Revised January 26, 2016
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS
The Criminal History Review Unit (CHRU) is responsible for conducting criminal history background checks on employees in the public, private handicap, and nonpublic schools in New Jersey. It is the principle objective of the unit to execute the statutory mandates of the enabling legislation, N.J.S.A.18A:6-7.2 et seq., N.J.S.A.18A:39-19.1 et seq., N.J.S.A. 18A:6-4.14 et seq., and N.J.S.A. 18A:12-1.2 et seq. in a comprehensive and responsible manner. The criminal history record check process includes a fingerprint search of the applicant/employee by the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The acronym in this report for the Department of Education shall be identified as DOE and Criminal History Record Check shall be identified as CHRC.
THE EDUCATIONAL FACILITY OR AUTHORIZED CONTRACTOR IS STATUTORILY RESPONSIBLE TO ENSURE THAT THE APPLICANTS, EMPLOYEES, OR BOARD/TRUSTEE MEMBERS COMPLETE THE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECK PROCESS PRIOR TO EMPLOYMENT OR SERVICE. THEY MUST PROVIDE THE INDIVIDUAL WITH THE COUNTY, DISTRICT, CONTRACTOR AND/OR SCHOOL CODES AND INSTRUCTIONS ON ACCESSING THE ONLINE E-PAYMENT PROCESS AND THE IDENTOGO NJ UNIVERSAL FINGERPRINTING FORM. UPON COMPLETION OF THIS PROCESS, THE APPLICANT MAY ACCESS THE MORPHOTRUST WEBSITE THROUGH A LINK ON THE E-PAYMENT PROCESS CONFIRMATION PAGE.
The following is a list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the criminal history background check process. Please review all questions as some categories may overlap. If you have a question that does not appear on this list, please contact the Criminal History Review Unit at 609-292-0507 for a response and to have your question included in our next update.
CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS
(N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.2 et seq., N.J.S.A. 18A:39-19.1 et seq., N.J.S.A. 18A:6-4.14 et seq., and N.J.S.A. 18A:12-1.2 et seq.)
Click on the question below to go to the corresponding answer:
Select the first option "View and/or print your New Administration Fee Payment Request confirmation page" and print a copy of the receipt by clicking the print button in the upper right corner of the page and presenting a copy to the employing entity.
Next select the second option "Complete and/or print your IdentoGO NJ Universal Fingerprint Form" to complete the IdentoGO NJ Universal Fingerprint Form. After the form is complete, you must click on the "Submit" button at the bottom of the page. When the form has been submitted, you must view and print the IdentoGO NJ Fingerprint Form and present it to MorphoTrust at the time of LiveScan fingerprinting.
Access the MorphoTrust web page by selecting the third option "Click here to schedule your fingerprinting appointment with MorphoTrust" to schedule a fingerprinting appointment and submit to LiveScan Fingerprinting.
When the Criminal History Review is completed, the applicant will receive an approval letter with the blue seal of the State of New Jersey or an Ineligible or Disqualification letter.
NOTE: Individuals who have filed online for the ePayment Criminal History Record Check and completed the IdentoGO NJ Universal Fingerprint Form but failed to print either the receipt or the IdentoGO NJ Universal Fingerprint form may now access the Reprint Your Confirmation or IdentoGO Fingerprinting Form located at the same Website cited above and obtain a copy of the receipt and IdentoGO fingerprint form for any previously submitted online requests.
October 8, 1986
August 11, 1989
June 30, 1998
|Recklessly endangering another person||2C:12-2|
|Luring, enticing child into MV, structure. Isolated Area.||2C:13-6|
|Causing or risking widespread injury or damage||2C:17-2|
|Threats and other improper influence||2C:27-3|
|Perjury and false swearing||2C:28-3|
February 21, 2003
November 1, 2003
May 4, 2007
September 1, 2009
October 30, 2009
January 12, 2010
May 26, 2011
MorphoTrust (Formally Sagem Morpho)
The current fee for new applicants for school employment, including nonpublic schools, is $65.45 (effective February 1, 2015). There also is a $10.00 administrative fee that is charged by the Department of Education (DOE) plus a convenience fee charged by the vendor NicUSA. All Applicants and employees must submit requests for criminal history record checks, archive submission requests, and duplicate approval letter requests via ePayments on the department Website. NEW APPLICANTS MUST NOT SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH MORPHOTRUST TO BE FINGERPRINTED UNLESS THEY HAVE SUBMITTED THE ONLINE INITIAL APPLICATION REQUEST TO THE CRIMINAL HISTORY REVIEW UNIT.
