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Criminal Background Check

New Fingerprint-based Criminal Background Check

  • Since 1997, Minnesota Statute section 148E.055 has required all Board of Social Work (BOSW) applicants to complete a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) background check.
  • In 2013, the legislature enacted a new law, Minnesota Statute section 214.075, requiring 15 of the Health Licensing Boards, including the BOSW, to begin a comprehensive, nationwide, fingerprint-based criminal background check (CBC) no later than January 1, 2018.   The purpose of a state and national background check is to ensure public safety in an increasingly mobile workforce.
  • The BOSW deployed the new background check effective November 28, 2017, which replaced the current state-only background check process.

Who Must Complete the Fingerprint-based Criminal Background Check

  • As of November 28, 2017, all applicants for initial licensure must submit to a fingerprint-based criminal background check under Minnesota Statute section 214.075.
  • This includes applicants for initial licensure, applicants for licensure by endorsement, and applicants for reactivation after a lapse in licensure.  If you do not hold a current license, including a Temporary License, with the Board, you must submit the required fee and comply with fingerprint-based criminal background check requirements.
  • Failure to submit fingerprints to the Criminal Background Check Program Office within 90 days of the date the Board receives an application will result in a closed application and forfeiture of fees.

Cost and Fingerprint Process

  • The CBC fee is $32 and is bundled with the BOSW license application fee when you submit your application to the BOSW.
  • Federal law prohibits sharing fingerprint-based CBC data; it can be used only for a single purpose.  Previous background checks for employment, military, internships, other licenses, or and other purpose cannot be accepted or used by the BOSW.  BOSW CBC does not replace the criminal background check required by some employers.
  • When an application and fee for licensure are received by the BOSW, the Health Licensing Board Criminal Background Check Program Office will email instructions and forms directly to applicants.  Applicants must first receive instructions and required forms directly from the Criminal Background Check Program Office via email or standard mail before completing the fingerprint-based background check.
  • Typically takes 3 weeks from date fingerprints are received by the Criminal Background Check Program Office.  Failure to submit fingerprints to the Criminal Background Check Program Office within 90 days of the date the Board receives an application will result in a closed application and forfeiture of fees under Minnesota Statutes section 214.075.
  • You must complete a new fingerprint-based criminal background check if 1) your application is closed and if more than one year has elapsed since the CBC was submitted to the Board, or 2) there is a lapse in license, including expiration or voluntary termination, beginning January of 2018.  Reapplication and payment of the necessary fees is required.

Where to Get Fingerprinted

  • Applicants are responsible for obtaining and submitting fingerprints to the Criminal Background Check Program Office.  Fingerprints taken by a private vendor or agency will not be accepted.
  • Fingerprints must be obtained at one of the locations listed below:
Fingerprinting Cost Location
Free of charge Health Licensing Board Criminal Background Check Program Office (Minneapolis - appointment needed)
$10 fee Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Office (St. Paul)
Fee varies Law Enforcement Agencies (Police Department, County Sheriff's Office)

How does the BOSW Use the Data

  • The new CBC background check does NOT change how the BOSW reviews conviction data or who is qualified for licensure.
  • Convictions will continue to be reviewd on a case-by-case basis; no offense is an automatic bar to BOSW licensure

Questions about the CBC Fingerprint-based Background Check Process or to Make an Appointment

Questions about the BOSW Application Process

Criminal Backgroud Check FAQs

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