As of July 2, 2001, under the Schools Against Violence in Education Legislation, applications for new Teaching Certificates are subject to a fingerprint supported criminal history background check. Background checks are required for all school personnel, including applicants for certification and all educational services (BOCES). 

Buffalo State College recommends that all students be fingerprinted PRIOR to any field placement.

As of July 1, 2009, NYS will no longer accept paper applications for Fingerprint Processing.  You must apply online, through TEACH Online Services. 

To apply on TEACH:

1.  Go to:  www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/teach

2.  Click on "Self Register" to create your TEACH account.  (Be sure to record your username and password and keep it in a safe place.  It is the same one you will use to apply for your teaching certificate after you graduate and it will take NYSED several weeks to re-send the missing information.)

3.  Log into TEACH with your username and password.

4.  Click on "TEACH Online Services."

5.  Click on "Submit Application for Fingerprint Clearance."

6.  Complete online application form (OSPRA 101.)

7.  Select "Yes" to have the fingerprint cards mailed to you.

8.  Submit fee to NYSED ($91.50) online using a credit card and print out confirmation page.

9.  Have inked fingerprints applied to NYSED cards. You may schedule an appointment with the Certification Office by calling 716-878-6121. You will need to bring the following with you to the appointment:

  • 2 fingerprint cards
  • valid government issued identification (driver's license or passport)
  • $15 Money Order or certified bank check (no personal checks)

10.  Send inked fingerprint cards and confirmation page to NYSED in the pre-addressed envelope given to you at your appointment in the TCO

It typically takes several weeks (3-6) from the time your fingerprints, application and payment are received for fingerprints to be processed.  You will know that your fingerprints have been processed when your TEACH account has the following statement listed under Fingerprint Information:  "Your DCJS and FBI results have been received".  You will not receive anything from NYSED until a school district requests Fingerprint Clearance for you.