health care clinics
400.991, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Health care risk managers
395.10974, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Health care services pools
400.980, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Home health agencies
400.512, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Home medical equipment providers
400.953, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Homes for special services
400.801, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Hospices
400.6065, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and mobile surgical facilities
395.003, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Intermediate care facilities for persons with developmental disabilities
400.964, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Multiphasic health testing services
408.802, 408.809, 435.04, 483.30
AHCA; Division of HQA
Nurse registries
400.506, 400.512, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Nursing facility employment
400.215, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Nursing homes
400.071, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Organ and tissue procurement agencies
408.802, 408.809, 435.04, 765.541
AHCA; Division of HQA
Prescribed pediatric extended care centers
400.9065, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of HQA
Transitional living facilities
400.805, 408.802, 408.809, 435.04
AHCA; Division of Medicaid
Medicaid providers
409.907
AHCA; Division of Medicaid Managed Care Providers 409.912
Clerks of the Court
Name change petitioners
68.07
Clerks of the Court
Nonprofessional guardians
744.3135
Clerks of the Court, Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA)
Professional guardians
744.3135
Criminal Justice Agencies
Criminal justice employment
943.13
Criminal Justice Training Schools
Criminal justice training school applicants
943.14
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DOACS); Division of Consumer Services
Pawn broker licensees
539.001
DOACS: Division of Consumer Services Professional solicitors 496.4101
DOACS; Division of Licensing
Concealed weapon/firearm licensees
790.06
DOACS; Division of Licensing
Private investigative agencies, private investigators, private security and repossessors
493.6105, 493.6108
Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), Department of Health (DOH)
Licensure of Armed Forces personnel and their spouses
455.02, 456.024
DBPR; Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco
Alcoholic beverage manufacturers, bottlers, distributors and sellers
561.17
DBPR; Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics
Ether license for manufacturers, distributors and dealers; ether permit for purchasers
499.63
DBPR; Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics
Prescription drug wholesaler permits
499.012
DBPR; Division of Florida Land Sales
Subdivider registration licensees
498.031
DBPR; Division of Mobile Homes
Yacht and ship brokers licensees
326.004
 DBPR; Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering
Card room occupational licensees
849.086
DBPR; Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering
Pari-mutuel wagering permits; racetrack employees
550.105, 550.054
DBPR; Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering
Slot machine licensees
551.107
DBPR; Division of Professions
Employee leasing companies
468.524, 468.525
DBPR; Division of Professions
Athlete agent licensees
468.453
DBPR; Division of Professions
Talent agency licensees
455.213, 468.401, 468.403
DBPR; Division of Professions
Pugilistic exhibitions licenses
548.024
DBPR; Division of Professions
Construction industry licensees
489.115
DBPR; Division of Professions
Mold related services licensure
468.8413
DBPR; Division of Professions
Home inspector licensees
468.8313
DBPR; Division of Real Estate
Real estate licensees
475.175
DBPR; Division of Real Estate
Licensing of community association managers
468.433
DBPR; Division of Real Estate
Real estate appraiser applicants and real estate appraisal management companies
475.615, 475.6235
Department of Children and Families (DCF)
Child care facilities, family day care homes, family foster homes, residential child caring agencies, child placing agencies, summer or recreation camp owners and operators
39.001, 402, 409, 435.04
DCF
As above plus “mental health facilities and programs providing care for children – directors, professional clinicians, staff members and volunteers”
39.001, 394, 435.04
DCF, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD)
As above plus “day care or residential caretakers providing treatment to retarded or developmentally disabled individuals (children or adults)”
39.001, 393, 435.04
DCF
As above plus “treatment resource personnel including program directors, staff volunteers and foster parents providing alcohol/drug abuse treatment for minors”
39.001, 397, 435.04
DCF
As above plus “persons considered for placement of dependent children”
39.0138, 435.04
DCF, Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)
As above plus “juvenile delinquency programs personnel providing care for children”
984, 985, 435.04
Department of Education (DOE); Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Service providers 413.208
DOE; Office of Early Learning, DCF and Florida’s Office of Early Learning
Private prekindergarten providers
1002.55
 DOE; Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice
Owner or operator of eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations
1002.395
DOE; Public School Boards
Public school system employment/certification; contractors/vendors
1012.32, 1012.35, 1012.465, 1012.56
DOE; Division of Blind Services
Division employees
413.011
Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA)
Consumer Directed Care Program
409.221, 430.0402
