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Criminal Background Check

Who Must Complete the Fingerprint-based Criminal Background Check

  • All applicants for licensure who do not hold a current license, including a temporary license, issued by the Minnesota Board of Social Work, must complete 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 reapplying after a lapse in licensure.

Cost and Fingerprint Process

  • The CBC fee is $33.25 and is bundled with the application fee when you submit an application for licensure or application for reactivation to the Board.
  • 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 any other purpose cannot be accepted or used by the Board.  A CBC completed for the Board does not replace the CBC required by some employers.
  • When an application and fee for licensure are received by the Board, the Health Licensing Board Criminal Background Check Program Office (CBC Program Office) will email instructions and forms directly to applicants.  Applicants must first receive instructions and required forms directly from the CBC Program Office via email or standard mail before completing the fingerprint-based background check.
  • Typically takes 3 weeks for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) to process from date fingerprints are received by the CBC Program Office.
  • You must complete a new fingerprint-based criminal background check if your application is closed and if more than one year has elapsed since the CBC was received by the Board. 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 may be obtained at one of the locations listed below:
Fingerprinting Cost Location
$10 fee Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Office (St. Paul)
Fee varies Law Enforcement Agencies (Police Department, County Sheriff's Office)
Fee varies Private Vendors (Criminal Background Check Program Office has authority to reject fingerprint cards from private vendors due to poor quality)

How Does the Board Use the Data?

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

Questions About the Fingerprint-Based Criminal Background Check Process or to Make an Appointment

Questions About the Licensure Application Process

Criminal Background Check FAQs

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