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Background Checks

NOTICE: Effective July 1, 2020, applications to receive a CJIS Authorization number for background checks must be received on the new application form. Outdated forms will no longer be accepted. Please use the new application forms which can be found by clicking on the below links:
Private employers must complete the Private Party Petition packet.
Agencies providing Adult Dependent Care, Child Care, Criminal Justice, Government Employment/Licensing or Public housing must complete the Application to Receive Criminal History Record Information for Employment or Licensing Purposes.

Effective October 1, 2020, all in-state applicant fingerprints submitted to CJIS for the purpose of licensing and/or employment background checks must be done electronically via approved live scan fingerprinting units. The only time in-state ink-and-rolled 'hard-card" applicant fingerprint cards will be accepted will be when there is a bona-fide medical reason a live scan transmission cannot be obtained. A comprehensive list of approved live scan fingerprinting units can be obtained by clicking the "Fingerprinting" link to the left of this webpage. If you have questions regarding this policy update, please email cjis.customerservice@maryland.gov.


Individual Background Check (Visas, Gold Seal Letters, and Individual Review)

If you live within Maryland:

  • You may go to any authorized location that provides fingerprinting services.
  • If you are requesting a copy of your Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history record you must send your request directly to the FBI.

If you live outside of Maryland:
You must request a fingerprint card by:

  • Writing the Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository to: P.O. Box 32708, Pikesville, Maryland 21282-2708; or
  • Calling the Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository in Baltimore City at 410-764-4501 or via the toll free number 1-888-795-0011.

The fingerprint card and associated fee should be mailed to: 

Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository
P.O. Box 32708
Pikesville Maryland 21282 - 2708

Or sent overnight to:

Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository
6776 Reisterstown Road, Suite 102
Baltimore Maryland 21215 - 2346

Include a check made out to the "CJIS Central Repository". See the schedule of Associated Criminal Justice Information System – Central Repository Fees below.

Upon receipt of the fingerprint card, the response from the Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository can be expected within 10-15 days.

Fingerprint cards from other states and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation cannot be accepted.

Individual Background Check For Employment or Licensing Purposes:

  • If you are seeking employment or to be licensed within Maryland, your employer or licensing agency must request the background record check.
  • You must:
    • Use the fingerprint cards supplied by your employer or licensing agency, and/or
    • Have your employer's or licensing agency’s authorization number available.

Hazardous Material Endorsement for Commercial Driver's Licenses

The Transportation Security Administration passed regulations requiring commercial drivers that transport hazardous materials to undergo a security screening that includes a criminal history background check. Commercial drivers in Maryland can apply for their Hazardous Material Endorsement and receive the required security screening at the same time. Detailed instructions for the application and renewal process for the Hazardous Material Endorsement can be found on the Motor Vehicle Administration website.

Adoptions:

  • If you currently live in Maryland and the adoption will be finalized in Maryland, follow the instructions of the agency conducting your home study for a full background childcare record check.
  • If the child is being adopted from outside the United States, you may need a Gold Seal Letter in addition to the childcare record check. Check with your adoption agency for additional details.

Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) – Central Repository Customer Service:

CJIS Customer Service cannot disclose any criminal history.

CJIS Customer Service representatives can:

  • Check the status of a current background history request. You must have the reference number or a social security number.
  • Take orders for applicant fingerprint cards.
    • Download the Fingerprint Card Order Form, in PDF format. Simply complete your information, print it and fax it to 410-653-6320, or print it and mail it to CJIS-Central Repository, P.O. Box 32708, Pikesville, Maryland 21282-2708.
  • Answer questions regarding the processing of criminal history.
  • Give instructions on how to obtain criminal history.
  • Help to determine your appropriate criminal history request type.

CJIS Customer Service Hours: 
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Phone:
Baltimore City local number: 410-764-4501
Toll free number: 1-888-795-0011 

Fax:
410-653-6320 

Obtaining an Agency Authorization Number:

There is no fee required to become an authorized agency to receive criminal background information. You must have legal or regulatory authority that authorizes your agency to receive federal and/or Maryland criminal history.

Private employers must complete the Private Party Petition packet:

If approved under the Private Party Petition process, the agency is only entitled to Maryland (State) criminal history record information.

    1. The Private Party Petition packet can be completed on-line through the provided link; and

      Faxed to: 410-653-6320; or
      Mailed to:
      Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository  
      P.O. Box 32708
      Pikesville Maryland 21282-2708; or
      Delivered to:
      Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository
      6776 Reisterstown Road, Suite 102
      Baltimore, Maryland 21215.

    2. Print or type all information clearly.
    3. Identify only one contact person. This is the person with whom the Criminal Justice Information - Central Repository will address all correspondence.
    4. The separate Part 2 section of the Private Party Petition must be completed for each job title for which you are requesting a background history check.
    5. The completion of a Non-Criminal Justice Agency User Agreement will also be required.

If you are an agency providing any of the services listed below, you must complete the Application to Receive Criminal History Record Information for Employment or Licensing Purposes.

  • Adult Dependent Care
  • Criminal Justice
  • Child Care
  • Government Employment (Maryland agencies only)
  • Government Licensing (Maryland agencies only)
  • Public Housing

When completing the Application to Receive Criminal History Record Information for Employment or Licensing Purposes:

  1. Please print or type all information;
  2. List only one contact person. This is the person to whom all correspondence will be addressed;
  3. Select the correct criminal background request type (only one criminal background request type per application);
  4. Print or type the requested information; and

Fax it to: 410-653-6320; or
Mail it to:
Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository 
P.O. Box 32708
Pikesville Maryland 21282-2708; or
Delivered to:
Criminal Justice Information - Central Repository
6776 Reisterstown Road, Suite 102
Baltimore, Maryland 21215.

Associated Criminal Justice Information System – Central Repository Fees

Federal Register - Notice of Fee Increase

Effective January 1, 2019 rates for submitting federal background checks via the Maryland Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository increased in accordance with the fee schedule established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Cost to providers increased by $ 1.25 per fingerprint-based submission.  Fingerprint-based volunteer submission increased by $.50 cents.

Fees are required to process each criminal background record check request.

All fees must be paid by credit card (Master Card, Visa, and Discover) or check. The Central Repository cannot accept cash or money orders.

Checks submitted to CJIS Central Repository are electronically processed.

CATEGORY COST
Full background [state and FBI]
for authorized agencies only
$31.25
Full background [state and FBI]
for child care volunteers
$29.25
Maryland Mentor
for child care volunteers
$15.00 with certification card
State background check only $18.00
State background check with Gold Seal $19.00
Criminal Justice full background No fee
Criminal Justice state only No fee
Attorney/Client civil $18.00
Attorney/Client pending criminal case No fee

There is a $20.00 fingerprint service fee per customer.

Fingerprints may be taken at an authorized Private Provider or Government Operated Service. Make sure to check with that agency for their fingerprinting fees as fees may vary.

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