Fingerprinting Through New York State Education Department

NOTICE: Students starting Supervised Fieldwork in Fall 2013 must use the guidelines posted on the Fingerprinting Through NYC DOE page

Please follow these important directions for the New York City Department of Education (DOE) procedure for fingerprinting. Fingerprinting is required for everyone who works with children in New York City public schools and some private schools, including student teachers. It is also a requirement for New York State certification. The DOE identifies any teacher working towards certification as a “student teacher.” We encourage all students enrolled in a certification program to get fingerprinted as soon as possible. An increasing number of private schools are now requiring fingerprints. If you have any plans at all to work with children, we encourage you to get fingerprinted; the sooner the better.

The process to register your fingerprints involves time and multiple steps. The sooner you get your fingerprints taken, the smoother the process is going to be.

Follow these steps to get fingerprinted.

1. Request Fingerprint Cards in any of the following ways: 

  • Individual fingerprint cards are available in the Registrar’s Office
  • By sending a request to the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA) at the address below.

Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA)
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue, Room 981 EBA
Albany, NY 12234

2. Get Fingerprinted: 

Fill out the top of both fingerprint cards as completely as possible, in accordance with the sample fingerprint card. Do not make any stray marks on the card. Carefully compare your card to the sample. Sign your fingerprint card. If your fingerprint card is missing required information, or your fingerprint card has stray marks or highlighting on it, your application will be rejected before it is processed, which will result in a long delay in processing.

3. Call the Police Precinct Where You Will be Fingerprinted:

You will need to be fingerprinted at any police precinct. Please call the location prior to when you need to be fingerprinted. Find out whether they take fingerprints for civil purposes; whether they charge a fee; whether they have specific dates and times dedicated to fingerprinting; and whether you need to make an appointment to have your fingerprints taken.

4. Apply Online for Fingerprint Clearance and Make Payment:

After you have been fingerprinted, enter your personal information on the online fingerprint application on the NYSED TEACH website. Pay the $91.50 fee with a credit card or by mailing a certified check, bank check, money order, or employer check, payable to the New York State Education Department. Personal checks will not be accepted. Visit http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/teach/login.html to apply for fingerprint clearance.

5. Transfer of Fingerprints:


To have your fingerprints sent from New York State to the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) you will need to fill out the OSPRA 103 form (pdf):

6.  Mail Fingerprint Cards, OSPRA 103 Form, and Credit Card Confirmation or Coupon with Fee:

Mail To:
Fingerprint Processing
NYS Education Department
PO Box 7352, Albany, NY 12224.


7. Fingerprint Processing:

Upon receipt of your fingerprint cards and fee, OSPRA will process your fingerprints with the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). DCJS and the FBI provides OSPRA with a copy of your criminal history background, if any, so that OSPRA can make a determination on your clearance for employment or application for certification. After receipt of the criminal history, the Department then analyzes any information received in accordance with the requirements of the Executive Law and the Corrections Law.

A note on timing: Generally, it takes the Education Department approximately 12-16 weeks from the time OSPRA receives your fingerprint packet to process your fingerprints. If your fingerprints are rejected or you have a criminal history, resolution of your fingerprint clearance will take longer.

8. Rejection of Fingerprints:

Your fingerprints may be rejected before the clearance process is complete. DCJS and/or the FBI may reject your fingerprints because there was a problem with the quality of the fingerprints, such as, your fingerprints were smudged, or too light or too dark. If your fingerprints are rejected, OSPRA will mail you detailed instructions on the steps you need to take to resubmit your fingerprints.

9. Register with the NYC Department of Education:

You must register with the NYC Department of Education via the online registration system. Visit http://nyc.teacherssupportnetwork.com/studentteacher to create a user account and complete your online registration.

This is NOT the TEACH database for New York State certification!!!

If you do not know your placement information when you first create your user account, you can log back in at a later date to add your placement information.

Once you have fully completed all the required registration information, you should print your registration confirmation letter from the DOE website WITHIN 30 DAYS of the start of your placement. Your host school principal or his/her representative will ask to see your registration confirmation letter.

Please enter an active email address when registering as the DOE frequently communicates with registered student teachers about the full-time application and hiring process as well as other important information.