Site Index | CDE Offices | Staff Directory

Fingerprint Requirements

A Note for Educators Who Hold a Current Colorado Credential

In many cases, an educator who consistently maintains an active, CDE-issued educational credential (authorization or license) will only need to submit fingerprints with their first application to CDE.

If you have submitted fingerprints for CDE credentialing in the past, but allowed all credentials to lapse and have held no active credential for a period exceeding 1 year, you must submit a new set of fingerprints.

CDE reserves the right to evaluate all applications for adherence to the fingerprint requirements and will notify applicants by email should any follow-up be needed.

Jump to:


Prior to submitting an application to the Colorado Department of Education, each applicant must submit a complete set of fingerprints for the purpose of obtaining a fingerprint based national criminal history check by following the steps below. This requirement needs to be met only one time for CDE as long as you hold a valid credential (unless, under some special circumstance, you are instructed by CDE to complete another set of fingerprints pursuant to state law). Student teachers - see the below FAQ section.

As part of the fingerprint background check process, the CBI will forward the submitted fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). You have the right to challenge the information contained in either the CBI or the FBI identification record. View details on challenging your criminal history record. Additionally, you may request a copy of your national criminal history record from the FBI. View details on obtaining your criminal history.

Once the CBI processes fingerprint submissions for background checks, they provide the results only to the agency/organization that is named on the card pursuant to a particular state statute that authorizes the fingerprint based criminal history check. In our case C.R.S. 22-60.5-103 (the Educator Licensing Act) is the statute requiring all licensed educators to submit fingerprints specifically for CDE. The results are non-transferable between governing state statutes and, therefore, cannot be released by the CBI to an organization that is not specifically listed on the fingerprint card. (For this reason, fingerprints submitted for a school district cannot be released to the Colorado Department of Education to satisfy our requirements).

Once CDE has processed your fingerprint results after receiving them from the CBI and the FBI your online status will be updated. This process can take 4 - 6 weeks. To check your status, login to your eLicensing account and then click on the "Alerts" tab. A blank status will indicate that we have not updated your account, please keep checking your account as once we enter them your status automatically is updated. CDE does not make any other type of notification other than the status shown on the "Alerts" tab within your account. You can view instructions on checking your fingerprint and application status here.

New Changes to Fingerprint Process

State statute regarding fingerprints changed and to meet the changes of that statute, CBI has implemented the Colorado Applicant Background Services (CABS) program to increase the number of locations where people can obtain fingerprints for background checks.

IDEMIA is pleased to announce their selection as an approved vendor for the Colorado Applicant Background Services (CABS) contract for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). IDEMIA will begin fingerprint services for Colorado on September 24, 2018. IdentoGO Centers provide convenient, professional environments for live scan (electronic) fingerprinting services, which are delivered by trained Enrollment Agents. IdentoGO is the preeminent live scan fingerprinting provider for the state of Colorado and is a certified FBI Channeling Agent. The fee for their service is $12.50 (CBI/FBI fees extra).

Setting up your eLicensing Account

Create your one lifetime eLicensing account with CDE. We must have an eLicensing account to process the results of your fingerprints once we receive them. Without your account, your results cannot be processed requiring you to submit another set of fingerprints after you create this account. Always use a personal email address that you check often. We highly recommend that you do not use a college or school district email address. You may have only one eLicensing account, so if you have already hold an account, please do not create another.

How to submit fingerprints if I am...

Select an option below to get started

Getting fingerprinted for licensure in a public school/charter school

Fingerprinting for CDE pursuant to the Educator Licensing Act whether you or in-state or out-of-state. Results come directly to CDE.

Schedule a New Appointment, Change an Existing Appointment or Check your Status.





Getting fingerprinted for a private school

This is for those private schools that do not require licensure. Results go directly to CDE.

Schedule a New Appointment, Change an Existing Appointment or Check your Status.






Getting fingerprinted as a non-licensed employee of public school district (bus driver, custodian, office staff, etc.)