DOEA
Agencies on Aging
430.0402
DOEA
SHINE Program
430.0402
DOEA
Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
430.0402
Department of Financial Services (DFS); Division of State Fire Marshal
Explosive blasters/dealers/users Manufacture-distribution
552.092
DFS; Division of State Fire Marshal
Firefighters
633.412
DFS; Division of Agent and Agency Services
Bail bond agents
648.34
DFS; Division of Agent and Agency Services
Insurance agents
626.171, 626.201
DFS; Division of Agent and Agency Services
Insurance licensure
624.34, 626.171, 626.172, 626.201
DFS; Division of Agent and Agency Services
Hurricane mitigation inspectors
215.5586
DFS; Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services
Funeral and cemetery industry licensees
497.142
DFS; Division of Securities
Securities dealers and associates, investment advisors
517.12
DFS; Office of Financial Regulation Consumer collection agencies 559.555
DFS; Office of Financial Regulation
Mortgage broker licensees
494.00321
DFS; Office of Financial Regulation
Mortgage lender licensees
494.00611
DFS; Office of Financial Regulation
Loan originator licensees
494.00312
DFS; Office of Financial Regulation
Title loan lender licensees
537.004
DFS; Office of Financial Regulation
Money services business licensees
560.141
Department of Health (DOH); Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA)
Acupuncture
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Anesthesiologist assistants
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Athletic training
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Certified nursing assistants
400.215, 435.12, 464.203
DOH; Division of MQA
Certified nursing assistants by reciprocity
435.04, 435.12, 464.009
DOH; Division of MQA
Chiropractic physicians
435.12, 460.406, 460.407
DOH; Division of MQA
Clinical lab personnel
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Clinical nurse specialists
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Clinical social work
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Dentistry
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Dietetics nutrition
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Electrolysis
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Hearing aid specialists
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Licensed practical nurses by endorsement
435.04, 435.12, 456.0391, 464.009
DOH; Division of MQA
Massage therapy
435.12, 456.024, 480.043
DOH; Division of MQA
Medical physicists
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Midwifery
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Advanced registered nurse practitioners, registered nurses
435.12, 456.0391
DOH; Division of MQA
Nursing home administrators
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Occupational therapy
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Opticianry
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Optometry
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Orthotists, Prosthetists and Pedorthists
435.12, 468.803
DOH; Division of MQA
Osteopathic physicians
435.12, 459.0055, 459.008
DOH; Division of MQA
Pharmacists
435.12, 465.022
DOH; Division of MQA
Physical therapy
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Physician assistants
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Physicians
435.12, 458.311, 458.313, 458.319
DOH; Division of MQA
Podiatric physicians
435.12, 461.006, 461.007
DOH; Division of MQA
Psychology
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Registered nurses by endorsement
435.04, 435.12, 456.0931, 464.009
DOH; Division of MQA
Respiratory care
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
School psychology
435.12, 456.024
DOH; Division of MQA
Speech language pathology and audiology
435.12, 456.024
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV)
Motor vehicle, mobile home and recreational vehicle dealers licensees
320.27, 320.77, 320.771
DHSMV
Commercial driving school instructors, agents and employees
488.06
Department of Management Services (DMS), DCF, Private Correctional Facilities
Private correctional facility employment
957.13
Department of Revenue (DOR)
Second hand dealer licensees
538.09
DOR
Secondary metals recycler licensees
538.25
DOR
Motor fuel licensees
206.026
Department of Transportation (DOT); Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
Candidates for appointment
427.012
FDLE; Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS)
Qualified entities under the National Child Protection Act
943.0542
Florida Bar
Bar applicants
454.026
Florida Lottery
Lottery vendors, lottery retailers, and lottery employees
24.108
Florida Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office
Guardian Ad Litem program
39.821, 435.04
Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission
Certification and public vehicle driver’s licenses
2001-299, Laws of Florida
Miccosukee and Seminole Tribe Police Department
Tribal education, Head Start or day care programs
285.18
Miccosukee and Seminole Tribe Police Department
Tribal government employment
285.18
Miccosukee and Seminole Tribe Police Department
Tribal gaming employees, primary management officials and persons having a financial interest in a class II Indian tribal gaming enterprise
285.18
Office of the Attorney General
Applicants for compensation for wrongful incarceration
961.05
State Agencies
Designated state employees
110.1127
VOLUNTARY: Various County governments and municipalities
Various County government employees and volunteers
125.5801 plus individual County ordinance
VOLUNTARY: Various City governments and municipalities
Various City government employees and volunteers
166.0442 plus individual City ordinance
Water Management Districts
Water management facility employees and designees
373.6055

 

  1. Besides the agencies statutorily required to conduct criminal history record checks, are there others who are allowed to request criminal history checks on individuals?
Yes. Private citizens, companies and governmental entities are authorized under Florida’s public records law to request a state only criminal history record check (See Question 4). Examples of these entities include grocery stores, taxi drivers, summer camp employees, etc. Additionally, provisions of the National Child Protection Act, implemented through FDLE’s Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) program, authorize criminal history record checks for employees and volunteers of certain qualified entities that provide care to children, the elderly or disabled persons. See the VECHS section below for more information about the program.
  1. If a state and national criminal history record check is conducted, is it necessary to conduct a separate check of the sex offender registry for registered sex offenders?
No. If the state and national fingerprint based criminal history record check is completed, the agency will be notified of all persons designated as sexual predators or offenders in Florida and in the national system.
  1. Are school district volunteers required to have criminal history record checks?
No. The decision to conduct criminal history checks on volunteers remains a local decision, but schools are required by Florida law to check volunteers’ names against the state sex offender registry which is available via the Internet at no charge. If a school district chooses to perform state and national criminal history on volunteers, those checks MUST be conducted through the VECHS program and not through the regular submission method with other personnel fingerprints.

Additionally, Section 943.04351, F.S., requires checks of the sexual offender/predator registry for certain volunteers, appointees or employees.
  1. Are agencies required to conduct a recheck on individuals who previously received a criminal history record check?
FDLE does not have any requirements for rechecks. However, some employees are required by law or policy to have periodic state and/or national criminal history record checks through the regulatory or licensing agency. The recheck may be required at regular intervals as decided by legislative policy.
  1. Is there a presumption against negligent hiring when an employer conducts a background investigation of a prospective employee?
Yes. Pursuant to Section 768.096, F.S., in the case of an intentional tort, an employer is presumed not to have been negligent in hiring an employee if before hiring the employee, the employer conducted a background investigation of the prospective employee and the information did not reveal any information that reasonably demonstrated unsuitability of the prospective employee for the work to be performed or for general employment. The background investigation must include a criminal background investigation.

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CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECK FEES
Associated Costs to Perform a Criminal History Record Check

  1. What is the cost of a criminal history record check?

Criminal History Record Check Fee Schedule
Effective March 19, 2012

**Please note the FBI no longer accepts hard card fingerprint submissions and the fees referenced below are for electronic fingerprint submissions only. Also, the fees listed are not inclusive of any applicable retention fees.

