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Background Check Information Sources

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.

To conduct background checks, the DPI uses a variety of sources to gather relevant information.

Sources of information frequently used by the DPI for conducting background checks include:

  • Crime Information Bureau (CIB) - Within the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the CIB functions as a central repository for criminal arrest and conviction records within Wisconsin. Only incidents that were submitted to the CIB accompanied by fingerprints are contained in the database.
  • Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) - This website, also called the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA), provides access to certain public records of the circuit courts of Wisconsin. The information displayed is an exact copy of the case information entered into the CCAP case management system by court staff in the counties where the case files are located. The court record summaries are all public records under Wisconsin open records law. Not all counties provide their court information to CCAP.
  • FBI Fingerprint Check – Conducted through Wisconsin Department of Justice, FBI Fingerprint Check is used to check the criminal history of certain applicants who have lived, worked or attended school outside of Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry - A database that contains information about certain convicted sex offenders in Wisconsin.
  • Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry - A national database that contains information about certain convicted sex offenders from all fifty states.
  • Wisconsin Caregiver Misconduct Registry – A database that contains information about certified Wisconsin caregivers who have been found to have engaged in misconduct.

Note: An applicant may have a juvenile record, but if that applicant does not reveal this information to the DPI at the time of application, it is likely that information will remain confidential. Juvenile records are not disclosed by the FBI, CIB or CCAP to the DPI. However, some juvenile sex offense adjudications are subject to sex offender registration and therefore are public, as are convictions resulting from a waiver into adult court.