Fingerprint Verification / New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) Security Clearance Requirement

New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) security clearance can take three weeks or more, so allow enough time for your security clearance to be completed and  verified by Brooklyn College. Your records will not be verifiable by the college unless you follow the relevant steps below. 

By New York State law, contract and related regulations, the Department of Education (DOE) is required to conduct background investigations on students working in DOE schools.  Fingerprint security clearance may be obtained through the NYCDOE and will be verified by Brooklyn College after you follow the relevant steps below.  

When do you need college-verified fingerprint clearance? Policy for Spring 2016 and afterward:

All students enrolling in education classes, and Childhood, Bilingual and Special Education (CBSE) bachelor's program candidates: college-verified NYCDOE clearance must be confirmed before registering for education courses.

Students admitted to the education program less than four weeks prior to the beginning of class who may be unable to attain fingerprinting clearance before the start of the semester  will be permitted to enroll in no more than one class that requires  a classroom field experience.  Registration in any subsequent semester will require College-verified NYCDOE clearance fingerprint clearance verification.

Graduate (master's) students: Fingerprint clearance verification is  required for students doing student teaching, observation, and/or student teaching at NYCDOE schools, regardless of existing employment status.

Note: CBSE bachelor's program Spring 2016 and afterward: Students who do not have College-verified NYCDOE clearance but wish to register because they intend to complete a major in Childhood Education, should speak to their advisor regarding what non-education required courses can be taken until they attain the required security clearance.

CBSE master's program Spring 2016 and afterward: All graduate students registering for any course requiring a classroom field experience or student teaching will need College-verified NYCDOE clearance prior to registering for classes. Students admitted to the Childhood Graduate Program less than four weeks prior to the beginning of class who may be unable to attain College-verified NYCDOE fingerprinting clearance before the start of the semester  will be permitted to enroll in no more than one class that requires  a classroom field experience.  Registration in any subsequent semester will require fingerprinting clearance for all required courses with a classroom field work component and for all student teaching classes.

IF CLEARANCE IS NOT CONFIRMED AS DESCRIBED ABOVE students can be added to courses if there is room in the roster after receiving college-verified NYCDOE clearance.

How to obtain fingerprint verification: 

If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below. 

 If your records have not been verified by the certification officer hspencer@brooklyn.cuny.edu at Brooklyn College already, find your situation in paragraphs A-G below to begin the process to have your clearance verified: 

A. Follow steps 1–4 below if you have not had your fingerprints processed already and you will be doing your fieldwork, observation  or student teaching in NYCDOE schools. 

B. If you had your clearance processed already by the the NYCDOE or New York State Education Department (NYSED), but do not yet have college-verified clearance, see paragraphs E, F and G below. 

C. If you have been fingerprinted by any agency other than the NYCDOE or New York State Education Department (NYSED) (e.g., the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), and you will be enrolling in education courses, you need DOE security clearance for work in DOE schools. Follow steps 1–4 below.

If you are not an enrolled student  at Brooklyn College, or will not be taking education classes at Brooklyn College,  see below under "Further Information."

If you had your fingerprints processed already by New York City or New York State, first check your TEACH account  to see if your records were received by the New York State Dept. of Education, and then follow one of the steps, E–G, below. Your TEACH account will only note if records were received, not if your records are cleared. You should not have to pay again if you are following paragraphs E-G.  

