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Obtain or renew your FBI clearances by December 31 deadline

Harrisburg, PA – If you need to obtain or renew your FBI clearances and criminal history background check, especially for your career, please do so before the deadline on December 31. Although the deadline for these clearances was previously extended due to COVID-19 and office closures, the final chance is quickly approaching to obtain these clearances before your current ones expire.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) issued a final reminder to people needing Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history background checks as a condition of employment to obtain this clearance ahead of the December 31 deadline. Earlier this year, Governor Wolf signed Act 18 of 2020, which extended the time period for certain professions required by the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) to obtain an FBI background check upon hiring.

Under Act 18 of 2020, some individuals who are required to obtain an FBI background check were given additional time to meet this requirement because of closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. New hires and individuals seeking a renewal of the FBI Criminal History Background Check have until December 31, 2020 to obtain the check. All individuals required to obtain additional clearances, including the Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check and the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, must still obtain these clearances prior to employment. Both of these clearances can be obtained online.

“Anyone who needs a new clearance or who needs to renew an existing clearance needs to start the process of obtaining them immediately,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “While a temporary extension was passed in order to create flexibility for the FBI criminal history background check, the deadline is quickly approaching. Failure to receive these clearances will put you out of compliance with the CPSL and will prohibit you from working with children.”

In order to receive an FBI background check, fingerprints must be submitted as part of the criminal history check. Fingerprint scans can be taken at an IdentoGO location in the commonwealth. Many IdentoGO locations were temporarily closed in the spring, creating challenges for people still trying to meet the fingerprinting requirement. An extension on the FBI clearance requirement was passed to accommodate workers during this challenge, and since then the majority of IdentoGo locations have reopened. Required clearances must be obtained by December 31 for workers to remain in compliance.

A map of all open IdentoGO locations is available here, and this map is updated as new offices begin to reopen. Anyone seeking fingerprinting services should call IDEMIA’s customer service at 844-321-2101 to ensure the location is still operating, schedule an appointment, and discuss necessary COVID-19 safety precautions.

If employers have a large number of employees needing new or renewed clearances, arrangements can be made to have fingerprinting occur at the workplace. Mobile fingerprinting services are available for an additional fee through IDEMIA for groups of 20 or more needing clearances. Agencies with this need should contact IDEMIA to schedule.

Act 18 of 2020 applies to individuals who must get their FBI Criminal History Background Check prior to beginning employment as found in Section 6344 of the CPSL and those individuals required by Section 6344.4 of the CPSL that are due to have their fingerprint checks renewed. The law does not extend the fingerprinting and background check requirement for new volunteers under the CPSL, public school employees prior to employment, and others required to receive FBI background checks under different departments.

For more information on clearances necessary to work with children, visit www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov.