Background / Clearance Instructions

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires three security clearances before a person can be employed by a Pennsylvania public school.

They are:
1. Pennsylvania State Police Background Check (Criminal History Record Request)
Can be obtained online at

Cost is $8.00.

2. Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance
Can be obtained from the Department of Public Welfare: Cost is $8.00. 3. FBI Fingerprints Cost is $27.00


All applicants will receive an unofficial copy of their report. Fee is payable to 3M Cogent.

The fingerprint-based background check is a multiple-step process, as follows:

1.  Registration - The applicant must register prior to going to the fingerprint site. Walk in service without prior registration will not be provided at any fingerprinting location. Registration is completed online or over the phone. Registration is available online 24 hours/day, seven days per week at MUST CHOOSE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WHEN REGISTERING.  Telephone registration is available at 1-888-439-2486 Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm EST. During the registration process, all demographic data for the applicant is collected (name, address, SSN, etc.); there is no data entry required or allowed at the fingerprint collection site.  Any corrections to this data must be made prior to being fingerprinted.

2.  Payment - The applicant will pay a fee of $27.00 for the fingerprint service and to secure an unofficial copy of the Criminal History Record. Applicants may make their payment online using a credit card or debit card during the registration process. No cash transactions or personal checks are allowed.

3.  Fingerprint Locations – After registration, the applicant proceeds to the fingerprint site of their choice for fingerprinting. 3M Cogent has established over 80 sites across the Commonwealth. The location of the fingerprint sites and days and hours of operation for each site are posted on 3M Cogent's website at The UPS Store in Honesdale and Dunmore, Barnes Kasson Hospital and the Northeast Intermediate Unit are all local sites.

4.  Fingerprinting - At the fingerprint site the Applicant Livescan Operators (ALO) manage the fingerprint collection process. The fingerprint transaction begins when the ALO reviews the applicant’s qualified State or Federal photo ID before processing the applicant’s transaction. A list of approved ID type may be found on the 3M Cogent website at Applicants will not be processed if they cannot produce an acceptable photo ID. After the identity of the applicant has been established, all ten fingers are scanned to complete the process. The entire fingerprint capture process should take no more than three to five minutes.

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