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BCI & FBI Background Checks
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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, 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. 

For all applicants for CT, LPC, LPCC, SWA, SWT, LSW, LISW, MFT & IMFT. Print and take the BCI and FBI Instructions with you to a WebCheck® location to have your fingerprints scanned.

Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation contact information: Call BCI if your criminal records checks have taken longer than 3 weeks to be received by the Board at 877-224-0043 between the hours of 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., option 7 at the prompt.

When reporting convictions, the applicant is required to provide a complete explanation (your personal statement) of the underlying circumstances, sufficient rehabilitation evidence and a certified copy of the court documents. All applicants are required under law to report all misdemeanor and felony convictions, with the exception of minor traffic violations (note: DUI/OVI charges are not considered traffic violations, and must be reported as criminal convictions). All charges and or convictions require a “yes” answer, even if the original charge and conviction is in an expunged status. Failure to report any police record is falsification of an application and is grounds for denial of an application. 

Instructions

Once completed BCI and FBI background checks are good for one year. 

PRINT & TAKE THESE INSTRUCTIONS WITH YOU TO A WebCheck® Location

The Board does not endorse or recommend any specific electronic fingerprinting company/ agency.

 BCI and FBI criminal records check are not required for renewal of your existing license. 

Carefully following these instructions is very important. The Board recommends that you print these instructions and take them with you when you have your finger prints scanned. For each initial licensure you must complete both the Ohio BCI&I (Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation also referred to as BCI) 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 checks. 

Where to Have your Finger Prints Done: Go to a WebCheck location in your area, which may include your local police, sheriff’s department or department of motor vehicles. Your employer or school may also be a WebCheck® location; ask the background check office to review these instructions. Find a WebCheck® location in your area.

The Board does not endorse or recommend any specific electronic fingerprinting company/ agency.

The Process: Your fingerprints will be scanned and sent electronically to BCI in London, Ohio. BCI completes the state of Ohio (BCI) and Federal (FBI) background checks by comparing fingerprints received against a database of criminal fingerprints to determine if there is a criminal record. BCI then electronically sends the results of both background checks to the CSWMFT Board.

Information You Must Tell the WebCheck Location:

  1. The CSWMFT Board is on “Direct Copy” list. The WebCheck® Location will select “Social Work Board” from the Direct Copy drop-down list at the WebCheck® workstation.

(If “Social Work Board “ is not on the vendor’s Direct Copy List, the vendor must key the Board’s name and address into the “mail to” field of their software: CSWMFT  Board: 77 South High Street, 24th Floor, Room 2468  Columbus, Ohio 43215-6171.  Direct Copy is preferred as the fastest and most secure method of having your background checks submitted.  You should only ask for background checks to be mailed to the Board if Direct Copy is not available.  Please only use Direct Copy whenever available, and do not ask to have paper copies mailed as a backup)

  1. The WebCheck® location must enter one of the following in the “Reason for Fingerprinting” field of their software: ORC 4757.101 or CSWMFT Board or Required for Licensure

How Long Will it Take for the Board to Receive the Results?

Up to 4-6 weeks if you have a criminal history,4-5 business days if you do not. Start the process at least one (1) month before you want/expect to be licensed.

If you have had issues in the past with a WebCheck® location capturing quality fingerprints, you should start the process at least three (3) months before you want/expect to be licensed. If your fingerprints are rejected, you will need ink and roll cards to have fingerprints done manually, which takes extra time. Email the Board to request a packet containing the exemption instructions and request form.

Important Information for You to Know:

  • The CSWMFT Board cannot accept a photocopy or faxed copy of a past BCI or FBI background check.
  • Background checks are only good for one year after receipt by the Board.
  • The Board cannot accept a copy of background check results directly from you, another state, your college, a sheriff/police department or from your place of employment. The reports must come directly to the Board from BCI&I

Instructions for Individuals Outside of Ohio 

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, please contact the appropriate licensing body to request a copy of their instructions.  Different licensing Boards will have different procedures.

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 please email cswmft.info@cswb.ohio.gov (Subject Line: CRC) to request an out-of-state fingerprint packet.

