Fingerprint-based criminal history checks for TBAE registrants
TBAE is in receipt of an important bulletin from the Department of Public Safety DPS regarding the new process for submitting fingerprints,
and the impact of the Coronavirus on the fingerprinting process. The DPS bulletin is reproduced in its entirety below:
Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 - DPS would like to request your assistance with notifying applicants that taking a photo is part of the fingerprinting process
and a requirement. It has been brought to our attention that some applicants are refusing to remove their mask during the photo portion of the appointment,
which has led to some photos being taken with the applicants wearing a mask. Photos are a requirement and we are working with IdentoGo to ensure photos are
taken correctly. DPS has requested that IdentoGo maintain a 6’ distance when possible and prior to starting the appointment, that they inform the applicant
it will be necessary to remove their mask for a photo. If the applicant chooses not to remove their mask, we have requested the appointment not proceed and
the applicant will be asked to reschedule their appointment for a later date.
Identogo and likely most other fingerprinting locations are closing in certain areas, sometimes at a moment’s notice. Please consider checking by phone
prior to arriving for a scheduled fingerprint session.
*Friday July 10th, 2020 DPS is aware that applicants are experiencing delays longer than 10 days for fingerprinting appointments around the state. We are working with our vendor to address the current situation, keeping in mind that the health and safety of the public and staff are our priority. DPS would like to request your assistance in relaying this information to applicants as we work with our vendor to address complications caused by the COVID-19 virus.
Stay tuned to this page, as it will be updated each time we learn more or receive updated information.
THE FINGERPRINT SCHEDULING PROCESS IS NOW LIVE. SEE IMMEDIATELY BELOW FOR HELPFUL
INSTRUCTIONS YOU WILL NEED TO FULFILL THE FINGERPRINTING REQUIREMENT.
In the spring of 2013, the Texas Legislature passed a new law requiring all incoming and renewing active TBAE
registrants to submit a set of fingerprints to be used to conduct a criminal history check. The fingerprints
will also be maintained by DPS and the FBI and cross-referenced in order to provide TBAE notice of certain arrests
or convictions in the future. Since the new law’s passage, TBAE staff has set up the necessary procedures, and the
fingerprint scheduling process is now available to use. See the links above for step-by-step instructions and forms
you will need.
Because this is the most frequently asked question by a wide margin, we are posting this information
on this page as well as on our FAQ page (see link below).
Q: If I’ve already submitted fingerprints for a concealed handgun license (or another reason, such as for a school project
or when adopting a child), is that sufficient?
A: Unfortunately, no. FBI regulations prohibit that kind of sharing of fingerprint information among government agencies.
Fingerprints are required of an Active status TBAE registrant even if he or she has submitted prints for a concealed handgun
license, for a previous school district or other public project, for a federal project, for a military project, or for any
other reason. FBI regulations do not appear to offer any exceptions.
A few tips and hints are very important to remember:
Allow plenty of time prior to your renewal due date (several weeks is best) to submit your fingerprints.
The process is straightforward, but pre-scheduling an appointment is required, and appointment times and
locations are not unlimited. There is no “walk-in” option available from the State’s chosen fingerprinting
vendor; appointments must be scheduled online or via telephone beforehand.
If you are outside Texas, allow yourself even more time than the several weeks suggested above. The
out-of-state process is different (more specific information coming soon), and involves mailing “hard copy”
fingerprints via the postal service and other hands-on processes, which can take time. If you live outside
Texas, allow yourself six or more weeks just to be safe.
TBAE is prohibited (by law—no exceptions) from issuing or renewing an Active status license without
submitted fingerprints. Beginning with renewals or new applications on or after January 1, 2014, you must
have submitted fingerprints in accordance with the new law to renew your Active status license. There is
no fingerprint requirement for Inactive or Emeritus licenses, though fingerprints will be required in order
to switch back to Active status at a later time.
Based upon information obtained from the vendor, the fingerprint process will work as follows:
Registrants and applicants will schedule an appointment with the vendor through the vendor’s Web site.
Registrants and applicants will arrive at the one of the vendor’s offices for fingerprinting (there are about 85
TBAE will be notified electronically once the fingerprints are submitted.
Upon receipt of the notice, the TBAE database will “unlock” the registration process and allow registrants to
renew registration and applicants to move forward with initial registration.
Note: the process for nonresident TBAE registrants and applicants will be different. Out-of-state registrants and
applicants will undergo fingerprinting on standard cards at law enforcement agencies in their home cities and states (no need
to travel to Texas to fulfill this requirement) and send the form to the vendor
which will send notice to TBAE, allowing it to complete registration renewal or initial registration of registrants
and applicants, respectively.
Note: Particularly for out-of-state applicants and registrants, the process can take quite a bit of time.
Please allow several weeks prior to your renewal due date! As stated above, out-of-state registrants will submit
fingerprints in their home states and cities. There is no need to travel to Texas to fulfill this requirement.
This page will serve as the official depository for links and information related to the new fingerprint-based
criminal history check requirement. TBAE will update this page with each new piece of information available,
so check back often and feel free to share with colleagues, interns, and others who might find it helpful.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the new law, produced by TBAE.
Note: The State’s chosen fingerprinting vendor, MorphoTrust USA, has undergone a handful of name changes in recent years.
Web site URLs or other documents may refer to Identogo, L1 Enrollment, Safran, IBT Fingerprinting, or others, but they all
indicate the company now known as MorphoTrust USA, located now at
General criminal history information