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Out of State Background Checks

The instructions below are intended for applicants of the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board.  If you are not applying for a license under this Board (either a CT, LPC, LPCC, SWA, SWT, LSW, LISW, MFT or IMFT), please contact the appropriate licensing body to request a copy of their instructions.  Different licensing Boards will have different procedures.

For each initial licensure you must complete both the Ohio BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation also referred to as BCI&I) and FBI criminal records checks. By law, the Board cannot complete the processing of your application until it receives both the BCI and FBI background check. Please note: criminal record checks are valid for no more than one year. Applicants must have  current records checks on file with the Board at the time of licensure. 

Instructions for Individuals Outside of Ohio 

Out-of-state background checks can take up to 4 to 6 weeks. If you will be in Ohio before licensure, print these instructions and go to an Ohio WebCheck® location, which will be a much faster process. You do not have to live in Ohio to have your criminal records check completed in Ohio.

If you cannot come to Ohio to have your background check completed, you will need to complete fingerprint cards, have your fingerprints taken, and mail the completed cards, payment and exemption form to the BCI&I in London, Ohio.  The process is outlined in the instructions below:


1. Print one BCI fingerprint card, and one FBI fingerprint card, from the Ohio Attorney General website. 


2. Complete the top section of both cards in BLACK INK ONLY.  Print clearly, because unreadable cards are rejected.  Do not alter the card itself or the boxes.  

Certain fields on the fingerprint cards will need to be filled out with the Board's information so that we can receive your completed background checks.  These are the particular fields that need to be completed as follows (see the sample images below):


On the FBI card, the Employer and Address field should read:

Ohio CSWMFT Board

77 S High St., 24th Fl., Room 2468

Columbus OH 43215-6171

On the FBI card, the Reason Fingerprinted field should read ORC 4757.101

On the FBI card, the Your No. OCA field should read 1AB002



On the BCI card, under Send Background Check Results To:  the box for "agency listed in agency code box" should be checked.

On the BCI card, the Agency Code or OGI/AGC field should read 1AB002

On the BCI card, under Reason Fingerprinted, check the box for ORC, and write ORC 4757.101

On the back of the BCI card, the Agency Name field should read Ohio CSWMFT Board

Be sure to sign the waiver of release on the back of the Civilian background check card and have your signature witnessed by a person other than a relative.


3. Take the finger print cards to your local police or sheriff’s office outside the state of Ohio, and they will assist with fingerprinting you.  If a police station is not available, any organization skilled and knowledgeable in fingerprinting processes should be able to help you.  Ink and roll cards are not allowed within the state of Ohio and can only be used for out of state applications and for those failing to produce quality prints electronically.


4. Complete the “Request for Exemption from Electronic Fingerprint Submission Requirement” form on the Ohio Attorney General's website.  This form must accompany all ink and roll cards mailed to the BCI&I.

Certain fields on the form will need to be filled out with the Board's information so that we can receive your completed background checks.  These are the particular fields that need to be completed as follows (see the sample image below):

The Employer or Licensing Agency field should read:  Ohio CSWMFT Board, 77 S High St., 24th Fl., Room 2468, Columbus OH 43215-6171

Under Basis for Exemption, the Other field should read, Out of State Applicant


5. After both cards have been completed and your finger prints taken:

Obtain one money order, certified check, business check, or personal check for $47.25, payable to the Treasurer State of Ohio.  (The cost is $25.25 for the FBI, $22.00 the BCI; these can be combined into one check)


6. Send both your completed BCI and FBI finger print cards, your payment, and the Request for Exemption form to the BCII in London, Ohio at the following address:

Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation

PO Box 365

London, Ohio 43140

Do not mail this information to the Board's office in Columbus, Ohio, only mail it to the BCI&I in London, Ohio.  Packets mailed to the Board's office by mistake will be returned to you promptly.


Call the BCI&I at 877-224-0043 if the Board has not received your prints within 6 weeks of your submitting them. They will answer questions on both the BCI and the FBI.

Please note, the Board cannot accept a copy of a previously completed background check from you, or your college, university, sheriff or police department, or from your place of employment.  Background checks can only come to us from the BCI&I, using the process outlined above.

If you have any questions on this process, please contact us.