In the email, be sure to include:

  • Your name
  • Your mailing address
  • Your email address
  • The type of license that you are applying for in Ohio

The Board will mail the packet to you, so your fingerprints can be scanned or inked and rolled at your local law enforcement agency. Instructions for mailing the completed fingerprint cards are included in the packet.

Requesting a Copy of Your Completed Background Check Reports 

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, please contact the appropriate licensing body to request a copy of their instructions.  Different licensing Boards will have different procedures.

A copy of your BCI& FBI background checks is available until a licensure determination is made or up to one year if the application is still pending. Once a licensure determination is made or the background check(s) is one year old when part of a pending application, the documents and any electronic copies will be destroyed.  Send an email or written request to the Board and a copy of the BCI & FBI background checks OR a certification of the results will be mailed to your home address.


Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation contact information: Call BCI&I if your criminal records checks have taken longer than 3 weeks to be received by the Board at 877-224-0043 between the hours of 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

If you have already completed a BCI background check for a different purpose within the last 12 months:

Download this Request Form and Send a copy to the CSWMFT Board and follow the instructions. This is FREE within the first 30 days of having your prints scanned and $8 afterwards for up to one year. Note:  A copy of your BCI will take approximately 45-60 days to process. BCI&I cannot send a copy of your previous FBI check; it will need to be repeated.

To request a copy of a BCI check it must be less than 12 months old. If it is less than 30 days old, a copy will be free.

Print the forms from the link above and mail your request to address below: 

BCI&I
Attn: Re-Submission Desk 
PO Box 365
London, Ohio 43140

You can also request a copy of a BCI criminal record check done for this board to be sent elsewhere. Print, complete and mail this form to the address above:  Request a copy to be sent elsewhere

A copy of your BCI& FBI background checks is available from this Board until a licensure determination is made or up to one year if the application is still pending. Once a licensure determination is made or the background check(s) is one year old when part of a pending application, the documents and any electronic copies will be destroyed. Send an email or written request to the Board and a copy of the BCI & FBI background checks OR a certification of the results will be mailed to your home address with CRC on the outside of the envelope. Give it to the agency unopened. 

Criminal Convictions

Criminal Records Requirements 

If you have a criminal record and are applying for a license or registration please read the following information prior to applying for a license. 

The Board does not pre-evaluate criminal convictions; the evaluation is a part of the application process. Since the Board has the responsibility to protect the public, a primary objective of the Board is to ensure applications for registrations or licenses from applicants with criminal convictions have documentation on file that gets an appropriate review. For this reason, the Board evaluates all misdemeanor and felony convictions in the same manner for each type of professional license. 

All applicants are required under law to report all misdemeanor and felony convictions unless they are only minor traffic violations. All charges and or convictions require a “yes” answer, even if the original charge and conviction is in an expunged status. Failure to report any police record is falsification of an application and is grounds for denial of an application.

When reporting convictions, the applicant is required to provide a complete explanation (your personal statement) of the underlying circumstances, sufficient rehabilitation evidence and a certified copy of the court documents. All applicants are required under law to report all misdemeanor and felony convictions, with the exception of minor traffic violations (note: DUI or OVI charges are not considered traffic violations, and must be reported as criminal convictions). All charges and or convictions require a “yes” answer, even if the original charge and conviction is in an expunged status. Failure to report any police record is falsification of an application and is grounds for denial of an application  The Board evaluates each application with any reported convictions on a case-by-case basis to make a determination concerning the applicant's ability to practice with safety to the public. Included in the Board's evaluation is the nature and severity of the offense, additional subsequent acts, time-frame of crime, compliance with sanctions and evidence of rehabilitation.

If the applicant has a conviction history, the processing time may be longer than the normal processing time. Additional processing time is normally required to obtain additional documentation showing sufficient evidence of rehabilitation (i.e., a comprehensive report from treating psychotherapist, psychological evaluation, or letter from probation officer). You can expedite the process by requesting your court documents as soon as possible.

Poor Quality Prints

If you have had issues in the past with a WebCheck location capturing quality fingerprints please email cswmft.info@cswb.ohio.gov to request a packet containing the exemption instructions and request form.

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