 

CUSTOMER TYPE

 

STATE FEE FEDERAL FEE TOTAL
Applicant / Licensees – Required Checks
Department of Children & Families, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Elder Affairs Vendors and Guardian Ad Litem:(examples include – day care center employees, juvenile treatment centers) $8.00 $16.50 $24.50
Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services:
(examples include – concealed weapon permit applicants, security guards)
$15.00 $16.50 $31.50
Criminal Justice Applicants:
(examples include – law enforcement, corrections, correction probation officers)
$0.00 $0.00 $0.00
All other applicant type required checks:
(examples include – realtors, insurance agents, school employees, Florida Bar applicants, foster care, doctors, nursing home employees)
$24.00 $16.50 $40.50
Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) – Allowed Checks
Employees:
(employees of a qualified entity that provides care to children, elderly or disabled persons – that are not specifically required under the applicant groups above)
$24.00 $16.50 $40.50
Volunteers:(volunteers of a qualified entity that provides care to children, elderly or disabled persons --- that are not specifically required under the applicant groups above) $18.00 $15.00 $33.00
Public Record Checks – Allowed Checks
Request From General Public, Businesses, and Any Governmental or Non-Governmental Entity: $24.00 Federal Checks Not Allowed Federal Checks Not Allowed

 

  1. How is the cost established and what are they used for?
The cost of each request for a criminal history record check is mandated by federal laws and Section 943.053, F.S. These fees are used to offset the cost of producing the record information and reflect the total cost of creating, storing, maintaining, updating, retrieving, improving and providing criminal history information in a centralized, automated database and also include personnel, technology and infrastructure expenses.
  1. What are the costs associated with criminal history record checks for school district personnel and contractors?
The total cost of the criminal history record check is $40.50 ($24.00* for the state check and $16.50 for the national check). These fees are not inclusive of any applicable retention fees. Applicants may incur additional costs assessed by individual school districts and livescan service providers. In accordance with Section 1012.467(2)(a), F.S., the fee charged by school districts for contractor identified checks may not exceed 30% of the total amount charged by FDLE and the FBI. Any questions related to these fees should be directed to the applicable school district or the Florida Department of Education.

*This amount for the state check may vary based on legislative policy.


NOTE: If a customer chooses to make electronic submissions via a livescan service provider, the service provider may assess a fee in addition to the criminal history record check fee.

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CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION
Listing of Arrest, Court and Other Related Criminal Information Provided as Part of a Criminal History Record Check

  1. Is sealed or expunged information released as part of a criminal history record check? Is juvenile criminal history information released as well?
Sealed information is disseminated only to those agencies authorized by provisions in Section 943.059, F.S. Agencies not specified in the statutes are not provided sealed criminal history information.

Expunged criminal history information is not disseminated. However, a notification that a record has been expunged is provided to agencies consistent with provisions in Section 943.0585, F.S. Agencies not specified in the statutes are not provided the expunged notification.

Juvenile criminal history information, not sealed or expunged, is disseminated only when the subject was taken into custody for an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult.
  1. What are Hot File notifications?
Hot File notifications consist of information that may not be part of the Computerized Criminal History (CCH) system. Some examples may include: warrants, domestic violence injunctions/protection orders, deported felons, missing persons, probation or supervision release status, career criminal offender, etc.

NOTE: A name search of this file is completed for each submitted transaction and any identified information is returned in the completed results as appropriate. The “hot file” information received is not based on a fingerprint comparison so it may or may not be the applicant. The agency that entered the information can be contacted to learn more about the record.

In addition, system generated notifications are sent to the appropriate criminal justice agency notifying them of the criminal history record check request. These messages will include information on the entity making the request as well as demographic data regarding the subject of the transaction. Hot File notifications are only provided to customers that submit their background checks to FDLE with fingerprint submissions or with name searches submitted directly to FDLE for processing. CCH on the Internet submissions do not include a search of hot files from the CCH system. However, anyone may search FDLE’s Public Access System for wanted or missing persons at http://pas.fdle.state.fl.us
  1. What issues should be considered when determining if a criminal history record check is out of date?
Section 943.051, F.S., established FDLE, Division of Criminal Justice Information Services, as the central repository of criminal history information for the state of Florida. Over one million arrests a year are added to the repository. Additionally, information such as warrants, domestic violence injunctions/protection orders, probation or supervision release status, sexual predator/offender, career criminal offender, etc. are added on a daily basis. Therefore, criminal history record check results are only accurate as of the date they were performed.
  1. Are there Florida criminal history records included in the state repository, but not at the FBI?
Yes. FDLE has records the FBI does not have access to because they are not collected at the FBI.

