THE BACKGROUND PROCESS


A criminal history background review is part of the licensure process whenever an educator or prospective educator applies to obtain or renew a license in the state of Nevada. This background check is mandated by Nevada law.

Pursuant to NRS 391.033, "Every applicant for a[n educator] license must submit with his or her application a complete set of his or her fingerprints and written permission authorizing the Superintendent to forward the fingerprints to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History for its initial report on the criminal history of the applicant and for reports thereafter upon renewal of the license pursuant to subsection 6 of NRS 179A.075, and for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its report on the criminal history of the applicant."

Per NRS 391.033(5), an application for an educator license may be denied if the applicant’s criminal history shows a conviction for a felony or for an offense involving moral turpitude. Administrative Regulation R136-15 defines “offense involving moral turpitude” for purposes of this statute. To assist in interpreting the regulation, the Department has created a matrix listing which types of offenses will result in denial of a license. You may view that matrix at the link below.

An applicant’s background check must be completed before a license will be issued or renewed. The Office of Educator Licensure will not issue a provisional license pending results of a background check.

Electronic Fingerprint Submission (Livescan)

Applicants for an educator license are encouraged to submit fingerprints electronically via Livescan. Department-approved Livescan vendors are currently located in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Nye County, Carson City, Reno, Ely and Elko; once you have submitted your licensure application and payment through OPAL, you will receive a verification email containing a link to a list of these approved vendors. If there is not an approved Livescan location in the area of the state where you live, you will have to submit a fingerprint card in order for us to complete your background check. Most Nevada law enforcement agencies and school districts will not submit fingerprints via Livescan for the Department of Education, but can take your prints and give you a fingerprint card.

We are not able to accept Livescan submissions from any state other than Nevada. If you currently reside in another state and are applying for a Nevada educator license, you must submit a fingerprint card in order for us to complete your background check.

Please note that your employer and the NDE do not share your information and you will need to do two separate background checks. Failure to background check for the NDE will result in denial of licensure and then you will need to reapply and repay the fees.

    Fingerprint Cards

    If you do not have access to an approved Livescan location, you may submit a fingerprint card to the Office of Educator Licensure, either in person or by mail once you have submitted your licensure application and payment. Fingerprint cards must be FBI form FD-258 or the equivalent. This is to ensure compatibility with machine-reading equipment used by the FBI to analyze the cards. The FD-258 is typically a blue and white card (some versions of this form may be black and white) with the form number on the back side in the lower left hand corner.

     If you submit any other fingerprint card it will not be accepted, and you will have to submit another set of prints on the correct form in order for us to complete your background check and process your license. Some law enforcement agencies do not use the FD-258 and do not carry them in stock. In this case you may download and print the card directly from the FBI's website( https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/standard-fingerprint-form-fd-258-1.pdf/view). If you choose to do this, be sure to print the card on lightweight card stock. The Department of Public Safety and the FBI will not accept a fingerprint card printed on standard paper.


    It is important to make sure your fingerprint card is properly filled out before you turn it in. All areas highlighted in yellow on the image below must be completed. Any areas not highlighted in yellow should be left blank unless completed by the fingerprinting agency.

    Fingerprint cards must be signed by both the individual being fingerprinted and the official taking the fingerprints. Cards without both signatures, or cards dated more than one year old, cannot be accepted.

    If you are going to submit a fingerprint card in lieu of Livescan printing, you may have your fingerprints taken by any law enforcement agency or private fingerprinting agency in any state.

      Background Processing

      When you submit fingerprints to the Department of Education for background processing, they are sent to the Nevada Department of Public Safety and the FBI, both of which will run your prints and send a criminal history report to the Department. This process may take up to ten weeks.

      Please note that your employer and the NDE do not share your information and you will need to do two separate background checks. Failure to background check for the NDE will result in denial of licensure and then you will need to reapply and repay the fees.

      If a criminal conviction appears on an applicant's background report, it will be reviewed by a background analyst to determine whether that conviction is potentially disqualifying under NRS 391.033.  You may be requested to provide copies of court documentation and/or police reports documenting the final disposition of any event appearing in your background.

      Criminal history reports are confidential and will not be shared with any individual or other agency unless an applicant gives the Office of Educator Licensure written permission to do so using the Authorization for Release of Personal Information form available at Authorization for Release of Information Form. To see what appears on your criminal history report click the link below, Criminal History Report for Nevada Only and follow the process to request your history, as prescribed by the Nevada Repository. You may request a copy of your criminal history in all other states through the FBI by following the instructions at https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks.

      Background Time Frames

      It can take up to ten weeks to receive background inquiry results from the Department of Public Safety and the FBI. If a set of fingerprints is rejected by one of the two agencies (see “Rejected Fingerprints” below) and another set of fingerprints is submitted, it may take up to another ten weeks for that new submission to be processed.

      Individuals who have not yet applied to renew an existing Nevada educator license and who believe their license may expire before the background process can be completed may request an extension of their license by logging into their OPAL account and extending their license through the “online services” area on their dashboard, this will give an automatic 6-month extension to the existing valid unexpired license.

        Rejected Fingerprints

        Generally occurs if the applicant has rough, dry, or worn skin, which can make it hard to obtain clear, sharp fingerprints. Older individuals who have worked a lot with their hands, individuals who wash their hands frequently, and individuals with certain medical conditions may also have difficulty obtaining readable prints. If this happens, DPS will notify the Office of Educator Licensure that the prints were rejected, and the applicant will receive an email advising them of the situation and directing them to be reprinted and submit a new set of fingerprints to OEL within 30 days. Reprinted fingerprints may not be electronically submitted – you must submit a fingerprint card. The card will then be sent to DPS for processing.

        In some cases, an individual will have both an initial fingerprint submission and a set of reprinted fingerprints rejected. When a second set of prints is rejected, we will request that DPS perform a non-fingerprint based (“manual”) background check based on other unique identifiers (name, Social Security number, date of birth, etc.). If this happens, you will receive a courtesy notification via email advising you that this step was taken. You will not need to take any further action at that point. DPS will not allow us to request a non-fingerprint background check until two separate sets of fingerprints have been submitted and rejected. It may take the FBI up to 10 weeks to process a non-fingerprint background request.

        Individuals whose fingerprints have been rejected one or more times and who hold an existing educator license may, at their discretion, request an extension of their license if they believe it will expire before the background process is completed. To request an extension, these individuals must contact our backgrounds unit via email at backgrounds@doe.nv.gov. Please allow for up to 1 week to have your license extended.

        Frequently Asked Questions About the Background Process

        For a list of frequently asked questions and answers about background checks and fingerprint processing, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

          Contact Information

          If you have further questions about the background process, you may contact the Office of Educator Licensure’s background unit via email at: