The mission of the Central Fingerprint Unit is to ensure compliance with state statutes and administrative codes requiring the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to conduct criminal history background checks.
The Central Fingerprint Unit is responsible for the collection, review, interpretation and dissemination of all criminal history record information (CHRI).
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about the CFU:
1. Who must obtain a criminal history background check?
Any applicant 18 years or older applying for a position in a DHS or DCF program which requires a criminal history background check.
2. How does an applicant obtain a CHRI?
The DHS or DCF program requesting the background check provides the applicant with a fingerprint request application.
Via phone or web, applicants schedule an appointment with the authorized state vendor to be fingerprinted, providing the identifying information on the form. A government-issued ID is required in order to be fingerprinted.
3. How does the fingerprint process work?
The Department of Human Services, through an authorized state vendor, uses an electronic fingerprint system. Once scanned, the fingerprints are electronically transmitted to the Division of State Police for processing of state and federal criminal background check.
4. Who is responsible for paying for the fingerprints?
In most instances, the Department of Human Services pays the fees for fingerprinting.
5. If fingerprinted for another agency, are the fingerprints transferable?
Since fingerprint statutes and requirements vary from agency to agency and regulations prohibit the sharing of criminal history record information, fingerprints cannot be transferred.
6. What circumstances would require fingerprints to be taken again?
In some cases, if the fingerprints are not clear or a transmission error occurred, fingerprinting may be necessary again.
Also, any agency requests for fingerprint results, which may have been misplaced or lost, would require fingerprints to be taken again if the request is more than 90 days past the initial fingerprint date.
7. What occurs after the fingerprints are processed by the NJ State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
Once the fingerprints are processed, results are forwarded within ten (10) business days to the Central Fingerprint Unit for dissemination to the DHS or DCF agencies.
8. What happens if an agency does not receive results in ten (10) business days?
The agency must contact the Central Fingerprint Unit as soon as possible prior to the 90-day deadline.