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CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION SHARING
Dissemination of Criminal History Information

  1. What information from a state and national criminal history background check can be disclosed to a private employer?
Pursuant to federal law, regulatory and employing agencies may not share any information obtained from a state and national criminal history record check with a private entity. However, these agencies can indicate whether or not the person is eligible for licensing or employment based on their established criteria. Prior to being granted access to the records, authorized agencies must sign a Criminal Justice or Non-Criminal Justice User Agreement with FDLE agreeing to abide by state and federal law.
  1. When can a non-governmental agency receive the results of a state and national background check?
Non-governmental entities are not authorized to receive both state and national criminal history information under statutory licensing and employment provisions. The only time non-governmental entities are eligible to obtain national criminal history information is through the VECHS program, which is described in detail in the VECHS section below.
  1. Can agencies share the results of a state and national check with other agencies that require similar checks?
Although generally state and national criminal history information may not be shared between agencies, exceptions apply only if the purposes of the criminal history record checks are the same and the agencies are both entitled to the same information. Thus, school districts may share criminal history information with other school districts because the checks are conducted for the same purpose and all districts receive the same data (for example, they receive sealed criminal history information). Likewise, a county health department could share with another county health department because criminal history record checks are conducted for the same purpose and they receive the same data.

Sharing of criminal history information is not allowed when it has been obtained for different purposes, even if the data received is the same. For example, criminal history information received by the Department of Financial Services for licensing insurance agents may not be shared with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs for licensing of security guards.

For those entities participating in the VECHS program, criminal history information sharing between VECHS entities is permitted in accordance with the User Agreement. Entities must contact the VECHS Unit at (850) 410-8324 for entity verification before sharing criminal history information.
  1. Can a copy of the FDLE and FBI criminal record be provided to applicants if they are denied employment, licensing, or the opportunity to volunteer?
Yes. Applicants may be shown their own criminal record. A copy may also be provided, however, applicants must be cautioned the record may not be used for any other purpose. Applicants are not allowed to provide a copy of the record to any other organization.

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CIVIL WORKFLOW CONTROL SYSTEM (CWCS)
An Application Used to Receive and Process Fingerprint Based Submissions for Criminal History Record Checks

  1. What is the Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS)?
Many entities in Florida are required to perform criminal history background checks on potential employees, licensees or other related positions. Previously, these record checks have been completed using the traditional inked fingerprint card. While extremely accurate and useful, the process of collecting, transporting and processing these inked cards is both labor intensive and time-consuming. Improvements in technology have opened the door for modernizing this process, allowing an opportunity to improve services to the citizens of Florida. In response, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) developed the Civil Workflow Control System (CWCS). CWCS, pronounced “QUICKS”, is an automated system used to receive, process and respond to electronic requests for applicant criminal history record checks. Processing that once took several weeks with fingerprint cards is now completed within 3 business days when submitted electronically. CWCS allows different types of applicants to be scanned on a single device and allows input from a variety of livescan devices that adhere to FDLE and FBI standards and requirements.