If you are employed in a public school district in a position that does not require a CDE license, fingerprints shall be submitted pursuant to 22-32-109.8 C.R.S. for your employing school district. Before beginning, you must obtain your school district's CBI account number which begins with CONCJ----. These results go directly to you school district and do not  come to CDE and cannot be used for licensing.

Schedule a New Appointment, Change an Existing Appointment or Check your Status.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do I do if I am a student teacher?

A: If you are currently in a teacher preparation program but you don't yet qualify for licensure, then you cannot be fingerprinted for CDE licensure purposes. View more information regarding fingerprinting if you are or want to become a student teacher. You can create an eLicensing account at any time and you should only create one (1) lifetime account using a personal email address. We highly recommend that you do NOT create your account with a .edu or other school email address as those addresses will change. The email address is the only means by which you will receive your license and information regarding your license. Please remember that you cannot apply for an initial license until you are fully qualified and have completed your educator preparation program in full. If you do not receive a credential from CDE within a year of completing the fingerprint process, you must submit a new set of fingerprints.

Q: As an educator preparation program (traditional or alternative) or a school district placing student teachers or alternative candidates, can I receive fingerprint results on a student teacher?

A: Yes, view information regarding the V.E.C.H.S. program.

Q: Will I be notified by CDE when the results of my fingerprints have been processed by CDE?

A: While we will update your eLicensing account with this information, we will not contact you unless your fingerprints were rejected by the FBI (see the next question). To view your status in eLicensing, log into your account and click on the "Alerts" tab (view instructions here). If it is blank, we have not received and/or processed your result. Please check back often, as that lookup is in real time. Please do not call our offices asking about a fingerprint status as we update your account as soon as we receive results. Keep in mind that we must wait on both the CBI and the FBI before we post a status.

View "Alert" information

Q: What happens if my fingerprints are rejected by the CBI or the FBI?

A: If your fingerprint card is rejected by the CBI, they will notify you via U.S. Mail by returning your fingerprint card and fee. If your fingerprint card is rejected by the FBI, CDE will notify you via the email address you have associated to your eLicensing account. In either case, you will need to follow any instruction(s) that accompanies your notification. A rejection is generally related to the quality of the prints and has nothing to do with a criminal history that you do or do not have. If you were printed at an IdentoGO location and the prints were rejected, they will reprint you free of charge.

Q: Can I use my fingerprints that were taken for my district, out-of-state, or for any other reason?

A: No, fingerprints are not transferable, as each entity is permitted to require and receive a background check under different statutes. Prints must be taken specifically for CDE as shown below on the example card.

Q: Can I get fingerprinted at my local police or Sheriff's Office?

A: Generally no, you need to click one of the 3 options above to schedule an appointment at an approved fingerprint center. If  you get printed outside of an approved fingerprint center, you will need to click one of the 3 choices below for instructions on mailing your card to a card conversion center. This option will cost you more as you may pay the local law enforcement agency and then the card conversion fee (this is the same cost as scheduling with an approved fingerprinting vendor).

Q: How much is the fee for an approved fingerprint vendor?

A: The fee is $12.50 and during the process they will collect the CBI/FBI processing fee of $39.50 from you. Click one of the 3 options above to get started.

Q: How long are my background checks valid?

A: For applicants who do not have a submitted application in process or an active credential, background checks will be valid for 1 year after the results are received by CDE. If your background check reports were received more than 1 year ago (and if you do not hold a valid CDE-issued educator credential), you must submit a new fingerprint card to CBI.

View additional FAQs

Processing Time

Once your fingerprint card has been received by the CBI, the processing time for them is approximately 1–4 weeks. Once CDE receives the results from CBI, CDE processing time may by 1-2 weeks, although we always aim to turn the results around as quickly as possible.


  1. Do NOT send fingerprint submissions to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) or the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). You must choose from the 3 choices above to submit a fingerprint card. If you send your fingerprints to CDE, for security reasons they will be destroyed.
  2. View an overview of circumstances that may result in Denial, Suspension, Revocation, or Annulment of Licenses.

Quick Links


Contact Us

Professional Services & Educator Licensure
6000 E Evans Ave
Building #2, Suite 100
Denver, CO 80222
Contact Licensing

Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
Contact CDE

WCC Access