Two payments are required for the process. The initial payment must be paid online to DOE with a credit or debit card in the amount of $10.00 plus a convenience fee for NicUSA. The second payment is payable to MorphoTrust in the amount of $65.45 (effective February 1, 2015) in the form of a credit or debit card if scheduling online and by money order if paying at the time of printing. This payment will cover the fee for MorphoTrust, the State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The law states that the applicant must be responsible to pay all fees for the criminal history background checks, including any administrative costs. However, the employing educational facility/contractor/vendor may reimburse the paid applicant for the cost of the printing, including any administrative fees.
Following submission of the Authorization, Legal Certification, Administrative Fee, and IdentoGO New Jersey Universal Fingerprint Form to the DOE, applicants must schedule appointments online by accessing the MorphoTrust Website at the link on the confirmation page. This is the most convenient and quickest way to schedule an appointment. You may also access the MorphoTrust Website at: https://www.bioapplicant.com/nj. Also, English-speaking and Spanish-speaking applicants may call 1-877-503-5981. Hearing impaired applicants should call 1-800-673-0353. The call for hearing impaired must be placed from a telephone that is connected to a modem.
To ensure compliance with state statute, the applicant must file the Authorization, Legal Certification, and Administrative Fee payment online at the department Website. Upon completion of the online process, the applicant may contact MorphoTrust for an appointment to scan the fingerprints. Usually, appointments are available within seven working days.
10. Can a prospective job applicant for hire in an educational facility use a vendor other than the state-authorized vendor (MorphoTrust) to have their fingerprints processed (LiveScan) through DOE for pre-employment screening?
No, MorphoTrust is the ONLY state-authorized vendor for fingerprint screening.
We anticipate a highly reduced rejection rate using LiveScan fingerprinting. However, when the CHRU receives information of a Bad Print Reject (BPR), we will notify the employing educational facility or authorized contractor/vendor. We will then notify MorphoTrust that the applicant's fingerprints were rejected, and they will contact the applicant/employee via US mail directly to schedule a new appointment at no charge. Please note: the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have a 90-day timeframe from the date the prints were rejected for the individual to resubmit for re-printing. Thereafter, both agencies will purge their records, and the individual will need to be printed as a new applicant.
Photo driver's licenses or other government-issued identification bearing the individual's photo will suffice. Most county clerk's offices and the Motor Vehicle Commission will issue a photo ID at a minimal charge. The applicant/employee must also have the MorphoTrust Universal form in their possession at the time of LiveScan fingerprinting by technician.
Applicants who were LiveScan printed subsequent to February 21, 2003 and have had the state fingerprint image retained by the NJSP and category Education Keep (EDK) are eligible for the Archive Submission Process. The request for this process must be authorized by the employing entity and the employee must submit the request online at the department Website. This form must include the most recent Process Control Number (PCN) obtained from their previous MorphoTrust receipt or their most recent approval letter with the blue seal of the State of New Jersey. The employee will not be required to go to a site to be LiveScan fingerprinted. This office will request the check from MorphoTrust.
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14. What is the fee for the Archive Submission Process?
The current fee for the Archive Submission Process is $30.25 plus a convenience fee for NicUSA. The Criminal History Review Unit will distribute the fee as follows: $14.75 for the FBI to search the print images and $5.50 for MorphoTrust to retrieve the fingerprints from archive and transmit them to the FBI. The fee also includes a $10.00 administrative fee for the DOE to process the request and issue the approval letter.
EDUCATIONAL FACILITY/AUTHORIZED CONTRACTOR/VENDOR
If the job position is mentioned in the statute (N.J.S.A.18A:6-7.2 i.e. teaching staff member, substitute teacher, teacher aide, child study team member, school physician, school nurse, custodian, school maintenance worker, cafeteria worker, school law enforcement officer, school secretary or clerical worker), regardless of pupil contact, the individual must submit to the criminal history record check. In addition, any individual that has "regular pupil contact" must also undergo the criminal history record check. "Regular pupil contact" is determined by the employing education facility in consultation with the school attorney.