The eGovernment Criminal History Services can be contacted at (850) 410-8161 or ApplicantChecks@fdle.state.fl.us for questions regarding the CWCS system.
  1. What steps must be completed to use the CWCS system for the electronic submission of criminal history record checks?
FDLE has established a five-step process to be completed when bringing any new civil applicant livescan into the agency’s internal computer processing environment.
  • Step 1: The livescan device must successfully pass the FBI CERTIFICATION processes;
  • Step 2: Potential customers must submit a livescan registration form for each potential device. Each specific livescan device must pass a QUALIFICATIONS test to ensure that the equipment is capable of transmitting an approved standard fingerprint format to FDLE via the internet;
  • Step 3: Appropriate data must be submitted from each qualified livescan device into a test system and must pass VALIDATION routines administered by the FDLE;
  • Step 4: Accepted customers (excluding those classified specifically as livescan service providers) must submit individual REGISTRATION forms provided by FDLE for each account (based on the Originating Agency Identifier, referred to as an ORI number) they will be using. This step ensures the submitter and recipient are in full compliance with all applicable statutes governing the submission and receipt of state and/or federal criminal history information. Additionally, this step confirms the appropriate invoice and/or payment information;
  • Step 5: After successfully completing the above steps, customers begin OPERATIONS by submitting electronic requests for criminal history record checks.
Additionally, if thepurchase of a livescan device is not an option, there are numerous service providers within the state of Florida. Each of these service providers is required to register and certify their devices with FDLE before submitting electronic criminal history record check requests on behalf of an agency.
  1. How long does it take to complete a state and national criminal history record check when fingerprints are submitted electronically?
Typically, state and national criminal history record checks are completed within three business days of receiving the electronic submission. When a transaction is complete within the CWCS system, the results are posted to DataMotion SecureMail, a secure FDLE web mail application. The results will include both state and national criminal history information, as well as any warrants and other information related to the individual.

A result notification email is sent to the email address designated by the customer and will contain a link to this SecureMail application. This notification will also contain descriptive information specific to the transaction.

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APPLICANT FINGERPRINT RETENTION AND NOTIFICATION PROGRAM(AFRNP)
Retention of Certain Electronically Submitted Applicant Fingerprints for the Purpose of Providing Arrest Hit Notifications

  1. What is the Applicant Fingerprint Retention and Notification Program (AFRNP)? And, what is meant by arrest hit notifications?
In response to various legislative mandates for the retention of certain electronically submitted applicant fingerprints and monitoring for new arrests, FDLE developed the AFRNP. All incoming Florida arrest fingerprints are searched against fingerprints retained in the AFRNP. When the subject of retained fingerprints is identified with fingerprints of an incoming Florida arrest, FDLE notifies the licensing or employing agency of the arrest (referred to as an arrest hit notification). The arrest hit notification will include the name of the arresting agency as well as other pertinent data to assist the organization.

FDLE retains only those applicant fingerprints authorized by law. All other applicant prints submitted to FDLE ARE NOT retained in our database.
  1. Will the AFRNP provide arrest hit notifications for arrests outside the state of Florida?
The AFRNP can only conduct searches against incoming Florida arrest fingerprints. Arrests made in other states or by the federal government will NOT result in arrest hit notifications, as access to these arrests is restricted by federal law. Information on arrests in other states or the federal government is available only upon a fingerprint submission.
  1. How does the quality of fingerprints submitted into the AFRNP affect arrest hit notifications?
The quality of fingerprints submitted into the AFRNP has a direct effect on the search and the resulting arrest hit notification. While it is not expected to be a frequent occurrence, it should be understood that if the submitted fingerprints for an applicant were of sub-standard quality or if the fingerprints submitted on an arrested individual were of sub-standard quality, the identification of these persons as the same may not occur and an arrest notification may not be made. Additionally, until the arrest fingerprint submission is received by FDLE, we will have no way to identify the arrested person as the individual retained in the AFRNP.
  1. What is the cost associated with the state retention of fingerprints?
With the exception of criminal justice applicants, the current cost for the FDLE retention of civil applicant fingerprints is $6 per year per applicant. The state retention of fingerprints eliminates the necessity to have a Florida criminal history record recheck at a cost of $24, since all incoming arrest fingerprints are continuously compared to the retained applicant database. If a recheck is required, it would only be for a national criminal history record check.

Certain applicant groups participating in the AFRNP are statutorily mandated to pay retention fees up front. Any questions regarding retention fees should be directed to the appropriate participating regulatory or licensing agency.
  1. Do other states retain applicant fingerprints?
Yes. There are other states retaining applicant fingerprints and providing subsequent arrest notifications.
  1. Does the FBI retain applicant fingerprints at the national level?
No. The FBI does not retain applicant fingerprints submitted by the states.
  1. What agencies are currently authorized to have applicant fingerprints retained?
In 2004, Florida school districts were the first agencies to have applicant fingerprints, submitted as a part of criminal history record check requests, retained in the FDLE AFRNP. In the years since that date, many other organizations have developed fingerprint retention requirements and have enrolled in the AFRNP. The following chart lists those organizations currently participating in the AFRNP.

