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Process for Background Check

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The three most commonly asked questions and their answers are below:

Help with WAMS IDs

Before you can submit an application to DPI, you must register for a Web Access Management Systems (WAMS) user ID.

How to set up a WAMS account

Already have one or more WAMS accounts?

How to start your WAMS account recovery:

Perform a WAMS account recovery for all emails you have. Enter your email address but do NOT enter your User ID to start your WAMS account recovery. Once in the account recovery process you will be prompted to change your password. After you change your password you will be told in parentheses what your correct User ID is. Please make note of that before you terminate the account recovery session. Once you have recovered all WAMS accounts you have, login to ELO with each of your accounts individually. If you can see your licenses, you are logging in with the correct WAMS account. If you are taken through the Onboarding process again, you are not using the correct WAMS account and should try another account.

If you encounter errors in the WAMS account recovery process, please contact WAMS directly.  DPI is unable to help with WAMS recovery because the system is used by many state agencies and is run by the Department of Administration:

Revalidating Life or Lifetime License

Educators, whose Life or Lifetime license was invalidated in July, have until December 31 to revalidate their license. Upon approval of the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900] application, the Lifetime license will be revalidated just as if the educator completed the application before June 30. Educators will have until December 31 to complete this application for their license to be revalidated.

Background Checks

DPI is required by law to conduct a background check on each applicant for a Wisconsin educator license regardless of whether it is an initial request or a renewal request.

All educators are required to complete a background check to maintain or revalidate a life or lifetime license. There are directions for how to complete the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900].

To find the year in which your most recent background check was submitted, search License Lookup using your name or entity number and check see the “Last Background Check Submitted” field.

The background check is conducted by the DPI at the time the application is submitted. Each application review and background check is conducted individually. Each decision is based on the unique facts associated with the particular applicant's situation and application.

Some applications require additional time to complete the background check. This delay is not an indication of a problem, and is not cause for concern or alarm. If additional clarification, information and/or documentation are necessary, the DPI will contact the applicant in writing. To avoid further delay, the applicant should respond and provide the requested information as soon as possible within the timeframe stated in the written communication.

The background check process includes a review of prior criminal behavior as well as any behavior that may be considered "immoral conduct" or "incompetency", as defined in Wis. Admin Code PI 34.097, regardless of whether it was illegal. If the background check reveals potential areas of concern, the licensing team reviews the relevant information to determine whether the issue(s) should result in denial of a license.

In addition to the information provided on the Conduct and Competency Form, the DPI uses multiple sources of information to conduct a background check, as detailed in Background Check Information Sources.