Office of Educator Preparation

Fingerprinting and Criminal History Record Check (CHRC) Approval Process


Revised 8/28/20

Governor Mills released another Executive Order (PDF) on August 26, 2020 repealing the previous Order (#52, 5/12/20) regarding CHRC requirements during the state of emergency:

"The modification of fingerprinting and CHRC requirements as set forth in section I.A.2 of Executive Order 52 FY 19/20 is repealed, provided that all school personnel shall have 30 days from the date of this Order to complete any outstanding background checks."

In other words, as of 8/26/20 all individuals working in K-12 school districts must have fingerprinting/CHRC approval in place within 30 days of the order (or 9/24/20).

Revised 7/28/20

NOTE: The following update only applies to students in early field experience courses (EDU 100, EDU 222, EDU 305, EDU 310, SED 335). CHRC/fingerprinting requirements for students enrolled in internship courses have not changed as of this update.

Courses with outcomes related to early field experience activities (EDU 100, EDU 222, EDU 305, EDU 310, SED 335) will not include in-person placements in K-12 schools or agencies in Fall 2020 to protect the health and safety of USM students as well as K-12 educators and students, and to respect the difficult tasks that schools face in this uncertain time. Instructors will design alternative course activities to meet these learning outcomes.

Because students will not meet face-to-face with children, the Office of Educator Preparation (OEP) is suspending its requirement for students enrolled in early field experience classes to provide proof of Criminal History Record Check (CHRC) / fingerprinting approval for Fall 2020 only. Additionally, the OEP acknowledges that some students living out-of-state have not been able to complete the process due to restrictions on fingerprinting sites in other states. If you intend to continue with education coursework or work with children in a public school setting in the near future, the OEP still recommends completing this process when possible as this is only a temporary suspension.

Contact Office of Educator Preparation Program Coordinator, Julie Marsh, with any questions:

Anyone who works with children in a school setting is required by law to be fingerprinted at a Maine Department of Education (MDOE) approved fingerprint site. Students must have a Criminal History Records Check (CHRC) approval based on the fingerprint results.

All students are required to be fingerprinted prior to enrolling in a course with an accompanying field experience and/or internship/student teaching placement.

Fingerprinting and the Criminal History Record Check (CHRC) is a two-part process:

Step 1 – Fill out & submit an Initial Educational Approval Application from the MDOE website

Step 2 – Have fingerprints taken

  • Both parts are required before a student can begin a field experience and/or internship/student teaching placement
  • Fingerprints must be taken at a Maine approved fingerprint site

Applicant Instructions

Follow the instructions on the MDOE website, which are summarized in the steps outlined below:

1. Complete the application for Initial Educational Approval and provide an explanation to questions to which you answered "yes."

  • If you answered, "yes" to Question 1:
    • For each conviction, attach a brief explanation stating when and what the conviction was. If further information is requested, you will need to provide attested copies of the Judgment and Commitment papers (including probation conditions). These documents may be obtained from the Clerk of Courts where you were convicted. This includes OUI and negotiating a worthless instrument.
  • If you answered yes to question 2 and/or 3:
    • Attach an explanation for each situation
  • If you answered, "yes" on a previous application and there have been no additional convictions:
    • Submit a statement that there have been no new convictions since the previous "yes" was submitted

2. Send the application and $15 non-refundable fee* to the following:

 Maine Department of Education (MDOE)
 Division of Certification
 State House Station #23
 Augusta, ME 04333

*Include credit card information on the application or make a check payable to: Treasurer, State of Maine

3. Register for fingerprinting online with the Maine Department of Public Safety. If you do not register, you will not be able to have your fingerprints taken. There is a one-time $55 fee for this process.

  • From agency list, choose Department of Education
  • For applicant type, choose New Hire / initial applicants
  • Read the terms and "agree" to choose a fingerprinting location and appointment
  • Take your confirmation number (received after registration) and a picture ID (a driver's license or Maine State ID is preferred) to the fingerprint site on the assigned date and time

NOTE: If you live out-of-state, you can register to send your fingerprints in through the mail. Go to this site and choose the second option ("Register for Fingerprint Card Processing Service"):

Provide Proof of CHRC Approval

From your fingerprints, state and federal criminal history record checks will be conducted. The results of the state and federal criminal history record checks will be forwarded to the Maine DOE to be used for the issuance or denial of approvals. If you are not approved, you will receive notification in writing.

  • Check the DOE's online NEO system for the status of your approval. 
  • If and when you are approved, you will be able to view and print your approval information from the NEO system website
  • Take a screenshot (or Print --> save as PDF) of the NEO application status screen for proof of credentials

Complete the form at the following link to submit proof of approval:


Revised 7/10/20