 

REGULATORY AGENCY
CLASSIFICATIONS PARTICIPATING IN THE
APPLICANT FINGERPRINT RETENTION AND
NOTIFICATION PROGRAM
(AFRNP)
Agency for Health Care
Administration (AHCA)
Health care facility owners and administrators
AHCA Managed Care providers*
Clerks of the Court and
the Department of Elder Affairs
(DOEA)
Professional guardians
Criminal Justice Agencies
Criminal justice employment

Non-Sworn - Allowed

Sworn - Required
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DOACS); Division of Consumer Services Professional solicitors
Department of Business and
Professional Regulation (DBPR);
Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering
Pari-mutuel wagering permits;
racetrack employees
DBPR; Division of Pari-Mutuel
Wagering
Slot machine licensees
Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)
Caretaker licensing
Department of Education (DOE); Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Service providers*
DOE;
Office of Independent Education
and Parental Choice
Owner or operator of eligible nonprofit
scholarship-funding organization
DOE; Public School Boards
Public school system employment/certification;
contractors/vendors
Department of Health (DOH)
Acupuncture*
DOH
Anesthesiologist assistants*
DOH
Athletic training*
DOH
Certified nursing assistants*
DOH
Certified nursing assistants by reciprocity*
DOH
Chiropractic physicians*
DOH
Clinical lab personnel*
DOH
Clinical nurse specialists*
DOH
Clinical social work*
DOH Dentistry*
DOH
Dietetics nutrition*
DOH Electrolysis*
DOH
Hearing aid specialists*
DOH
Licensed practical nurses by endorsement*
DOH
Massage therapy*

* AHCA Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse

 

REGULATORY AGENCY
CLASSIFICATIONS PARTICIPATING IN THE APPLICANT FINGERPRINT RETENTION AND NOTIFICATION PROGRAM (AFRNP)
DOH
Medical physicists*
DOH
Midwifery*
DOH
Nurse practitioners*
DOH
Nursing home administrators*
DOH
Occupational therapy*
DOH
Opticianry*
DOH
Optometry*
DOH
Orthotists, Prosthetists and Pedorthists*
DOH
Osteopathic physicians*
DOH
Pharmacists*
DOH
Physical therapy*
DOH Physician Assistants*
DOH Physicians*
DOH Podiatric physicians*
DOH
Psychology*
DOH
Registered nurses by endorsement*
DOH
Respiratory care*
DOH
School psychology*
DOH
Speech language pathology and audiology*
Department of Financial Services; Office of Financial Regulation
Consumer collection agencies
Department of Financial Services;
Office of Financial Regulation
Loan originator licensees

* AHCA Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse

 

REGULATORY AGENCY
CLASSIFICATIONS PARTICIPATING IN THE APPLICANT FINGERPRINT RETENTION AND NOTIFICATION PROGRAM
(AFRNP)
Department of Management Services,

Department of Children and Families
and Private Correctional Facilities
Private correctional facility employment
FDLE; Volunteer and Employee
Criminal History System (VECHS)
Private schools participating in state
school choice scholarship programs
FDLE; Volunteer and Employee
Criminal History System (VECHS)
Qualified entities under the National
Child Protection Act, as requested
Florida Board of Bar Examiners
Bar applicants
Other Additional Governmental Entities
Applicants, as requested

 

  1. Is FDLE authorized to retain volunteers’ fingerprints?
Yes. FDLE has authority to retain fingerprints for agencies or qualified entities which have formally requested it. If the agency or qualified entity uses volunteers and requests that volunteers be retained, they will be retained in accordance with Section 943.05(3)(g), F.S. In addition, volunteers may be included in some mandatory criminal record checks listed above and, if the persons in the group are required to be retained, the volunteers may, likewise, be required to be retained.

