Fingerprint clearance/New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) Security Clearance Instructions

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.

Before students are allowed to begin a term that will include more than five days or 40 hours of field work or student teaching in New York City schools, they must receive fingerprint security clearance. The hours are cumulative and include work in previous semesters. Fingerprint security clearance may be obtained through the NYCDOE and, as of January 2014, it must be verified by Brooklyn College. Your security clearance can be verified by Helen Spencer, the professor for your student teaching class or your program adviser. Schools can confirm security clearance by e-mailing the NYCDOE student teacher coordinator.

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) in the NYCDOE schools, you need NYCDOE security clearance, which is verifiable by Brooklyn College before you begin the term. Follow the steps below. 
  • If you will be working as a student teacher in the NYCDOE schools, you need NYCDOE security clearance which is verifiable by Brooklyn College before you begin the term. Follow the steps below. 
  • If you completed your NYCDOE security clearance with the NYCDOE prior to December 2013 and you will be working in the NYCDOE schools, you will need to self-register to be entered into the Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) database so that Brooklyn College can verify your clearance.
  • If you have been previously fingerprinted by any agency other than the NYCDOE or New York State Education Department (NYSED), for example by the DOI, and you will be working in the NYCDOE schools, you need NYCDOE security clearance before you begin working. Follow the relevant steps below. Your NYCDOE security clearance for fieldwork or student teaching can be verified by Brooklyn College. 
  • If you are applying for New York State Teacher Certification and your NYCDOE security clearance is not listed on your TEACH account at www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert and if you had your fingerprints processed by the NYCDOE, follow step four.  
  • If your fingerprint clearance is posted on your TEACH account at www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert but not posted on the NYCDOE PETS fingerprint office database, you will need to first complete Step 1 to be registered in the PETS database. 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 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.

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 at this time. Note that phone registration is no longer accepted. 

Complete one of the following:

  • E-mail PETS with the following information: name, Social Security number, date of birth, phone number, address (including zip code) and e-mail 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). E-mail requests are usually processed within 48 hours.
  • E-mail PETS with the following information: name, phone number and e-mail 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). 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, room 200, Brooklyn, NY, and be added to the PETS data system. 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. There is no guarantee that you can be fingerprinted the same day, so we recommend using the above two options prior to going to the HR Connect Walk-in Center.

Step 2  

After you receive your nomination e-mail from the PETSAdminSupport@schools.nyc.gov e-mail account, please follow the instructions in the email to register in the NYCDOE's Applicant Gateway website and complete all online forms. 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 government-issued photo identification (e.g., 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, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You should be prepared to wait (possibly more than an hour). 

Your NYCDOE security clearance can be verified by Helen Spencer, the professor for your student teaching class or your program adviser before you begin the term. Schools can confirm security clearance by e-mailing the NYCDOE student teacher coordinator.

Step 3

If you are planning to work as student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork observation over five days or 40 hours in NYCDOE schools, including prior terms, 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.

International student teachers should e-mail the student teacher coordinator 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 at www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert to check if your fingerprint status is posted there. If it is not, 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 NYC Department of Human Resources. Allow about two to three 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 you have not had your security clearance processed by the NYCDOE and you are not completing fieldwork or student teaching, see the information below on how to process your fingerprints with OSPRA.

Your NYCDOE security clearance for fieldwork or student teaching can be verified by Helen Spencer, the professor for your student teaching class or your program adviser.

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 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 Going to Be in a Student Teaching Class or in a Class That Includes Fieldwork in NYCDOE Schools

Fingerprinting is processed by NYCDOE for candidates who will be student teaching or in a class that includes fieldwork in NYCDOE schools. If you need to process your security clearance with the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA) office instead of NYCDOE, follow these instructions. Note that the time it takes for processing may be longer than following the steps above. You will need to file an OSPRA 103 form in person (not by mail or fax) at the HR Connect Walk-in Center at 65 Court Street in Brooklyn and then self-register following Step 1 above if you need to be included in  the NYC PETS database for NYCDOE fieldwork or student teaching. Fingerprint clearance with TEACH alone does not satisfy the NYCDOE's security clearance requirements.

Field Observation Classes

If you are enrolling in field observation classes you may complete less than five days or 40 hours of observation in total including prior terms without needing to obtain security clearance, but before the term begins in which you will complete more than that amount of time, you must have security clearance that is verifiable by Brooklyn College. If you are completing less than five days or 40 hours in NYCDOE schools including prior terms and you do not have security clearance, you need the permission of the principal and supervision by a DOE employee with security clearance. Note that before the term begins in which you will complete more than five days or 40 hours of fieldwork including prior terms in NYCDOE schools, you must have NYCDOE security clearance which is verifiable by Brooklyn College.

International Students

If you are an international student and do not have a Social Security number, you must e-mail the Office of Personnel Investigations 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