The applicants will receive a letter with the blue seal of the State of New Jersey mailed to their home address. The process should take approximately three weeks from when the applicant is printed unless follow-up investigation is required. Valid proof of approval for applicants and employees would be the following:
IT IS THE EMPLOYING EDUCATIONAL FACILITY OR AUTHORIZED CONTRACTOR/VENDOR THAT MUST ENSURE EMPLOYEES HAVE COMPLETED THE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECK PROCESS. IF NO APPROVAL IS RECEIVED WITHIN FOUR WEEKS, PLEASE CONTACT THE CHRU AT 609-292-0507.
Yes, if an applicant meets the criteria for emergent hiring and the employing educational facility can demonstrate to the executive county superintendent that an emergent need for that service exists, it may complete the emergent hiring form. However, the employee must file online with DOE for Initial Applicant Request or Archive Submission Process and then schedule the appointment with MorphoTrust prior to starting employment.
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18. If an employee has been fingerprinted in the State of New Jersey for another purpose, is the employee required to go through the CHRC process again?
Yes, since the regulations concerning dissemination of criminal history information prohibit sharing that material outside the intended purpose. Federal and state security and privacy regulations dictate that dissemination of this information may only be for the purpose expressed in the "Reason Fingerprinted."
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19. If an employee changes jobs within the same educational facility, will s/he be required to submit to another criminal history record check?
No, once an employee has gone through the process for one position, that employee may serve in any other position in that educational facility, except the position of school bus driver, without submitting to a new criminal history record check. However, if the employee desires to become a substitute teacher, the NJAC requires a criminal history record check prior to the county office issuing substitute credentials. In this scenario, if the employee had a criminal history record check for the same facility within five months of the application for substitute credentials, that criminal record check may be used by the county office for issuance of the teaching credentials.
A school bus driver employed directly by an educational facility may work in other job positions within the same district without submitting to a new criminal history record check. However, if the school bus driver desires to obtain substitute teaching credentials, they would require a new criminal history record check using statute N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.2.
21. If an individual is hired after October 8, 1986 for a position without regular pupil contact and later transfers to a position with pupil contact, must that person undergo the Criminal History Record Check process?
Yes, it should occur prior to the time of transfer to the new position.
Unpaid volunteers may now be submitted for the state and federal criminal history record check at a reduced fee from that which is charged for paid employees. Recently, the department has been authorized to allow school districts to submit student teachers for the criminal history record check process. They may be submitted by using the same codes and fees as that used for submitting the unpaid volunteer. However, the state will not retain or flag the print image. Therefore, if the unpaid volunteer or student teacher is arrested subsequent to approval, no notification will be made to the department. Should the student teacher or the unpaid volunteer seek employment with an educational facility, they would be required to undergo a new criminal history record check as would a new applicant for employment. They would not be eligible for the Archive Submission Process. Also, upon request from the nonpublic schools, this office will process volunteers using the nonpublic school statute, N.J.S.A.18A:6-4.14.
Yes, the law states that the district may not employ or contract for the services of an individual without submitting that applicant through a criminal CHRC process. If the individual is hired each summer, the educational facility may check with their board attorney as to whether the resolution could be extended from year to year until such time as there is a resolution terminating that employee's position.
Yes, although juvenile criminal records are not available for non-criminal justice purposes, the State Bureau of Identification will report if the juvenile is listed on the sexual offender's list or if the juvenile is charged as an adult. Juveniles may obtain working papers at age 14 years. However, if the juvenile will be working in a paid position at the school that s/he attends, fingerprinting would not be required. The juvenile has the legal authority to attend school.
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25. What about school crossing guards who are employed by the municipality and assigned to the educational facilities?
These individuals are not required to undergo the fingerprint process unless they are employed or contracted by the educational facility.
Yes, the educational facility, authorized vendor, or employee may be subject to administrative action and a $500.00 fine. School bus contractors and bus drivers who violate the provisions of this statute may be fined $5,000.00 and be denied direct access to the CHRU for processing future criminal history record checks on their drivers and aides.
Yes, except for individuals employed in a substitute capacity or a contract service provider employee that works in multiple educational facilities simultaneously. Please see letter for "Contract Service Providers Working in Multiple Educational Facilities Simultaneously" at the following site: http://www.nj.gov/education/educators/crimhist.
No, they are exempt.
Yes, if they are employed or contracted by an educational facility. NJAC requires coaches to obtain a substitute teaching certificate.