In the case of school districts, volunteers’ fingerprints should not be submitted in the same manner as employees and contractors, since employee/contractor fingerprints are retained and volunteer fingerprints are not unless the district has specifically requested retention. If state and national checks are desired on volunteers, they should be submitted through the VECHS program under the authority of the National Child Protection Act. If retention of these fingerprints is desired, the district should make the request to FDLE.
  1. How can different school districts access the criminal history records of contractors screened in another school district?
As mandated by Section 1012.467, F.S., FDLE developed the Florida Shared School Results (FSSR) application which allows school districts an automated option for sharing criminal history information with other school districts. Criminal history record check responses, resulting from appropriately identified background checks submitted on vendor/contractors, are posted to the FSSR system and maintained for five years from the date of the original criminal history record check.

School districts can then access the results and view the same criminal history record and subsequent arrest notifications received by the original school district. The sharing of criminal history information between districts reduces the need for these persons to be fingerprinted multiple times and pay fees for criminal history record checks in each county in which the individual works.

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VOLUNTEER AND EMPLOYEE CRIMINAL HISTORY SYSTEM (VECHS)
A Program Allowing Qualified Entities Working with Vulnerable Populations to Receive State and National Criminal History Information as Authorized Under the National Child Protection Act

  1. What is the Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) program?
The VECHS program allows qualified entities to obtain state and national criminal history record checks on individuals working with children, the elderly or the disabled. The authority for these checks is granted under the National Child Protection Act (NCPA), which is implemented through the VECHS program, under Section 943.0542, F.S.

NOTE: Entities required to conduct state and national criminal history record checks under other statutory provisions, on all or specific employees/volunteers, must continue to comply with those statutes and the procedures that specifically apply to them. Requests for these required criminal history record checks may not be processed through the VECHS Program, pursuant to state and federal law.
  1. What is the difference between the National Child Protection Act (NCPA) and the Volunteers for Children Act (VCA)?
The NCPA and VCA refer to the same basic law. For the purposes of criminal history record checks, the NCPA and VCA permits qualified entities working with children, the elderly and the disabled access to state and national criminal history information
  1. What is a “qualified entity”? Who can obtain criminal history background checks under the NCPA and Section 943.0542, Florida Statutes?
To qualify for the VECHS Program, an entity must provide some type of "care" or "care placement services" for children, the elderly or the disabled; even if it is only a limited part of the entity’s overall business. Once qualified to participate in the program, an entity may request criminal history information on all current and prospective employees and volunteers, not only those who work with vulnerable persons. A qualified entity may also request criminal history information on employees or volunteers who have or who seek to have unsupervised access to the populations described above.

"Qualified entities" are authorized to obtain criminal history record information as described under the NCPA and related federal guidelines. Under the NCPA and Florida statute, a "qualified entity" is a business or organization, whether public, private, for profit, not-for-profit, or voluntary, that provides care or care placement services, including a business or organization that licenses or certifies others to provide care or care placement services. "Care" means the provision of care, treatment, education, training, instruction, supervision, or recreation to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities.
  1. How does an organization enroll in the VECHS program?
If an entity meets the criteria of a "qualified entity", they may download and complete a copy of the VECHS Qualified Entity Application and the VECHS User Agreement at http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/BackgroundChecks or contact the VECHS Unit at (850) 410-VECHS (850-410-8324), to request a copy of each document.
  1. Can qualified entities share criminal history information with other qualified entities?
Yes. Criminal history information may be obtained from other VECHS entities, if the employee or volunteer agrees to this on the VECHS Waiver Statement and Agreement form, required to be signed when he/she was fingerprinted, and if the transfer of information is recorded by the other qualified entity on its Dissemination Log. The restrictions on this process are described in the User Agreement. Entities must contact the VECHS Unit at (850) 410-8324 for entity verification before sharing criminal history information.

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