Fingerprint Clearance Instructions

Fingerprint clearance can take three weeks or more so allow enough time for your fingerprint clearance to be completed and verified.  You must have Department of Education  fingerprint clearance before you work for over 5 days or 40 hours  in  New York State public schools or New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) schools. 

Note that the system was updated in December 2013 and the instructions below supersede previous instructions.

  • If you will be doing fieldwork observations for over five days or 40 hours (including prior time spent doing fieldwork observations)
  • If you will be working as a student teacher
  • If you completed your fingerprint clearance with the NYC or NY State Department of Education prior to December 2013 you will need to follow the relevant steps below (step 1 and if needed, steps 3 and 4)
  • If you have been previously fingerprinted by any agency other than the NYC DOE or NY State Education Department. For example, if you had your fingerprint clearance processed by the DOI.
  • If you are applying for NY State Teacher Certification and your fingerprint clearance is not listed on your TEACH account at www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert. If you had your fingerprints processed before December 2013 by the NYC DOE, complete steps 1and 4. If you had your fingerprints processed after December 2013 by the NYC DOE and your fingerprint clearance has been confirmed by PETS, follow step 4.  

STEP 1

You must pre-register with the Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS). There is no pre-registration being done by the college at this time. Note that phone registration is no longer accepted. 

 Please follow one of the following:

  • Send an email to PETS@schools.nyc.gov with the following information: Name, Social Security number, Date of Birth, Phone number, Address (including Zip Code), email address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indiate any other reason you are registering).  Requests submitted before 3pm using this method are usually inputted the same day.
  • Send an email to PETS@schools.nyc.gov with the following information: Name, Phone number,  and email address. Indicate  that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indiate any other reason you are registering).  You will be contacted by a PETS staff member within one business day for your Social Security Number and Date of Birth.    
  • Go in person to 65 Court Street Brooklyn, Room 200 and be added to the PETS data system. After you register, you will need to allow 2-4 hours for an e-mail confirmation to be sent to you so you can proceed to the Fingerprint Unit on Court Street. This e-mail can be sent to your phone or you can use a computer kiosk at the site. There is no guarantee that you can be fingerprinted the same day, so we recommend calling or e-mailing prior to going to the Fingerprint Unit.

STEP 2

After you receive your e-mail confirmation from PETS, you will be directed to go the Fingerprint Unit, at the HR Connect Walk-in Center, 65 Court Street, Brooklyn, on the first floor. You will need to bring the following items:

  • A government-issued photo identification (ex: driver’s license)
  • A college/university ID
  • Fingerprinting payment of $115

HR Connect only accepts personal checks or money orders made payable to NYCDOE/DHRT OR a debit/credit card except for American Express.

The HR Connect Walk-in Center is located at 65 Court Street in Brooklyn and is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. You should be prepared to wait (possibly more than an hour). By the time you leave, you will have been added to PETS, completed all of the initial paperwork and be fingerprinted.

STEP 3

If you are planning to work as student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork observation over five days, you must register with the NYC Department of Education via the online registration system at http://nyc.teacherssupportnetwork.com/studentteacher. If you will be working in a charter school or private school you can indicate that.  

International student teachers should e-mail studentteachercoordinator@schools.nyc.gov or call 718.935.2516 to receive assistance in registration.

When you register at http://nyc.teacherssupportnetwork.com/studentteacher you will need to create a user account and complete your online registration. Please note, even if you have already created a user account to begin a full-time teacher job application you must still create a new user account to complete your student teacher registration.

Please submit your student teacher placement information as part of the registration process. If you do not know your placement information when you first create your user account, you need to log back in as soon as it is known to add your placement information. Once you have fully completed all the required registration information, you should print your registration confirmation letter from the site. NYC DOE host school principals or their representatives will ask to see your registration confirmation letter. Be sure to enter an active e-mail address when registering.

STEP 4:

Be sure to check your TEACH account at www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert to check if your fingerprint status is posted there for NY State certification. If it is not, and you had your fingerprints processed by the NYCDOE, you will need to print out an OSPRA 104 form available at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tsei/documents/ospra104.pdf so that your fingerprint records will be released to the NY State Dept. of Education Office of Teaching Initiatives.  If the information in section two of the OSPRA 104 form does not apply to you, you can leave it blank. The form will be processed by the NYC Dept. of Human Resources. Allow about 2-3 weeks for your records to be processed, and then check your TEACH account at www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert to be sure your fingerprint status has been posted.  

If follow-up is required

You will be notified by Brooklyn College or NYC DOE PETS if there is a problem with your fingerprint clearance. You will need to send an email to opiinfo@schools.nyc.gov to inquire about the next steps required. Be sure to include the last four digits of your Social Security number when you contact that office. You must have Department of Education  fingerprint clearance before you work for over 5 days or 40 hours  in  New York State public schools or New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) schools. 

Further Information

If you are not enrolled in student teaching or a class that includes fieldwork, or if you want to process your fingerprint clearance with the OSPRA office instead of NYC DOE PETS:

Follow these instructions: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/ospra/fpprocess.html, then file an OSPRA 103 form so your records can be sent to the NYC DOE.

Field Observation Classes

If you are enrolling in field observation classes, you may fulfill up to 5 days or 40 hours of observation in total without needing to obtain security clearance. If you complete more than 5 days or 40 hours in one semester, you do not get to "reset" the clock in the next semester or next year, in that case you will need fingerprint clearance. The 40 hours only include observations in a school with the permission of the principal.

International Students

If you are an international student and if you do not have a Social Security number, you must make an appointment with the Office of Personnel Investigations by sending an e-mail to OPIInfo@schools.nyc.gov or calling 718.935.2665. Indicate to the OPI representative you are an international student teacher without Social Security number. You will be directed to the correct person. You must have an appointment and bring in the following four items:

  • Passport
  • Student visa
  • Proof of enrollment in an education program (a letter from your college program office will suffice: Early Childhood/Art Education, Childhood, Bilingual and Special Education, Secondary Education, or School Psychology/Counseling/Educational Leadership)
  • College ID card