  • E. If your records have not been received by NYSED/posted on TEACH but were processed by NYCDOE, self-register to be entered into the Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) database by email so that Brooklyn College can verify your clearance.  E-mail PETS  at PETS@schools.nyc.gov and ask for your data to be added to the Brooklyn College PETS database. They will need your name, phone number, complete home address, date of birth and email address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering). When you receive a reply from New York City Dept. of Education (NYCDOE) Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) fingerprint office they will give you a fax number where you can send a copy of your Social Security card. You can either send a fax or mail a copy of your Social Security card to them.  In both cases, be sure to include your phone number, complete home address, date of birth and email address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering).  Mailing address:  New York City Department of Education, Division of Human Resources, Office of Personnel Investigation, 65 Court Street, Room 200, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Attention: PETS (Personnel  Eligibility Tracking System). If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below. 
    Then follow steps 3 and 4 below.
  • F. If your records have been received by NYSED/posted on TEACH and were not processed by  NYCDOE,  you will need to first complete Step 1 below to be registered in the PETS database. Note that DCJS and FBI are not the same as the NYCDOE. You will be instructed to go in person to the NYCDOE to be fingerprinted but will inform the staff in the HR Connect Walk-in Center, 65 Court Street, Room 102, Brooklyn, NY, that you are a Brooklyn College student teacher and need to submit an OSPRA 103 form so that your criminal history record can be transferred from NYSED to NYCDOE. Fingerprint clearance with TEACH alone does not satisfy the NYCDOE's security clearance requirements. Then follow step 3 below.
  • G. If your records have been received by NYSED/posted on TEACH and were previously processed by NYCDOE, self-register to be entered into the Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) database by email so that Brooklyn College can verify your clearance.  E-mail PETS  at PETS@schools.nyc.gov and ask for your data to be added to the Brooklyn College PETS database. They will need your name, phone number, complete home address, date of birth and email address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering). When you receive a reply from New York City Dept. of Education (NYCDOE) Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) fingerprint office they will give you a fax number where you can send a copy of your Social Security card. You can either send a fax or mail a copy of your Social Security card to them.  In both cases, be sure to include your phone number, complete home address, date of birth and email address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering).  Mailing address:  New York City Department of Education, Division of Human Resources, Office of Personnel Investigation, 65 Court Street, Room 200, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Attention: PETS (Personnel  Eligibility Tracking System). If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below. Then follow step 3 below.

Step 1

You must pre-register with the NYCDOE Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) so that your clearance can be confirmed by Brooklyn College before the term begins. There is no pre-registration being done by the college, you will need to follow the steps below. Note that phone registration is no longer accepted. If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below. 

Complete one of the following:

  • E-mail PETS at PETS@schools.nyc.gov. self-register to be entered into the Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) database by email so that Brooklyn College can verify your clearance.  E-mail PETS  at PETS@schools.nyc.gov and ask for your data to be added to the Brooklyn College PETS database. They will need your name, phone number, complete home address, date of birth and email address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering). When you receive a reply from New York City Dept. of Education (NYCDOE) Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) fingerprint office they will give you a fax number where you can send a copy of your Social Security card. You can either send a fax or mail a copy of your Social Security card to them.  In both cases, be sure to include your phone number, complete home address, date of birth and email address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering).  Mailing address:  New York City Department of Education, Division of Human Resources, Office of Personnel Investigation, 65 Court Street, Room 200, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Attention: PETS (Personnel  Eligibility Tracking System).If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below. 
  • There is no guarantee that you can be fingerprinted the same day that you register for fingerprinting, so we recommend using the above option. If instead you would like to go in person to 65 Court Street, Room 200, Brooklyn, NY, you can request to be added to the PETS data system in person by sending an e-mailing PETS  at PETS@schools.nyc.gov as described above. After you register, you will need to allow two to four 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 mobile phone, or you can use a computer kiosk at the site. You will need to wait to receive your e-mail confirmation, which may not be completed the same day you register. If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below. 

Step 2

After you receive your "nomination" e-mail  from the PETSAdminSupport@schools.nyc.gov e-mail account, please follow the instructions in the e-mail to register in the NYCDOE's Applicant Gateway website and complete all online forms before the deadline specified in the letter. The letter will state "Congratulations! ...This email confirms that an organization ... has nominated you for a position... " At the end of the process you will be asked to print a Fingerprint Referral Form. This form will indicate you are ready to go to the Fingerprint Unit, at the HR Connect Walk-in Center, 65 Court Street, first floor, Brooklyn, NY. You will need to bring the following items:

  • Fingerprint Referral form
  • A valid government-issued photo ID (US Passport, State driver's license, etc.) 
  • A college/university ID (if you have one)
  • Fingerprinting payment of $130, which is in effect as of Jan. 26, 2015. Refer to the instructions in the "Applicant Gateway" letter you received to confirm your fee. 

HR Connect accepts only 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, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You should be prepared to wait (possibly more than an hour). 

Your NYCDOE security clearance must be verified the Certification Officer hspencer@brooklyn.cuny.edu  before you begin the term. Schools can confirm security clearance by e-mailing the NYCDOE student teacher coordinator at STUDENTTEACHERCOORDINATOR@schools.nyc.gov. If you apply for substitute teaching after your clearance is confirmed, you may need to allow time for a further review which may cause you to have a few days without clearance. 

Step 3

If you are planning to work as student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork observation  in NYCDOE schools, you must register with the NYCDOE's Office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality via the online registration system. If you will be working in a charter school or private school, you can indicate that. Registration is not required for school psychology or school counseling students.

International student teachers should e-mail the student teacher coodinator at STUDENTTEACHERCOORDINATOR@schools.nyc.gov to receive assistance in registration.

When you register, 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.

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. NYCDOE 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 (For All Candidates for New York State Teacher Certification)

Be sure to check your TEACH account to check if your fingerprint status is posted there. Your TEACH account will only note if records were received, not if your records are cleared. If your records were not received, and you had your fingerprints processed by the NYCDOE, you will need to print out and submit an OSPRA 104 form, authorizing the DOE to release your criminal history record to the New York State Education Department Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI). 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 New York City Department of Human Resources. Allow about two to three weeks for your records to be processed, and then check your TEACH account to be sure your fingerprint records were received.

If you have not had your security clearance processed by the New York City or New York State DOE and you are not completing fieldwork, student teaching, internship or practicum classes, see the information below.

If Follow-up Is Required With the NYCDOE

You will be notified by Brooklyn College or NYCDOE Office of Personnel Investigation (OPI) if there is a problem with your security clearance. You will need to e-mail OPI at 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. Remember that you must have clearance before the term begins.  

Further Information

If You Are Not Enrolled at Brooklyn College or if you will not be doing your fieldwork, observation or student teaching in NYCDOE schools:

Fingerprinting is only processed by the NYCDOE for candidates who are associated with a college program and who will be doing fieldwork, observation or student teaching in NYCDOE schools. Otherwise you will need to process your security clearance with the new MorphoTrust/IdentoGo system instead of NYCDOE. Note that the time it takes for processing with MorphoTrust/IdentoGo may be much longer than following the steps above. If you are enrolled at Brooklyn College, please follow steps 1-4 above.  Fingerprint clearance with MorphoTrust/IdentoGo alone does not satisfy the NYCDOE's security clearance requirements.  Please refer to these documents for further detail: Fingerprinting Changes and Transition Timelines and Frequently Asked Questions. 

International Students (students without an official Social Security number)

If you do not have an official Social Security number, you must e-mail the Office of Personnel Investigations  at OPIInfo@schools.nyc.gov to make an appointment. Indicate to the OPI representative you are an international student teacher without a 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

After your records are processed, please contact the Certification Officer. After you receive your Social Security number, you will need to bring your Social Security card to the Office of Personnel Investigations (OPI) in Room 200, 65 Court Street, Brooklyn. Indicate that you are an international student teacher who was previously fingerprinted without a Social Security number.  Ask to be added to the Brooklyn College PETS roster so that your fingerprint records can be on file with Brooklyn College.

If you use a number obtained from any source other than the Social Security Administration (including numbers generated by CUNY and/or Brooklyn College) to be added to the  NYC DOE PETS fingerprint roster, you will lose your security clearance and will be required to be fingerprinted a second time at your expense.

If you do not receive a Social Security number (either for employment purposes only or otherwise) before you complete your requirements for NY State certification, you may need to process your fingerprint clearance again with IndentoGo.  Refer to http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tsei/ospra  Please contact that office for instructions.