Fingerprint-based Criminal History Checks for TBAE Registrants
The following is a message DPS sent to TBAE and other state agencies on April 28, 2022, for your information:
DPS would like to request your assistance informing applicants and employees that they should check their e-mail and voicemail for cancelation notices prior to traveling to the IdentoGO location. If they have not received a cancelation notice but would like to confirm their appointment is still scheduled, they can contact IdentoGO by phone regarding the status of their appointment, before proceeding to the location at 1-888-467-2080 (Option 3).
Stay tuned to this page, as it will be updated each time we learn more or receive updated information.
THE FINGERPRINT SCHEDULING PROCESS IS NOW LIVE. SEE IMMEDIATELY BELOW FOR HELPFUL INSTRUCTIONS YOU WILL NEED TO FULFILL THE FINGERPRINTING REQUIREMENT.
- Step-by-step fingerprinting instructions for in-state registrants/applicants
- Step-by-step fingerprinting instructions for out-of-state/overseas registrants/applicants
In the spring of 2013, the Texas Legislature passed a new law requiring all incoming and renewing active TBAE registrants to submit a set of fingerprints to be used to conduct a criminal history check. The fingerprints will also be maintained by DPS and the FBI and cross-referenced in order to provide TBAE notice of certain arrests or convictions in the future. Since the new law’s passage, TBAE staff has set up the necessary procedures, and the fingerprint scheduling process is now available to use. See the links above for step-by-step instructions and forms you will need.
Because this is the most frequently asked question by a wide margin, we are posting this information on this page as well as on our FAQ page (see link below).
Q: If I’ve already submitted fingerprints for a concealed handgun license (or another reason, such as for a school project or when adopting a child), is that sufficient?
A: Unfortunately, no. FBI regulations prohibit that kind of sharing of fingerprint information among government agencies. Fingerprints are required of an Active status TBAE registrant even if he or she has submitted prints for a concealed handgun license, for a previous school district or other public project, for a federal project, for a military project, or for any other reason. FBI regulations do not appear to offer any exceptions.
A few tips and hints are very important to remember:
- Allow plenty of time prior to your renewal due date (several weeks is best) to submit your fingerprints. The process is straightforward, but pre-scheduling an appointment is required, and appointment times and locations are not unlimited. There is no “walk-in” option available from the State’s chosen fingerprinting vendor; appointments must be scheduled online or via telephone beforehand.
- If you are outside Texas, allow yourself even more time than the several weeks suggested above. The out-of-state process is different (more specific information coming soon), and involves mailing “hard copy” fingerprints via the postal service and other hands-on processes, which can take time. If you live outside Texas, allow yourself six or more weeks just to be safe.
- TBAE is prohibited (by law—no exceptions) from issuing or renewing an Active status license without submitted fingerprints. Beginning with renewals or new applications on or after January 1, 2014, you must have submitted fingerprints in accordance with the new law to renew your Active status license. There is no fingerprint requirement for Inactive or Emeritus licenses, though fingerprints will be required in order to switch back to Active status at a later time.
Based upon information obtained from the vendor, the fingerprint process will work as follows:
- Registrants and applicants will schedule an appointment with the vendor through the vendor’s Web site.
- Registrants and applicants will arrive at the one of the vendor’s offices for fingerprinting (there are about 85 offices statewide).
- TBAE will be notified electronically once the fingerprints are submitted.
- Upon receipt of the notice, the TBAE database will “unlock” the registration process and allow registrants to renew registration and applicants to move forward with initial registration.
- Note: the process for nonresident TBAE registrants and applicants will be different. Out-of-state registrants and applicants will undergo fingerprinting on standard cards at law enforcement agencies in their home cities and states (no need to travel to Texas to fulfill this requirement) and send the form to the vendor which will send notice to TBAE, allowing it to complete registration renewal or initial registration of registrants and applicants, respectively.
- Note: Particularly for out-of-state applicants and registrants, the process can take quite a bit of time. Please allow several weeks prior to your renewal due date! As stated above, out-of-state registrants will submit fingerprints in their home states and cities. There is no need to travel to Texas to fulfill this requirement.
This page will serve as the official depository for links and information related to the new fingerprint-based criminal history check requirement. TBAE will update this page with each new piece of information available, so check back often and feel free to share with colleagues, interns, and others who might find it helpful.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the new law, produced by TBAE.
Note: The State’s chosen fingerprinting vendor, MorphoTrust USA, has undergone a handful of name changes in recent years. Web site URLs or other documents may refer to Identogo, L1 Enrollment, Safran, IBT Fingerprinting, or others, but they all indicate the company now known as MorphoTrust USA, located now at www.IdentoGO.com.