Effective May 26, 2011, N.J.S.A. 18A:12-1.2 et seq. mandates that all School Board members and members of a Board of Trustees for charter schools submit to the Criminal History Record Check.
Contractor/vendors authorized to submit CHR checks directly to the CHRU will be able to process their employees similar to an educational facility. They will have the same responsibilities for hiring and responding to notifications of disqualified or ineligible applicants.
For those contractor/vendors who have not been assigned codes by the CHRU, it will be the responsibility of the educational facility where the contractor/vendor's employees will be working to process these individuals. The educational facility will provide the CHRU instructions for online filing and will have total responsibility to ensure that all employees of the contract service provider have complied with the criminal history record check process.
34. Are employees such as food service workers who were originally employed by a district and now work for a contractor who provides these services to the same educational facility be required to resubmit to the CHRC process?
As long as these employees continue working in the same educational facility under contract with no break in service, they will not be required to undergo the criminal history record check process.
Tutors, as employees of an educational facility, who have regular contact with pupils, or one-on-one computer contact, must undergo the criminal history record check process.
36. If an employee is laid off (dismissed because of employee reduction) and is asked to be re-employed by the educational facility or authorized contractor/vendor, will that person have to undergo the CHRC process again? What about maternity and family leave?
If employees are laid off, their employment is terminated and they must submit to a new criminal history record check when they are re-employed. In cases of maternity and family leave, the applicant is placed on a leave of absence and is "made whole" upon returning to the educational facility and is not required to undergo the criminal history record check.
Approval letters issued by the Criminal History Review Unit are valid only in the district that employs the applicant. A new approval letter is required whenever changing districts/contractors or seeking employment in more than one district. (This does not apply to substitute positions or school bus drivers.)
For the first calendar year after the approval date, a substitute employee may be put on any substitute list in any educational facility in the state without providing proof of continuous employment, until their job category changes to a non-substitute position. After the first calendar year of the approval date, there is no need to have the substitute reapply for a criminal history record check when adding a new educational facility as long as one of the original educational facilities is annually rehiring the substitute and there is no break in service. However, the new employer should require proof of continuous employment. Once approved in a non-substitute position, the first year calendar rule no longer applies. An individual who is first hired as a substitute and later selected for a permanent position, other than school bus driver, within the same educational facility, is not required to undergo a new criminal history record check.
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Effective January 18, 2011, all educational facilities and authorized school bus contractors that employ school bus drivers or individuals serving in substitute positions who transfer from one employer to another, must submit a Transfer Request online at the department Website, to the Criminal History Review Unit. Please visit our Website at: http://www.nj.gov/education/educators/crimhist and select "ePayment Criminal History Record Check" then select Transfer Request (Only Substitutes & Bus Drivers are eligible). There currently is no fee for filing a Transfer Request.
You may request that the substitute produce their approval letter bearing the official state seal in blue or contact the Criminal History Review Unit.
Yes, upon confirmation of a conviction or pending crime/offense of a disqualifying nature, the educational facility or authorized contractor/vendor will immediately be notified that the applicant is disqualified or not eligible for employment. Our investigators confirm employment through the Department of Labor Wage Reporting Database on all applicants/employees who are disqualified, rendered ineligible, or suspended by the Motor Vehicle Commission. This process will assure that those educational facilities and authorized contractor/vendors who employ individuals serving in substitute positions, school bus drivers, or individuals working in multiple districts simultaneously, will be notified to take the appropriate action.
Simultaneously, with notification to the educational facility or authorized contractors/vendors, the applicant is also notified via regular mail of their disqualification from employment. The applicant has 30 days to challenge the accuracy of the criminal history record.
When an employee is disqualified, suspended, or released by the employing entity based on a notification of ineligibility by the CHRU, the employing entity may not rehire that individual until they receive written notification from our office.
44. If the criminal history background check reveals convictions for crimes which are not disqualifying, may the Department of Education disclose those convictions to the employing educational facility or authorized contractor/vendor?
No, the Privacy Act precludes the Department of Education from disseminating criminal history record information to the employing entity.
There is a law that permits an employer to request an employee to submit to a state fingerprint check (no federal check is allowed). Contact the NJ Division of State Police at 609-882-2000 extension 2918 and request a 212B Applicant State Fingerprint Check form.
Yes, if the job category is included in the law or there is regular pupil contact, the applicant must submit to a background check or not be hired.
As required by law, the Department of Education will notify the State Board of Examiners for appropriate action.
When the individual's employment is no longer required as indicated by Board Resolution, this would constitute a "break in service."
When an employee is "board-approved" by resolution in the same educational facility, s/he is considered to have continuous employment. Once the employee leaves that district to seek employment in a new district, that person no longer has continuous employment.
No, since the educational facility is the common employer.
A school bus driver must submit to a new CHRC upon renewal of his/her driver's license. All other employees who break service with the employing educational facility are considered new employees and must submit to a new criminal history record check through the new educational facility. The exception is employees in substitute positions. Please see response in Question #38.
Guidance should be sought from the Division of Pensions regarding re-employment as a retiree's pension benefits may be adversely affected.
Applicants applying for a substitute teaching certificate from the county superintendent must produce an approval letter from the Criminal History Review Unit prior to the certificate being issued. However, the employing educational facility may employ the substitute on an emergent basis if they demonstrate a need exists. A new criminal history record check is not required for renewing the substitute credentials providing the credentials have not expired.
Those individuals who need to be hired on an emergent basis will require an executive county superintendent's approval. All other employees who are being processed must wait for the Criminal History Review Unit to issue an approval letter prior to starting their employment.
Yes, an applicant may not begin working until the educational facility has received an Emergent Hiring form signed by the executive county superintendent.
Authorized contractors/vendors who have been assigned specific code numbers by this office may send requests for emergent hiring directly to the executive county superintendent along with a copy of the resolution authorizing that company to work in a specific school district. All other contractors/vendors must go through the respective school district.
The three-month emergent hiring begins with the approval of the executive county superintendent, the required online initial application or archive application request is submitted, and the applicant has scheduled an appointment with MorphoTrust for LiveScan fingerprinting.
Requests for a two-month extension must be submitted to the Criminal History Review Unit. Educational facilities and authorized contractors/vendors should check with the applicant to ascertain whether they received an approval letter before sending in requests for extensions.
59. Is the emergent approval interchangeable with all educational facilities for substitute employees or must each educational facility apply for emergent approval for the substitute; i.e. if a substitute teacher is seeking employment in four educational facilities, must each facility request approval?
The emergent approval from the executive county superintendent is not interchangeable with other districts. Each request must be submitted by the respective employing district/contractor.
The substitute may not teach in a public educational facility until that person undergoes the background check and obtains valid substitute teaching credentials. The exception would be if the employing district obtained an emergent hiring approval for the substitute teaching position from the county superintendent. In that case, the credentials could be issued pending the criminal history background check.
SCHOOL BUS DRIVER
Yes, they must make application to this office, and they will be assigned their own code numbers.
School bus drivers must submit to the criminal history record check upon initial application for a school bus driver endorsement and upon renewal of the basic driver's license.
A school bus driver should start the criminal history record check process about one to two months (but no sooner than three months) prior to the expiration of his/her driver's license to facilitate a smooth transition.
Charter bus operators used on an infrequent basis are exempt because they do not have "regular pupil contact."
Yes, since the driver is an employee of a public educational facility, the driver must be fingerprinted.
66. On initial application for a school bus driver's license or renewal of this license, is the school district, contractor, or school bus driver applicant responsible for submitting proof of the Criminal History Record Check to the Motor Vehicle Commission?
Yes, for initial application and renewal of the school bus driver's "S" endorsement, the driver shall provide a copy of the Criminal History Review Unit approval letter to the Motor Vehicle Commission.
Please refer to Question #39.
School bus drivers must use N.J.S.A. 18A:39-19.1 when submitting to the criminal history record check. They are printed initially when obtaining the "S" endorsement from the Motor Vehicle Commission and thereafter, each time they renew their driver's license. The school bus aide must be printed under N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.2. Thereafter, if they remain with the same
company, no further printing is required. However, if the aides change employers, they must
undergo the criminal history record check as a new employee.
No, a school bus driver must be employed with an educational facility or an authorized school bus contractor prior to undergoing the criminal history record check through the Department of Education. Should the school bus driver's "S" endorsement expire, the Motor Vehicle Commission will allow a period of time for the driver to renew the endorsement. If the school bus driver does not renew in that period of time, s/he will be required to undergo new testing for the "S" endorsement.
Additional updates will be posted to the Website when available. If you have any questions, please contact the Criminal History Review Unit at (609) 292-0507.
CHC/cc/Q&A January 26, 2016