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Completing the Fingerprint Requirement

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.

NOTICE:

Effective August 1st, 2013, all fingerprints that are submitted for the purpose of DPI license applications must be submitted electronically through the state-approved vendor, Fieldprint. The DPI will not send paper fingerprint cards to license applicants after July 26th, unless the applicant resides outside of the United States.

Information about the electronic fingerprint process is available on the following page:
Electronic Fingerprint Submission.

The following applicants are required to submit fingerprints to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) when applying for a license:

  • Applicants who have worked, resided, or physically attended classes in any of the locations listed below within the last twenty years (after age 17):
    • U.S. states other than Wisconsin
    • Listed U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, or Virgin Islands)
    • Canada
    • Great Britain (England, Scotland, or Wales)
  • Applicants, who since their most recent submission of fingerprints to DPI have worked, resided, or physically attended classes in any locations listed above.
  • Applicants who provide an address on their application that is in any of the locations listed above.

Still not sure if you need to submit fingerprints? Try our Fingerprint Decision Tree-PDF Flowchart OR the Interactive Fingerprint Decision Tree.

As provided by Wis. Stat. 118.19 (10) (c), the DPI may also require other applicants to submit fingerprints during the course of the background investigation.

Failure to submit fingerprints as required and/or failure to submit complete information will result in a delay in processing your application, and may ultimately result in denial of your application.

 

Fingerprinting Frequently Asked Questions

1.  I have been fingerprinted numerous times over the years, as a student teacher, a childcare worker, and as a teacher in another state. This is in addition to the fingerprints I have provided to the DPI in the past. Why don't any of my previous fingerprint submissions count?
Wisconsin law requires DPI to conduct background checks on all applicants for an educator license, and to obtain fingerprints from certain applicants as part of the license application process. Prior fingerprints and background checks from other agencies and for other purposes do not satisfy DPI's statutory requirements. If the DPI notifies you that you must submit fingerprints again, new fingerprints must be submitted to the DPI before you will be licensed.

2.  How do I complete my fingerprints?
The State of Wisconsin has a contract with Fieldprint, a private vendor, to offer inkless fingerprinting using Livescan technology. Fieldprint captures fingerprints at various locations throughout the United States and submits them electronically to the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the FBI. The results of the background check based on the fingerprints are then forwarded to Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  Electronic fingerprint submissions are not accepted from any law enforcement agency or any vendor other than Fieldprint. Information on making an appointment is available on this page:

Electronic Fingerprint Submission

3.  What is the code I need for Fieldprint?
Enter "FPWIDPITeach" as the reason code/employer ID on the Fieldprint website. You will need this code to schedule an appointment.  

Fingerprinting procedures: