BCI Background Check Frequently Asked Questions

BCI Background Check Frequently Asked Questions

Ohio law currently requires all of their residents to have an accurate BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigation) and FBI background check the first time they apply for any type of licensing, certificates, or permits.

If you live in Ohio and have performed a background check in the past, you are not required to update the background check with the state, but you do need to upgrade your background check with the FBI at least once every 5 years.

If you have lived outside of Ohio at any time during the 5 years since your last background check, you will need to update both the BCI and the FBI background checks again.

Criminal background check on laptop.

It is your responsibility, as well as your employer’s responsibility to ensure that the laws in Ohio are adhered to when it comes to having your background checks performed every 5 years.

Even if the expiration of your background check doesn’t coincide with the 5 year rule, you will be responsible for having it updated.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions we see when residents are trying to perform a background check or update their check records with the FBI and BCI.

Where Can I Have A BCI And FBI Background Check Performed?

It’s recommended that you check with the BCI to see if a background check has been performed within the last 5 years. If you do not have an electronically completed background check, you can also check with your local law enforcement agency to determine if they have records on file.

How Are The Background Checks Performed?

You need to have both the BCI and FBI background checks performed electronically using the Ohio Webcheck system. Unless you live more than 75 miles away from a Webcheck facility or you have a history of poor quality fingerprints that cannot be scanned using a Webcheck screen, you will need to use a Webcheck facility.

Where Can I Send The Results Of My Background Check?

If you are applying for an educator’s license, you will need to submit the results of your background check to the Ohio Department of Education. If you are applying for other types of licenses, certifications, or permits, you will need to submit them to the governing body that oversees your specific license management.

How Long Does It Take To Receive The Results Of My Background Check?

First, to ensure that you receive the results of your background check faster, you need to ensure that the agency you’re applying for licensing through has access to your Webcheck results. Then, it should only take them a few days to receive the results from Webcheck once they’re properly submitted.

BCI processing times do tend to vary, though, which means that it could take slightly longer to receive the results, especially if issues were found (like criminal records) during the process. If records are found, or if they need to be disputed, the process could take weeks to complete.

What Happens If There Are Delays From My Background Check?

Your licensing agency will typically hold your application for up to 60 days while they are waiting for the results of your background check to come back from the BCI and FBI. This gives you plenty of time to dispute the results or handle any errors that occurred during your submission.

Magnifying lens over red person among grey people.

What Happens If The Results Are Received Before I Apply For A License Or Permit?

If you experience delays in applying for your licensing after submitting your background check and the licensing agency obtains your check before they obtain your application for your license, they will generally hold the background check for 180 days, to give you time to submit the application.

Can I Receive A Paper Copy Of My Background Check?

No. Background check results are sent electronically through Webcheck facilities, and no paper copies are created during the process. You can obtain a paper copy of your background check by requesting the copies from the FBI, but the BCI will not provide them.

How Often Should I Complete A Background Check In Ohio?

Ohio law currently requires all residents that hold a license, certificate, or permit in the state to have a baseline background check performed through the BCI and FBI before their license, certificate, or permit is initially provided.

They also require that those background checks are less than 1 year old when applying for licensing, and that the background checks are performed at least once every 5 years unless they’ve recently expired. If they have expired, they will need to be updated sooner than the 5 year limit.

If you consistently reside inside of Ohio, you will not need to update your BCI check, however, if you live outside of Ohio at any point during the 5 year period since your last background check, you will need to have both BCI and FBI checks updated when you return to Ohio.

It is your responsibility to ensure that Ohio law is followed in regards to maintaining up to date records and maintaining your licensing in the state. Even if the expiration date on your original records does not coincide with the 5 year rule, you are still responsible for keeping it updated.

In cases where the expiration date of your checks and the expiration date of your license or permit do not coincide, it is still your responsibility to adhere to the 5 year law. You should never allow your criminal background check records to expire, even if your license isn’t due for renewal.

When Does My Background Check Expire?

To find out when your background check expires, you will want to check with the BCI or FBI by submitting a request. You can also check with your licensing agency or look at your license or permit to determine when your license expires.

Can I Use Results From A Previous Background Check For New Licensing?

If the results from the background check were performed through the BCI and FBI and are less than 1 year old, you can have them submitted to your licensing agency. It is then up to your agency’s discretion whether they are willing to use the results or if you are going to need to apply for new records.

Update stamp on white background.

Can I Use Background Check Results From Another State?

No. Each state has different requirements for their background checks and how the records are handled. They also do not report to the same governing bodies, so records checks from other states are not eligible to be used for licensing and permits in Ohio.

How Much Do Background Checks Cost?

Your costs are going to vary depending on what you need to have performed. For first time records checks, you will need to pay for fingerprinting, submission to the BCI, requesting records from the FBI, and your actual license or permit.

Who Has To Pay For A Background Check?

Unless your employer has included provisions to cover the costs of your background checks, you are going to be responsible for paying for them. For obtaining licensing, permits, or certificates as a private resident, you will also be required to pay for the costs.

Who Can I Contact To Dispute My Background Check?

If you notice issues with the information being returned during your background check, you are going to want to contact the BCI or the FBI. You can contact the BCI at the address and phone number below.


P.O. Box 365

London, OH 43140

Am I Notified If My Background Check Application Is Put On Hold?

If your application is delayed or the BCI or FBI put a pending hold on your records, you will receive a notification of the delay either through email or postal mail. The BCI and FBI will not contact you by phone.

E-mails sent on laptop.

What If I Cannot Submit My Fingerprints Electronically?

If you experience problems submitting your fingerprints through Webcheck, you are going to need to contact the BCI at (877)-224-0043 to learn the specifics about what is needed to be completed to have your fingerprints properly submitted without experiencing further delays.

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